Of False Love And Knee Jerk Reactions…

 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.(John 7:7)

 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.(John 15:18-19)

Increasingly over the past couple of years, many of us within evangelical christianity, have either been a participant in, or an observer of the following kind of several step exchange;

Step 1) A Christian “celebrity” proposes that the church needs to be more tolerant of homosexuality.

Step 2) A Christian disciple takes an exception to it, and reaffirms the biblical position on homosexuality.

Step 3) Another christian disciple, no doubt equally sincere, takes the brother in step 2 to task for asserting the biblical position on the subject. He (or she) usually demands “Where is the grace?”, or some variation of “Why do you have to be so harsh and unloving?”, or “How are we going to reach these injured souls, if all we do is judge them like that?”.

Step 4) The Christian concerned about upholding and affirming the biblical view of marriage, sex and gender, is put on the defensive, as though to do so is unloving. He is made to justify himself that he is indeed loving to sinners.

Step 5) The next step is usually the assertion of a moral equivalence between Homosexuality, and gluttony,lies  or being critical. (By then the “P” word has been brandished, either openly or implicitly, and in some cases the “H” word*.)*

Step 6) As the discussion progresses, usually the entire believing church is castigated for being harsh and unloving (for the last 19 centuries), casting out people when they should have been including them and winning them over in love!

How did we arrive at this place? What is this that has come to divide the last bastion of resistance to the agenda of those who would annihilate all of the God ordained distinctions, including male and female?

I believe I have a theory that can explain this.

Mind you my theory only addresses the church side of this multifaceted problem. There are other factors that feed into this schism as well, which would be good topics for another time.

What I believe has happened is that there are a good many pastors who are worldly, and misunderstand and shun the reproach of Christ. They don’t get that, it is at just that point that the world is currently rebelling against God, that the church must bear humble witness to the Truth.

Even if it exposes the church to hatred, reproach and abuse. We are not always going to be ‘loved and appreciated’.

These pastors have been trained humanistically, they think in terms of man, they have a man centered gospel, and are unfamiliar with concepts such as the holiness of God or the centrality of the Glory of God. They are very much in tune, and good at tapping into the “Spirit of the Age”, and christianizing it. A good many of them are hip youth group leader types, only grown older.

The current “Spirit of the Age” is tolerance, acceptance, even of the unacceptable, and non-judgmentalism. Everything is the Civil Rights movement of the sixties, and no one wants to be the next Bull Connor. This is the current delusion.

What these pastors are more than willing to do, is to criticize the church, (and I mean the whole church, down through the ages) as having been unloving, uncaring and judgmental to people  who need it the most.

They do this so that they can contrast themselves and their own ilk, as being the only compassionate and humane ones. This is posturing, and it is effective. They get to be Jesus, whilst the vast majority of the church, get to be the Pharisees. Especially those who dare speak out, asserting biblical truth with any kind of authority.(Authority is taboo now, we are all supposed to be conflicted, and uncertain, even apologetic!).

I have seen this played out many times. I have seen pastors actually apologize on behalf of the church,(not their own church mind you), to the “homosexual community” for years of alledged maltreatment by christians.

This is the false love, it is humanistic, misguided, and is seducing a good many to succumb to evil, siding with it in the face of truth, light and goodness.

They actually resist truth in the name of the “love”! The knee jerk reactions that we see coming from their followers, is always against any christian who dares to assert the biblical position. It is never against those who would distort it or ignore it altogether.

It is also based on a wrong notion of sinners, that they are poor, misunderstood souls who just need someone to uncritically walk alongside of them, as Jesus supposedly did. It doesn’t see sinners as the rebels they really are, who would unseat God himself if possible, and who seek to profane everything holy, including and especially the church.

Should the church welcome all sinners regardless of their sins? Absolutely! That is a given and it always has been through the centuries, regardless of the accounts of the new compassionate preachers. But should the church accommodate itself to the “gay community”? Should it apologize as though preaching the truth about God’s Righteousness were wrong or insensitive? Need I even answer this?

I saw an example of this one night watching Larry King. Larry had three guests on. The first was a backslidden gospel music star, a confused young woman who came out as a Lesbian, and was insisting that she could still be a christian minister.

The second guest was a real christian, a pastor(I don’t even know his name) who spoke lovingly to the young woman. He told her, that she could be forgiven of her sin, but needed to repent, and that Jesus could restore her. He insisted that her lesbianism was a sin, but that she could overcome it through Jesus.

