When the State becomes a false teacher

 

The title says it all. The supreme court’s decision regarding the legal marriage of homosexuals did not have a benign result. All parties were passionate according to their position on the matter. We as christians expect that. What do not expect is this:

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Lets be clear, no christian should waste any time being upset because the world behaves like the world. It is what they are and it is what they do. However, the government of the United States represents everyone in her country. The leaders today knew very well that this decision would be highly contested and controversial for some people especially in the christian community. This picture was planned way ahead of the supreme court’s decision in order to make and undeniable statement. Most importantly, this picture is a position. Don’t be a fool and think this picture is a celebration in support of something. It is a slam dunk, in your face, end zone celebration Richard Sherman style of the defeat against the christian church. I could bring up all the times obama has criticized the christian church but I can sum it all up with this: Obama was talking about grace and singing “amazing grace” at the funerals of those poor people who were murdered in South Carolina. 7 pm later that day, he arrived back at the white house in time for it to lit up with rainbow colors. So what we have here is someone who preaches about the grace of God in the day and is actively supporting what is directly contrary to God in the night. You can see him singing amazing grace here:

This brings up a new situation for us as Americans in the history of this country. What happens when the government of the United States becomes so large that it has to take a position, on either the side of the church, or the world? This is the fact, (although I consider roman Catholicism a false gospel) The pope is becoming more leftist and political and the government is becoming more and more the decider of morality. When these two come together against the conservative evangelical Christians, be prepared for persecution. That is where we are headed.

So now what? What do we do as Christians? First of all, we need to breathe and remind ourselves that God is working out His plan. He is sovereign, He holds the leaders of this world in the palm of His hands. Nobody is getting away with anything. The world leaders, the supreme court judges, and us will all stand before Jesus Christ and will give an account for every action, thought and notion of heart before Him and His righteous judgement. We have to remember the apostle Paul’s sermon to those Athenians so long ago:

Acts 17:21-23
(21) (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)
(22) So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.
(23) “For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.
 What Paul is saying here is; although these Athenians worship several different gods, they were convinced that behind all of these other gods was the most powerful god directing all the other gods. Paul makes the point that he knows the unknown God they are so ignorant about. He says: 

Acts 17:24-25
(24) “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;
(25) nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

Although Paul is preaching to these Athenians, this is to us as well. God holds everything in His hands. The very breath and life and everything else comes from Him. Paul continues :

Acts 17:26
(26) and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

Do you see what this apostle is saying? This verse is self-evident. Do not fear God is truly in control and although horrible things are happening all around us, (and I believe much worse is on the way) we can rest assured that the God who sent His Son to die for us is the One who is in control. I encourage you to read this rest of this apostle’s sermon. But I must move on.

One has to ask himself/herself, what is happening around me? It should be clear that God has withdrawn Himself for this country. Unless He, in His mercy decides pour out His Spirit, we will go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah. Someone will say to me,”Kyle, I can deal with you calling Catholicism a false gospel, I can deal with your political negativity, but this is going to far!” Well, give me a second to explain. Read Romans chapter 1 and then come back to me, and we can discuss whether I was right or wrong in that statement. Look at the preaching nowadays. Its watered down, fluffy, and full of liberal psychology. Preachers are always talking about making decisions and following Christ. Do you know how absurd that is?! What fellowship does darkness have with light? Thats like saying, “make the decision to grow wings and fly everywhere from now on”. Its impossible. Something must change before you decide to follow Christ! Its called repentance. Its what the apostles preached. Repentance is why Christ died on the cross, so there could be a way to reconcile sinful man to God. The apostles preached that men were “under the wrath of God”-Romans chapter 1. Nowadays, talking about judgement and the wrath of God is not a very unpopular subject. Especially in psychology. It is not interested in making people feel worse about themselves. The evidence of God withdrawing His Spirit is clearly seen in the severe lack of biblical preaching. Very few preachers will give a sermon exegetically. Do you think a joel osteen would be popular amongst the puritans? Do you think Spurgeon, Whitefield and even Wesley would have anything to do with most of the modern preachers? I seriously doubt that.

