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Posts Tagged ‘Focus on the Family’

Tim Tebow: Being Exploited And Misled By Focus On The Family

Posted by Job on January 26, 2010

College football star quarterback Tim Tebow is making a thinly veiled anti-abortion advertisement for the pseudo-Christian group Focus On The Family that is scheduled to run during the Super Bowl. Though they may yet buckle to pressure from wicked people who support the abortion procedure, that CBS has initially agreed to show the advertisement can be construed as evidence that the Tebow advertisement has nothing to do with a legitimate Christian message, and as such is not something that truly offends a world ruled by Satan that hates and has rejected Jesus Christ and will return to this same world to judge it one day.

Were Tebow’s message one that warned people of that impending judgment and informed them that accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the only way to avoid the wrath of the judgment of the Lamb that is certain and soon to come, there is no way that CBS would air it. Thus, Focus On The Family is doing what it always has, which is promote a political and cultural agenda that is entirely comfortable and conformed to this world, which includes not only the mammon of big business like CBS, but the group of adulterers, homosexuals, pagan occultists, greedy corporatists, and bloodthirsty warmongers that rule this nation. Perhaps the greatest evil that groups like Focus On The Family, the Christian Coalition and their correlates on the religious left like the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is their deceiving Christians into thinking that we don’t have to separate from the world. Instead, they teach us that it is not only ok to be worldly, but that we HAVE to join forces with the world – so long as we are on the right team with the right values and agenda, the “right side” or “the left side” of the world – in order to promote and defend God’s agenda. The fact that Jesus Christ said that “I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH” and that we are to be nothing but Jesus Christ’s humble slaves, His own Body doing nothing but His bidding just as Jesus Christ did nothing but God the Father’s Will during His sojourn as a human on this earth, is cast aside by virtue as the same temptation that Satan used to deceive Eve: the appeal to our human vanity, the pride of life.

So, we have the religious right telling us that if we are conservatives, we are good Christians and we can make this nation righteous and holy. We have the religious left telling us that we are liberals, then we are good Christians and we can make this nation righteous and holy. The truth is that no nation can be righteous and holy – even Israel failed in this mission – and that all will be judged by the one God who is righteous and holy, America included. The big deception is that these political Christian movements deceive you into thinking that you are choosing one side over the other when the truth is that behind the scenes, both dominant political movements are joined together in promoting iniquity. But then again, how much “behind the scenes” is it? After all, George W. Bush declared to the world on many occasions that he supports abortion rights, homosexual rights, religious pluralism, and rejects Biblical inerrancy and infallibility.

On those issues and many others (including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into “bailouts” purporting to save the economy, and the promotion of military, political, economic and cultural globalism as well as New Age philosophical and religious thought) there was no substantial difference between Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, and incidentally for the dispensationalists, Bush had the same policy towards Israel – pushing them towards a “two-state solution” with Palestinian terrorists – also. It is just that these political false Christians have done an excellent job of pulling the wool over the eyes of so many that we THINK that there is a difference.

And now these people have apparently succeeded in getting Tim Tebow, a very young man who has lived a sheltered life, to join them in their wickedness. (This comes after the governor of Florida, a scoundrel on many levels, has been brazenly attempting to exploit Tebow’s fame to aid his re-election attempts.) Similar to the Carrie Prejean outrage, it is becoming a common tactic among the political wolves seeking to devour the Christian sheep to prop up and exploit young Christians into being spokesmen – positions of leadership and influence – despite knowing full well that they lack the wisdom and maturity that the Bible requires for such positions of responsibility (there is a reason why a term for “pastor” in the New Testament is “ELDER”). Where are the adult Christians in Tebow’s life, his parents and pastors, whose job it is to redirect his zeal from the snares and deceptions of the enemy and onto the path that Jesus Christ actually told us to take?

