Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Holy People in an Unrighteous Nation

For some time now, American culture has been deliberately steered in a very specific direction for the past several decades. You see, Americans are very emotional people. For the past several years, there has been a move to use this tendency toward emotion, to escalate it, and then to advance certain causes by manipulating these emotions of the American people. Critical thinking, intellectual contemplation has been all but lost in American society. People are moved by their emotions without nearly an ounce of cerebral activity. And this is by design. For instance, Dan Trabue an adversary of mine continues to insist that there cannot be one authoritative interpretation of Scripture. What he fails to realize is that his basic statement puts itself out there as a final authority on how Scripture can be interpreted. His “anything goes” is just as authoritative as my “only the authors intent goes.” Dan cannot see the utter destruction of Scripture that results from his view nor can he understand that Christianity is reduced to ruins as we push his view to its logical conclusion. This is the kind of irrational thinking that I am afraid best describes most people in American culture and that includes many of those in our own Churches, real Churches even. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I think that light is religious persecution. Persecution will benefit the Church in America a great deal. Persecution has always benefited the Church through her history. I suspect this new era will be no different. Congratulations, Christians in America, you are about to join your fellow Christians in the rest of the world. Christian Americans have benefited from a very unusual prolonged period that has been free from persecution. And I am afraid we have wasted it on liberal Protestantism, the seeker movement, and the emergent church. As of Friday, the fat lady has started to warm up because we are ending an era. The show is just about over.
The good news for the Church anyways, as it relates to the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, is that it should provide some clarity around what the Church is and is not and who is actually in the Church and who is not. Churches will now be forced to take a stand or not. They will, at a minimum, be forced to make a decision: gay Christianity or the gospel. It cannot be both. John tells us that the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious. Christians in America, thanks to some who have abused dispensational theology, have bought the lie that we are not judge one another, and that only God knows the heart. When that thinking is incorporated into the radical dispensational dichotomy so that the God of the OT and the Jesus of the NT are view as different or behaving radically differently, it can only be a recipe for disaster. When respected men can teach and preach that we can make Jesus our Savior without making Him our Lord, the consequences are predictable. And here we are. The problem with this thinking is that it blatantly contradicts the Bible. Scripture says we can know them by the fruit they bear. Those in the world are obviously children of the devil and they are easy to recognize so long as the church wears the correct lens: God’s word.
Given the current state of affairs, what should the church do? We should learn from our past mistakes. We convinced ourselves that we were really treating homosexuals differently than others. With few rare exceptions, that is simply not true. We have treated them like we treat any unbeliever. We also bought the lie, without a shred of evidence, that we were obsessed with homosexuality and nearly preached against it every weekend. I have been in the Christian community for 36 years and I have never heard a single sermon devoted to homosexual sin. Not one, ever! We convinced ourselves that that homosexual community just wanted to be treated like everyone else and that they were honest nice people, willing to respect our differences. That is a lie. Homosexuals demand that everyone, including those with deeply held religious convictions to the contrary, celebrate their lifestyle. They have proven that they are not willing to respect different perspectives on their lifestyle. If you disagree with their lifestyle, you are a hater, a bigot, and a religious fanatic. Christians, over the last 5-10 years have been incredibly naïve in how they have handled this issue. This is just as true for prominent pastors, less prominent pastors, and other leaders. We need to learn from this and make sure we do not repeat those mistakes.
How do we respond? We continue to preach the gospel and trust God to perform His work according to His sovereign plan. We educate ourselves on opposing arguments against Scripture, against Christianity, against our God. This includes the arguments advocating gay Christianity. We change the way we live our lives. We turn of the cable programs and reject the godless messages that are embedded in these brainwashing, mind-numbing, hypnotic devices. The godless message of autonomous man and the narcissism that follows are laced throughout the programming. I am not suggesting that it is a sin to watch TV. I am suggesting that you keep your defenses up and begin to resist the desensitization intended by most of the programs. We become less American and more Christian. We stop worshipping the American dream, and romanticizing American history as if America was founded by the Apostles of Christ themselves. Poppycock! Stop that nonsense.
The homosexual, according to Paul in Romans one, along with every other god-hater engages in behavior that is worthy of death. That does not mean Paul was endorsing violence. It means their behavior is wicked. But Paul also included in that lot, those who give hearty approval to people that engage in wicked behavior to include homosexuality. They equally are worthy of death. Again, their endorsements of sinful behavior is extremely wicked. This means that the US Supreme Court is indeed a wicked body. The Court did not consult God in rendering its decision. It left God out. The Court has pretended to be the final authority on the matter even to the neglect of the Constitution. It has followed its decision to allow children to be murdered with this decision to allow America to call what is perverse, right.

Churches will need to deliberately begin to disciple and educate their people. Christians will have to stop this foolishness of being an intellectual sloth. We tend to busy ourselves with everything but Christian doctrine. The Scripture commands us to be prepared to defend the gospel, to defend Christian dogma. That takes time and energy.  We spend 40-50 hours a week working. We spend another 10-20 hours a week running around with kids, baseball, basketball, etc. We watch an obscene about of television programming. We play tons of golf, fish, hike, and go boating. And then we go to Church on Sunday morning, listen to a fluffy 30 minute Sunday school lesson and a 45 minute sermon, read 5 minutes in a devotional each day and think we have done our part. It seems pretty obvious, given our schedules and where we spend most of our time, where our priorities are. It is the pastor that has to drive this message home week in and week out. Those of us who invest time and energy in Scripture, equipping ourselves will never grow weary of hearing that encouragement. Those who don’t bother will either change their behavior or leave the community. And that is a win-win situation.

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