The third guest was once the head of the National Association of Evangelicals, and a well known pastor. He interrupted the other pastor with this ,”Wait a minute brother, just remember that the only people Jesus ever rebuked were the self righteous ones who judged others”.

Larry King was overjoyed at this “open minded” preacher! Finally an evangelical who “gets it!”. The Young woman was encouraged and bolstered by that response also, so much so that she was able to laugh the true preacher in the face, and ignore his pleadings.

I believe it was the Holy Spirit who spoke to me when I saw that spectacle saying, “Do you see what He just did? He just gained the world!”.

He didn’t get rich or famous, but for that brief moment, At the very point that the Spirit of the Age was contesting, he was willing to posture, to cut off the truth, so that he could be seen by the world as “one of the good,non judgmental christians’. At the expense of his loving, and truth telling brother, he gained the world.

This is part of what is behind the schism coming to the believing church. Refusal to share in the reproach of the witness of christ, the desire to be seen as ‘loving’ by worldly standards, as understanding, compassionate even with it. They actually resist truth, showing  willingness to rebuke those who seriously witness against this generation at their deepest sin and error.  May God help us through this trial! May God revive the church!

** The “P” Word- Pharisee,  the “H” Word- hypocrite. 

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21 Responses to Of False Love And Knee Jerk Reactions…

  1. Thank you Pastor Bill for a very timely article. Gay “marriage” is a hot topic within Australian churches right now, as attempts are being made in our Federal Parliament to change the definition of marriage.

  2. M. Michonski says:

    What an excellent assessment. The truth is always what is needed. The truth makes us free. Thank you for standing in the truth – in Jesus, Who is the Truth.

  3. Thank you Pastor Bill, most so called christians today are heavily into compromise, we must stand firm.

  4. w j irvine says:

    thank you pastor for standing for the truth the Lord is still on the throne and he is building the church and the gates of hell shall not prevale against it praise the Lord

  5. J. Archer says:

    What an encouragment, I shouldn`t have needed it, but I accept it, thank you for your articulate response and “shineing light where darkness is”

  6. Travis says:

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and the admonition to persevere and bear the reproach of the witness of Christ.

  7. billrandles says:

    Good word Melissa, I think we would all agree with the premise that any Christian should love sinners and welcome them in the name of ‘the friend of sinners’, our Lord Jesus Christ. That is a straw man, it isn’t the real issue I raised in my article. I am a pastor and do love and have welcomed homosexuals into our congregaion to hear the gospel, and to be exposed to the love of Jesus. I know of honosexuals who have been “washed, sanctified and justified in the name of Christ”, just as any other repentant sinner has.
    The real issue is the accomodation to homosexuality itself, by a good many prominant evangelicals, and the ‘victimization’ status conferred upon homosexuals, by ‘pastors’ and church leaders. This is a denial of Christ, and must be spoken against.
    Question, Would you welcome into your church or home, an in your face homosexual couple? Would you allow them to continue in ‘fellowship’ while they pursue their ‘relationship’?
    Those who raise such questions are not the modern version of the Pharisees. They are often loving Christians, just like you are, who try to balance their witness between the equal demands of love for sinners and nonaccomodation to the Spirit of the Age.
    Neither are unrepentant and in your face homosexuals necessarily the equivalent of the first century” tax gatherers and sinners” who were drawn to the love of Jesus. Many of them have been to feel as though they are the vanguard of some kind of new “Civil Rights movement”, but have been somehow “hurt” by “self Righteous” Christians.
    Of all of the christian people I have met who rightly object to any alteration of the christian witness against homosexuality, I have never met one of them who was afraid of being ‘contaminated’. That is a charicature, and it doesn’t serve the discussion well to cast sincere and well meaning cristians as ‘pharisees’.
    I have posted your article on my website- I appreciate all points of view in the Spirit of Love- In Him,Pas Bill

  8. Personally I know of only one ex-homosexual. In a small place not many are evident. This man was saved when he heard the gospel, and was informed that his lifestyle was unnacceptable to the Lord God.
    Yes, we are all sinners, we all need washing in the Blood, and we all receive the Holy spirit AFTER repentance. I do not believe homosexuals should be “fellowshipping” at a church. We shouldn’t avoid them outside of fellowship, but the Word says light can have no fellowship with darkness.
    Couples who are un married and living together are living in darkness, same thing. I am of the opinion that a person should be told the Gospel whatever the circumstances, and if no repentance is evident, no fellowship is possible.

    • Melissa Ulrickson says:

      What is “a church?”

