"At some point the world will make us choose. And if we choose Christ the world will accuse us of hating, condemning, and judging."

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SharperIron's picture
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"At some point the world will make us choose. And if we choose Christ the world will accuse us of hating, condemning, and judging."

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Erickson continued: “Many people say we should have legal gay marriage, but not have religious gay marriage. The left will not honor the distinction. … Your church, should it open its doors to all, but refuse to perform a same-sex wedding, will be accused of discrimination. In some places, the church will be forced to stop performing weddings.”

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It will start more subtle

They will first target religious institutions that are not churches. Just like the contraception battle in healthcare that Catholic Universities lost last year, it is not a huge step from this Supreme Court decision to require non-church institutions provide health coverage for same sex partners or to deny religious universities secular accreditation for discrimination against hiring someone with a same sex partner.

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I agree

I hope our institutions of Christian higher education are formulating a backup plan, because their days of being intertwined with the federal government (i.e., student loans, Pell Grants, veterans benefits, etc.) will surely be numbered if the Supreme Court decides to make sweeping changes through its decisions. As Barry notes, think about how fast these things could change!

I am not an expert on secular accreditation, but I can only guess that also would ultimately be affected, along with things like membership in the NCAA.

The views I express are purely my own. However, I am happy to promote the great ministries with which I work: I minister for www.SermonAudio.com/Whitcomb. I do freelance writing for www.RegularBaptistPress.org. I speak through www.IMISOS.org.

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A Baptist's Perspective

Separation of Church and state... Baptists by the hundreds were persecuted for their views. In the 17th and 18th centuries and Europe and America, those who held to believer's baptism instead infant baptism were whipped, beaten, killed by Catholics and Protestants alike. Being a Baptist meant being more scared of Lutherans and Catholics then it did being scared of Islam and Atheists. Which is why Baptists fought for separation of church and state in the bill of rights. Today a Baptist who truly believes that way is a rare find indeed. Today the average Baptist is with the majority of Christians in believing that freedom is good until it makes me uncomfortable. The same thing is true of this article. Mr. Erickson and Mr. Olasky tell us that young evangelicals think homosexuality is wrong, but they want to allow it so the world will like them... for many that could be true. But what if some of those young evangelicals believe like this young fundamentalist die-hard stick in the mud Baptist, that homosexuality is wrong, but we shouldn't battle it politically because it is none of our business. Separation of church and state is important not just so atheists and Islam can't tell us how to live our lives, but so Lutherans, Catholics, and other various denominations can't either. Yet it works both ways. If you want freedoms to live your lives the way you belief then you have no right to tell another person different. At least not in the political realm. You see, God is the author of morality, yet our government is detached from religion. It has to be in order for religious freedom. When we as Christians try to legislate morality onto non-Christians through politics we are detaching morals from the Author of morality. It goes from being homosexuality is wrong because it is despicable to God, to being homosexuality is wrong because it is despicable to the big bad Christians who hold the moral majority.

 

The article mentions that if homosexual marriage becomes legal our church will be forced to marry homosexual couples... which is a possibility. That is very far away though. Much farther then people think. Currently every church has every right to turn away any couple for any reason. Pastors turn down heterosexual couples all the time, because of what the couples desire at their wedding, they refuse premarital counseling, or because after premarital counseling the pastor feels that the couple isn't ready for one of many reasons. 

But anything can happen, but this one thing for sure is true. If our churches start getting in trouble, if we start losing access pell grants, benefits, etc... It is entirely our fault, because you see... politically the ball has been in the "Christian's" hands for the majority of this country's history. We've shown that the only thing we care about is creating a country that makes us comfortable, A country that allows us to have freedom, but so we can live comfortably others' freedoms are limited.   SO WE have set THE Example... politically... we worried so much about the political moral majority that we've neglected our mission and our real battlefield... the Spiritual one. We've also neglected the education of our children and have allowed non-Christian to educate generations of Christians moving them away from Christianity over time.... The result is the other team is beginning to get the "ball" more often.. And they are only following the example we have set. They are working to create a country where they can be comfortable. A country that only gives Christians freedoms as far as they are not bothering or making them uncomfortable... and the only people we have to blame are ourselves...

 

So as we continue to fight this battle that is not ours to fight, we will continually set the example for those who don't share our views. And this will only contribute to our loss of influence due to our hypocracy and "hate." What we must do with our last moments of "ball" time before we completely lose control is to change our demeanor. Allow freedoms to others so we ourselves will be granted the freedoms we deserve. Fight for others freedoms if only to preserve your own. Not only will give us hope for living lives to where we as Christians are free to practice our beliefs it may open up hearts to the gospel... That may sound like pragmatism, but remember we were never called to submit the world to our will through politics, but to win hearts through relationships. In fact we were told to submit to government so long as we were not disobeying God. When we step out to vote and to talk about politics we should be talking more about freedom of speech, not prevention of gay marriage. Freedom of religion not blocking others freedoms. And once in a great while there is something like abortion were we have to stand up and say an unborn child is a life. But all we as Christians today can talk about are gays and guns.... Just think about it.

