Monday, April 21, 2014

The Hill I Wish I Was Dying On *Update*

    The response to my last blog post has been overwhelming to put it mildly. Here are some of the reviews:

"Great! Thank you so much for writing this!"
"You are an idiot."
"This blessed me tremendously to read."
"You are wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin."
"Evans loves Jesus. You hate grace."
"I wish more women would speak out against Rachel Held Evans like you have done. May this be the beginning."

  Surprising? No, of course not.

   Firstly, to clarify, I did not anywhere in my letter to RHE (seriously, she has great initials guys) assume that homosexuality is "so much worse" than any other sin. To see that in my post is to read that in to the post. The thesis of my post is that RHE does not give a hoot about scriptural authority and I used her support for gay Christianity to substantiate my claim (the Bible is fairly clear on God's view of homosexuality). I could have used her hatred for the roles of men and women in marriage to demonstrate that she does not hold fast to Word of God, but in light of the trending topics lately, I chose the former.

   Secondly, because of my firstly, I did not touch on the fact that there are brothers and sisters in the Lord today who struggle with same-sex attraction. I am not (for now) going to attempt to wax eloquent on that issue--Rosaria Butterfield has already done so, and you can be greatly edified by her book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. Wanna read about God's grace? Rosaria was a lesbian who came to know the Lord through a pastor who invited her in to his home. He respected her. He was kind to her. He spoke with her. But he did not try to "love" her by lying to her about her sin. And now we all have this awesome testimony of God's grace in Rosaria's life, and a new sister in Christ.

   Thirdly, it is my high view of God's grace (and low view of man) that allows me to speak boldly about the preciousness of God's word. You cannot, absolutely cannot, love a sinner by encouraging them in their sin, which is exactly what Rachel Held Evans does. It is so saddening that because our society demands that we approve of homosexuality, this mindset is creeping into the church. It is creeping in to the church because Christians are willing to compromise. I will not compromise. I will not not call sin "sin" because the world will call me hateful. I've been promised hate (John 15:18). I've seen plenty of it just today!

  I cannot bring the truth to bear on RHE's heart. I cannot bring the truth to bear on anyone's heart. The Spirit of God does that, and He does it through the preaching and hearing of his Word.

  I have shared the Gospel with a few of my friends who are homosexual. I sympathize with RHE on one point: sometimes it can be difficult to get through to them that I don't hate them. But that is not because Christians or churches or the Bible universally spews "hatred" (whatever that word means anymore!) to gays--it is because our culture tells the LGBT community that we hate them.
    Once I break down the barrier with my gay friends that I do not hate them, I give them the best news I can possibly give them: I'm a sinner, too, and I get to spend all of eternity with the Creator of the universe. Then I give them the bad news: the Bible says that they won't be. Those that Christ has died for and redeemed to himself don't live in sin anymore. Yes, it's a process. Yes, as long as we are in these earthly bodies, we will sin over and over and over and over. BUT God has given us the Spirit, by which we can fight sin, and by which we can truly repent of our sins! We are not in bondage to our sin! Our lives are marked by the fruit of knowing God!

   I love sharing this news with my gay friends. I love telling them that they are not "special." It seems they have this perception that we Christians are out to get them because our weird ancient scrolls tell us to do so. Sorry, gays, you're not! My holy book says that if it wasn't for Christ, you and I would be in the exact same boat going the exact same place, whether or not it's cause one of us is gay and one of us is a liar!

   Anyway, I really did not mean to make this all about homosexuality. The bone to pick here is scriptural authority and sufficiency. You see, once that has been established, once a love for the truth of God's Word captivates your soul, there is no going back. There is no seeking to fit it into the cultural mindframe. There is no seeking to twist it and make it more palatable to the reader. There is no attempt to assign fluidity to what the Creator has called a rock. That, so to speak, is a hill I'll gladly die on.

The comment section has been closed at this time.
It is very likely that any objections, snark, insults, praise, questions,
and general comments have likely already been made,
so feel free to go through and find yours, and live vicariously through others.
Until next time I start a controversy by defending the authority of Scripture,

Dear Rachel Held Evans, *update*

           A couple months ago, I wrote a blog in response to the whirlwind of media attention Miley Cyrus had been receiving. At the time, all kinds of groups were coming out to condemn or condone her sexually explicit behavior both on and off the stage. For me, it was simple: Miley Cyrus, like much of our Western culture, has bought in to a secular humanistic worldview that reduces her worth to that of an animal and so it should not be surprising that she often acts as such.

     You see, Cyrus “suppresses the truth” (Rom 1:18) that she is created in God’s image, and as a created being she has a Creator whose rules she must live by. Because she has been created in God’s image, this truth is written on her heart and thus she must live every day in denial of her rebellion to God’s law (Rom 1: 21-22). It is not difficult to see the great lengths she (and everyone else who represses God’s law) goes to in order to distract herself from her guilt.

