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The False Gospel of Liberalism
by David A. DePra
"Christian," liberalism is based on the notion that there is really no such thing as absolute Truth, and that consequently, "love," ought to cover all things. The result is an, "anything goes," attitude among Christians. Refuse that, and you will be branded mean-spirited, and even hateful.
Lost on these people is the fact that Jesus Christ Himself IS the Truth – which is certainly an absolute – and that God, who is love, doesn’t cover all things. People ARE going to go to hell, aren’t they? Well, of course, if you are one of these Christian liberals, you don’t even believe that.
Christian liberalism, according to scripture, is the result of refusing to believe and obey God. Instead of being adjusted and conformed to the Truth, you take the Truth and adjust it to suit YOU. And of course, by the time you are done, you will say that you are, "enlightened," and have discovered the true heart of God.
The following (in blue) is an example of today’s Christian liberalism. A really good example. It was written in a local paper by a female pastor of the United Church of Christ. It represents so much of today’s thinking – thinking that has invaded many people’s hearts. (Boldface is mine.)
There's so much press given to evangelical Christian perspectives today, that alternative Christian voices are not heard. And that's why I was happy to hear about a group of people who walked 25,000 miles this summer to spread the word that there is another kind of Christianity alive and well in today's world. That other kind of Christianity doesn't have the forms of exclusion and prejudice characterized by our brothers and sisters of the religious right.
Let me begin by telling you more about this walk. It was organized by a pastor in order to bring awareness to the American public of another kind of Christianity. It's based on Jesus' teachings of love and inclusion and against, "any religious system that encourages self-hatred, that manipulates through guilt, or that presents God as a punishing parent who delights in our groveling before the throne of grace."
Those words caught my attention. They did so for others as well.
The walk began in Phoenix. It crossed the southern states -- the so-called Bible Belt of America -- and it ended in the heart of Washington, D.C., at the Foundry United Methodist Church. I have a friend who participated in this walk, and he says it was "exhausting and exhilarating." Twenty-five hundred miles is five million steps. That's not easy. Nor was it easy to take the insults and wrath of people in the Bible Belt who didn't care to be exposed to this alternative form of Christianity.
We must remember that the heart of the religious right today is also the region where slavery was practiced, where segregation was defended, and where homophobia is rampant. One sometimes wonders what Bible is read in this Bible Belt. Do these believers simply skip the texts in which Jesus embraces the lepers and the outcasts or that reveal the fact that Jesus had female disciples? They fail to notice that Jesus stood between the woman taken in adultery and her accusers.
Did Jesus say, "Come unto me, some of you," or was it, "Come unto me, all of you?" Do they not sing at their altar calls, "Just as I am without one plea"? So why does race, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation make one less welcome, less affirmed or less eligible for full participation in Christ's church?
There is a different way to tell the story of Jesus from the one that seems to permeate the American media today. This group walked to force clergy to look at the levels of anger and violence that flow out of their own preaching, year by year, against people of other faith traditions and against some within their own tradition.
They walked to question why it was, when so many in the conservative wings of the Christian Church fought against it, that three great freedom movements in this country emerged -- the emancipation of women, the breaking of the back of segregation and racism of people of color, and the movement for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people.
Who was it in this country that finally brought these movements about? And why are "liberal Christians" and "secularists" so demeaned by the religious right today as barriers to true Christianity when these were the people at the forefront of the kind of liberation that Jesus advocated so passionately in his own life and ministry?
I speak with passion about these matters because I feel passionate about them. There is a different way to tell the story of Jesus from the one that comes from the religious right. And I applaud those people who this summer walked five million steps to hold up that different way before this country.
We hope that Christians everywhere will heed the message of this movement and that our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions will know of this other way of Christians, which is, in my mind, akin to "Jesus' way."
This woman is completely blind to the Truth of God. But because she went to seminary, and got ordained, the people continue to support her. I would assume they like the message. If you belong to the UCC you have a problem.
But what is the answer to her article? Did Jesus, as she claims, tell everyone to COME to Him? Yes, He did. But that is never the question. The question is what happens once we do. This woman believes that we come to Jesus for affirmation of who and what we are. The Bible teaches we come to Jesus for deliverance from sin and for LIFE.
Interestingly, she totally misrepresents what any mature Christian would believe, and tries to characterize anyone who would say there is right and wrong in the eyes of God as someone who is hateful and mean-spirited. A typical approach. The trouble is, if there is no such thing as right and wrong, then the people she is criticizing are not right or wrong, and she is guilty of condemning others – the very thing she accused them of doing. In short, the moment any of us make a judgment call, we are admitting there IS a standard – and immediately we are judging ourselves BY that standard.
