I commend these publishers for pulling this young man's book. It is completely disingenuous for him to act surprised over this. Why should someone who is determined not to live in accordance with Christ's clear and unequivocal teaching on God's design for human sexuality (see Matthew 19) expect the whole world to accept him as a Christian?
Must churches follow this transgender ordinance? If so, at what point do Christians begin to practice civil disobedience to these godless homofascist ordinances which the state has no right to impose on us? What is the difference between the government forcing business owners and churches to put women and children at risk from sexual predators by legally permitting males into ladies bathrooms, and that government forcing Christian schools, for example, to let representatives of non-Christian religions present their beliefs in a classroom and to lead the children in non-Christian religious rituals (which is what the government of the government of the UK is now demanding of Christian schools to force "British values" of tolerance for religious diversity on all British youth.) There comes a point where the people have to say, "These demands are unreasonable and unrighteous; they violate religious liberty and moral propriety, and we simply will not comply with them. Put us in jail if you must, but enough is enough!" That day has come to America, I believe; the people must begin to stand up and say "no" to laws that would compel us to do what is wrong in itself. The government has no right to expect us to comply with such laws, does it? What do you say, brethren?
Jim, I am glad William Wilberforce did not see an irreconcilable conflict between gospel preaching and social and political activism, nor William Carey in India, nor C. H. Spurgeon in Victorian London-- and I am sure that lots of freed slaves and rescued widows and destitute orphans taken off the streets would agree with me on that. Social concern often involves political reform-- such as the changing of unjust laws. Spurgeon was a great preacher, but he was also a social reformer. Someone has written, "As a humanitarian, Spurgeon hurled himself at the great social ills of his day. He founded two orphanages, a ministry for â€śfallen women,â€ť was an ardent abolitionist, started a pastorsâ€™ college, and began a book distribution ministry for undersupplied pastors. He launched clothes closets and soup kitchens, all for members and nonmembers of the Metropolitan Tabernacle alike. By the age of 50 he had started no less than 66 social ministries, all of which were designed to meet both physical and spiritual needs." Spurgeon saw no conflict between evangelistic ministry and social reform efforts-- neither did Wilberforce nor Carey. And neither should we.
Jim,in my judgment, MacArthur is simply wrong. We are not to choose between the culture war and evangelism. We are to fight on both fronts at once. Don't you see that when you pray for government leaders as Scripture asks to pray, you are engaging in culture war-- that is, unless you are asking God only to save the souls of those leaders, for their own sake, so they can be in the eternal kingdom. But that would not be to pray as Paul commands, for he says we are to pray for kings "that WE may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." We pray for them, not just for their sake, but for our own sake(that is, the church's sake) that we may enjoy peace, not in eternity, but in this present age, so as to carry on the work of disciple making and gospel proclamation without government persecution. That is clearly what Paul means. But such prayer shows we are to be concerned about the here and now, and not just about eternity. We fight in prayer to push the darkness back from absorbing the government system under which we live, that we may proclaim the gospel freely and without hindrance. So we fight in prayer for present and future gains, for matters concerning both this present age and the age to come.
Christians need to fight back against the growing homofascist culture in America which tries to "silence" any who give expression to Christian moral values as bigots by threatening them with penalties of various sorts. If we do not fight back by exercising free speech and speaking truth in response to error, we will be complicit in sin. The apostle Paul says, "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds darkness, but rather expose them" (Ephesians 5:11). Our calling is not merely abstinence from, but exposure of the evil works our society is promoting. If we refuse to shine light into the darkness, by bearing witness with our lives and with our lips against evil actively promoted by the agents of tyranny, we run the risk of being judged "good for nothings" by our Lord. "You are the light of the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled on by men." (Matt. 5:13)
Is it any wonder that God spews out of His mouth lukewarm, apostate churches that deny the authority of Scripture, by causing them to decline in membership? Is it any wonder that as churches decline in membership, society becomes increasingly pagan, the populace more hostile toward true Christians, and governments more tyrannical and willing to persecute people who live openly Christian lives and speak openly as Christians ought to speak in the public square? None of this is at all surprising, nor should we be demoralized by it, for the fact is, great revivals in church history are often preceded by gross irreligion, widespread apostasy and spiritual darkness. God is still on His throne. Let us beseech him to raise up a generation of preachers whose tongues are set ablaze with the fire of heaven, who will call the godless multitudes to repentance and faith in Christ, who will rebuke godless governments for their tyranny, and proclaim the whole counsel of God without fear or compromise, impervious to men's frowns or smiles.
