Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘proposition 8’

Why The “We Need Female Leaders In The Church Because There Aren’t Enough Good Men” Is Just An Excuse For Rebellion And Sin

Posted by Job on August 17, 2010

Now, we have “evangelical feminists” on the move, demanding that the Biblical mandate for God-given roles to the sexes be discarded in favor of the current worldly fascination with the sort of social androgyny (the idea that there is no difference between the sexes that need to be respected) that homosexual Vaughn Walker used in his homosexual marriage advocacy from the bench. Further, in their pursuit of what is clearly an anti-Biblical agenda, they are employing the same rhetoric of the secular humanists feminists before them – as they are cut from the same cloth despite their evangelical pretensions – in claiming that Christians who support Biblical roles for males and females are contributing to spousal abuse, rape and child molestation. Of course, the recent explosion of such issues is due to society’s embrace of such notions as feminism and rejection of Biblical authority, not their fidelity to it. (I suppose that these evangelical feminists are going to claim that the early church, including the apostles who produced the New Testament, was this repository of child molesters and rapists. When you consider their outright rejection of inerrancy and Biblical authority in this matter, one would not be surprised if this is precisely what this group believes. Like the homosexual “Christians”, “evangelical feminists” ignore that these Bible interpretations have been handed down since the early church and are not the invention of a relatively recent group of bigots. Calling contemporary Christians misogynistic, homophobic child rapists for refusing to adhere to their current worldly interpretations means judging those who received the faith directly from Jesus Christ and His apostles as the same. But since honest theology and church history is not on their side, they resort to name-calling and appeals to the same body of “science” as is Freudian psychology and evolution that is used to justify homosexuality and a host of other abominations against one’s own body and other people.)

It seems that one of the more effective excuses to justify female church leadership – one that is gaining traction outside the Pentecostal and liberal theological circles that have long advocated for women pastors and leaders – is the shortage of suitable male leaders for the church. I do not deny the possibility that there is indeed a shortage of the number and type of male leaders required to staff our current ecclesiastical structure. However, the solution to that is to A) question if our (denominationally-driven) ecclesiastical structure is Biblical in the first place and B) realize that the abandonment of Biblical manhood and womanhood and a resulting environment of spiritual confusion and immaturity is a cause of this problem rather than the solution. Therefore, the way to have strong male leaders for the church going forward is for men and women to return to what the Bible commands rather than to use the spiritual condition of the contemporary church as an excuse to abandon it. Instead of looking for an excuse to justify sin and rebellion, we need to seek courage from the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to be faithful in this time of spiritual difficulty.

With that in mind, on my thread “Regarding Women Preachers: I Am Now Convinced That It Is Wrong” a Christian woman named Elsie made the following comment:

Paul says “I do not permit women to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I agree with the word of God, but I see here that Paul says “I do not permit”, he did not say “God does not permit”.
I believe that only men have the authority to be pastors and leaders in the congregation. But I also believe that in some instances God has raised a woman to prophecy and to be a judge, etc.. When God chose these women to do a specific work, these women where humble women, godly women. I see in these days a lot of disharmony in the church with many women ministring. I don’t think they where called by God. One of the things that astonishes me is how these women dress when they stand in the pulpit. How can a man visit such congregation and stay connected with “the word” when this woman is dressed in a provocative way? There is nothing humble about that and there is nohing holy about that either. We have to be watchful and careful that we do not provoque others to fall.

I will allow her comment and my response below to serve as a rejoinder to those who might be deceived by evangelical feminism, including the argument “We need female leaders in the church because there aren’t enough good male leaders:

““I do not permit women to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I agree with the word of God, but I see here that Paul says “I do not permit”, he did not say “God does not permit”.”When Paul was saying “I do not permit”, he was speaking from the position of authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. So, what an apostle permitted or denied was based on revelation from Jesus Christ, and therefore binding to the church. That was the real meaning of the oft-misunderstood “binding and loosing” passages of Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18, which is that the apostles, being appointed by Jesus Christ and received the revelation directly from Jesus Christ, had the right to establish doctrines and practices for the early church and those thereafter. This is not to say that Paul was divine in any sense, only that he spoke in the Name of God just as did an Old Testament prophet. When Paul was giving an opinion that he didn’t want to be considered binding, he said so in verses like 1 Corinthians 7:6 when he gave his opinion that it is better not to marry. Please note that in another place (1 Titus 4:3) Paul called forbidding to marry a devil’s doctrine.