Look, even from a secular standpoint, the Tebow commercial is extremely problematic. Where testimonials, or testimonies of personal experience, are a requirement and blessing in the Christian life, in other contexts they are often abused to the point of being deceiving and manipulative. This appears to be one of these incidents, where Tebow relates how he could have been aborted. And of course, young men and women who love Tebow for his exploits on the football field and his good works off it are supposed to be whipped up into a frenzy of shock, fear, anger and rage and in response run out to elect more (pro-abortion and at times closeted homosexual!) Republicans to office, and of course to send more money to Focus On The Family, who despite being so financially destitute that they were forced to lay off dozens of staffers and pare back their “ministry activities” are somehow able to come up with $2.5 to $3 million for a Super Bowl advertisement.

But here is the problem: Tim Tebow’s mother was advised to abort Tebow because SHE WAS VERY ILL AT THE TIME. What are we supposed to do? Endorse the idea that a mother is supposed to always unconditionally sacrifice her own life to have a child? Where is that in the New Testament? Someone show me! And does this Christian doctrine of being required to unconditionally sacrifice your life ONLY apply to pregnant women? If so, why? Because the baby is innocent? WELL SO IS THE MOTHER! Or truthfully, from an honest theological perspective, the baby is just as guilty of original sin as the mother is! Don’t want to believe it? Well, you need to stop reading your fake political “pro-life literature” from Focus On The Family, National Right To Life, the Christian Coalition or whoever and start reading the TRUE pro-life literature, meaning ETERNAL life, which is THE BIBLE (and regarding this original sin issue specifically the first 12 chapters of the book of Romans is a good place to start). And again, who else has to live under this standard? If there are two people in a burning building and you can only rescue one, would you have to allow them both to burn to death because choosing one over the other is murder? Or what about a sinking ship? There are 100 people on it, but only room on the lifeboat for 99. So do all 100 people have to die because sacrificing that 1 person’s life to save the rest is murder? If not, then what right do we have to say that a woman UNCONDITIONALLY HAS to risk her life to have a baby? Again, pro-life Christians need to make this case USING SCRIPTURE. So not only is deceiving Tebow away from the gospel of Jesus Christ into making political messages that have NOTHING to do with that gospel bad in and of itself, but Tebow is being used to deliver THE WORST ANTI-ABORTION MESSAGE POSSIBLE.

Now do not be deceived. I despise abortion and greatlywish for the procedure to be generally illegal. (And unlike the sham pro-lifer politicians and activists who ALWAYS waffle when confronted with this question, were abortion illegal, yes I would certainly advocate putting any doctor who performs the procedure or any woman who receives it in jail where they would belong.) So in this way, I am like Tebow. The issue is that by relying on Tebow’s personal story to send a message that is manipulative, deceptive, and highly medically, ethically and theologically suspect … look what if some pregnant single mother with 8 kids and no reliable family support who loves college football and is inspired by Tim Tebow has been warned by doctors not to have her ninth child sees this commercial, ignores her doctor and attempts to carry the pregnancy to term as a result, only to have both her and the child die. Who is going to adopt and take care of that woman’s kids in that scenario? Focus On The Family? Don’t hold your breath. Oh yes, and what if this woman, who was never taken to church by her own parents but knows Tebow’s reputation for Christianity, mistakes the pro-life message for the gospel of Jesus Christ, tries to carry the pregnancy to term because she thinks that it is her “Christian duty” only to have that tragedy happen, AND AS A RESULT NEVER HEARS THE REAL GOSPEL, AND DOES NOT LIVE TO SHARE IT WITH HER EIGHT CHILDREN WHO ARE THEN DUMPED ON STATE SOCIAL SERVICES, THE VERY SOCIAL SERVICES THAT FOCUS ON THE FAMILY REGULARLY ELECTS CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES TO SLASH FUNDING AND PROGRAMS FOR. Look, issues like these are extremely serious and must be dealt with prudently. That is why people who lack the ability to navigate such issues prudently – and a 22 year old football player would almost inherently meet that definition – should stick to very gospel of Jesus Christ that Focus On The Family is seducing Tebow away from. That is why we should stick to what the Bible calls the foolishness and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected from the dead.

