Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Unholy Asumptions

Here’s one of the things that bothers me about Christianity today. Many people are preaching a doctrine of tolerance. Maybe we don’t agree with what others believe, but we’re told that the Christian thing to do is to tolerate their beliefs in the interest of fellowship. The saying is hate the sin but love the sinner and I agree with that, but so often it seems like people expect us to love the sinner by ignoring the sin.

I recently read that Christian artist Jennifer Knapp has revealed that she is a lesbian in a relationship. What do we call that? A practicing lesbian? I’m not sure that’s the word we’re looking for. A few years ago Ray Bolz announced that he is gay, though he said he was not sexually active, in which case I wouldn’t consider him gay. But these announcements change Christianity. We look at some of the great songs that Ray Boltz is known for and we don’t want to think badly of Ray Boltz, no matter what he might do. How can a person who sang I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb be a bad person? So, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad allow gays in out church, people start saying. Didn’t God make them that way?

What if he did? Is that the criteria we are to go by? What of the drug addict? Some people try drugs once and become addicted. God made them that way, so is it okay for them to use drugs? Some men have trouble keeping their eyes off women. It’s natural. God made them that way. Is it okay for such a man to go to bed with a woman other than his wife? Some people struggle with anger management issues. Is it okay for them to be abusive to their family because it is natural?

I think you get the point. Where do we draw the line on this thing? As Christians, we do have a responsibility to love those who struggle with sin, but let’s not forget that it is sin that they are struggling with. How do we know it is sin? The Bible tells us it is sin. But so many people want to either say that the Bible is an outdated book or to find a way to say that the Bible doesn’t say what it says. As an example, look at I Timothy 2:12, “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” No commentary is needed to explain what that means to women preachers. If you look at the next verse, “For Adam was first formed, then Eve,” you see that it is by the design that God instituted all the way back at creation, but so many people would like to try to explain that verse away or simply ignore it.

Here’s another verse for you. Isaiah 6:3, “And one cried unto another and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.’” God has many wonderful attributes, but this is the only one that is repeated three times. The Lord is holy, holy, holy. We know that God is love and we like to focus on that, but even more important than that is that God is holy. God is without sin. God cannot look upon sin. As sinners, we are unable to stand before God. We can never be more wrong than to say that we show the love of God by overlooking the sin. God is HOLY.

The only standard we have to live by is the standard that God has set. If we are not as holy as God, we fall short. We are not to participate in sin and we are not to find it acceptable for others to participate in sin. Even if that sin is something like jay walking, we fall short.

But we know that God accepts sinners or we would never be able to escape hell and reach heaven. But what kind of sinner has fellowship with God? Can a sinner who participates in sin even when he knows it is a clear violation of the word of God have fellowship? Jesus said that if we love him we will do what he commands. In fact, in Luke 6:46 he compares the person who calls him Lord but doesn’t do what he commands to a person who builds his house on the sand rather than digging down and building it on a rock. A lot of people are just surface Christians. They do a lot of stuff that looks good. They look like good strong Christians, but when the storms come their house crumbles. Jesus says that the difference between these two groups is that one does what he commands and the other doesn’t.

Many people think they are doing what the Lord commands, but they really don’t know. They don’t know because they haven’t actually read the Word of God. They make assumptions about things based on what people around them think is good. God is good, so they assume that he will want those things. They assume that God would want people to separate rather than live through life in an unhappy marriage. They assume that God wants homosexuals to marry. They assume that God would want women to preach. They assume a great many things that God has said he doesn’t want.

Update: I didn't see this until several days after I wrote the above article, but in Britain a preacher was arrested for doing nothing more than mentioning that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Don't say it can't happen in America. The enemies of free speech and the enemies of God are everywhere. It is time for us to return to the old time religion and take a stand or we will lose our freedom.