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It's not over yet

Brother Payne,

There is indeed much to think about in your post, and I profoundly disagree with most of it.  First, it is hardly just to suggest that our forefathers sought to forge a good and decent nation that would fear God and respect His commandments for the sole reason of making ourselves "comfortable."  Do you really believe that their desire for a good and just society based on biblical principles is a matter of comfort?  I don't think so.  Indeed, lots of comfort was forsaken by many to right real wrongs.

And then this:

Allow freedoms to others so we ourselves will be granted the freedoms we deserve. Fight for others freedoms if only to preserve your own. Not only will give us hope for living lives to where we as Christians are free to practice our beliefs it may open up hearts to the gospel...

There is no interest on the left in protecting your freedoms. None. It is extremely naive to think they will roll over for you because you laid down at their feet.  That method was tried in Canada.

 http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/11/6758/#note-6758-2

The church has an obligation to say that some things are ruinous for a people and destructive to a society.  Yes, relationally we must love all people, but we need not fight for the right of a people to commit national suicide.  I, for one, will not cease to fight for the country our fathers wanted. It may be hijacked by decadent evil.  It may be time for national decline and it may be the Lord's will to bring us to a sad end as a people. but it won't be because I let it happen.

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Paynen, In the not so distant

Paynen,

In the not so distant past, Christians were relatively passive when it came to politics. I don't know how old you are so you may not have a recollection of past impositions committed by the government. Two major events woke the sleeping giant. First, prayer and the Bible was outlawed in public schools in the early 60's. Okay, so many Christians then chose to either start Christian schools or home school their children. Many states tried to force students back in the public school system by outlawing these methods of education and threatening to take children away if parents did not comply. Second, was the abortion decision in the early 70's. The fact that innocent children could be extinguished alarmed Christians in this country. Christians felt they had to go on the offensive to protect their rights which led to rise of the Moral Majority which ushered in Christian involvement in politics.

 

Your theory is ideal, and in a perfect constitutional vacuum, government should be neutral; however, it doesn't work that way in real life. The forces behind large governments is not to keep religion at bay, but to extinguish it whether by direct force or the gradual drip, drip erosion of rights. History tells us this. A stand against homosexuality is already considered "hate speech" in this country and it is not a stretch to think that the government will act on it in the very near future.

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Sigh

paynen wrote:

 But all we as Christians today can talk about are gays and guns.... Just think about it.

Four paragraphs of revisionist hubris concluded by an absurdly hyperbolic untruth.

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

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In certain ways liberals are right

That is before my time. I do have somewhat of an understanding of the past. I would never say Christians were passive in government, because the government tended to be Christian. Our government has never been neutral, although in theory it was set up to be. The events you talk about prove my point, When the government was "Christian," there never was reason to make a fuss. Things were all fine and dandy until adults couldn't send their students to place that does all the work the Bible says its their job to do, for them. Christians were made uncomfortable exactly like I stated. The second part of that issue, is what I think is a right thing for a Christian to be involved in, fighting for freedom for all to educate children the way they see fit. But in all reality the Bible and prayer being taught in public schools? I don't like that idea. I don't want a teacher teaching my children Armenian ideas of Soteriology or Catholic prayers any more then I want them teaching my children evolution and atheism. Abortion is also an issue we must stand for, because the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are what this country should be upholding. An unborn child has a right to life. Although I must say, I do know that in abortions history towards the beginning, only catholics had an issue with it, and it wasn't tell certain leaders began preaching on it that Protestants even cared. Also know that abortion isn't really a "Christian" issue there are many atheists and agnostics who believe that a unborn child is a human being just like any other. Which if we came at it at that view we would probably have more success. And lastly the putting together of the moral majority movement was the worst idea ever. It failed, and made the majority of non-Christian America hostile towards Christians. If we would of stood up and supported freedoms when people asked for it, we would probably be a much more Christian nation today then we are. No I can't say I've seen any of that history first hand, but have gone through enough Christian history in a fundamental bible college that I do know what the history is.

 

And yes my theory is ideal, and difficult, especially after the hole we've dug already, but it is not impossible. And even if it is. It is still the ethically correct thing to do as Christians. For demanding morality without offering the Author of morality is in essence immoral. Without God, it really doesn't matter if two guys next door love each other and want to start a family. It doesn't directly effect me, may make me uncomfortable, but it is my job to show them the love of Christ and look for opportunities to share the Gospel, not condemn them for their practices, Christ came to save the lost not condemn them, for the Law has already done that. Involvement in politics as a Christian should be an exception to a rule, when its absolutely necessary to protect our freedoms as Christians. It is nigh time we start spending more time worshiping God then worshiping the Christian lifestyle. We are to eat with prostitutes and tax collectors not condemn them. Or have we forgotten the failures of the OT law and its end and fulfillment by Christ at the time of His death?

