Archive for October, 2016

An indictment of the Christian right

October 17, 2016

The Christian Right has become as worldly and polluted as the Christian Left.

 

By your actions in Campaign 2016, you have harmed all of our witness. You have made it more difficult to save the lost and more difficult to protect the rights of faithful believers. You have dragged down the reputation of penitent heroes of the Bible to justify the sins of Donald Trump.

 

You made Christianity partisan instead of holy.

 

Christians should be known by our love, but you have sown division, hatred, and apologies for sin. You have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. You have made an idol of your politics and worship it as a religion. You have allowed bad company to corrupt your good morals.

 

The harm you have done at a time Christianity is under assault will echo through the coming decades. Instead of putting your trust in the real savior, you went looking for an earthly savior and shackled yourselves to him.

 

Erick Erickson has done a great job here indicting the Christian Right for making faith in Jesus partisan and for seeking a political victory. “My only hope is that as he sinks down that you remain shackled to him as well and drown in your own irrelevance that Christians in America can be surrounded and supported now by the right Christians instead of the Christian Right,” says Erickson toward the end. If by that he means that the sham of the  Christian Right  and their leadership will or should be judged for what they’ve done–instead of promoting the gospel–then I agree.

There have been a few bright spots in this awful campaign cycle. I remember when Russell Moore, President of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, responded when Trump called him a “nasty guy”. With a national audience listening, Moore presented a simple, bold witness in the midst of this chaotic political process. It made my heart sing. Jeffress, Falwell, Dobson, and Graham should take note.

http://www.snappytv.com/tc/1892738

http://theresurgent.com/an-open-letter-to-the-christian-right/

An Open Letter to the Christian Right

By  |  October 14, 2016, 12:42am

I am an evangelical Christian. I believe scripture is the inerrant word of God. I believe that when scripture speaks with authority on a subject, it is accurate even though it sometimes forces me to confront seeming contradictions. I believe in one triune God who through the person of Jesus Christ has delivered me from sin and will return to judge the quick and dead.

But I no longer believe in you.

While there are many right thinking Christians in the United States, the Christian Right has become as worldly and polluted as the Christian Left. Liberal Christianity in the United States has found that God is ever changing. His pronouncements on homosexuality have evolved. The application of the Bible need not be taken literally. And sin itself must be affirmed. Now the Christian Right does the same. It ignores admonitions of the Bible. It excuses the sins of those on the team.

To be clear, when I say Christian Right, I mean the political organizations that agitate for Christian values in Washington, D.C., not the conservative Christians in America struggling through their lives. I do not mean the mission focused biblically based organizations spread across America. I mean the remnant of the Moral Majority, which still seeks to exercise influence on behalf of Christians in Washington, D.C.

By your actions in Campaign 2016, you have harmed all of our witness. You have made it more difficult to save the lost and more difficult to protect the rights of faithful believers.
You have dragged down the reputation of penitent heroes of the Bible to justify the sins of Donald Trump.

You have dismissed claims of sexual assault against Donald Trump.

You have subverted and perverted the Word to justify and excuse the behavior of a man who finds it acceptable to degrade others and revel in sexual sin.

You have taken the story of Jesus protecting a woman from stoning and twisted it into an admonition that we should not hold Donald Trump accountable for sexual harassment lest we be “judging” him.

You have ridiculed the motives of the women who have come forward and in some cases mocked these women created in the image of God solely for political gain.

You have defended Donald Trump as partisans, not as Christians.

You have openly embraced a man who revels in sin and failed to publicly call him to repent.

You have made binary a choice that involves the weight of daily faith and determined that one evil should be chosen over another. Then you had the audacity to declare it God’s will instead of relying on God.

You made Christianity partisan instead of holy.

You should be ashamed.

How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?

Donald Trump is going to lose the White House now and through you he has dragged down all of us. When Christians of good faith and conscience stand up now to defend religious liberty, who will take us seriously? You championed a man who does not respect the First Amendment. You championed a man who implied that he, not Christ, will make Christianity great again.

When Christians argue for a moral basis of law, who will take us seriously? You, the media adorned face of Christianity in America, rallied to a man who revels in sin. You dismissed sexual assault claims because you did not want to harm your chances of getting secular, worldly power.

When Christians argue that we should, in the future, have a moral leader, who will take us seriously after you so quickly whored yourselves to Donald Trump?

When Christians take a bold stand, how will anyone assume the motivation is pure when you’ve been taking money from Trump? How will people know that this next time you are not bought and paid for?

We live in an age of increased cynicism toward faith and increased hostility toward Christians. By standing with a man who makes a mockery of faith, who revels in sin, and who calls himself a Christian, but has never felt the need to repent, you have exacerbated secular stereotypes of the Church in America. You have provided all the ammunition the secular world needs to question our motives, our beliefs, and our aspirations.

And yet you have no shame and refuse to acknowledge the damage you have done by excusing a man accused of sexual assault.

Christians should be known by our love, but you have sown division, hatred, and apologies for sin. You have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. You have made an idol of your politics and worship it as a religion. You have allowed bad company to corrupt your good morals.