Furthermore, and I cover this ground at length other places in this book, if you are coming to Jesus for affirmation of your sin, you aren’t coming to Him. You are really asking Him to come to you. It is true that Jesus Christ takes us right where we are, and accepts us AS we are – because we cannot help ourselves. He simply says, "Come to Me." But we need to understand that we are not coming to Christ for life as long as we hold to our life. We are not coming to the same Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for our sins if we won’t acknowledge our sins. This woman, and thousands like her, wants a Christ who died for sin so that we could remain in sin and still be saved. And the tragedy is, she is too blind to even realize what she is doing. For if you remain in sin, you cannot be saved – because to remain in sin IS the very definition of death, and deliverance from sin unto life is what salvation IS.
You see, Christianity is not a mindless religion. Truth MEANS something. If you want new life, you have to die. And that will mean the death of your sin, and really, of your SELF. You can argue all you want about it, but in the end, there is simply no other way for it to work. It is not even a matter of God sitting down one day before He created the world and deciding it would work that day. Rather, it is a matter of God being God, and a matter of all life being found IN HIM. You cannot exist on your terms outside of God and LIVE – because only in God is there LIFE. This is not a debate. It is just the way it is.
Therefore, if you argue that someone who is celebrating their homosexuality is invited to come to Christ, you are right. They are invited. But the moment they come to Christ, He is going to tell them that homosexuality is destructive, and sin. And it must go. The choice is therefore going to be clear: Do they love darkness rather than light, or light rather than darkness? The same choice will stand before all of us. If, as a heterosexual, I have spent a life in fornication or adultery, Jesus continues to invite me to come to Him. But the moment I come, I will be faced with a choice: My sin or Christ.
This issue of homosexuality seems to be one many Christians cannot answer. But the answer is simple. Homosexuality is not something God created. He makes no one that way. But it is also true that many folks with that problem did NOT sit down one day and decide to choose it. No. What happened in many cases was that they WERE born with a certain tendency and weakness of the flesh along that line. And through ignorance, environment, and yes, sometimes deliberate choice, they gave into that weakness of the flesh. They sort of grew into the problem, if you know what I mean. This is why many say they realized they were gay early in life, or perhaps later.
And yet this is exactly how most ALL SIN comes to dominate us. If a man or woman has a extreme problem with heterosexuality, and they live in sin, it could also be said that their particular makeup and chemistry and weakness of the flesh runs along that line. Sure. But is the answer to give in? To say you were BORN that way? Clearly, if we take this logic all the way out to it’s conclusion, we end up with saying that everyone of us is BORN with sin in us, and cannot help it! And guess what? THAT IS THE TRUTH. We ARE born in total bondage to sin – and that sin is going to manifest in and through us in SOME WAY. For one it will be one way, and for another it will be another way – based on a number of factors. But it is all SIN. Again I ask: What is the answer? To indulge ourselves? To say, "Well, I was born that way?" No. The answer is to come to Christ for deliverance.
I was once attacked verbally by a woman whose daughter was gay about this issue. This woman simply did not understand anything about redemption, deliverance from sin, or the Truth. She would probably have agreed with the above article. I asked her a question that got her attention. I asked, "If your husband committed habitual adultery, and his excuse was that he was born that way, would you accept that answer?" She said NO. She began to see that we are responsible – not so much for how we are born – but for what we do with it.
That really is the point. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be caught in homosexuality. For those who want to remain in it, and celebrate it, my words will simply anger you. But for those who have realized that they need to be delivered from it, I cannot imagine how you must feel. And yet there is total deliverance through the Cross of Jesus Christ. You may or may not have actually chosen to be the way you are. But you have let it run your life, to one degree or another. You may have been abused, or you may have been exposed to a bad environment. Or perhaps you cannot find a reason for your condition, and that is why you thought you were gay. But regardless, the question is not WHY you are the way you are. The answer to that one is easy: Because you were born in Adam. The question is really what you are going to do about it. There is new life in Jesus Christ.
The suggestion that Jesus Christ died for sin, and calls us to Himself so that we can celebrate our sin is clearly not the Truth, and is really an abomination. But this is what liberal theology suggests.