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Wayne Wilson wrote: Brother

Wayne Wilson wrote:

Brother Payne,

There is indeed much to think about in your post, and I profoundly disagree with most of it.  First, it is hardly just to suggest that our forefathers sought to forge a good and decent nation that would fear God and respect His commandments for the sole reason of making ourselves "comfortable."  Do you really believe that their desire for a good and just society based on biblical principles is a matter of comfort?  I don't think so.  Indeed, lots of comfort was forsaken by many to right real wrongs.

And then this:

Allow freedoms to others so we ourselves will be granted the freedoms we deserve. Fight for others freedoms if only to preserve your own. Not only will give us hope for living lives to where we as Christians are free to practice our beliefs it may open up hearts to the gospel...

There is no interest on the left in protecting your freedoms. None. It is extremely naive to think they will roll over for you because you laid down at their feet.  That method was tried in Canada.

 http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/11/6758/#note-6758-2

The church has an obligation to say that some things are ruinous for a people and destructive to a society.  Yes, relationally we must love all people, but we need not fight for the right of a people to commit national suicide.  I, for one, will not cease to fight for the country our fathers wanted. It may be hijacked by decadent evil.  It may be time for national decline and it may be the Lord's will to bring us to a sad end as a people. but it won't be because I let it happen.

Perhaps you should read what I posted again. I never said the left will role over, I never said we wouldn't have to fight for our freedoms, because we will, especially now that we've spent all this time preventing others freedoms. The whole moral majority ideology is what will make that fight much more difficult, because we spent so much time fighting for what we don't need, the fight will be much more difficult for what we do. As much as I love this country and like to hold up the forefathers. They weren't to keen on the Bible even if they liked the majority it taught. Most of them were deists and Thomas Jefferson ripped all the miracles out of the New Testament and called it heresy. I also ask that you read through your Bible a few times. Especially the areas were Christ talks about the purpose of His church. I'm just curious were you get the idea that the church has obligation to force people to live moral lives (especially when forcing someone to live morally outside of the Author of morals just leaves an individual more desirous of an eternity in Hell).

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Dan Burrell wrote: paynen

Dan Burrell wrote:

paynen wrote:

 But all we as Christians today can talk about are gays and guns.... Just think about it.

Four paragraphs of revisionist hubris concluded by an absurdly hyperbolic untruth.

 

1 sentence with some big boy (I'm smart) words that contributed nothing to the conversation and attacked one's intelligence. This is place for thinking minds, not Facebook my friend.

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Conceding some points

I must at this point admit that any of my ideology for Christians involvent in politics would demand a truly libertarian society that had little tolerance for government involvement. 

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More than a sentence, less than a full response

paynen wrote:

1 sentence with some big boy (I'm smart) words that contributed nothing to the conversation and attacked one's intelligence. This is place for thinking minds, not Facebook my friend.

Sorry, Paynen....I have neither the time, nor the patience to try to refute so much misinformation and rhetoric as your initial post contained.  I never attacked your intelligence, just your content.  "Big boy words" notwithstanding, I think the summation accurately reflects it.  Wayne did a fine job of starting a rebuttal and obviously has more patience than I.  In the American experiment, the electorate indeed has a need to take moral stands (as if there is such a thing as moral neutrality) just as the King's and Princes and Judges of the Old Testament did.  A failure to lead (and vote into leadership) with righteous ambitions and a moral compass based on Universal Truths invites God's judgment and the corruption of civilization.  Thus the call to be Salt and Light is to help preserve the lantern of righteousness by which the nations may be examined.

Libertarianism will not work in a country with an immoral populace.  Adam's himself warned us of that when he penned that "a nation rightly governed, must first be rightly self-governed."  It appears you have bought into the rhetoric of libertarians and leftists who enjoy using broad brush characterizations of how Christians view "gays and guns" and issue condescending lectures about Jesus eating with prostitutes and Jefferson being a Deist, not an evangelical (duh, like we can't read the works ourselves and always shout "unclean" when we cross paths with gays and hookers).  My liberal students have used those on me so frequently that I've grown quite immune to it.  The bright-eyed Paulite Libertarian idealism makes for fun spamming of blogs and Facebook, but really aren't taken all that seriously outside of the vacuum of the Convinced.

 

Dan Burrell Cornelius, NC Visit my Blog "Whirled Views" @ www.danburrell.com

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If you don't have the time or

If you don't have the time or the patience to reply appropriately then don't reply. Either contribute like you are now, or hold your tounge.

