Monday, June 29, 2015


    For American Christians, June 26, 2015 will be remembered as the day that America officially became a post-Christian nation.  By the decree of the Supreme Judiciary, the will of the people in several states, and state rights as a whole, has been obliterated.  Same sex marriage is now the law of the land in the nation that claims to be "under God" and the nation that prints the lie "in God we trust" on it's currency.  The United States of America has abandoned God and His creative order by judicial fiat.  The reaction of many who claim the title of Christian has been extremely disheartening, to say the least.  I find it very hard to believe that anyone who has the Spirit of God can celebrate or endorse this heinous court ruling.  

     As the church, we are called to love as Christ loves, and that means loving all people regardless of their behavior or beliefs. Loving people does not mean supporting them in opposing God's creative order.  True love demands truth.  In this case, true love demands that we speak the truth about sexual sin.  Clearly, God's word defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman and any sexual activity outside the confines of a Biblically defined marriage is sin.  Sin separates us from God and leads to eternal damnation.  Christ died to pay the penalty of sin.  Christ's death does not, however, excuse sin.  

     The legalization of same sex marriage is not a plague on America but a symptom of a much greater disease, the disease of apostasy.  American culture has been working toward divorcing itself from God since the 1960's and the Supreme Court's usurpation of power over the definition of marriage is one more move against God and His principles.  This ruling should not come as a surprise, as our nation is mostly non-Christian and people separated from God should be expected to embrace sin and reject the teachings of scripture.  

     Apostasy does not take place in a secular culture, but within the Church itself.  Church leaders across America are abandoning sound doctrine for progressive concepts and merrily leading the nation down the path to destruction.  The very institution that is supposed to be calling people to holiness and Biblical truth is increasingly touting evil and allowing emotions to govern decision making within the upper echelons of ecclesiastical leadership.  How does this happen?

     The Roman Catholic Church, which officially takes a stand against sexual immorality, is currently led by a false prophet who claims to stand for God's truth and creative order while practicing just the opposite.  Pope Francis has repeatedly spit in the face of conservative Catholics who stand for Biblical truth, which is ultimately, spitting in the face of the very One whom he claims to represent, Jesus Christ.  To read about the Popes apostasy, CLICK HERE 

     Currently, the Pope is on a crusade to protect the planet from man made climate change.  Professor John Schellnhuber, a Vatican spokesman on climate change, has called for a depopulation of planet Earth from 7 billion people down to 1 billion.  God told us to "be fruitful and multiply" and to "fill the earth."  The Vatican is proposing a sustainable population of just 1 billion people, which in affect is endorsing a policy that contradicts God.  

     The Vatican, this week has signed a treaty with the Palestinians, recognizing the statehood of Palestine, in direct opposition to the Word of God, concerning the Gaza.  Zephaniah 2:4-7  For Gaza shall be deserted, and Ashkelon shall become a desolation; Ashdod's people shall be driven out at noon, and Ekron shall be uprooted.   Woe to you inhabitants of the seacoast, you nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines; and I will destroy you until no inhabitant is left. 
And you, O seacoast, shall be pastures, with meadows for shepherds and folds for flocks. 
 The seacoast shall become the possession of the remnant of the house of Judah, on which they shall graze, and in the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will be mindful of them and restore their fortunes. This passage reveals the fact that God has bequeathed Gaza to Israel, not the Palestinians, or anyone else who may lay claim to that land.   Once again, the Pope is seen supporting a policy that contradicts God.  

  On same sex marriage, we see the same contradiction of God on the part of Pope Francis.  In 2010, Argentina voted to legalize same sex marriage.  Argentine Bishop, Jorge Bergoglio wrote a statement, filled with references to the Holy Spirit, condemning Argentina's move to legalize same sex marriage.  According to the document Bergoglio wrote, it appeared that he was in favor of the Biblical definition of marriage and believed that homosexual practice was a sin.  What most people do not know is that Bishop Bergoglio, in a phone call to Argentine gay rights activist, Marcelo Marquez, stated, "I'm in favor of gay rights" and supported civil unions, stating that Argentina was "not yet ready for a gay marriage law.  Bishop Bergoglio is now known to the world as Pope Francis.  Others have reported similar conversations with the Pontiff while he was still a cardinal.  Francis has made controversial comments concerning his acceptance of the sin of homosexuality since his ascension to the so called throne of Peter.  Most troubling was his statement to reporters, "When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem…they’re our brothers."  This does not sound like the words of a man who holds to a Biblical view of sexual sin.

