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.