You should perhaps listen to your students a bit more. I am far from liberal believe me that. I have not bought into anyone's rhetoric about anything. But I do believe we have much to learn by the way liberals and secularists view us. To some extent they are right about Christ. You can't argue that Christ did not spend his time worrying about people. The government in the Roman controlled world was far more anti-Christian then ours today. Yet do we see anywhere in Scripture that Christ or any of disciples were concerned with with controlling and changing politics in any city? The closest thing we see is the defying of government when it goes against God. I'm not saying that we should be tolerant of homosexuality or abortion or anything else.

 

Let me ask you this question... why homosexual marriage? why gun control? even why abortion?... Why not heterosexual atrocities like pre-marital sex and divorce and infidelity? The answer because those issues don't make us uncomfortable.. at least not anymore. To God heterosexual sins are no different then homosexual marriage. Why don't we try to change that politically? or why did Christ and His disciples focus on other things? The answer is it is none of our buisiness. We are given a limited amount of time on this planet... remember that. We have a stewardship of God's grace in this church age what will we spend our time doing. Shall we strive for a moral society full of obedient unbelievers on their way to hell, Or shall we share the message of Christ to those around us in an increasingly lost and searching world. Striving for the truth of the gospel looking for someone to show them the meaning of life not another person to tell them how to live. 

 

And don't call me liberal or call me contemporary. Because I very much hold to a lifestyle that is very conservative. I despise contemporary forms of worship and I don't think one should try to reach people by diving head first into their culture. But I also believe that we should worry about one's obedience to God after he first believes that God exists and that he is accountable. Outside of that, I don't care if gay people get married. I can survive without a gun if so be it. And I'll teach my children about God and share His message whether the government wants me to or not. I believe and will vote for freedoms for all people because that is what I believe is ethically the right thing to do when one does not and can not live in a theocracy with the physical presence of God (the only time a theocracy can work.) In fact even though I would prefer a country full of freedom. I think a bit of marginalization will be good for us, through trials we will grow stronger. If God is with me, who can be against me... If God allows it. bring it on world! I will continue to preach the Gospel of Christ and be a Baptist by name and conviction, hold militantly to the fundamentals of the faith and separation from those who don't and I will love my neighbor as myself allow him his freedoms and share with him the Gospel as I build a relationship with him. And if he is elect and accepts Christ free gift. I'll disciple him and show him how we chose to obey God out of love and use discernment. I don't have time to battle politicians and spread "morality" through government influence.

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Brother Payne, You can do

Brother Payne,

You can do whatever you want with your time. That's fine. And sharing Christ is a much better use of your time than slamming those who built a great and good nation — at least the best this earth has seen in spite of her many flaws.  It is, the Word tells us, righteousness that exalts a nation, not libertarian freedom.

I never said the church has an obligation to force people to live moral lives. What a foolish statement!  Such a naive and simplistic description of what constitutes a healthy, productive, and benevolent civilization.  The fact is that when the majority of people, even unredeemed people, make choices based on a morality consistent with the Bible, society progresses in healthy ways to the benefit of all.

Creating a moral society in which vices were frowned upon and virtues respected required long years of patient labor, sweat and sacrifice by untold thousands of nameless servants of Christ.  You take cheap shots at those great men and women who came before us —who gave us so much.  You do so even though you enjoy much residual goodness in our culture that they put there.  It shows a smallness of spirit to demean them that way. 

Yes, it is a better world when even the majority of unbelievers see the value of integrity, family, fidelity, hard work, honesty, generosity and patriotism.  You may wish to read Lewis' The Abolition of Man sometime and his thoughts on "just sentiments." These just sentiments are the product of civilization, culture, and education upholding them at all levels.  We live in a time when they are almost gone from public life and public education.  This is not uncomfortable. It is a tragedy, because it touches every person and denies so many what is good and noble in life.  Yes, a culture that delights in Mayberry is a better place than one which delights in Two and a Half Men.  The civilization that created the values of Mayberry is worth standing up for and preserving.  The civilization that fell to Two and a Half Men needs to have it's vision raised to better things. 

Just sentiments are good for the Gospel, too. Belief in virtue tends to expose our sinfulness when we fall short in living virtuously.  It did for me.  A society that revels in sin and perversion has little conscience left to be afflicted. The Gospel and Christianity did just fine in the "comfortable" years of public morality. Is a culture that accepts broadly a Christian moral vision the Kingdom of God?  No. It is a much better place to live for most people, however, and a truer freedom.

Since the Lord has allowed me the rare and glorious privilege of living in a democratic Republic, and I can make my voice known on the great issues of the day, I will accept the gift with the responsibilities that come with it.  I will give it some of my time, not because it makes me comfortable, but because I love my country and I respect what it took to make her great.

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I've not slammed anyone who

I've not slammed anyone who has built this nation. The fact that a majority of our forefathers were not Christians is a fact. I never said that they were not great men who did not do great things, in face I believe I said that I hold our forefathers in high esteem did I not?

