Recently, Rob Bell came out in support of Gay Marriage. He claimed that he “is for love and fidelity, whether that is man with man, man with woman, or woman with woman.”
Bell does not have the reputation of following Scripture, but this takes him even further out of classification as a Christian. While many people claim that “you cannot judge a person’s heart,” Bell is making it clear that he is not a member of the Christian faith.
The transition of the “progressive/emergent” Christian from being someone who wanted contemporary music in churches to, now, being a group of people who are willing to compromise clear biblical truths in order to be tolerant and accepting has been a frightening transition. Rob Bell’s fear of losing a Hollywood popularity contest has caused him to compromise on the truth of Scripture.
Here’s the thing: Love does win. As a matter of fact, Love has already won. Love won on the cross and love won when Jesus rose from the grave. But Love does not win when people like Rob Bell, Shaun King, and Carlos Whittaker allow people to remain in their sin and comfort them as being Christians. Those who genuinely struggle with homosexuality look at people like Rob Bell and hear that they do not have to repent for their sin in order to have a relationship with Christ and go to heaven.
This is a direct contradiction to scripture.
I plead with my Christian friends: do not compromise on the truth. If you are a Christian, that means that you have accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior. Asking Christ to be your savior is easy, and this is what people like Bell, King, and Whittaker advocate. But asking Christ to be Lord is essential for salvation. And, if you are a Christian, this means that where you and the Bible disagree, the Bible is right and you are wrong. The Bible is God’s word. No matter how you feel about abortion or homosexual marriage, Jesus is against it.
If you claim to be a Christian, it means that you affirm God’s word above your own. I pray that we all examine how we daily rebel against God.
And no, I’m not talking about politics – frankly, whether you vote Republican or Democrat, it doesn’t change your eternity. What I’m talking about today is this: do you defend the world or do you defend the word?
I feel like within the Christian subculture, there is much defense of Christians being significantly involved in things of the world. Christians adamantly defend their right to drink alcohol and still be a Christian (or even a pastor), to get a divorce/divorces, to have premarital/extramarital sex, to look at pornography, to smoke cigarettes/other things, and yet there a few Christians that believe that they need to be more holy and have a desire to be more like Christ and less like the world.
As Christians, it seems somewhat strange to think that those who will not watch TV because of the incessant filth that accompanies it get stranger looks than those who like to claim they can be homosexuals and still be Christians.
Please do not misunderstand me: I am not trying to convince you of the need to lean to the right or to the left: I ask that you simply consider whether or not you spend more time trying to defend your Christian liberty to immerse yourself in things of the world, or if you attempt to keep yourself from any form of ungodliness and unrighteousness.
There seems to be an attitude that allows some to “toe the line” on Christianity, and try to see how close to sin they can get without sinning: this, in itself, is a sinful attitude. There are few who vigorously pursue holiness above all else. Which are you?
I sometimes contemplate what life would be like if I were not a Christian. I do not think about this in a desirable way (i.e., I wish I were not a Christian), but I enjoy thinking about how the Lord has provided for me and how he has poured out his grace on me.
Sometimes this thinking leads me to think about what my objections to Christianity would be if I were not a Christian, and my biggest objection would be this:
“How can my infinite dwelling place be determined by my finite decisions?” or, stated differently
“Why is whether I go to heaven or hell determined by my response to someone who lived thousands of years ago on the earth?”
This is where I see something called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism in our everyday lives. MTD basically says that God is there and God loves me but he is not altogether concerned with my everyday life. When I need God, he will come and help but I do not have to do anything significant to follow him. This is wrong.
Most people, Christian and non-Christian alike, share the common thought that if you are a good person, and you do good things and the good things you do outweigh the bad and you love other people then you will go to heaven when you die. This is wrong.
So the answer to my thought and question is actually another question. It seems I am asking the wrong question all along.
“Why would a God who has all things and needs nothing want me to spend an eternity with Him?”
“What could I have done to deserve the opportunity to repent for the sins I commit against the character of God?”
Do you ever doubt your faith? Do you ever think about things like this?
For the past few weeks, Brittany and I have been attending The Summit Church in North Raleigh, and J.D. Greear has been teaching about how to know that you have salvation.
The most interesting point the J.D. has made from 1 John 1:5-6 is that if you have been in darkness and you come into the light, you have a desire to retreat back into the darkness. The light is harsh and it makes you close your eyes until you adjust to the light. But once someone comes from the darkness into the light, you must be impacted by the light.
So many people who have an encounter with Christ are resistant to him. Christianity, like Paul said, is foolishness to those who do not understand. But to have an encounter with God is to be changed; if you believe that you are a Christian, you cannot live as if you are not one. If you live as if you are not a Christian, you probably aren’t one.