Jim, As I see it, our calling is not so much to "reclaim the culture," but rather, to remind government leaders of the limits of their authority. The apostles did this when they told the Sanhedrin they had no legitimate authority to command them not to preach the gospel. The apostle Paul did this when he reminded government officials in Philippi they had no right to flog him without a trial, and when he appealed to his right as a Roman citizen to appeal his case to Caesar. We are to engage our government leaders in the name of God when they are doing wrong by abusing their authority and legislating things they have no authority to legislate. Taking away the freedom of people to treat differently things that differ is an abuse of government authority. Our government leaders are trying to compel citizens by law to treat a sexualized relationship between two men or two women as a marriage-- something they have no right to do. Neither do they have a right to silence those who declare by their words or by their actions (bakers, florists, photographers), God's view of homosexuality as a perversion of the sexual powers God has given men and an invalid foundation for a marital union. It is right for Christians to remind government leaders that they are not God.
John Yurich USA wrote: "If Jindal trusts in Jesus alone for salvation then he is a Christian regardless if he attends the Catholic Church as long as he does what I do and rejects and repudiates the unscriptural Catholic doctrines, adheres only to the scriptural Catholic doctrines and participates only in the scriptural parts to the Mass."
John, Please don't take this in the wrong way; I have a sincere question to ask you, and I am really curious to know the answer. You talk about staying in the Roman Catholic church despite the "unscriptural Catholic doctrines." If the Catholic mass-- which is the heart of Catholic liturgy-- contains "unscriptural doctrines" that you are compelled to reject on the basis of Scriptures, why would you want to stay in the RCC and not align yourself with a church that is more scriptural? Do you believe the RCC is more scriptural than other churches? I don't see how someone who believes the Bible can participate in practices that are so patently contrary to the gospel, such as praying to Mary, confessing sins to a priest to receive forgiveness from the priest, receiving the Eucharist from a Roman Catholic priest who is making such presumptuous, anti-scriptural claims about his priestly powers. Why don't you leave the RCC?
These liberal politicians think that if they repeat lies long enough, people will swallow them. That may work with the mindless masses, but never with true, born again Christians whose consciences are captive to the Word of God. They cannot and will not ever accept the "new morality" as defined by men like Obama. He is not the Messiah. The true Messiah has spoken once for all on this issue, declaring His agreement with Genesis 2 and stating explicitly that what was true of marriage "from the beginning" remains God's norm for all time-- one man, one woman, for life. Any sexual relationship other than the sexual union of a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage is an abomination in God's sight, an affront to His character, and a direct repudiation of His law. Always has been and always will be. There is nothing "respectable" about the homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender lifestyle. These represent a gross violation of the moral character and will of God. So-called same-sex marriage will never be anything other than a "mock marriage" a bogus imitation of the real thing. You can have a same-sex mismatch, but you will never have a same-sex marriage. Neither does any government have authority to compel people to think, speak or act otherwise.
This woman was simply not taking the Bible seriously when it says that "we shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, in the twinkling of an eye AT THE LAST TRUMPET." The Bible gives us no reason to believe that loved ones who have died in the Lord will be raised again to life before the second coming of Christ. God does not raise some Christians on one day, other Christians on another day, all leading up to the day of Christ's return. There is no basis whatsoever in the Bible for such a belief. The resurrection of the dead is consistently tied to the last day, the day of Jesus' return, and at that time, all the dead shall be raised. Until then, it is right and proper to bury those who fall asleep in the Lord, not to leave their bodies as a health hazard decomposing amongst the living. We should neither seek the living among the dead (Luke 24:5), nor should we try to keep the dead among the living. Their bodies should be put away out of sight, and out of the presence of the living, until the day of resurrection. We see from this the misguided fanaticism that people can fall into when they abandon Scripture as their sole authority for how they are to live, and follow instead delusive, untested, unbiblical 'impressions' as if these were direct divine revelations.