 

And all your further arguments are mute because it can't work anyway. You can't expect unbelievers to live moral lives, why should they? What reasoning do you give them? Where do you stop with legal morality? As I said before do we work to make all forms of adultery illegal? Do we make the greatest sin of all, the sin of disbelief and the denying of God illegal? Do we impart a form of Christianity on all sins? which denomination decides which form that is? The reason why we need freedom is because that question can't be answered and we are not fit to be attributers of which morals we should enforce and which ones we shouldn't. It truly is an all or nothing game.

 

I agree with you that a society that has morals is desirable. But the question is do these laws and this fighting create a moral society? Or does it create a rebellious angry society? Would a more peaceful society not be more realizing of proper morals anyway? My teenage years being not far behind me, I find it to be a truth that people think it cool to rebel. I would make a bet that there will be a lot less homosexuals when its an excepted part of society, because it is not natural. Many people like it just because it upsets people.

 

And you are wrong about just sentiments and moral living being good for the gospel. It is good of its own for those who believe in God, but when unbelievers live under the pressures of morality around them the gospel is stifled. I hail from a small Lutheran town in Iowa. Morality is pressured by adults who where pressured by there parents who were pressured by there parents who had long given up on the true Gospel of Christ. Upfront one sees a moral kind town, with many nominal Christians. Yet when when eyes are turned immorality is rampant and when the Gospel is presented it is rejected on the grounds that I am a Christian because I am moral... should we encourage good morals in unbelievers? yes... but require it... all I see is a stifled gospel.

 

Visit a hot bed of open immorality, I had the opportunity to visit Tokyo on a missions trip. There is no God of the Bible there. Darkness prevails in the open depressing old religions of Confucianism and Bhudism, people hold on to ancestors and worship them. People go through life thinking that working hard will get them something. Work 90 hours a week. They make it to the top alone and tired and throw themselves in front of a train the next day. People are searching for the meaning of life. In the Animistic villages of Africa people are searching for something, throughout the world were people were allowed to find there own way to find that there is nothing in this world for them... the Gospel is catching fire. Even in America where rules have been more lax people have begun to realize there is nothing on this world for them, they are hungry for truth. If you want to live in a moral society... do the work of Christ. God never gave you the responsibility to uphold the morality of a democratic republic, he gave you the responsibility of living a moral life and to share the truth with the world. If we create disciples morality will take care of itself... What is happening in America today is purely due to a lost evangelical vision. We are more worried about our neighbors living moral lives then believing in Christ's death and resurrection... and in consequence they don't want our morals, and they won't and as long as we continue on that path they will only deny our way of life even more.

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Last effort

It is entirely our fault, because you see... politically the ball has been in the "Christian's" hands for the majority of this country's history. We've shown that the only thing we care about is creating a country that makes us comfortable, A country that allows us to have freedom, but so we can live comfortably others' freedoms are limited.

These are your words, brother.  You have claimed an incredible power to discern the motives of generations who have gone before you laboring to create a decent, just, and moral society.  You have decided the "only thing they care about" is comfort. If that's not a slam, as well as completely foolish, then slam's don't exist.

We are more worried about our neighbors living moral lives then believing in Christ's death and resurrection... and in consequence they don't want our morals, and they won't and as long as we continue on that path they will only deny our way of life even more.

Another slam...reading contemporary hearts now.  You have your worried meter out and know what "we" are more worried about.  Most Christians are worried about people's salvation first and foremost, and then they are worried about the country their children will grow up in.  The unbelievers, as one might say, will always be with you. Every generation must be given the Gospel.   The current climate of moral decline is at a stage where many fear it is irrevocable.  They don't want to see that happen. It is perfectly rational and good that they don't.  In fact, far from being an obsession with their own comfort, it is a mark of love that they want a good society for their neighbors, believers and unbelievers, to live in.  It is not believers defending what marriage has been for five thousand years who started some kind of "fight." It is those who are dead set on transforming our civilization forever to completely and finally marginalize Christianity.  Once you are defined as a bigot for believing homosexuality is a sin, the faith is off the table as a possible choice for most people. Of course, the grace of God can break through that, but you are naive if you think not confronting societal decline will open doors for the Gospel. 

Your point about evangelism and hotbeds of immorality doesn't quite connect.  Japan is still not open to the Gospel. Throwing yourself in front of a train is not exactly embracing Christ. What was your point?   China is seeing explosive conversions, and so is Korea, but these are far more reticent, morally traditional countries than Japan.  Your example is proving the opposite.  Conservative cultures are embracing Christ, while decadent ones are not. not yet anyway. Africa is a theological nightmare.  I've been there. 

I grew up in the mid-west as a Lutheran.  It was a great place to grow up. Divorce was rare, people didn't lock their doors at night, children respected adults, rebellion usually manifested itself in relatively harmless ways, people didn't swear in public, drugs were not very commonplace. By God's grace I still found Christ because I was still a sinner and I knew it, not by circumstance, but by the Holy Spirit.  You don't need to permit hotbeds of immorality for people to respond to the Gospel.  I know a very godly young lady who confessed at her baptism to cheating at Monopoly. For her, it was a big sin, because she was raised where culturally destructive sins weren't in her experience, praise God.

