Monthly Archives: August 2016
The title of this commentary comes from an article I just read by Erick Erickson posted on his website, The Resurgent, of which I will share with you in a moment. .. Basically, he is addressing two specific controversial subjects as it relates to Christianity in today’s America – homosexuality & politics. .. There is no question that both of these subjects have created much discussion as to how our church community should be addressing them. .. For the sake of simplicity, allow me to break it down to two basic positions – the ‘literal, uncompromising fundamentalists’ (mainstream) & the other that believes ‘basic scripture needs to be adjusted in order to fit today’s ever-evolving society.’ (mainline) .. Sadly, at least for me, the latter is winning hands-down over the former, and the subjects of homosexuality & politics have played a huge role in this division. .. Now that we’ve established the premise, let me now share Mr. Erickson’s article …..
– Pressurized Sin –
“Christians differ on whether it is permissible, according to faith, to participate in gay marriage ceremonies. The ‘mainstream’ Christian view is that marriage is ordained by God between one man and one woman. .. Providing the goods and services for a gay wedding would be participating in sin.
“While Christians may disagree, it is commonly recognized by all Christians that to demand a Christian provide goods and services or otherwise participate in a gay marriage ceremony would be sinful. The reason comes from scripture. The apostle Paul wrote that pressuring a Christian to do something he believes is sinful is to commit a sin.
“The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God,” Paul writes at Romans 14:6-7. He concluded at verse 23 with, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
“If a Christian in good conscience believes that to engage in an act would be sinful, trying to pressure the Christian into an act would itself be sinful. This applies to nebulous matters not clearly addressed in scripture. Paul makes clear that there are things that are absolutely, indisputably sinful. “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the Church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’ ” (1 Corinthians 5:11-13)
“While many non-Christans quote “judge not lest ye be judged,” scripture makes it absolutely clear Christians are to judge those within the Church who are engaging in clear sin. If someone holds himself out as a Christian, but is unrepentant in sinning, other Christians are to shun him lest he reflect on the Church as a whole.
“Everything above is commonly accepted Christian orthodoxy. In Matters of no Biblical authority, if someone believes an act is sinful he should not be pressured into that sin. But those who believe it is sinful are not to judge those who think the act is not sinful. In matters that are absolutely, objectively in the Bible considered sinful, Christians are to judge their fellow Christian and disassociate from him unless he repents and turns from his sins.
“A lot of Christians who believe everything written above as it applies to gay marriage have come to the conclusion it does not apply to American politics. Right now there are Christians in America who believe they should not vote for a man who calls himself a Christian, brags about his affairs, and swindles the elderly and single moms out of money. These same Christians also believe they should not vote for a woman who supports the right to kill children.
“But other Christians are hell bent on pressuring these conscientious objectors into voting. Politics is not a subject from which one can remove one’s faith. There is no obligation in Christianity to vote. In fact, it is a rather good thing to not collaborate in the political process if doing so might prop up those who hold themselves out as Christians while openly celebrating sin. The right to not vote is as powerful as the right to vote and the most important thing is to not violate your conscience. We may all be sinners, but Christians do not endorse sins, they repent.
“If a person wants to vote in the Presidential election, let him. But if someone refuses because their conscience tells them none of the candidates are worthy to support, pressuring them to vote is as much as sin violating one’s own conscience. Our country is not eternal, but we are and will be called one day to account.” ———————————————————————————————-
Basically, I agree with most everything Mr. Erickson said in his article. .. I know its not easy sometimes to try & follow exactly what the Bible tells us, especially in an ever-evolving society, but also, I don’t believe it is optional. .. Sadly, many of our Churches & their leaders are going against this premise & are ‘adjusting’ the Word of God to fit today’s societal desires, and for obvious reasons — mainly popularity, fame, fortune, etc. .. Simply, society is evolving, and will continue to do so until God intervenes, but the Holy Scripture NEVER changes! … Nothing written in the 66 books of the Bible has an ‘optional clause.’ …
One more thing, I am so glad to hear a fellow Christian come out and say that the Christian leaders have no place in telling us that we must vote, even if it is ‘the lesser of two evils.’ .. So few have. .. Quite honestly, I’m really weary of the Christian ‘superstar’ pastors telling me that I’m sinning if I don’t vote! .. What?! .. Just to make it clear, I think that any of us who vote, or support in any way, anyone who openly professes issues that are clearly defined sinful in the Bible are going against God’s teachings. .. The bottom line is this – we who have been raised in this country have been brainwashed into thinking America is really the center of the universe and will ultimately be the savior of the world. .. This is called ‘Nationalism.’ .. While being loyal to your government is not necessarily wrong, as long as it doesn’t go against scripture, that’s fine. .. But to think that any government that is overseen by the carnal human nature can overcome the problems of the world are totally deceiving themselves. .. It has never worked in the 6,000 year history of man, & it never will. .. Simply, unless America, or any other nation for that matter, turns its face back to God, there is no hope .. and sadly neither candidate for President in this year’s election seems to represent that hope. .. Ultimately, a theocracy is just around the corner, and it will be the final government. .. Why? .. Because its leader will be King Jesus! .. Hallelujah! ..
In closing, I know that my position is in the vast minority of the American Christian thinking. .. In fact, in past commentaries, my biggest and most vehement opposition has come from the nationalistic-thinking brother or sister. .. But then, when has it ever been popular to profess the truths of scripture. .. In most cases, it is the ‘pick & choose’ Christianity that appeals to our ‘Laodicean’ (lukewarm) Church mentality of today. .. How tragic .. and dangerous! ..
Going forward, I will be earnestly praying for this nation & its leaders .. that they will turn their faces to the Almighty God. .. It certainly would ‘buy’ this nation some time which would allow more folks to hear the real truth of out Lord’s teachings before it is too late … I pray most of you will do the same. .. Why? .. because it’s Biblical! …
Until next time,