      • billrandles says:

        Great question dear sister. A Church, ecclesia, consists of those “called out “of this world to be the Bride of Christ, the temple of God, a Holy priesthood. On the one hand, “wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”. On the other hand, it is the Body of believers ordained by Jesus, to be his witnesses in this world. The church has ordinances, (Communion and Baptism) and is edified by the Holy Spirit working through every member. It is equipped by ministry gifts Jesus ordained, and is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

  9. Thank you, Pastor Bill, for speaking the truth with authority. I would love to hear you elaborate on whether homosexuality is or is not equivalent to other types of sin, and if not, why.

    In Christ,
    Angela Squires

  10. billrandles says:

    Interesting, Angela because I was just explaining that to Melissa, on her blog, but the paragraph dissappeared before I could send it. Here goes;
    On the one hand, all sins are appalling, and evil. Consider what plunged the entire race into condemnation, the self willed act of plucking a fruit in a garden.
    However there are degrees of sin, Jesus told Pilate that those who turned him over to Pilate have done the greater sin.
    Homosexuality is different then other sins. In fact Paul told us that all sexual sins are different then any other kind of sin, because they are sins against the person. We have to remember that Sexuality was ordained by God, for marital expression only, that man and woman might not be alone, and as the means of procreation. However it points to a greater reality, for Marriage and married sexuality points to the union between Christ and His church. Christ loves the church and gives his life for her, she responds in love and gives her self wholly to Him.
    All fornication, and Adultery is an obscene parody of that blessed reality.
    This is why sexual sins are so serious.
    Homosexuality is the total perversion of that beautiful vision. It is a rebellion against the Creator himself, and the very God assigned gender roles. So yes, Homosexuality is uniquely evil, or perhaps in view of Romans 1, we could say, Homosexuality is a barometer judgment, ie of how far we have already been given up to degrading lusts and passions.
    Remember what makes a sin a sin is the extent to which it distorts the glory of God. God ordained married sexuality to reveal something of His glory. Heterosexual adultery denes the faithfulness and purity of God, therefore it is evil and sinful. Homosexuality and other perversions take it further, therefore they are more evil and destructive of the person.

  11. Melissa Ulrickson says:

    My husband John helped me with this response because he’s wiser than me. 🙂

    Romans 1 says that God has given homosexuals over to shameful lusts BECAUSE they did not give God the glory that He was due (v. 21). We need to address the cause (not giving glory to God), not the effect (homosexuality). In our passion to see God glorified, we would be wasting precious time and evoking needless negative emotions to make the issue homosexuality when really it is about the person lacking a fear of God.

    If you read to the end of Romans 1 (and believe that it is a linear thought), there are multiple sins that are listed BEYOND that of homosexuality. These include sins such as greed, murder, strife, deceit, gossip, arrogance, and disobedience to parents.

    Could you provide a Scripture reference that deems homosexuality to be a greater sin than others? Thank you.

    • billrandles says:

      Melissa and John , nice to hear from you both and thanks for the “iron sharpening”.
      I was just talking about Romans 1 with Angela in the comment above, mking a similar point,that homosexuality is uniquely evil, and is a barometer of how far God has “given up” a society to it’s own lusts. Homosexuality is in fact a judgment of God, an expression of the wrath of God.

      In answer to your request for a scripture to show that homosexuality is a”greater sin than others”, I will also tell you the same thing I told Angela, that all sexual sin is uniquely destructive, therefore different than other kind of sins-
      “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
      What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”(I Corinthians 6:18-19)

      But having said that I am getting the impression that you don’t really understand my point. I have never posited that Homosexuality is the worst sin, nor have I “made homosexuality the issue”. So why would I want to find a ‘proof text’ to make homosexuality worse than other sins?

      Who says we need to adress the cause and not the effect? How about adressing both? How do you know that those who resist the validation of homosexuality within the Christian church,(the original issue), aren’t completely motivated by the cause,(Giving God Glory) as well as the effect.

      A serious look at what I said about 1 Corinthians 5 might help this discussion. Paul dealt with all manner of fornicaion and perversion in his day, and by the Spirit he gave clear instruction about how to deal with it in love and Holiness.
      Chck out what I wrote in the post at around 4:30 John, so that you can try to understand where I am really coming from. It could be that I have a valid point :>)

  12. Travis says:

    I have been attempting to follow this conversation and have been debating on whether or not to weigh in. Obviously, this is a subject that can spark emotion and passion given the times that we live in. As I have been reading through the responses, I can’t be helped but drawn back to the story of Jesus dealing with the Adulterous Woman in John 8.