We are all sinners, but some sins destroy a society, while others don't. Self-righteousness is a sin, and will keep you out of heaven, but it won't tear your civilization apart.  Probably most "respectable" Victorians were not true believers, but they disciplined their own lives and raised their country to greatness because of it.

Now on that same point...of course you can expect unbelievers to live moral lives.  Now that you have revealed your age, brother Payne, where you are coming from is easier to understand. You have never lived in a "moral society" so you have no experience of it. Unbelievers will adopt moral living for a variety of reasons. Every culture that has risen has had a moral base, practiced self-restraint, honored marriage, etc.  That's how nations rise...pagan or Christian. In eastern cultures morality is often followed for family honor (shame being the motive).  In pagan cultures with advanced civilizations, philosophy has pointed the way to "the good life" which includes a moral life.  In America, Christianity informed and shaped the values that made our society better than most, though as at any time, most people were not born again.  Most people did respect the Bible, however, and consequently many led lives in some measure defined by the Ten Commandments. Whether they do so from faith or self-righteousness, external goodness is still better for society. 

Would a more peaceful society not be more realizing of proper morals anyway? My teenage years being not far behind me, I find it to be a truth that people think it cool to rebel. I would make a bet that there will be a lot less homosexuals when its an excepted [sic] part of society, because it is not natural. Many people like it just because it upsets people.

You just made this up, so I won't respond but to say No, not if by peaceful you mean lying down before open debauchery and vice.  Most people embrace homosexuality as okay because we live in a decadent pornographic culture, and nothing sexual is shocking anymore.  They genuinely can't see anything wrong with it.  Acceptance of homosexuality has very little to do with teen rebellion. 

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You are completely making

You are completely making your own idea of what I have been saying. First off in nothing I said do I interpret motives or intention. I believe with all my being that those who have come before me in Faith and even out of Faith, were doing the best that they could with there knowledge. My statements were observable historic and sociological fact. What was done in the past by a majority who at least claimed to be Christian didn't work. The moral majority failed and in my mind was wrong in the first place. In fact I'm not even really saying we should necessarily allow or tolerate sins. We just need to go about it in less selfish and more biblical ways. It is clear from observation that it is natural for man kind to resist differences and it is clear that even the greatest of post-apostolic Christian leaders for the faith, had issues in regards to theology and view of society. I believe fully that prosecutors in Virginia who jailed Baptists for child abuse when they refused to Baptize their infants where doing so in good motives based on their Soteriological beliefs. It is why Roger Williams established Rhode Island as the only completely free colony. Because no matter who was in power everyone would be free to live their lives according to their own beliefs. They were the only colony that was even completely free, and even though it was never fully implemented into American government, it was the work of those Baptists that guaranteed to rights of freedom we have today. (Or are at least supposed to have) Will, if we pursue a libertarian society, liberals push that farther and marginalize Christians? Probably, but let me tell you, that is probably going to happen anyway. The point I am attempting to make is that the reason that will happen is probably because we've chosen to marginalize others. Politics is a loosing battle. We will be getting to a point were the only thing we will be fighting for is our rights to exist as Christians. My point is we better find a way to get there that best gives us a chance to hold our freedoms in tact. Liberals will use our past failings as leaders of this country against us when they get full power. The best we can do is to relinquish that attitude of legislating morality, because when Liberals take charge it will be their turn to define morality. My idea is to stop worrying so much about politics and to start worrying about politics, because most of our allies in the conservative realm are only nominal Christians that associate Christianity with morals because that has been the Christian legacy for about the last 50-60 years of Christians in politics.  I don't know the best overall solution, but I know what we've been doing is wrong and that has shown in how it is beginning to turn against us.

 

Also I don't think your connecting what I said with what I meant about other countries. Japan is very open to the Gospel, The biggest issue in Japan is universalism and lack of missionaries. The Japanese people have been known to historically accept pretty much every religion that comes their way. The issue is not that they are not accepting the message of the Gospel, the issue is they don't take it alone. They are so hungry for the truth that they won't turn anything away. South Korea and other asian/pacific countries like Laos have had huge responses to the gospel for quite a long time. Now many of those places have bad theology like Africa due to high Charismatic influence, but my point was not to say that all these countries were full of saints and great theologians, but there are many conversions happening just like in inter city areas in America. These people are starving for spiritual things they are seeking and they are open, far more open then mainstream America, where we have everything and a majority of people claim Christianity nominally and those who don't have felt marginalized because they've been forced to live under Christian morality without being given any idea of what the gospel is. And the funny thing is they've also watched as many nominal Christians have been some of the biggest moral offenders. Instead of John 3:16 and the Romans Road unbelievers are being fed OT verses on morality that sit right next to verses that tell us not to wear clothes that share materials and other facets of the Law that those with proper theology know have long passed. 