“But I also believe that in some instances God has raised a woman to prophecy and to be a judge, etc..”

That is clear. God also raises up female deacons. The issue is the offices [that the Bible restricts women from holding] of pastor and teacher, not of evangelist, prophet or deacon.

… the Bible clearly lays out the role of elder spiritually gifted women in the church, which is to instruct younger women in faith and practice and to tend to the moral and spiritual development of children. In these times Christian woman have despised the role intended and laid out by God for them in order to seek the roles that God has set aside for men. You can see the negative effects on young women and children that result from this neglect. Ironically, the confusion in the church that results in the neglect of young women and children (as confused young women and children today become the very confused people who wind up leading churches 30 years down the line) is what is used as an excuse to justify female pastors.

For instance, a lot of people claim that there should be women leaders because there aren’t enough suitable male leaders, and they use Deborah in the time of the Judges as their proof-text. What they ignore is that the lack of suitable male leaders is precisely because of the refusal of elder women to instruct young mothers and of young mothers to instruct young women. And the proof-text of this is not only that of the kings in Israel (meaning that the kings who had righteous mothers who followed the Lord themselves followed the Lord, but the kings who had wicked mothers turned away from the Lord, and this was the case regardless of the spiritual condition of the father … a godly king and a rotten queen would produce rotten a rotten kid inheriting the throne, but a rotten king and a godly queen would produce a good child who would go on to become king) but also that Deborah herself had to rule because of Israel’s spiritual apostasy, their turning against God, at the time.

So, it speaks volumes that the women who use the lack of suitable male leaders as an excuse to be pastors and teachers are perfectly willing to personally profit from the dire straits that the church is in. That makes you nothing but a spiritual scalawag or carpetbagger. (If you are not from the American South, look the terms up … they mean someone who exploits a great tragedy for personal gain.) The proper response for Christian women to the lack of good male leaders in this generation is to adhere to what the Bible says regarding instructing younger women and children so that the next generation will have strong male leaders for the church. And this is precisely what the God-fearing queens of Israel who were married to evil husbands did. They did not attempt coups against their husbands so that they could rule righteously in their husband’s stead. (Consider that the only female usurper of the throne of Israel was the Baal worshiper Athaliah.) Instead, they raised their sons to know and fear God so that righteous rule would return in the next generation. The righteous queens of Israel knew the merits of adhering to God’s plan instead of following after their own human designs. Christian women chasing feminism idolatry would do well to follow their example. This is ever so more the case of Pentecostal women for whom female pastors is commonly accepted, as Pentecostals are known for their particular emphasis on Old Testament types and examples.

So, if righteous Old Testament queens operating without the benefit of the full revelation of Jesus Christ were able and willing to do what was necessary to produce godly kings for Old Testament Israel, how much more should New Testament Christian women who have the full revelation of Jesus Christ be expected to do so? Those who reject the Bible on this issue in order to follow a corrupt and fallen worldly mindset are without excuse.

For a more exhaustive treatment of this issue, please read:

Why Women Cannot Be Preachers

And to begin conforming your life to God’s desires:

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 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.

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On What Authority Rests Your Faith? And Whose Business Is It?

Posted by Job on December 23, 2008

This is another attempt to get a handle on the controversy surrounding Rick Warren’s speaking at Barack Obama’s inauguration. First, let me get something out of the way. As to my opinion of Rick Warren’s speaking at Obama’s inauguration, let me say that truthfully I have no opinion. Why should I? Rick Warren is a self – admitted member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and openly advocates the idea that the work that he does for this body makes him a better pastor, a better Christian, and the world a better place. Barack Obama? His wife is a former leader of the Chicago chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations, whose members and/or people knowingly and willingly working to advance their agenda include such people representing the right as Newt Gingrich and George H. W. Bush, such people representing the right as Clinton and the aforementioned Michelle Obama, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie, and pastors such as Rick Warren and T. D. Jakes. 

Also, consider that one of Barack Obama’s early advocates: Rupert Murdoch, whose entire career as a pro – business race – baiting conservative would seem to have made him an Obama opponent. Well, Murdoch, actually 100% literally the world’s biggest pornographer in that no one, not Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt or the mafia, more widely distributes or makes more money off pornography than does Murdoch, has lucrative and mutually beneficial business ties with Rick Warren. So now, right on the heels of the release of Rick Warren’s new book, already a bestseller, which Warren calls “the most clear definition of Christianity – of what it means to follow Jesus, what it means to be saved – of anything I’ve ever written“, comes the announcement that Obama is making Warren his inauguration speaker. So I ask of you … what is there to think of this other than to say that for Warren and Obama this is just business as usual?