The conclusion is, unless God does a miraculous work, we headed for dark times. Those dark times may lead to the church preaching against the government and the government persecuting the church. But we should never be in fear, no matter what happens in this brief life on earth. God is in control and if we are truly christian, we are the very adopted sons and daughters of the most high God and nothing can or will separate us from Him. Just like what the apostle says:

Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:33-39)

 

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Victims of the Church

     It’s a contradiction of terms. How can anyone be a victim of the church of Christ? Yet there seems to be a very popular concept that there is such a thing. We’ve all run into them before. They make claims to know all about the bible, and the teachings of Christ. Then they start the stories, it usually starts with “I used to believe but now the reason I don’t is……” or “The reason I don’t go to church is…..”. They are easy to feel sorry for. They draw upon the emotions. They tell heart breaking stories of abuse, but we must never forget exactly what they are. They are non-believers. I’ve found in many cases that they ultimately blame God and therefore hate Him. The atheist’s problem is he believes there is no such thing as God, but the victim of the church believes that there is a God, they just do not love Him. They seem to tie all their misfortunes to Him and not to sin. The Apostle Paul gives us the exact diagnosis for these people. In Romans chapter 8 he says this of them “The mind set on the flesh is hostile towards God”. This is a powerful statement. “Hostile” is a potent word, but I think it is most accurate. The victims always place God in an unwinnable situation. We saw it in Ferguson,Missouri. If the police were to send a massive force to stop the destruction and rioting, they would be portrayed as a suppressive force. If the police send a smaller force, to allow people’s freedom of expression, they would be portrayed as not caring for the people of Ferguson for letting the town burn. It is the same for the victim of the church. If He/she is confronted with love of God and the gospel of Christ, they want to know where God was when they were poor struggling to make ends meet. If you tell them about the wrath of God and His righteous judgment of sin, they ask “where is the compassion for the poor sinner”. Some may not be as direct, they will tell you a horrific story of a cheating pastor or a stealing deacon and finish it with “I’m just not over this, I am not ready”. If we as Christians ever let them off the hook because of some tragic story, you are doing a great disservice to Christ. While many will disagree with what I am saying, ask yourself this: did Christ abuse this person? Could the One who loves us and died for us, the One who justifies the ungodly, be the cause of abuse? Then why are you allowing them to place the blame on Christ? The typical argument against this is, “well the person was a leader in the church, He/She was a mentor etc…..” I’m here to tell you that that logic is flawed and garbage. The bible time and time again warns of false prophets and anti-Christs. In fact, I can and will make the argument that although it may be an unfortunate experience, you should thank God for it. Why thank God? Because He has shown you that you have a false belief. He is showing you that you were never a Christian to begin with. How can I know this? Because if someone else’s faith crashes and your faith crashes with them, your faith was never in Christ. You never had a faith at all, it was a conditional belief that rested upon the other person. You see, the bible teaches of a real faith that is given by God and it results in an incredibly intimate relationship between Christ and the Christian. It’s a union that the Apostle Paul describes as a marriage. That marriage is between Christ and the individual, Not Christ, the pastor and the Christian. How do I know this? Because God gives His Spirit to every individual Christian. Beware of excusing these people, they are dead to God. You can expect an immense amount of anger from them when you challenge their basis of unbelief. I see it all the time with PTSD. We are all supposed to excuse behaviors of veterans because of PTSD. However, I am a veteran, while PTSD may be a real phenomenon, it cannot be blamed for the individual giving in to it. We don’t go around allowing our emotions and feelings dictate our actions. There are repercussions for that and if you do not enforce those repercussions due to PTSD then you are only giving it strength. It is the same for unbelief. While we as Christians certainly feel angry about the abuses of the church, we must never allow that as an acceptable excuse for unbelief. Paul says “the wages of sin is death”, does that only apply to those who have heard good teaching, brought up in the perfect Christian home, and studied Christ in a Christian school? Of course not, that is for all men, abused and non-abused alike.  It is not our right to interpret this gospel through the eyes of psychology and philosophy. So, how do we deal with these people?

You deal with them with love and patience. Peter in chapter 3 says this: “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”. That’s it, nothing is more loving than telling someone the truth, but it must be done with “gentleness and reverence”. Now, allow me to break that down, “gentleness” is towards whom you are making a defense against. “Reverence” is towards God whom you are speaking of. I know this is somewhat of a controversial subject, it is not easily discussed, but it is a problem that is getting worse around the church of Christ. My only ambition is to remind good-hearted Christian people that there are people who will prey upon their loving heart and make them fellow justifiers of sin. It is a great disservice to the unbeliever and more importantly a great disservice to Christ. May God keep us from such evil. Amen