A Time for Choosing

A Time for Choosing

 

In Jeremiah 26 we read an account of Jeremiah standing before the Temple preaching the word of the Lord to the people of Judah. He did this because the Lord commanded it so:

“Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak to all the cities of Judah that come to worship in the house of the Lord all the words that I command you to speak to them; do not hold back a word.” – Jeremiah 26:2

Notice the Lord’s command was not only to speak, but to speak everything – not to hold back a single word of God’s commands.

We never have the option of truncating or soft-selling God’s word. Our job is not to make it palatable but to make it clear. Unfortunately when you do that, people don’t like it.

In Jeremiah’s case, they wanted to kill him:

“When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the Lord and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the Lord. Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears.” – Jeremiah 26:10-11

This will always be the result of sharing the truth of God’s word with a lost and dying world. They will not only not like you for it, they will in some cases actively seek to do you harm.

The problem with much of the church today is we can’t handle that. We want everyone to like us. We’ve confused loving people with making them feel good about themselves. And, as much as we say we do this out of a desire not to offend or to be loving, the reality is we do it for ourselves because we worship the idol of popularity and being liked. We are people pleasers (Galatians 1:10) rather than people lovers.

When we present God’s word and get the reaction Jeremiah got (or that Jesus got, for that matter), we think we’ve done something wrong when, in fact, we’ve done something right. We measure our effectiveness by people’s reactions rather than by our faithfulness to the message of scripture. We think by softening the edges or not speaking of things like sin or God’s wrath and judgment we will obtain a hearing for the gospel. But, with no understanding of sin or God’s wrath there can be no understanding of the gospel.

The irony is, the more we try to be inoffensive, the more we compromise with the world, the more they dislike us – because nothing short of complete capitulation will satisfy the wicked.

That’s the choice we have, complete capitulation or faithfulness to the word of God. If our goal is to be honored by the world, we must choose the first, if our goal is to honor God we must choose the second. There is no in between. We must either be cold or hot (Revelation 3:15).

The Christian life is difficult. That’s a promise from the Lord (John 16:33). If we seek to make it easy and non-confrontational, we will end up being unfaithful. But, if we stand firm in the face of opposition and are uncompromising on the truth of the gospel, the reward is great (Matthew 5:11-12).

The time has come for the church of Jesus Christ to choose this day whom they will serve.

 

Photo credit: Sebastian Anthony via Visual hunt / CC BY-ND

In Which I Decide What To Do When I Grow Up

OK, if anything needs a trigger warning it’s probably this. However, you should watch it anyway to see the depths to which our culture has sunk. That LGBT+ slope ain’t a bit slippery.

This is a 52 year old man who not only “identifies” as a woman but also as a six year old girl. He’s actually found some people crazy enough to bring him into their home along side their own children and be his “mummy and daddy.” Continue reading “In Which I Decide What To Do When I Grow Up”

The Vestigial Nature of Moments of Silence

When tragedy strikes, nothing is more ubiquitous than calling for a “moment of silence.” In times past, we understood our powerlessness in the face of tragedy and so turned to One who was not powerless to make sense of it. In other words, we prayed. Now, however, prayer is out of the question. Prayer implies we are not in control. Prayer implies we are not the highest authority. Prayer implies, well, that God exists and we can’t have that.

So, instead, we have come up with this vestigial act that looks like prayer but is not. Something we can all participate in that seems spiritual without really being so and, most importantly, that won’t offend anyone.

I don’t do moments of silence. Having a moment of silence in response to tragedy is like choosing a Matchbox car to get you to work. It may look like the real, functioning counterpart but in reality it is powerless to help you.

We should either admit God is there and we need him or admit that he’s not and that tragic events have no rhyme, reason or purpose. They are in fact not really tragic because nothing is good, bad or indifferent if there is no God – everything just is. And if that is so, why should we stop our lives for even a moment to be quiet simply because stuff happened?

 

Why (Insert Group Name Here) Leave the Church

You’ve seen the blog posts and articles – why group X is leaving the church, men, millennials, college students, teens, etc.

Can I just say something? I’m tired of that approach. There are two and only two reasons people “give up on the church” no matter their demographic:

  • They are immature Christians. (Hebrews 5:12)
  • They were not Christians to start with. (I John 2:19, 3:10)

Listen to what God’s Word says about the importance of the church to the Lord and, by extension, to His people:

  • Christ died for the church, not for a collection of autonomous individuals. (Ephesians 5:25, Acts 20:28)
  • The church is Christ’s bride (Revelation 21:2)
  • The church is Christ’s body (Colossians 1:24)
  • The church is God’s plan to sanctify His people (I Corinthians 12, Ephesians 5:26-27)
  • The church is God’s plan to evangelize the lost (Matthew 28:18-20)
  • The church glorifies God to all creation (Ephesians 3:10)

Someone who does not see the church as essential to the Christian life is not viewing life through the lens of scripture, not viewing life from the perspective of one transformed by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to deny that sometimes one must leave a particular local congregation. However, a mature Christian will always seek another local expression of the Body of Christ with which to affiliate, no matter how difficult or hurtful their experience at a specific local church. Being part of a church is what Christians do. To say I’m a Christian who has given up on the church is like saying I’m a husband who has given up living with my wife. “Husband” implies relationship with the wife. “Christian” implies relationship with the church.

So next time you see an article on “5 Reasons Why Duck Hunters in the Midwest Leave the Church,” you can save yourself some reading: they are leaving because they are either immature Christians or not Christians at all.

 

Warning: Political Correctness May be Hazardous to Your Health

Warning: Political Correctness may be hazardous to your healthRecently in suburban Atlanta, a real estate agent was attacked by someone while showing them a property. While this occasionally happens, there’s a twist to this story:

“What she did notice about the suspect was he was a male wearing women’s clothing and a woman’s wig,” said Cpl. Michelle Pihera with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Ten years ago, a real estate agent arriving for a showing to find a man dressed in women’s clothing and a wig would likely not have gone through with the showing and perhaps even called the police. It’s clear the woman in this case was uncomfortable because she would not enter the house with the person. But why didn’t she simply leave without showing the house when faced with what any reasonable person would consider a red flag?  Ever hear of a bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa?”  I suspect the agent did not believe canceling the showing was an option because she was afraid of being accused of bigotry. I can see the headlines now: “Local real estate agent accused of discrimination after refusing to show house to transgender woman.” This is where we are as a culture. You will accept, no, celebrate, that man in a dress who walks into the women’s restroom or the women’s locker room at your health club else you are a transphobic bigot.

Now that a very small minority of homosexual activists has succeeded in hijacking our culture to the land of alternate reality with regard to marriage, an even smaller minority of “transgenders” is seeking to take us further inland. People are so afraid of crossing these gender confused storm troopers that recently a college newspaper included a disclaimer when saying menstruation is a woman’s issue lest they offend “men” who menstruate or “women” who don’t. And Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro was recently threatened with bodily harm for refusing to play along with Bob Tur’s fantasy that he’s a woman.

I predict we’ll see more instances like this. People wanting to be tolerant or who are afraid of running afoul of the diversity police will ignore the warning bell in their head and end up in a dangerous situation. The danger is particularly acute for women (real ones) since the nature of the “transgender” dynamic is that men posing as women now have unchallenged access to venues previously limited to women only.

We need a return to sanity in the public square. We need people to stand up and say with regard to the “transgender” movement that we will not subordinate common sense, basic modesty and public safety to the confused feelings of a tiny subset of society.