And the person who modeled this for us? Why Jesus Christ Himself. Though not a citizen like the apostle Paul, Jesus Christ was born into and in His human condition was a willing subject of the Roman Empire. Now what are the two main items on the agenda of the religious right? Homosexuality and abortion/infanticide. Well, both were widely practiced in the Roman Empire. (As a matter of fact, some researchers have proposed this as a reason for the rapid growth of Christianity within the Empire in terms of its percentage of the population: no homosexuality or infanticide meant higher birthrates.) However, did Jesus Christ at any time organize a pro-life, pro-family political movement? No. And since Jesus Christ did ALL and ONLY that which was the will of God the Father, it is clear that changing the legal and cultural fabric of the Roman Empire was not His mission.

Well, you might say that Jesus Christ’s mission was a limited one, and it was left to the church to pursue the pro-life, pro-family agenda, right? Not according to the Bible. Read the epistles. Despite living and evangelizing in an overwhelmingly pagan and immoral culture, at no point did Paul or any other apostle advocate an agenda of political, legal or social reform that would have wasted the time and effort of imposing God’s righteousness on the unregenerate. Instead, the entire agenda of Jesus Christ and His apostles to save the lost – to turn the unregenerate into the regenerate – and to teach and lead the found into holy and righteous living. What of the abortion, homosexuality and other sins? Well sin is what sinners do. (As a matter of fact, the New Testament clearly states that even Christians are not immune from falling into sin.) That is not going to stop no matter how many laws are passed, and even if you can somehow physically restrain a sinner from doing wickedness with his hands, he is still going to sin in his mind and heart (Matthew 15:1-20). The Great Commission is Jesus Christ’s commandment to the church to save souls and disciple them thereafter. Passing laws to stop people from having abortions does not accomplish this, and therefore is not the duty of the church. It was not the agenda of the apostles, and it was not the agenda of Jesus Christ. Despite what the liberal theologians claim, Jesus Christ DID NOT attempt to lead a political or religious reform agenda within Israel or Rome, and neither did the apostles. Instead, their only agenda was the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of reformed hearts using the transforming love and power of God. Their agenda is our agenda, and if it is not the agenda of Jesus Christ and the apostles (yes, the apostles are the foundation of the church which Jesus Christ is the only Head) then it is not a true, legitimate Christian agenda but instead a diversion, a deception.

And this is the truly regrettable thing regarding Tim Tebow. Because – as far as I know based on what I have read about him – Tebow was heretofore acting as a legitimate Great Commission Christian. Working on the missionary field, sharing the gospel with those in prison, doing good works for the poor … those were all things specifically commanded by Jesus Christ and done by His apostles and followers as recorded in the New Testament. It is this Focus On The Family evil that Jesus Christ never commanded us and the Bible does not teach us to do that is the problem. It is a temptation of Tebow, to lead him astray from the path of legitimate Christian service and ministry because of his fame, and we Christians should pray for Tebow that he not yield to temptation. We should pray that prudent Christians surround him and tell him the truth, and that Tebow heed their Biblical counsel to avoid the world and all its temptations and to adhere closely to what the Bible commands of him. The call, purpose and design that God has on the life of Tebow, of every Christian for that matter, is contained within the Bible, and we are not to deviate from it. The sola scriptura doctrine of Christianity is essential, and we are not to deviate from it to the right or to the left.

Now it is true … many have been seduced into the arena of political Christianity by the historical fact that Christianity socially and legally reformed the Roman Empire. We are often told of how Constantine converted, how Christianity was ultimately made the state religion of the Empire, and how infanticide, the decadent homosexuality culture, and slavery were abolished, how the status of women and children greatly improved etc. These things are true, but like Tebow’s “don’t get an abortion … had my own grievously ill mother had aborted me OKLAHOMA WOULD HAVE WON THE NATIONAL TITLE!” it is a simplistic rendering of history that ignores some key facts. First, Constantine refused to submit himself to a pastor to learn Christian doctrine and living. Second, Constantine rejected Biblical Christianity for Arianism (and was baptized on his deathbed as such) and persecuted actual Christians. Third: Constantine began the vile practice of making Christianity an instrument of state power, including warfare.