Of course, another answer is to say that homosexuality is NOT a sin. This is being done more and more. But the Bible says it is – and yes, I have read every book and translation of the Bible that is an attempt to make it something other than sin. I have read the people who say that is it ONLY a sin for people who are not homosexual to practice homosexuality, but that if you are born homosexual, it is not a sin. But this is NOT what the Bible says or means.
The relationship between one man and one woman is used all through the Bible. It runs from creation all the way through to Christ and the church. It is an undeniable fact.
But you see, if you take the position that the woman in this article takes, and work the right attitude and use the right words, you can be the champion of the underdog. You can be the one who has truly become, "enlightened." You can be the one who really loves, cares, and has compassion. In reality, however, you are helping people DESTROY themselves, and keeping them from deliverance. And the reason is probably not because you are merely blind. The reason is probably because you don’t want to be accountable for yourself to God, and so your doctrine and teaching reflects it for others.
There is no question that many well-known ministers have given people like this woman much ammunition with their foolish words and actions. They are just as wrong as she. But this does NOT change the Truth. Jesus does invite all to come to Him – but for change. He wants to deliver us from ALL sin, sexual sins, self-righteousness, and arrogance included.
Liberalism and Unbelief
If you travel around this country, and take notice as to what is going on in churches, you will be alarmed. Despite the claims that we are on the brink of some kind of revival, many churches are far from it. In fact, there are many churches today who are denying the very Person of Jesus Christ, and yet claiming to be Christian. I have before me one such example. It is an "advent" devotional intended to be used this Christmas. It was issued by one of the mainstream denominations in this country. So what we read in this was not only written by a minister of that denomination—this is stated at the end of the piece—but it was approved by those who are in authority of that denomination. This article is therefore one that was well-thought out, reviewed, and then presented as the Truth.
I quote from the devotional:
"We know that December 25 was not the literal birthday of Jesus, just as we know that virgin birth was a common motif in many ancient religions. In Babylon, Ishtar was called the virgin mother, Isis in Egypt was the virginal mother of Horus, the god who lived, died, and rose again. Yes, these are truths. But the deeper truth of Christmas is, more than all else, the felt spirit of a Presence that recalls us to the nature of love and of truth. It is the spirit of Emmanuel—God with us."
The article is the devotional for December 24th. It is about a page and a half. Not ONCE does it mention the name of Jesus Christ. Not once. But notice from the above quote what it really does say. It says that the virgin birth is myth—no better than the myths of ancient religions. And it suggests, almost in passing, that the idea that Jesus was born, died, and rose again, is likewise a myth. All of this in a Christian denominations devotional for Christmas.
First of all, someone needs to explain to me why, simply because there are myths which mimic what the Bible says—that this automatically means the Bible is a myth as well. Explain to me why the myth of the false god Horus—that he lived, died, and rose—why THAT proves the claims of scripture must likewise be myth. Am I to believe that the only possible way that the Bible can be true is if we have absolutely nothing in history that mimics it? I was always taught that the existence of a counterfeit pretty much pointed to a genuine article somewhere. The Truth is, the ancients knew of the promise of the Savior right from the beginning, in Gen. 3:15. So it would be MORE surprising if there were not ancient gods and myths that claimed to be the fulfillment of this promise.
There is, however, a bigger issue here. Once we deny the virgin birth, we suggest Jesus was born of two human parents. And that simply means that Jesus was NOT God incarnate. Get that. It is vital to see. The only way Jesus is God is if He existed AS God before His human birth. This mandates that when He was born as a human being that God the Father was HIS Father. It precludes the possibility of Jesus having two human parents.
There is more. Once we say Jesus was born of two human parents, we deny the very Redemption which saves us. Why? Because if Jesus were born of two human parents He was born WITH the sin nature. And this, in turn, means He could not have died for OUR sin. He had His own to die for. Of course, it is almost always a fact that those who deny the virgin birth likewise deny that we even have a sin nature, or that we need a Savior. They MUST deny these truths as well—for the logic I have given mandates it. Once you deny the virgin birth you have NO SOLUTION for sin in Jesus Christ. He cannot be Savior.
We need to come to terms with something here. There ARE essentials of the Christian faith. This doesn’t mean that the non-essentials are unimportant. But it does mean that there are Truths that DEFINE Christianity. And if you take any of them away, or redefine them, you don’t have Christianity anymore. You have heresy.
Most of the essential Truths of Christianity have to do with the Person of Jesus Christ – His identity, and what He did for us through the Redemption. Get any of those wrong and you don’t have Christianity anymore. There is also the present work of the Holy Spirit – in making real IN US everything about Jesus Christ. These are essential doctrines – the apostle’s doctrine. And they are vital because they point to very Truth of Christianity, which is Christ in us, the hope of glory.