    When church leaders, like Pope Francis, openly or even secretly, support sin, there is no hope for a secular society to choose a moral path.  The church is the gatekeeper, church leaders are supposed to be the watchmen on the wall, keeping vigil and steering God's people toward holiness and truth and by doing so, helping society retain a moral compass.  When those who claim to speak for God tout the theologies of Satan, who is watching the gate?  The church must stand for righteousness in love.  Love means telling the truth and helping people come to Christ for forgiveness and transformation.  Church leaders who endorse sin are just as evil as hatemongers like Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church.  Phelps, and his brand of Christianity, bears  no resemblance to any form of Biblical Christianity that follows Christ's example to love people.  

     The church bears some blame for than the Supreme Court's ruling on marriage, because the church has not been clear it's beliefs on the matter.  Most mainline denominations either openly accept sexual sin or merely pay lip service against it.  Those who take a stand for holiness are marginalized and maligned by both secularists and many who claim to be Christ followers.  Those who claim Christ and support evil "have a form of godliness, but the truth is far from them."  The church cannot accept sin any more than it can hate unbelievers or expect them to behave according to the Bible.  The role of the church is to make disciples of all nations, which means loving people enough to speak the truth into their lives and offering them the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  We cannot lash out in hatred and vitriol towards those who do not have the Spirit of God and who choose to live according to their own rules.  We cannot allow those who claim to speak for God to lie and endorse sin.  Somehow, we must balance holiness with love, offering hope to the hopeless and help to the helpless without compromising the message of the cross or minimizing the consequences of unconfessed sin.  The church will face a challenge like it has never seen before and much prayer will be needed on the part of believers as we navigate our not so brave, but very new world.


Sunday, June 14, 2015


     There seems to be a quiet, almost indiscernible, battle taking place within the Evangelical Christian world.  There is a spiritual war, in which social justice, disguised as evangelism,  is destroying sound theology within the church and marginalizing the Gospel of Christ. The Emergent Church movement is slowly whittling away Biblical truth within the Christian community through ecumenicalism and heresy.  The social agenda of the Emergent Church is attempting to use the Gospel as a means to correct injustice.  The social gospel truly puts the cart before the horse and places the salvation of souls subordinate to caring for the poor and in some cases, makes caring for the poor essential for salvation.  The Bible commands us to care for the poor, and we see Jesus and the Apostles caring for the poor as a means to present the Gospel and to deal with the real issue facing mankind, separation from God due to sin.  The social gospel piggybacks off of an established system, the church, in order to right societies wrongs.  On the surface, this seems to be an altruistic endeavor, but what good is eliminating poverty if we are not making Christ our central message.  Jesus, Himself, asked, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"  Social injustice is unjust, clearly, however, we must ask ourselves, what is more important, the temporality of our human existence or the eternality of life beyond the physical. Granted, the unregenerated man would lean toward a more humanist approach and focus on the immediate physical need, but as Evangelical Christians, we cannot afford to ignore the eternal destination of men's souls.  Eternity must be our central issue, even as we strive to ease suffering in the here and now.

     One voice who has taken evangelicalism by storm is that of Francis Chan.  Chan first came on the scene with his best selling book Crazy Love: Overwhelmed By A Relentless God.  Chan calls the believer to a deeper love and commitment to God, but saddles that message with a social gospel, suggesting that the true role of the church is to right all of society's wrongs and to alleviate suffering.  Chan goes as far as saying that feeding the poor is essential to salvation.  Chan's theology is a works based faith in which a person cannot be saved unless they preform specified acts, in this case, acts of goodwill for the poor and suffering.  Chan seems to be one of  a growing number of so called theologians who are less interested in doctrine and more interested in making social change. 

    Francis Chan uses Matthew 25 as his proof text.  In Mathew 25, we see Christ, after the second coming, gathering those who have survived the tribulation claiming to have followed Him.  Jesus checks their faith by their actions in helping the poor and persecuted.  These are tribulation saints, not born again Christians.  Had these people been born again, they would have been regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit of God, and the only judgment they would have been subject to would be the Bema Seat Judgment of Christ, a judgment meant to reward works of service.  Either Chan completely misses the point of Matthew 25, or he knowingly misuses the passage to make his point.  Either option is unconscionable, especially for someone who has a Masters of Divinity. 

     This misuse(or misunderstanding) of Matthew 25 is indicative of the Emergent Church's penchant for ignoring doctrine.
Admittedly, doctrinal differences have divided the church for the past 2000 years.  The adherents of the Emergent Church have decided the solution to this problem is to forget doctrine all together and to focus on love.  The proper response should be, rather, to study scripture in light of scripture and accept foundational doctrines as they are presented in the Word.  The Emergent argument makes statements like, "hurting people do not care what mode of baptism the Bible teaches."  This may be a true statement, but it does not absolve the believer from studying and establishing doctrinal truth.  Once we begin to remove doctrinal purity from the discussion, we are left with an anything goes theology that adheres to emotion and "what seems right" rather than absolute truth.  Once we eliminate doctrinal truth, we can take passages out of context, at will, and make them say whatever we want to support our position.  