 

It should be obvious to us now that what we've tried in the past has failed and even back fired, despite our best intentions. It is time to rethink things and try something knew, not necessarily anything liberal or tolerant or encouraging toward immorality, but maybe its time to let America reap the rewards of their own desires so they can see for themselves what their ideas of morality will do to them and their country. Lets hold the line where we can practice freely our beliefs. And lets spend our time preparing a strong theologically sound Gospel "net", to catch unbelievers with as they realize their newfound freedoms won't be quite what they expected.

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That does not compute

This

in nothing I said do I interpret motives or intention.

and this

We just need to go about it in less selfish and more biblical ways.

do not go together. Or do you believe selfishness is not a motive?

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Biblical Illiteracy

Many Christians a very good at quoting Rom 1 and Lev 18, but are at a loss to explain why they are relevant. Why does an OT law have any application to me? "Aren't we all God's children?" Too few Christians are able to tie these truths to the holiness of God, and our obligation to pursue holiness as the practical outworking of an authentic faith (Eph 5:1). If we cannot explain why the Biblical is applicable for people, we are not doing our reasonable service. Evangelism is about more than quoting memorized Scripture - we actually have to be able to engage in a conversation about it. 

The excuse, "aren't we all God's children? Doesn't He love us all?" is commonly used. Those who use it seem to forget their teenage years, when living in your father's house meant you were obligated to live by certain rules or suffer the consequences. Adherence to the rules was predicated on (1) an authentic love for your parents, and (2) the desire to honor them because you loved and respected them, not necessarily because they forced you to. 

Biblical illiteracy is alive and well. Just check out the SI filing on Americans believing President Obama is the Antichrist . . .

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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Wayne Wilson wrote: This in

Wayne Wilson wrote:

This

in nothing I said do I interpret motives or intention.

and this

We just need to go about it in less selfish and more biblical ways.

do not go together. Or do you believe selfishness is not a motive?


I respect your opinions, but I think you are picking and choosing areas to apply things. Most people understand the difference between describing selfishness as a motive and as an action. Just because people do selfish actions does not mean they were intended to be selfish. Selfishness is rarely known when someone performs an action, it is usually only realized when one faces the consequences of selfishness. When I said actions were selfish that is due to clear sociological descriptions of the effects of those pursuits. How the saying goes, hind site is 20 20.

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Sophistry unlimited

Most people understand the difference between describing selfishness as a motive and as an action.

Name two.

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Most of my professors, for

Most of my professors, for one, politicians of all stripes, theologians and other wise men who have critical thinking skills have basic levels of that idea for instance, most intelligent beings can see that our more liberal friends have good intentions and motives in dealing with things the way they they do. They are wrong but saying they are intending evil is judging motives. Yet the Bible also supports the idea that the heart is desperately wicked and who can know it? Even with the best our intentions we make selfish mistakes. When those mistakes have made themselves apparent we learn the sociological reasons one made those decisions. For instance non literal interpretations of the creation week that all conservative Christians believed for a long time. It is observable sociological fact that those who held those views were trying to hang onto a God whose Word was being "proven wrong" by seemingly unquestionable science. They had good intentions and intentions bit there fruit showed the lack of Faith and confidence in God which extends from visible selfishness.

You can continue to look at those who came before you through rose colored glasses, and you can continue to refuse to learn from history's mistakes if you wish. Although our ancestors I think truly loved God, and did there best according to there knowledge, but they made mistakes that we can learn from. Mistakes that we can see stemmed from personal logic that used their own hearts to develop theories they at the time thought would be most glorifying God. Clearly those ideas came from selfishness, One can be selfish without the intentions of selfishness. If that wasn't true, if selfishness could only happen if selfishness is intended, then we would be a lot less sinful, but the biggest difficulty of sin is that we can do selfish things based on a misunderstanding of one's own heart. That is how selfishness can be a descriptor of actions not always a judgment of motives.

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Really?

One can be selfish without the intentions of selfishness.

Your professors taught you that?  Where do you go to school? 

Mistakes that we can see stemmed from personal logic that used their own hearts to develop theories they at the time thought would be most glorifying God. Clearly those ideas came from selfishness,

Give us an example of where such actions "clearly came from selfishness" ---another judgment about motive.

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I think I'm done answering

I think I'm done answering your ridiculousness, I'm sure that I've answered very clearly enough of your rubbish and don't feel like continuing to repeat myself. It is clear that you are no longer if you ever where thinking critically about my post and have instead begun to try to find every hole in my arguments to desperately cling on to old views that lack insight and discernment. I apologize for any offense I have caused, but I believe I have said enough to where my view stands on its own. If you really are interested in learning about what I have to say, go take a basic sociology class or something. I wish the best for any ministries you may be involved in and ask that you not respond to me anymore unless you have something constructive to say. Thank you.