Evidence ... The pastor is exactly right in that there are clear and consistent evidences (fruit) in the life of a truly converted individual. The way we think, speak and act indicates if we are striving for godliness or simply playing a game of self-deception. What is troublesome, however, is that this pastor consistently preaches messages dealing with assurance of salvation. It seems that there are many "members" of this local church that struggle with this concept despite the fact they have been attending for many years, if not decades. Perhaps they are truly saved as I don't see any evidence in scripture of unsaved people faithfully attending to the preaching of God's Word for years; quite the opposite as light drives away the darkness. We must be careful not to "persuade" immature Christian that they are most probably not saved; perhaps what they need is some serious discipling and not a weekly flogging.
It seems to me that Pat Robertson has done very little thinking about this issue. He hasn't thought through the implications of what it would means for Adam to be a non-human ape like creature suddenly 'transformed' into a human by God endowing him/it with a human soul. He wants to avoid looking 'stupid' in the eyes of the world, but in reality, all he accomplishes when he tries to 'make room' for evolutionary thinking in his reading of Genesis is to appear apologetic for his belief in the Word of God. There is no ultimate compatibility between the biblical worldview and the worldview on which belief in a Darwinian biological origin of mankind rests. Evolution says the difference between the first homo sapiens and earlier primates is one of degree, not one of kind. But the distance between Bonzo and Beethoven is not one of a few 'degrees' of difference, but light years. Man is totally unique. It is impossible that he evolved. Moreover, the Bible states plainly that Eve was created from the body of Adam-- a totally supernaturalistic origin that can never be reconciled with an evolutionary theory for human origins. We need to stop trying to look 'smart' by the world's standards, and believe the Bible is not only inerrant, but clear and straightforward in its meaning.
And to think that in our country the beautiful grin on this unborn baby could be turned into a shocked scowl of pain as he is willfully murdered by the hands of selfish adults, with the full approval of our laws, right up to the moment of his birth. . . And we thought the ancient pagans were barbaric!
The UMC has brought all this on itself by its abandonment of the authority of Scripture and its toleration of immorality in its ranks. It already allows churches to hold "blessing" ceremonies for same-sex relationships. That in itself is a flagrant rejection of Scriptural authority and a full embracing of apostasy from "the faith once delivered to the saints." Whether or not it allows for the performance of same-sex 'weddings' is really a mute point once you allow for "blessing ceremonies" honoring relationships based on acts that God calls an abomination. Apostasy is in full flower when men officially abandon the moral standards of Scripture. Organizations that go on pretending to be Christian churches once they have forthrightly rejected the plain and unequivocal teaching of Jesus on marriage and sex fool no one but themselves. A church that rejects all moral definition that makes it recognizably Christian has no right to expect others to go on accepting it or regarding it as a Christian church.
This is an utterly contemptible action by a spineless Supreme Court that is trying to take the coward's way out on a defining issue of our culture, first by refusing to hear challenges to rulings by federal judges that overturn state marriage amendments; then by lifting a stay on so-called "same-sex marriage" in Kansas. The Court does not want to actually rule on marriage, but at the same time, they want to manipulate the situation in a passive aggressive manner to insure a certain outcome. Sort of like Pontius Pilate arranging for Jesus' murder by washing his hands of the whole affair. They want to avoid taking responsibility for any ruling on a hot button issue, while at the same time, insuring that leftist federal courts, rather than the people, have the final word on how marriage will be defined in the states. 78% of the people of Kansas voted on a state marriage amendment; now one federal district judge, togethe with the Supreme Court, are doing what they can to insure that the will of the people does not prevail over the ideology of leftist elites. What a deplorable lack of character from the highest court of the land. They will be held responsible, even though they want to avoid responsibility for crucifying marriage in America.