Now this could have been an opportunity for a great many Christians to take a longer, deeper look at Rick Warren, his theology, and his associations. In other words, apply the same to Rick Warren as so many conservative Christians did to Barack Obama’s liberal and black liberation theology, and with Jeremiah Wright, Saul Alinsky, William Ayers, Michael Pfleger, ACORN etc. Really, the Council on Foreign Relations and Rupert Murdoch are just part of a much larger picture with Warren, which tends to indicate that he – and Obama – are merely players in a much larger game. So, then, who are the game masters and ultimately the puppet masters? And who is ultimately the head behind the puppet masters? These are questions that Obama’s tapping Rick Warren – and Rick Warren’s accepting – should raise.

But instead, we had this convenient explosion of protests from angry homosexuals and their advocates. The result has been a great many conservative Christians to take the position that if the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, ACT UP, People for the American Way, and other such groups are attacking Rick Warren, then he can’t be all bad. “The enemy of the enemy is my friend”, right? Well, I should remind you that this slogan originated in the Middle East, and radical Islam opposes homosexuality (and abortion and rock music and pornography and separation between church and state) too.  

So, we have Obama able to use Rick Warren to advance his agenda, and Warren to use Obama to advance his. And, of course, whoever is using both Obama and Warren to advance their own agenda is getting what they want too. The reason for this is that similar to Billy Graham before him, a complete and total lack of prominent people, people of position, esteem, influence, and reputation, willing to criticize Rick Warren. Whether they are conservative, evangelical, traditionalist, or fundamentalist, you cannot find a single Christian leader willing to incontrovertibly and without qualification oppose the fellow. Oh they will criticize him from time to time when they are forced to confront something disturbing that Warren does or says. But they will not ever deal with the fact that Warren as a matter of routine procedure does and says disturbing things.

They also will not apply what scripture says about Christians, especially pastors, who routinely say and do things that are unscriptural, Christians who glorify and revel in their things unscriptural, and take pleasure in others who do unscriptural things just as they do. Scripture calls those people in need of severe rebuke at the very best, and on balance false Christians and heretics and those allied with them synagogues of Satan.

Now I admit, I had a glimmer of hope that Republican – leaning Christians would start to closely examine any pastor who aligns himself with a president that has stated that his first act in office would be to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. But the very convenient Proposition 8 homosexual marriage controversy rendered that moot. And as I mentioned earlier, the lack of well known Christian pastors and theologians willing to publicly and directly take on the Rick Warren problem is exactly what allows a sort of “jury nullification” to be applied to Warren and his theology. Which, of course, leaves us right back where we started. Which is that I have no opinion on Warren giving the inauguration blessing other than “business as usual.” 

My main problem with Rick Warren’s theology? It is simple. Who is Jesus Christ? Our Lord and Savior. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Lord comes first. Jesus Christ was our Lord before He ever was our Savior. And even if Jesus Christ had never been our Savior, indeed had God decided never to redeem mankind (or perhaps had mankind never needed redeeming) He would still be our Lord. The Lordship of Jesus Christ, indeed the Sovereign Lordship of Jesus Christ, is spiritually and logically prior. The authority of Jesus Christ comes not from being Savior. It comes from His being Lord. It is because Jesus Christ is Lord that we can call upon His Name and be saved.

The problem with Warren and those like him is that they offer a Jesus Christ that is Savior without truly being Lord. They offer an incomplete picture of Jesus Christ which results in being a false Christ. Jesus Christ is only the helper, provider, and friend, sort of like a best buddy. Jesus Christ the Ruler, Leader, and Judge is left out. (So if Jesus Christ is only the lamb, who is the lion? America’s economic and military machine perhaps?) It is so easy to look at Revelation and see how chapters 4 – 20 apply to the overt non – Christians, the world that is, who rejects Jesus Christ as Savior and say “none of that is going to happen to me” if you are a Christian. But in doing so, are you forgetting that Revelation chapters 1 – 3 applies to the church? Those three chapters lead Revelation because judgment starts in the church. It does not start in the world. And that fits the gospels and the epistles that precede Revelation, and also the Old Testament before the New Testament. Those things were not given as warnings to the world. The Old Testament was given to God’s people Israel. The gospels and the epistles were given to God’s people the church. The warnings, judgments, etc. in the Old Testament, gospels, and epistles were to the Old and New Testament saints, not to the heathen.