The result of Constantine’s melding Christianity with the state and culture was not the rapid evangelization of the pagans within the Roman Empire. Instead, the reverse happened:  the pagans flooded the Roman state church, bringing with them their perverse doctrines and lifestyles. Altering Christianity into a form where it could be embraced by the culture and government made it A.) acceptable for the unsaved and B) unfit for the saved. In short: a worldly false apostate Christianity of the sort warned against by Jesus Christ (especially in Revelation 2 and 3) and His apostles. Of course, a true invisible body of believers of Jesus Christ existed at that time and through all times, but to claim that Roman state-church-culture was a legitimate expression of it and not the abomination that it actually was is historically, theologically, factually false and dishonest. So are the modern successors of Constantine and his “advisor” Eusebius (considered the creator of Constantinian church-state theology) who live on in movements like Focus On The Family, the Family Research Council, the Traditional Values Coalition, and all of these other organizations, councils, coalitions, groups etc. whose leaders get very rich off contributions that should be going to spread the gospel and help the poor, and whose agenda is not the gospel of Jesus Christ but families, values, culture, morals and other worldly things. How ironic that the actual Jesus Christ warned His legitimate sheep that being a Christian often meant being rejected by your family and culture.

It is because we live in a country that purports to be majority Christian that we can suffer this delusion. But imagine being a Christian in a majority Muslim, Hindu or communist country.  What good would the anti-abortion advertisements of football players do for Christianity in Indonesia? China? India? Egypt? Or even the Hamas-PLO controlled Palestine where Jesus Christ was born? (Or for that matter Israel, where sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ can literally result in a jail sentence? It is a subject that an odd coalition of theological liberals and prominent dispensationalists do their best to tiptoe around, but it is true.) But when Jesus Christ returns, the whole world will see Him, and all delusions will come to an end.

When that day comes, where will you be? What will you be doing? Whose agenda will you be supporting? Will it be the agenda of Jesus Christ as revealed to you by the New Testament? Or will it be some worldly political agenda crafted to gain power, make money and hide the truth from people who so desperately need it? Ultimately, the question is this: who’s side are you on? Where does your heart, the things that you truly love and desire, lie? With Jesus Christ and the world to come? Or this world that God will judge and burn with fire? Are you as Lot, who fled Sodom and Gomorrah and was spared judgment? Or are you as Lot’s wife, who turned and look back because her heart desired Sodom, Gomorrah and the perversions of it and received judgment  – the turning into a pillar of salt, the ending of her life – as a result? (And do not be deceived … the devastation that happened to all that Lot had was the result of Lot’s joining himself to Sodom and Gomorrah in the first place.) Worldliness that is known and regarded to be evil is bad enough, but worldliness that passes itself for Godly virtue – the work of the Pharisees – is particularly insidious. From such things, Christians should turn away. Let us pray that all Christians, Tim Tebow included, are protected by Jesus Christ from falling into this evil and into all others.

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Posted in Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false teaching | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What Is The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Supposed To Transform?

Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

Well, the news breaks from Apprising Ministries that James Dobson and Focus on the Family is promoting  Mormonism. (And that they also denounce people who oppose Roman Catholicism.) Really, this is no surprise. Allow me to explain why by asking a question: what is the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it to transform lives by saving souls? Or is it to transform nations and cultures by spreading values and norms? Many would say that either/or is a false choice when the answer is both. What those people ignore is that so often those two goals find themselves in conflict, and when they do it is much easier and more expedient to “focus on” transforming the nation and the culture than it is getting people saved. Tending to the nation and culture is far less difficult and produces quicker, more broad based results than crawling on your belly and face over the sharp rocks on craggy cliffsides and through the thick briars and brambles trying to find that one lost sheep, and then discipling that sheep so that he doesn’t run off again. It would imagine that it pays a lot better too, even if Focus on the Family has had to resort to layoffs lately. It is easier to focus on the family than to focus on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, so any offense that results from fighting false cultural battles will be far less.