Kudos to this Christian couple for refusing to be bullied by homofascists into an action which violates their religiously informed conviction of conscience. There is only one proper response to tyrants who seek to force citizens to comply with laws that violate God's law-- pray for the tyrants, and disobey their mandates out of respect to the higher laws of God. That has always been the response of God's elect to human tyrants, as testified by the Hebrew midwives, Daniel and his three friends, Esther, and the apostles of Christ. Civil disobedience in the fear of God, out of love to Christ, is an honorable course of action by God's servants, when executed in a spirit of humility before God and respect toward those in positions of authority.
I am disappointed with what I have read so far about this conference. I fear that Southern Baptists are beginning to identify as "redneck theology" strong denunicatory speech concerning sodomy and sexual perversion-- the type of speech we find in Scripture-- not only in Leviticus, but from the lips of the apostle Paul, Jude and Peter, as well. Paul described homosexual lust as a "vile passion" and homosexual acts as acts "contrary to nature" that result from men exchanging the truth of God for a lie, the glory of God for an idols, and God handing them over to burning, unnatural passions as the "due penalty of their error." If upholding such truths makes me a 'redneck' in the eyes of some, then so be it. It is not unloving toward homosexuals to speak in strong, denunciatory terms (as the Bible does) about the sinfulness of homosexual practices. It is biblical to affirm that there are some sins more shocking to mention than others, because they are usually done "in secret." "For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." (Ephesians 5:12). Let us not be deceived into equating kindness toward people who are tempted to certain sins with "softness" in speaking about those sins. People must be loved, but sin must be denounced in the strongest terms.
Michael Hranek wrote: Martin Thanks for the post back Would it be safe to say we need both Jeff Durbins and William Wilberforces? And in this we need humility and wisdom big time so that we indeed are about what God leads us to be doing and encouraging, not hindering others from when God is leading in different "expression" of a faith that serves and follows the Lord Jesus Christ.
Michael, I watched the video of Jeff Durbin, and I agree that his ministry of reaching out to women at the abortion clinic is a wonderful example of person to person witnessing with a redemptive aim. Abortion clinic ministry of this sort is really a form of evangelism-- reaching out to souls to win them for Christ. But that is not exactly what I have in mind when I speak of the church having a legitimate role in political and social reform by directly challenging unrighteous laws and unjust policies-- the type of thing William Wilberforce did when he fought slavery by political means, seeking to change the law of land through Parliament. I believe that such activity does not flow out of the Great Commission, so much as from the Cultural Mandate given to Adam before man fell into sin. It is not a redemptive, but a creative activity, 'subduing' the earth bringing social order out of social chaos. Both evangelism, such as that done by Jeff Durbin at the abortion clinic, and direct political action (writing elected officials, voting, giving money to political organizations, writing articles to protest unjust laws that promote moral corruption, violate Constituional freedoms and overthrow the rule of law)-- this sort of direct political action is a legitimate Christian activity
Michael Hranek wrote: Martin TX I've got a few minutes before I step out the door and would like to respond our witness needs to be both!
Michael, My point is that, we need to be careful not to conflate our calling as Christians to evangelize the lost with our calling as citizens to be agents of social or political reform in society. To conflate these two callings is to confuse things that fundamentally differ; on the one hand, we should evangelize the lost and make disciples in fulfillment of the Great Commission; on the other hand, we should pursue the implementation of good public policies and laws in the political sphere, as an aspect of the 'cultural mandate' given to man before the fall. Evangelism is a redemptive activity, which involves pursuing the interests of God's new creation; political action is a creative activity, which involves pursuing the interests of this present world-- the creation of a just social order founded on just laws that conform to the law of creation. No law can ever transform a human heart; but laws can restrain human evil, and for that reason, we should seek to see implemented just laws that promote the "ordered freedom" that makes societies flourish and supports the free dissemination of gospel truth.