So the only purpose of Revelation 4-20 is to show what will happen to the heathen. The rest of the Bible is for believers – or should I say partial believers – who fail to obey. It is for Ephesians who have left their first love. It is for those in Pergamos who follow Balaam and the Nicolataines. It is for Thyatirans who follow the Jezebel doctrines. It is far those in Sardis who do not repent and strengthen the things which remain before they die. And it is for the lukewarm Laodiceans. These are all people who profess Jesus Christ as Savior but who by word or action reject Him as Lord. As a result, the professed Christians that reject the Lordship of Christ in Revelation 1-3 will receive Revelation 4-20 and miss out on Revelation 21-22. For them, it will be as if they never professed Jesus Christ as Savior at all. And in truth, they never will have, because Jesus Christ is not your Savior if He is not your Lord.

And the result of doctrines, theologies, movements etc. that profess Jesus Christ as Savior without making Him Lord? For such people the Bible is no longer the authority. For these people, the Bible is only AN authority. It is a reference. A source. Something from which to draw footnotes. But it is not THE authority. Such people may reject the notion of the Bible being the singular authority in all things out of hand. Others may profess it while not living it. And there are the many shades in between. But the root is the same: Jesus Christ is their Savior without being their Lord. For those who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord have seared in their minds and hearts John 14:15, and diligently study, meditate, and strive to heed the Bible to live up to John 14:15, and when they discover that doing so is impossible, they have no choice but to take refuge in the cross to relieve, cover, and fix up their brokenness in light of their failure. Those are the Romans 7:7-25 people.

Otherwise, where does the authority come from? In trying to categorize the Protestant Christian landscape (and for the most part exempting the largely liberal mainline denominations) there seems to be three basic groups. Fundamentalists are basically known by their rejection of modernism (the intellectual and ideological movement that began with the Englightenment and ended with World War II, or as others say began with the French Revolution and ended with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the age of reason, science, and rationality). For them, the authority appears to be received tradition. That old time religion is good enough for them! What if the old timers were wrong on things like, say, consuming wine in moderation as Jesus Christ incontrovertibly did? Or even ideas that really aren’t that old like dispensational premillennialism, or didn’t even originate with fundamental Christianity such as trying to use religiosity or religious – tinged secular activism to transform an unregenerate society into a society that they perceive to be more like the one which gave them their tradition? Well it is still good enough! 

Evangelicals are known for their embrace of modernism. After all, God is a God of order, God made creation to reflect His orderly nature, which makes the faith by which we come to know and experience God entirely rational. Right? I am not going to attempt to belittle evangelicalism by making flailing attempts to point out where this thinking leads.  (I will, however, say to open practically any major work of evangelical systematic theology written after 1970 and see for yourself!) I have to ask this question, however:  is it an issue of whether a member of a church shows no interest in theological things, or if they have no interest in spiritual things? Or are theological things, especially if this theology is propositional and deductive in nature, and spiritual things one and the same? It would appear that for evangelicalism, then, the ultimate authority is reason and rationality, even if for no reason other than mainstream evangelicalism is hesitant to deal with Biblical matters that do not lend themselves to reasonable or rational discourse. For messy things like that, concepts like “Christian values” step up and fill the void. Failing that, you have “the proper meaning of this Bible text must necessarily be limited to the single meaning that the speaker intended the hearers to understand in that day and time, and the single meaning that the hearers understood the speaker to be communicating in their cultural context.” Or for that matter “those things were only for the apostolic era forthe church’s  foundational purposes and were not meant for Christians coming thereafter.” (Never mind that there is not a single Bible verse that anyone can point to that actually says this!) For what are we supposed to be contending? For the jargon now delivered to the saints, or for the faith once delivered to us?