So, when the time comes that the path to salvation is not through the false gospel of Mormonism or through a Roman Catholic Church that is now teaching religious pluralism, Dobson must stand down and count such people as his allies. Why? Because Mormons and Roman Catholics have good values, and are too useful allies in the culture wars over gay marriage and abortion to turn your backs on. So instead of telling Glen Beck that he needs to repent or spend eternity in the lake of fire, Focus on the Family promotes his allegedly Christian testimony

So in times like these, the truth be told: it is not the purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform the world, which includes cultures and nations. Instead, the purpose of the gospel is to save God’s elect from the world. Evidence of this is found in the very book of Revelation that amillennialists and dominionists love to reject with a “spiritual interpretation.” Even upon His return, Jesus Christ does not transform the world. Instead, He smites it and rules it with a rod of iron. See Revelation 19:15. Why does He do this? Because the world does not submit to His rule. The world is still trying to rebel, still trying to reject the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the Sovereignty of God. That is why when Satan is released, he has no problem finding allies for his final and futile effort as recorded in Revelation 20:7-9

Even after the final rebellion of Satan is crushed and this accuser is cast into the lake of fire, Jesus Christ does not set about transforming the nations and cultures. Instead, Jesus Christ judges them, they are destroyed with fire, and there is a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 21:1 – “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” Now the Roman Catholics have the statement which goes to the effect “world without end amen amen.” But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible clearly states in Revelation and in the other eschatological passages that this world is coming to an end. So why bother trying to transform it? Why polish the brassware of a sinking ship? That would only divert the energies from getting as many people as you can off the ship and into lifeboats. The gospel is the lifeboat. It cannot be meant as both a lifeboat and some attempt to plug the leak in the boat. Why? Because those are two aims at cross purposes. If the gospel was meant to transform the world, there would be no need to save men from it. Also, make no mistake: it was God who put the hole in the boat to begin with. Indeed, it is God Himself that will judge the world for its wickedness. 

Also, if the role of the gospel is to transform the world, then the Bible itself would declare the gospel to be a failure. Why? Because the Bible makes it clear: the world is never transformed. It is never subdued. It remains wicked and rebellious to the very end. So if the gospel fails at the goal of transforming the world and the culture, of say, making the government respect the Ten Commandments and making the culture respect traditional family values, then why should the gospel succeed in saving any Christian from the eternity in the lake of fire? 

This is not some bold new theological innovation here. Instead, it can be found in a simple Frank Peretti novel “The Visitation.” In it, the protagonist, a burned out pastor, is confronted with his new, eager, inexperienced replacement, and the latter states “we are taking this town for Christ.” To which, the protagonist replied “how are you going to take any town for Christ when not even Christ took a town for Christ. Have you ever asked this town if it wants to be taken for Christ?” Taking towns for Christ was never Christ’s job. Thus, transforming the world and culture was never the job of the gospel or of the church. The very Bible itself declares that the world and culture will not be transformed, so if that was ever the goal of the gospel, then the Bible which declares the gospel would declare that gospel to be a failure, making the Word of God a failure, and Jesus Christ’s going to the cross to be in vain. 

The idea that it we should be trying to use the gospel to give life to things that are doomed to die instead of using the gospel so that people could be born again is a great deception. It transforms the unchangeable truth of God into a lie, and takes the all powerful all knowing God and uses His own revelation to declare Him to be weak, a failure, as if Revelation depicts God as destroying the world only after being frustrated by His many attempts to save it; that not even sacrificing His own Son on a cross and sending that Son to Personally rule the world was enough. And what could be more Satanic, more anti – Christ, than that? 

So we are left with the truth that the purpose of the gospel was to transform lives, to save souls, and to spare them the judgment that awaits the nations and their cultures. And we should reject anyone who comes promoting a different aim using a different gospel that represents a different Jesus.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments »

 
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