Note something here. You BECOME a Christian by SEEING and EMBRACING certain Truths. You SEE that you are a sinner in need of the grace of God in Jesus Christ. And you SEE that Jesus Christ is the Savior. Your conversion to Christ is not the outcome of an intellectual argument, or a matter of being painted into a logical corner. It is a matter of being convicted by God of the Truth. So ask: If that is the case, if I later deny these Truths, am I a Christian? No. At best, I’ve simply bought into a list of doctrines. I have adopted a religion.
We must see this. How can I deny the very Truths which I must embrace to be, "in Christ," if my conversion was real? I cannot. I cannot deny Christ and be in Him both at the same time. I cannot be saved by a Savior who lied about Himself. I cannot be saved by merely acknowledging Him as a good and wise teacher.
Another quote will show what is happening today. It begins the yearbook of another one of our major denominations for 2002:
As (members of our denomination) we may not agree on the nature of Christ, but we all strive to model our lives on his teachings and his example.
Here we discover that it is permissible within a Christian denomination to disagree over the NATURE of Jesus Christ. In other words, we don’t have to agree that He is God. We don’t have to agree that He was born of a virgin. Or that He arose from the dead. Let’s "just follow" all of His wonderful teachings.
What teachings? The teaching that are recorded in the same Bible that say He was born of a virgin and raised from the dead? The same one that says He was God become man? That Bible? Why would you follow His teachings and example as portrayed in THAT Bible, when you reject the very basis of it as a bunch of lies? Perhaps Jesus didn’t even exist at all! Maybe THAT is a lie!
The notion that we are Christians if we, "follow the teachings of Jesus," is incredible. How about this one: "Be you perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect?" Try to follow that one. You can’t. But put aside for the moment the fact that no one is capable of following the teachings of Christ unless we embrace His Redemption, and then ask: What are we really doing once we say it is not necessary to agree on the nature of Jesus Christ?
We are not merely denying a doctrine. We are not merely denying a teaching. We are denying a PERSON. We are denying HIM. We are denying GOD.
Thus, if I say I don’t have to believe Jesus is God to be a Christian, I am not only creating a doctrine. I am suggesting a reality. I am redefining the very person of Jesus Christ, and the very plan of God.
Saying I can be a Christian without embracing Christ as Savior, is like saying I am an, "atheist who believes in God." Or a, "vegetarian who continually eats meat." Or a swimmer who has never once been in the water. Or a skeptic who believes everything people tell him. We can use terms any way we like. But things are what they are in a sane universe. There is no such thing as a Christian who denies the very Lord who is the center of Christianity. There is, in fact, no such thing as a Christian who denies that Jesus is God, or who denies that Jesus is the only way to God. They can’t be a Christian because a Christian becomes a Christian by SEEING and EMBRACING these Truths.
For the Sake of Love and Unity
Today, those who are redefining Christianity are doing it in the name of "love" and "unity." Sure. They wouldn’t have much success if they said they were doing it for any other reason. Love, unity, and inclusiveness are the magic worlds in this politically correct world in which we live. And this has come to mean that you must not only allow other people to believe what they wish. You must deny that what YOU believe is the Truth—the only Truth. Thus, it is no longer acceptable to say that because I love all people, I want all people to be converted to Christ. No. I must now deny Christ is necessary, and allow that all people can believe what they please. In effect, any proclamation to the effect that there is absolute Truth—that there IS right and wrong—is slowly being redefined as exclusive, bias, and the cause of disunity. Jesus said, "Think not that I have come to send peace on the earth. I have come, not to send peace, but to bring division." (see Matt. 10:34) Jesus was saying that all unity in anything but Himself was going to be dismantled. Unity in HIM was the only acceptable unity.
The fact is, to deny Christ for the sake of unity is one of the worst possible things anyone can do. That is because you are affirming a unity AWAY from God, and outside of the Truth. Yep. You have your unity. But you have denied Christ. What does that leave you with? Nothing.
Notice the seriousness of the problem as given in the following passages:
Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son, the same hath not the Father. (I Jn. 2:22-23)
And every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof you have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (I Jn. 4:3)
For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II Jn. 1:7)
Note what the antichrist does: Denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. Two points here. For Jesus, "to come," He must have existed before He came. Thus, He is God incarnate. But also He is come as God in flesh. Contained in this is the truth of the virgin birth, and the fact that Jesus Christ was the God-man, who bore our sins in His body on the Cross.