    In this well known passage, the scribes and Pharisee bought a “woman caught in adultery” before the people. We must realize that these “Pharisees” are not bible believing Jesus followers with a different interpretation of how do deal with people. These people were trying to “test” Jesus in order to have grounds to arrest him.

    Next Jesus said to them “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her”. This profound truth has been hi-jacked by the “tolerance culture” that we live in. Our sound bit culture is most often incapable of relating scripture in context and applying its proper form. What Jesus is really doing in this passage is dealing with the deceitfulness of sin in all people there that day. As Melissa, likes to say “we are all sick and need a doctor” 🙂

    But the passage doesn’t end there. Jesus stoops down again writes in the dirt and then one by one the people leave. Ultimately, the one on one conversation between Jesus and the adulterous woman occurs… with Jesus asking the obvious… “Women, where are they? Did no one condemn you?”. The woman responds in verse 11… “No one, Lord”, to which Jesus replies…”I do not condemn you, either.”

    What a great passage… Jesus lovingly shelters this poor adulterous women who was being isolated for being caught in a sin, by telling all the people in the crowd that since they are all also “sick” (just not “caught”) they can’t pass judgment. I do want to say that It is a mistake, in my opinion, to relate the scribes and pharisees to the church (i.e. Jesus’s bride) in this particular situation. I believe that to be poor interpretation and application of this passage. These people who call him “teacher” (John 8:4) are merely giving lip service and are not followers of Jesus.

    Jesus appropriately models the role of the church (as the bridegroom). He leads the church and is functions as the head. As Melissa has appropriately, beckoned us to follow his example and leading. For his compassion, beckons all men and women unto himself freeing them from the condemnation that comes from the world ( see scribes and pharisees in this passage).

    But Jesus compassion goes further. It goes further than we are (I am) often willing to go… because he deals with the heart of man… he calls her to repentance and to a holy life. The perfection of man… willingly puts himself out for rejection… to be spit upon… flogged… beaten… crucified… with these simple words… “Go. From now on sin no more.”

    Blessings,
    Travis

    • billrandles says:

      Good points all Travis. Do you notice that the woman didn’t feel “victimised ” by the Pharisees, as though they were the ones who were condemning her? When Jesus asked her where are your accusers, she (literally) said back, “No man accuses me Lord”, thus justifying God, confessing her sin, and standing before her Lord as a convicted sinner. It was at that place that she(and we) could hear the words, “Neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more”. Thanks for the application of a beautiful story.

  13. Brian says:

    Thanks for your post Bill. Being in agreement with you, what would be your next step in helping someone who wants freedom from homosexuality?

    • (Note: I’m not addressing this response to you personally, Brian, but to the conversation as a whole. It just follows your question nicely….)

      I think the more difficult question, Brian, and the one being addressed by Melissa, is how Christians ought to relate to homosexuals who AREN’T necessarily seeking freedom from their sin. Clearly, our approach toward homosexuals who profess to be Christians is different than to homosexuals who are outside the church. Pastor Bill has addressed this point well in his comments on Melissa’s blog: http://lovenotyourlife.blogspot.com/2012/06/jesus-friend-of-sinners.html. 1 Corinthians 5 tells us that we are “not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person,” and any association with such a one ought to be for the purpose of calling him to repentance. “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20). But how are we to approach the homosexual who is outside the church? Should we “befriend” them, not immediately calling them out on their specific sin, trusting that the Holy Spirit will deal with that in time; or should we, standing firmly on the authority of God’s Word, lovingly and humbly call them to repentance, still trusting that the Holy Spirit will do the work and that the Word will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent forth? Can we not do both? Is the servant of God who is living among homosexuals and building trusting relationships with them for the purpose of bringing the Gospel to them wrong in her approach? Or is the pastor standing firmly on the authority of God’s Word, upholding truth and dispelling lies, wrong for speaking out when a professing Christian publicly upholds sin? All Christians–whether standing behind the pulpit, on the street corner, in the office, or in the backyard—are ministers of God’s Word and MUST unwaveringly hold to the Truth. Truth, love, and humility must characterize our lives and our ministries. As long as those non-negotiables are in place, the details of the “approach,” with prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit, will work themselves out.

      • billrandles says:

        Thanks Angela, very helpful. I don’t know what happened to my response to Brian, but I basically told him, That what I do with those who were once enslaved by this sin, is to preach the gospel to them, and should they become saved, to attempt to guide them through the process of christian discipleship, incuding much emphasis on the biblical teaching of the “mortification of sin”(Romans 6 m and Collossians 3:5). Hey, the Gospel is indeed the “power of God unto salvation”!

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