As for emergents or the emerging church? It is known for its embrace of postmodernity. Among postmodernity’s claims is the idea that definite truth either does not exist or is unknowable. All that exists is perception, and perception is basically the product of one’s cultural background, preconceived notions, and other biases, and as a result one person’s opinion is as good as another. (Of course, no postmodernist actually believes this insofar as they actually go about pretending as if 1+1 may or may not be 2, and they certainly believe their own opinions and values to be true, so in truth postmodernism is actually more of a place of first and permanent resort when challenged.) So what is the authority? Me. What I believe. What I believe to be true, or more accurately what I believe to be right. And even when I am proven wrong, it is no big deal because hey, no one’s perfect anyway. It isn’t as if it makes me a bad person or anything!

Now consider that one of postmodernism’s criticisms of modernity is that it is individualistic. Postmodernity claims to be about building, indeed restoring, the sense of human community. So it is not merely individuals running around with their own individual human opinions. Rather, postmodernism gives groups of people the ability to more or less coalesce around the same truth, meaning, or interpretation. (You believe the same thing that I do? Sweet! Let’s hang out!) Now the truths of various communities will inevitably diverge, but that is not what is important. What is important is the shared consensus of these communities, which is that there exists no single truth that can be imposed upon them, and more importantly no authority with the right to impose it. This authority may have the power, mind you. But they don’t have the right. Any authority that exercises its power to impose a definite truth on any person or group is by nature totalitarian, oppressive, and illegitimate. 

So, then, can the postmodern Christian still be conservative, evangelical, or orthodox? I am going to leave aside the games that postmodernists play with language, their tactic of co – opting vocabulary by giving words different meanings to make people believe that they agree with them (sort of like how when Christians and Mormons refer to Jesus Christ as the Son of God both groups mean totally different things!) for a minute.

Instead, to strictly deal with the question, the answer is yes, the postmodern Christian can have almost entire points of agreement on evangelical and fundamentalist Christians on theology and doctrine. However, this is only because the postmodern Christian personally chooses to. The postmodern Christian is totally free to pick and choose based on his own ideas of interpretation, his own ideas of true and untrue, his own ideas of right and wrong, which Bible interpretations to accept and reject, which doctrines are true and false, what things to emphasize or ignore. The rule of faith? Nay, the rule of what I think is right. Which ultimately becomes the rule of what I and my community of like – minded believers think is right. (The community of like minded believers is extremely important, because there is indeed strength in numbers.) And anyone who comes around and says different, anyone who tries to impose their personal notions of truth on me, is a small minded hypocritical judgmental Pharisee. 

So this brings us back to the many evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other theologically conservative Christians who are willing to allow Rick Warren to reside within the sphere of what they consider to be acceptable merely because Warren professes the historic creeds, confessions, and doctrinal statements, and moreover his social and cultural beliefs are well within the conservative Christian consensus. They are looking at the fact that Rick Warren professes the right beliefs alone while overlooking – willfully I might add – that Warren’s authority for his beliefs are none other than Warren himself. (And yes, that does explain why despite his profession of orthodox beliefs his actions are so disturbing.) They do this because in their evaluating Warren – and more importantly their deciding what to do (or what not to do) about him – their authority is the fundamentalist or evangelical consensus. They are already tolerating things that are abiblical or questionably Biblical within their own spheres. So long as it remains in their sphere, it is fine. So Warren is just something else. Admit it: Warren falls right within the fundamental or evangelical spectrum. And as long as he does, there is no need for anyone whose authority is the fundamental or evangelical consensus instead of or in addition to the Bible to oppose him in any meaningful way.

Here is the irony. Suppose Warren were to come out and say that abortion and homosexuality are the state’s business or the culture’s business that have nothing to do with the church. That the church should mind its own affairs, which is to win converts and disciple new members, and let the state and culture manage theirs. Now such a position would be far closer to the New Testament writings and what the New Testament figures actually seems to have practiced than the many peculiarities of fundamental or evangelical Christianity. Yet, were Warren to start promoting such an idea, that would be when some prominent Christians would have occasion to oppose the fellow. Why? Because the idea that Christians should find some active means of opposing the drift and tide of our government and culture away from the traditions and norms of the past is well within the fundamental or evangelical mainstream, so stating that the Body of Christ should concentrate its energies on Jesus Christ’s sheep, both lost and found, would place Warren out of this mainstream despite the very real possibility that such a position may be Biblical. (At the very least, the position would be worthy of serious reflection, study of scriptures, and doctrinal debate.) So, by remaining nominally anti – abortion and anti – homosexuality (nominal in that he makes public statements to that effect, but don’t expect to see him at a pro – life rally or handing out gospel tracts at a gay pride event very often) Warren basically remains in the evangelical or fundamental good graces no matter what else he does. How can fundamentalists and evangelicals oppose Warren’s deviations when they have or suffer other ones? It is only if your final authority is the Bible that you have the position to consistently oppose deviations, no matter who exhibits them and or what area the deviations exist. This is not to say that you will go around using that position on a constant basis because there is such a thing as Christian charity, humility, and a desire for unity that will cover a multitude of faults. But these things do not apply to people who because of a multitude of consistent errors in their statements and practices cannot truly be called Christians, and this is certainly the case with one Rick Warren.