     In his epistle to the Philippian church, we see the Apostle Paul mentioning those who proclaim Christ from impure motive. While Paul rejoices in the fact that these false teachers are still proclaiming Christ, he makes a point to call them out for their false motive.  We too can rejoice in the fact that Christ is proclaimed by those with an ulterior motive, but we also have a responsibility to proclaim truth. 

    Perhaps the most influential voice in the Social Gospel movement is Purpose Driven guru, Rick Warren.  Author Paul Smith wrote a critique of Warren's Social Gospel agenda in his book New Evangelicalism.  To read my review of Smith's book, click HERE   Warren has gone beyond sacrificing sound doctrine for the sake of social justice, he has embraced ecumenicalism to an amazing degree.  Warren has embraced Pope Francis and claimed that "He is doing everything right."  click here to see Warren's comments on Pope Francis  Francis has embraced Islam by allowing Muslim prayers in the Vatican and Francis made news when he stated that Atheists can be saved "as long as they are sincere."  This does not sound like a man who is doing "everything right" as a spiritual leader meant to represent Christ.  click here to see heresy of Pope  When Rick Warren prayed at the presidential inauguration, his prayer paid homage to Protestant Christianity, Judaism, Catholicism and Islam.  In addressing God, Warren made clear reference to the god of Islam, equating him to the God of the Bible.  By referencing God as "the compassionate and merciful one" Warren referenced God in terms that would be familiar to any Muslim. Later, he referenced Christ by the name Isa, the name used for Him in the Koran.  Unfortunately, the Isa of the Koran is not the Jesus of history, the Koranic Isa is not the son of God, but a prophet of Islam.   Warren should know this, which means he is either unduly ignorant of Biblical truth, or he is willing to disregard what he knows is right to achieve his agenda.  Again, neither is acceptable for a man in Rick Warren's position.

    When social injustice becomes the main thrust, silly things like the exclusivity of the Gospel of Christ cannot stand in the way of progress, or so believe the purveyors of the social gospel.  This is what makes the social gospel of the Emergent Church so dangerous and subversive.  When the true Gospel hinders the work of social justice, sound doctrine is marginalized and considered anti-poor.  The social justice movement is willing to sacrifice souls in the pursuit of humanitarian efforts.  

    If Christ's main concern was caring for the poor and persecuted, why did He turn away the multitude after having fed them the previous day?  Christ made it clear that the message was Him, that the goal was total commitment to God the Father through the Son.  When Jesus was anointed with expensive nard, some were opposed to the apparent waste of resources that could have been used on the poor.  Christ's response is very telling "you will always have the poor..."  Obviously, Christ was not teaching a Gospel that required care for the suffering as a prerequisite for salvation.

     Even as the church continues to downgrade sound doctrine from within, we are bombarded by false teaching from outside the camp in the form of movies like Son Of God and shows like The Bible from new age adherents Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.  Roma Downey holds a degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, a well known New Age institute of learning.  Downey also partnered with Medium/Spiritist John Edwards to create a CD for children, helping them to meditate.  Interestingly, neither Burnett nor Downey have a salvation testimony or claim to be born again, yet, they are brought on Christian talk show after Christian talk show and allowed to discuss all the work they are doing in the name of Christ.  Sadly, the Jesus found in Son of God bears little resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible.  to see my review of Son of God - click here  I find it disconcerting that Downey and Burnett are able to continue to put out inaccurate representations of scripture, have obvious ties to the new age community, and offer no evidence of Biblical salvation, yet are able to go unchallenged by the Christian community.  

   This brings us back to the fact that sound doctrine does matter. Without the foundation of sound doctrine, we cannot combat error. By allowing the social gospel to hijack the work of the true Gospel, we are attempting to gain the world while forfeiting it's soul.  Again we must answer Christ's question, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?"  What profit is it to a man if I help alleviate his physical suffering and do nothing to remedy his eternal damnation.  We should, unquestioningly, care for the suffering of the downtrodden, but we should do so with their soul in mind.  The church should address social issues and care for the poor, but the ultimate goal must be the salvation of the lost.  We cannot partner with and give credence to those who are opposed to the Gospel of Christ, we must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, we must never sacrifice Biblical truth for any reason, no matter how seemingly altruistic.  Doctrine matters and so does the salvation of the lost.  Christ commanded us to go and preach the Gospel, making disciples of all nations.  As people place their lives under the lordship of Jesus Christ, societies will change for the better and suffering will ease.  True change can only come through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.