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