That is why the little criticism of Warren that exists concerns his embrace of such things as environmentalism and global warming. Pardon me, but can you show me the Bible verses that command Christians to be anti – abortion anti – homosexuality activists and not anti – poverty pro – environmental activists? I have been through the Bible several times and seem to have overlooked them. Maybe the reason is that I mostly adhere to the King James Version, perhaps? Because what I have seen in my readings of the New Testament is Jesus Christ and the epistle writers speaking to the issues among believers. Their dealing with unbelievers was limited to sharing the gospel with them so that they might become believers. For homosexuality, disposing of unwanted children, and other forms of sin and immorality were pervasive throughout the heathen Roman Empire, yet the only thing that the New Testament manages to say about the world outside the church is Romans 13’s commandment to generally respect the government. Not transform the government (or the culture), mind you, just to respect it, as the Bible calls lawlessness and sedition sin.

Again, in this Warren is no different from the last generation’s Billy Graham. Around the time of the Vatican Council II, Billy Graham just up and decided that Roman Catholicism was perfectly fine. After that came a flood of other pronouncements from Graham, culminating in his statement to a major newsmagazine that he was no longer certain that Jesus Christ was the only way to heaven. (Please realize that such has been the position of the Roman Catholic Church since the Vatican Council II; Roman Catholicism is officially pluralist, even if conservative Catholics don’t like talking about it much.) So many fundamentalists and evangelicals declared themselves shocked at Graham’s statements. Why were they? Like Warren today, Graham had long been saying and doing worrisome things. And like Warren today, no one of any prominence was willing to rise up and take Graham on. So, Graham’s attack on the exclusivity of the gospel of Jesus Christ was just swept under the rug, just as everything else Graham said and did in rejection of the fact that the Bible declares Jesus Christ to be Lord. After all, can it be denied that the position of the Roman Catholic Church is that the church is lord on earth, and the pope is the head of the church? 

So really, this is not about Rick Warren or Barack Obama. It is about you. On what authority rests your faith? Is it based on received tradition? Is it based on reason, rationality, and proposition? Is it based on what you believe and decide to be right? Or is it based on the Bible? Now of course, I am fully aware that we worship God and not a book. (After all, the “New Testament church” – meaning the early, apostolic church – didn’t even have the complete New Testament in canonical form, but they most certainly had God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit!) But are not God’s Commandments to us contained within this book? And how can we say that God is Lord of our lives if we make His Commandments subservient to tradition, reason, or the imaginations and high things that exalts themselves against the knowledge of God of our own desperately wicked and deceitful above all things hearts? 

So worship a book? No. Worship and praise God by striving to obey the Bible? Yes. So what, then, are we to make of people who refuse to even try? Who make excuses for this refusal for themselves and for others? Well, to be honest, that is just business as usual, as most of the epistles were indeed letters describing how to view and deal just such people in local congregations, and before those the law, the prophets, and the writings of the Old Testament addressed those very same such people in Israel. 

So then, Christian, what business is yours? Is it the business of your God, your Savior, your Creator, your Lord? Or is it the business of the world, that is, business as usual? The answer to this question is determined by whether the Word of God is your ultimate authority.

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Catholics And Mormons Working Together And Defending Each Other. Interesting!

Posted by Job on November 5, 2008

Keep in mind: Roman Catholics consider Mormons to be just as Christian as Protestants. They also find Mormons more agreeable, and have a very similar worldview. As evangelicals move in an increasingly liberal direction, I expect Roman Catholics to increase their involvement with Mormons, and Mormons to use that increased activity to raise their profile and be more successful in converting people to the deception of freemason and studier of the occult Joseph Smith.

California Catholic Conference Condemns Outrageous Anti-Mormon Campaign Advertisement 

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