John wrote this letter to combat Gnosticism, more specifically, the offshoot, Doceticism. This heresy taught that Jesus wasn’t really a man. He was just an illusion. In effect, this denies both the Redemption, and therefore, our need for it.
Sounds like some of the quotes I have given, doesn’t it? The NATURE of Christ is not important? He was not of a virgin birth, but a mere man, of two earthy parents? This is exactly what John is talking about. It is the very essence of the doctrine of anti-Christ. Yet there will be thousands of Christians—including ministers—who will read those quotes above and go right by them. And even if they see the error in them, they will not say anything about it. That is precisely how this stuff spreads. NO ONE takes a stand. It is an absolute principle of the kingdom of God: Either I will allow God to adjust me to the Truth, or I will adjust the Truth to fit me. There is no such thing as being static in this regard. Right now, one or the other is happening between myself and God. Right now, things are being decided.
The Judgment of God
Never in the history of humankind have we had the Truth available to us that we have today in the church. Never. Yet we have become dull of hearing. I don’t have to suppose what is going to happen next. Greater deception. THAT is going to be the judgment.
Notice something here. We think God’s judgment is going to be some kind of punishment. Maybe a terrorist attack, or some other physical thing. But that won’t be it. God’s judgment is to give us exactly what we choose. To let us reap what we sow. The more we refuse to stand for Truth in our churches, the more error will come in. THAT is judgment. Deception and all the consequences which go with it. And the terrifying part is, we won’t even know what is happening to us.
Christians need to choose. Do we believe Jesus is the Savior of the world? That He was born of a virgin, lived, died, and was raised? Do we believe the Bible is the inspired word of God? If not, let’s be honest about it and quit playing games. But if we DO believe, then let’s take a stand for what we believe.
Actually, the Bible doesn’t give us an option. We are to speak the Truth in love. We don’t need to make it our mission in life to straighten everyone out, and we don’t need to get a bad attitude about it. But we do need to stand up for the Truth, and if need be, do what we can to put a stop to these things. If I am a true believer, I will know that there is nothing more vital in the Christian churches today, then that we regain our focus on Christ. This is not going to be easy, because we have allowed false teachers to come in. The only solution is to get them out. Hopefully, those who are strong in faith will take a stand. But I have my doubts. We may have nothing left but a remnant when all is said and done. That always seems to be the pattern which has occurred among God’s people.
Standing for the Truth
One of the easiest things to do is to stand for nothing. If you stand for nothing, everyone will like you. Why? Because if you stand for nothing, you will offend no one. Anything goes. And guess what? You can call it, "love." You can call it, "inclusiveness."
I once knew a guy in a church who would stand for NOTHING. He really would not. It really didn’t matter what you said to him, he would agree with you. What happened was that over a period of many years, he arose to leadership in his church. Everyone came to him with their grips and problems. They looked to him. After all, he had an even temperament in church. He was a quiet, nice guy. And very religious. He never caused trouble – people who stand for nothing have a way of coming across that way. But in the end, his refusal to stand for nothing, along with his willingness to be looked to as a leader, brought destruction upon that church. It became a church that allowed ANYTHING you could think of. This man, of course, thought what was going on there was awful. Sure. But there was no intention of doing anything about it. Why? Because it was LOVE to allow these abominations. It was COMPASSION.
The problem here is not ignorance. Especially once you are smart enough to keep quiet all of the time, and smart enough to accept leadership. The problem is that YOU will not accept responsibility before God FOR YOURSELF. So that is the way it has to be for everyone else. I mean, the moment you take a stand for Truth you judge yourself. You are openly proclaiming that you KNOW the Truth. And that makes you accountable before God. An easier way is to simply stand for NOTHING – and call it love. And this is going on everywhere.
There used to be a time when people were willing to die for Christ. Today, we apologize for Him. Or use Him to make money. But I submit that to the extent that I will stand for the Truth – when it COST me something to do so – this is the extent to which I value it. Anyone can stand for Truth because it makes them look tough, or because they are using the Truth to get their own way. But will we stand for the Truth if it costs us much?
I once knew of a small church that had hired a new pastor, but treated him shamefully. They even told him, the very first day he was their pastor, that they, "really didn’t need a pastor." They treated him like it, too. He had NOTHING to say about anything. As time progressed, this built up, and all came out in the open. The pastor talked with many folks personally and was told he had their support. But when it came time for the public meeting on these matters, not one person spoke up the way they spoke in private. Consequently, those who were in charge, and had no intention of opening themselves to the Truth, controlled the meeting. It was ugly. And the pastor had to resign.