J.D. also points out that your goals and thoughts point to your assurance. If the things that are important to you do not involve Christ, you might not be saved. If your focus is on getting married/sports/drinking/money/your job/school and yet you cannot find time to focus on Christ, this shows that you think those things are heavy and Jesus is light. If you think much of the Los Angeles Lakers and little of Jesus, you might not be saved.
Finally, if you choose to obey the Bible in some parts (death of Christ, resurrection, etc.) but not in others (tithing, homosexuality, gossip, etc.), it shows that you have made Christ your savior, but not your Lord. If you have made Christ your Lord, it means that where you disagree with the Bible, then the Bible is right and you are wrong: this is the definition of Lordship. If this sounds like you, examine your heart and see if Jesus is Lord. Jesus is right and you are wrong.
I hope that you have given your life to Christ and seek to glorify him in all that you do; but if you have not, the Lord asks that you to lay down your life in submission to him; acknowledge that Jesus is the payment for your sins and that you will serve Him because of his love for you.
For those of you who missed it, Passion Conferences leader and Sixpence Records co-owner Louie Giglio was invited to give the benediction at the President’s upcoming inauguration. Giglio was chosen for this honor because of his recent work towards ending modern day slavery and his influence on college students.
After this announcement, LGBTQ rights groups uncovered a Giglio sermon from 1995, where Louie stated that “homosexuality is a sin like all other sins, but. . . through God’s grace you can change just as all other sinners change.”
On my list of controversial evangelicals, Louie Giglio is not high on the list. While Louie deserved this honor and I stand behind the Passion conference movement 100%, I think the fault lies with the President, his inauguration committee, and their desire to serve the agenda of those who support his presidency. While many of those who commend the work of Louie Giglio do not support the work of President Obama, those who support the LGBTQ agenda also support the president.
My biggest question is this: What did the White House assume that Louie believed about homosexuality when they invited him? A simple review of his Twitter profile would show him to be an evangelical Christian, and I’m sure the White House is aware of his association with John Piper, Francis Chan, David Platt, among many others who believe in the biblical view of marriage.
While I am disappointed in the redaction of the invitation for Louie to pray, I am most alarmed about the turn this shows in the religious freedom department of our country. We are no longer free to be evangelical Christians in this country, at least not in public. We will no longer be invited to fancy Presidential events. We will no longer be welcomed in places where “Tolerance!” is the cry. I am most reminded of a historical event I learned about in middle school: McCarthyism and the Red Scare. From 1947-1957 in America, anyone who presented a critical view of America was considered to be a communist, and many people were tried as such. Today, anyone who presents a critical view of homosexuality is considered to be a “homophobe” and a “hate-mongerer.”
As Christians, we must continue to speak the truth in love, pray for our president, and love sinners as Jesus did. But I serve one kingdom and only one kingdom, and that is the Kingdom of God.
Disclaimer: there are not only two types of Christians. These are two distinct opposites that I noticed last week.
Category 1: Those who are infatuated with Christian celebrities. These are tweets from the live feed of Passion.
What this Christian celebrity feeds is the common theology of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, meaning that God is good and he loves us but he is not concerned with every facet of my life. He is there when I need him and his love is good and makes me feel good but the fact that Jesus laid down his life for my sin does not mean that I have to fully devote my life to the Kingdom of God.
There is NOTHING wrong with enjoying a specific pastor or speaker or worship band or worship style. Do not misunderstand me. But when your desire to attend a conference or church is based on WHO is there instead of the God who is being worshipped, you are being selfish.
I believe the heart of those who lead Passion and the heart of the majority who attend is to see the name of Jesus lifted high. It would be foolish to pretend that there are not those who attend only because of Chan/Lecrae/Piper/Crowder/Just because their friends are there.
Category 2: Those who seek to worship God in all situations
There are many people who take the Kingdom of God seriously enough that they can worship God in a small church with hymns and a little old lady who plays the organ and they can worship God in a megachurch with a band and 10,000 others and know that the Lord is being lifted high in your life. When people like this are on the mission field, they can find refuge in the Lord instead of relying on a person.
Too often I find myself in category one when I desire to be in category two. May all of us continue to find our foundation in the Lord and in the Cross of Christ rather than this season’s famous Christian Celebrity.
Parents, be careful. if you are trying to show your children that the gospel is of utmost importance, but you are spending more money on yourself than you are on others this holiday season, you are showing your children nothing about the gospel. You are actually showing them that it’s okay to say one thing and live another thing.
Christmas is the greatest opportunity to be a witness for Christ everywhere you go. Adopt a family and help them with their Christmas presents this year. Your kid doesn’t need an iPad anyway.