     I do not fear Miley Cyrus. When I pray to God for my daughter’s future salvation, the influence of Miley Cyrus is rarely (albeit not never) what I pray for God to protect her from. I plan on doing my job as a parent and, by God’s grace, instructing my daughter in the way she should go. What this means is that by the time she is twelve years old and wants to buy her first music album, regardless of the eternal state of her soul, she will be able to see the cover artwork on Miley Cyrus’s albums and know that this young woman belongs to, and approves of, the world.

     Who I fear, Rachel, is you.

     You see, you look like a Christian. You talk about Jesus and love and God’s word. You claim faith in Christ. You dress appropriately, you are an engaging speaker, a compelling author, and you seem unashamed to share your faith. On a surface level—the only level that perhaps my young daughter or the thousands of readers who visit your blog every day can discern—you seem legit. In a nutshell, you are a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

     As you have said in your blog,

“For many years, I felt that part of my call as a writer and blogger of faith was to be a different sort of evangelical, to advocate for things like gender equality, respect for LGBT people, and acceptance of science and biblical scholarship within my community.”

     Rachel, if you feel that this is your calling, then your calling is from the world and not God. It is not Jesus’s example you are following, but that of the culture you live in. I can hear all about gender equality and the issues facing the LGBT community by turning on CNN or reading Rolling Stone or various sundry other godless news outlets and blogs. What the world needs, both the believer and unbeliever, is to hear the call of Christ and His truth. This is not what you deliver when you concern yourself with sounding like the world.

     It makes me sad that you are a leading voice in the evangelical movement because I see no evidence in any of your writing that you honor God above men. Your worldview aligns with our culture, which is in complete opposition to Jesus’s teachings. Your worldview over-values feeling and emotion and has sacrificed truth on the altar of “being nice.”

     Most disconcerting (although your view on womanhood is extremely troublesome as well) is your hearty approval of homosexuality. If you truly respected, loved, and cared for those in the homosexual community, you would follow Jesus’s example of pointing them to their need for a savior. Instead, you follow the example of those described in Romans 1, who approve of the sin of others. Your message is that you can be both gay and Christian, and seek to eisegete your way out of the clear message of the New Testament, which is that to engage in homosexuality is to sin.

     You have also bought into the culture’s ideology that to disagree with those who practice homosexuality is to disrespect them. I disagree with those who steal, and would urge them not to steal, but this does not mean that I hate them. Rachel, it is society that urges you to approve of sin and all else will be considered hate; God’s word has a different message. Truly, to love someone is to correct them. 2 Timothy 3 tells us that God’s word is sufficient for reproof and correction. If “reproof” is the same as “hate” in your worldview, where does that leave the Bible? The world would say that the Bible’s view on sin is harsh. The world would say that a God who would condemn people to eternal punishment for their sin is hateful. Where does that leave you?

     God is an exclusivist. He is not a “however you want it” God. He calls himself THE way and THE truth. To love this God is to love His truth. Truth, by definition, necessitates a singularity. If something is true, all others that diverge from that truth are untrue. God is not half-true. He’s not sometimes right. He is always right, always just, and always Holy. What you claim is a worldview that diverges from the one clearly laid out in God’s Word. This means that your worldview is not only un- Christian, it is false.

     You are not loving your homosexual friends by applauding their life lived in sin. The message of the world—which you have bought in to—is that you must approve of their sin to love and respect them. The message of the Bible is that those who live in sin have nothing to look forward to but an eternity in hell; but a holy, just God poured out his wrath on Jesus Christ in our place and those who repent of their sin and believe in Him will have all of their guilt washed away. That is the most loving message you can give to the homosexual community. That is the message that Jesus brought to the homosexual, the thief, and the liar. If you love Christ, then you must follow Christ’s example instead of the world’s.

     Maybe I have sounded harsh. Maybe you’re thinking, “Seriously, I’m more offensive than Miley Cyrus?” No, thankfully I will never have to screen you for sexually explicit content. Thankfully I’ll probably never have to worry about visiting your blog and being bombarded with inappropriate material that I would not want my child or husband to see, and I thank you for that. So maybe it’s not “nice” to call you a wolf in sheep’s clothing. But Rachel, I do not take the Word of God lightly. It is sufficient, and it is good. In Matthew 7, Jesus speaks of those who outwardly appear to love Him and inwardly do not know him. It is Jesus who speaks clearly and stringently against false prophets, those that would lead the sheep astray, and He calls them wolves. By aligning your values with the values of the world and calling them good, you are leading your followers astray. You look like a Christian, you speak like a Christian, you even sometimes sound like a Christian, but your love for the approval of the world speaks of your inward state more loudly than your widely-read blog ever could.

     If you are my sister in Christ, then I urge you to repent of your disregard for the authority and sufficiency of Scripture to teach us what is right and what is wrong. If you are not my sister in Christ, then my prayer is that you will shed the sheep’s clothing, be granted repentance and receive such a sweet, beautiful faith in Christ that will eventually lead to no confusion about what truth and love are. Until then, you will remain on my list of women’s influence to steer my daughter away from, right next to Miley Cyrus.

The comment section has been closed at this time.
It is very likely that any objections, snark, insults, praise, questions,
and general comments have likely already been made,
so feel free to go through and find yours, and live vicariously through others.

Until next time I start a controversy by defending the authority of Scripture,