Friday, July 3, 2015

Apostasy: The Gaying of the Church

In 1997, City Church (Presbyterian Church of America – PCA) was planted in San Francisco to provide a biblical alternative. Fred Harrell and the church drew thousands! He also drew hundreds of thousands of dollars from supporting churches. However, this witness for Christ quickly became tarnished:

  • On March 13, 2005… members were shocked when Harrell and sex elders – two resigned – sent out a letter announcing that City Church “will no longer discriminate based on sexual orientation.” The letter made it clear that sexually active gay and lesbian couples in same-sex marriages could become church members. (Marvin Olasky, World Magazine, July 11, 2015, 33-34)
Harrell claimed that his beliefs had “evolved.” However, it couldn’t have been on the basis of biblical teaching, which gives no encouragement whatsoever to non-heterosexual sex. On top of this, there are many warnings that those who make a practice out of sin will face judgment:

  • If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7)
John follows this up with the assurance that we will be forgiven if we confess our sins (1 John 1:9). However, this is precisely what same-sex couples will not do and what the church has condoned in defiance of Scripture:

  • We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)
Does the homosexual lifestyle defy the commands of God? Clearly:

  • Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
When church membership is granted to active, unrepentant homosexuals, they are, in essence, told that they are accepted by God. Meanwhile, it is scripturally obvious that the unrepentant are not and have no place in the Kingdom of God:

  • For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:5-7)
By extending church membership to the unrepentant gay, we are now “partners.” We can no longer say, “You cannot promote homosexuality here,” or “You cannot provide leadership and influence our youth.”

Also, if the church makes this allowance for gays, to be consistent, it must also make such an allowance for all sinners. It also means that the church can no longer define what it is or what it stands for.

But are we actually loving the gays, when we throw open the doors of our church, telling them that they are fully acceptable before God? No! Instead, we are contributing to their damnation:

  • The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
If we love them, we must warn and plead with them to confess and repent of their sins, as we have. According to Jesus, confession and repentance are key:

  • Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:1-5)
Yes, warning causes hurt, but warning is essential. Many things cause hurt, like surgery to remove a cancer, but this is often essential. Jesus often warned:

  • "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matthew 7:21-23)
Warning is precisely what the apostate church is not doing. It is telling everyone that they are okay and will have peace and freedom. Yes, we must extend hope, but it must be a true hope. If instead, we extend an unbiblical hope, we become false teachers. Peter gives us a telling description of a false teachers:

  • These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. (2 Peter 2:17-21)
When we give membership to those who are unrepentant, we are telling the entire church that sin is okay. And when we do that with sexual sin, we unleash a tsunvami.

And what about those who know better and yet give the gay community an unbiblical hope and assurance? The Hebrew Prophets gave us many descriptions of what the false prophets preached. It was always a popular message and always included what the people wanted to hear - “peace.”

  • “They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The LORD says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.'  But which of them has stood in the council of the LORD to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? See, the storm of the LORD will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” (Jeremiah 23:17-22)
Often times, a popular message can kill. It is not faithful either to God or to those who He is calling. However, this is a temptation against which we must all guard. We want the approval of others. We want worldly peace, even at the expense of our peace with God. Therefore, the Apostle James warned us:

  • You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
God and His Word must remain number one! When we disregard the Word of God, we disregard God and become His enemy:

  • It is God's will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
We therefore cannot be a friend to the world and retain a friendship with God:

  • Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him… The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
We must all, therefore, repent of our sinful ways in order to find a real peace with God:

  • Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)
Do not be deceived by the growing hoard of false teachers who are trying to justify homosexuality on a biblical basis. Editor-in-Chief of World Magazine, Marvin Olasky, writes:

  • I appreciate the honesty of Emory University professor Luke Timothy Johnson, who teaches courses on the New Testament and acknowledges that he and liberal seminary colleagues “do, in fact, reject the straightforward commands of Scripture, and appeal instead to another authority when we declare that same-sex unions can be holy and good… we are fully aware of the weight of scriptural evidence pointing away from our position, yet place our trust in the power of the living God to reveal as powerfully through personal experience and testimony as through written texts. (World, July 11, 2015, 24)
May we all seek our Lord and His truth, sincerely asking Him to search and expose any sins!

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