Here was a situation where if those people had stood for what they privately said they believed, it would have resulted in them losing favor in the sight of leadership. It would have actually created a split in that church – but one that NEEDED to be, if Christ was to be made the center. But those people would not take a stand. They sat silent.
I submit that there was no excuse for this. God had evolved this situation for His purposes – to open people’s eyes. You know, there really aren’t a large number of times in our lives when we are called upon to publicly stand for Truth – at the cost of something to ourselves. But here was one, and it was perhaps the biggest one any of those people will ever have. Will God condemn them? No. But they are never going to know what was on the other side of taking a stand for Christ. All they do know is what is on the other side of refusing to do so.
Christians need to stop being ashamed of Jesus. We need to stop worrying about who we are going to offend. Jesus Christ offended everyone. So did Paul. And if we are going to follow Him, we are going to offend people. This doesn’t mean our GOAL is to offend. But our goal is to lift up Christ – and that will offend. It’s just the way it is.
Why? Because the moment you take a stand FOR Christ, you will—like it or not—be taking a stand against many things. You will be taking a stand, for instance, against sin. Against moral ambiguity. And that is going to make some people mad.
Now note: Even though taking a stand FOR Christ means I will automatically be against many things, it is not the, "against," that is the focus. No. It is the fact that I’m FOR Christ. For example, there are many people who go around trying to straighten everyone else out. They judge motives and demand conduct—all in the name of taking a stand for Christ. Others do not take a stand for Christ, but rather, take a stand for their doctrines, principles for living, and interpretations of the Bible. This usually comes from spiritual pride and self-righteousness, rather than from love.
God wants us to speak the Truth, but to speak it in LOVE. So to stand FOR Christ also must mean we are FOR the people who oppose Him—FOR them in the sense of wanting them to embrace the Truth. We can stand totally against what they believe and what they teach and what they promote, all the while FOR Christ on their behalf—even if they don’t know it.
So taking a stand FOR Christ must include more than a stand for doctrines about Him. It includes a stand for His love and desire to see all men saved and brought into the Truth. This means I do not go around getting into people’s face with my faith. It simply means that I know what I believe and am not going to budge. It means that I will never compromise with who Christ is and what He has done.
I personally know of a church with a lesbian pastor who lives in the parsonage with her, "domestic partner," and they have a number of adopted children. The church sees no problem with this, because she is, "such a nice person." I blame the people in that church as much as I blame the pastor. THEY make it possible for her to pastor, and together they are all helping each other destroy their children, and bring reproach to the name of Christ.
I know of another situation where the pastor of a church committed adultery with his secretary, kicked his wife out of the parsonage, and married the secretary. All of this and the man didn’t miss one Sunday in the pulpit, and his secretary continued to read the scripture each Sunday before the sermon. Not only did that church hold the wedding in that church, and celebrate it, but when the denomination removed that pastor’s ordination over this incident, because he refused to submit to discipline, the church responded by ordaining him themselves as their pastor. Incidentally, this was a church that had been defined by power struggles for decades, especially with every pastor that ever came through there. Apparently, the sin of adultery was fine. As long as the pastor didn’t think he had any authority.
Again – those who commit such things are going to answer to God. But those who continue to allow them to commit them, and become part of the sin, and refuse to take a stand for Truth are also going to answer. Read scripture. It is NOT ok to be passive when such things happen in our congregation.
What is going on in the Body of Christ today is happening because of people. People are doing it. And other people are letting them do it. Pastors preach error, and the people in the pews continue to attend and support. Denominations compromise major portions of the Truth and churches go right along with it. Few, it seems, are willing to pay any kind of price to stand for the Truth.
Sometimes all of this is permitted for the sake of "unity." But as mentioned in an earlier chapter, there is nothing worse than, "unity," in error, or even, "unity," for the sake of unity. Unity in anything but the Person of Jesus Christ eventually becomes His enemy, because the "unity" will keep error in and the Truth out.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:3-4)
In case no one has noticed, the apostasy that everyone says is going to come upon the church has already been going on for quite some time. "Someday," is here. And God is looking for a people who will stand up and refuse to move from the Truth. But as Jesus asked, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8) He didn’t answer His own question. He wants US to answer it.
The best way to begin standing against error, and for the Truth, is by opening ONESELF up to the Truth. We cannot stand an effective stand for Truth if the Truth is not free IN US.
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