The harm you have done at a time Christianity is under assault will echo through the coming decades. Instead of putting your trust in the real savior, you went looking for an earthly savior and shackled yourselves to him.

My only hope is that as he sinks down that you remain shackled to him as well and drown in your own irrelevance that Christians in America can be surrounded and supported now by the right Christians instead of the Christian Right.

Let the wicked be put to shame; let them go silently to Sheol.

Shame on you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Let Us Change the World Rather Than Be Changed by the World

October 17, 2016

http://townhall.com/columnists/michaelbrown/2016/10/14/people-of-god-let-us-change-the-world-rather-than-be-changed-by-the-world-n2232389

This article in Townhall was encouraging to me as a Christian evangelical seeing numerous believers choosing to justify, excuse and minimize candidates’ behavior and conduct, and was a reminder as to what we are called to do.

As sons and daughters of God through faith in Jesus the Messiah, we have been given wonderful promises by God, but with those promises comes responsibility.

 

As the world around us is plunging into sexual anarchy and madness, let us swim against this polluting tide, determining, with God’s help, that rather than the world changing us, we will change the world.

 

People of God, Let Us Change the World Rather Than Be Changed by the World

 

Michael Brown
|
Posted: Oct 14, 2016 1:23 PM
People of God, Let Us Change the World Rather Than Be Changed by the World

 

In front of our eyes, America is descending into vulgarity, lewdness, crudeness, and profanity. In front of our eyes, things which should not be spoken of in private are being shouted across the airwaves, and there seems to be almost no way to escape the bombardment of filth.

At times like this, those of us who love and fear the Lord need to be careful that we too don’t descend into this trashiness, paying careful attention lest we become desensitized and hardened along with the rest of the culture.

I don’t know if it can be demonstrated statistically, but many people believe that President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky had a negative effect on the nation as a whole, in particular, among young people, who learned that one particular sexual act did not constitute “having sex.”

Today, with the daily attacks on Donald Trump’s past and the daily reminders of Bill Clinton’s past, with websites blasting out the most salacious headlines and with newscasters shamelessly talking about shameful things – all this by the minute and by the hour – we run the risk of being polluted by the world’s corruption without even knowing it, just like a non-smoker comes out of a smoke-filled room smelling like smoke but doesn’t even realize it.

This is a time to remember the words of Jacob (James) who wrote, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (Jas. 1:27).

By all means, let us “visit orphans and widows in their affliction,” and by all means, let us keep ourselves “unstained from the world.”

Last week, I posted a video expressing my grief and sadness over professing Christians who minimized so-called “locker room” talk, referring specifically to the horrific sexual comments made by Donald Trump back in 2005.

But my focus was not on Trump.

My focus was on Christians saying, “It’s no big deal. All of us do things like that.”

There were even Christian women who said, “Hey, I hear that from my husband and sons.”

Seriously? No big deal? The kind of stuff most men and boys engage in? What kind of rubbish is that?

Followers of Jesus claiming that crass, despicable, crude, degrading talk about women is no big deal, even for themselves? Followers of Jesus calling me self-righteous and a liar if I don’t admit to engaging in similar talk? What kind of deception are they living in?

In response to my video, one individual wrote, “I guess Dr. Brown never says or minimizes anything inappropriate! Maybe Dr. Brown takes the opposite side of this issue to generate controversy for his Youtube Channel.”

Another wrote, “Dr. Brown, I’m sure you have said even worst, and you don’t fool anybody; you’re no better.”

What kind of world are these people living in?

It’s true that I’ve been following Jesus for the last 45 years, but my teen years were anything but holy, to the point that I was shooting heroin at the age of 15 and even broke into a doctor’s office to steal drugs for fun. I hung around with some pretty despicable and even dangerous people, and I had a miserably foul mouth.

But even then, the level of “locker room” talk heard on that tape was not something I engaged in (maybe because I wasn’t a star with that kind of access to women, even though I was filthy?).

Either way, the past is not the issue, not for me, not for you, not for Trump, not for Clinton, as long as we have asked God and people for forgiveness, as long as we have made things right, and as long as we are putting the past behind us by living new, transformed lives.

The issue, then, is how we are living today.

The issue is what we think about, what we talk about, and what we do today.

The issue is the purity of our hearts and the purity of our lips and the purity of our actions – and make no mistake about it, we are called to purity. And purity is downright beautiful.

This is how the Lord calls us to live (and this is just one relevant passage out of many; I encourage you to read it slowly, out loud, several times over):

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.

“For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light . . .” (Eph. 5:1-8).

Yes, we used to be darkness, but now, in Jesus, we are light. Let us walk as children of light!

As sons and daughters of God through faith in Jesus the Messiah, we have been given wonderful promises by God, but with those promises comes responsibility. That’s why Paul wrote, “Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Cor. 7:1, NIV).

As the world around us is plunging into sexual anarchy and madness, let us swim against this polluting tide, determining, with God’s help, that rather than the world changing us, we will change the world.