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Confused

For a moment I was certain you had to be wrong, but I have since confirmed that "ridiculousness" actually is a noun.

I honestly do not understand your perspective, either, but it seems to advocate pragmaticism. I find it distasteful and thoroughly un-Scriptural. I beg you to consider that fundamentalism as a movement would not even exist if great men of the past had adopted your views 120 years ago. There would have been an outright capitulation to theological liberalism and secular humanism. 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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I understand how one could

I understand how one could see pragmatism in my view and perhaps without a greater understanding of my thoughts beyond this issue it makes it difficult to really understand what I'm coming from. Perhaps on another day and in another thread I could elaborate on that. (due to orals being around the corner my time to put together a full article on my views of Christians in government would not be wise.) I promise you that the pragmatism in my view is purely a "benefit" and not the intentions or idea behind it. In short see that the government should be a peace keeping organization. Protecting the lives, liberty, and the PURSUIT of happiness for all mankind regardless of there beliefs. Only step in to regulate things when there is no other choice. Financial prosperity is determined by those willing to do the work to earn it. In my mind that allows so much more for fundamentalism. Churches have the right to covenant freely together, establish their own moral systems as well as evangelize freely. It really isn't tolerating or being okay with any immorality of any kind. At worst its ignoring immorality for those who do not wish to be a part of your church and the community of people it has created. In my mind that is almost another form of separation. It says the government has no right to tell me what to do, or anyone for that matter. At best it becomes a society where churches govern their own people in regards to morality and reach out a helping hand to the world around them drowning in their own sin. I think it would be very scriptural for one to examine the Bible and see how God calls his people to holiness and obedience and leaves sinners to their own sin until they realize that they are lacking. The Bible very clearly shows throughout especially the NT, that when a sinner is left to themselves he experiences the fullness of the fruitlessness and agony of their own sin. We see all over the world that those who are hungry for spiritual things are those who've been allowed to live out the consequences of the desires of their own hearts.  For years we've fought within government to tell those who are unbelievers to be moral, yet they are left without a true moral standard. All of mankind has the natural law of God written in their very beings. I think we must give them space to be realize their condemnation through their own immoral condition. They will grow desperate and hungry for the truth, they will see the difference in the lives of godly Christians and become curious to why they are different. The message of God is stifled when delivered through political means. When "Christian" politicians put down laws they detach Christian morals from God and deliver morality as an end within itself. Most of Christian politicians today are just nominal anyway. They become by definition false teachers as they deliver a message of social conservatism that explains the essence of being Christian as being moral. My heart sinks whenever I watch Fox News. The messed up view of Christianity that they portray to the world reeks of universalism and other false theology that arises when one is more familiar with political moral code then the Holy Bible. These views are shared by a vast majority of those who call themselves Christian throughout our country and our world. What has that left us? Moral obedience to God and the commandments of his Sons are our modern day offerings to him. We make sacrifices to take leaps of Faith and go to God in prayer with personal worship and obedience. We do this through heartfelt love and desire to appease and please a holy God. What then is made up of stripping down this moral code and asking others to participate in it. Are nominal Christians and unbelievers not in some way participating in a obedience and sacrifice that is similar to sacrifices of nominal Jews in Malachi 1 or Pharisees in the days of Christ? Does verse 11 not say that there will be a day the God will be great among the gentiles and they will offer a pure sacrifice? Are we not dirtying that sacrifice when we ask unbelievers to abide by the same obedience too a God they've never fully heard about. A theocracy will be great, but a theocracy can only work when God's direct physical presence is with us, and without God himself as a ruler we can't even come close to legislating morality in a way that pleases God. It just doesn't work. There are too many sects and ideas of theology out there to make that happen. If we have anything less the a true theocracy with the Son of Man on the throne then we can't ever possibly hope to create a society that can truly discern where to draw ethical lines. In my mind if one wants to have a Theocracy, it must be an all or nothing deal. You can't regulate what sins are okay and what sins are not, and I highly doubt any of you think that we should try to establish a pre-kingdom theocracy that puts someone other then Christ on the throne. In my mind the only way one can have a decent government is to have a government that allows one to use their own discernment and convictions to understand their beliefs according to the Holy Spirit working in their lives... And to have that one must also accept that those who don't believe must be granted similar freedoms of decision making.

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I'm so disappointed!

We shall never learn what school teaches that men can be well intentioned in their selfishness. A pity.

But that whole long paragraph is just a red herring.  Brother Payne, you are talking about politics, and the rest of us are talking about much, much more than that.

 

         "Logic!" said the Professor half to himself.  "Why don't they teach logic at these schools?"

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Ahh . . . but wait!

Bro. Payne:

Won't you admit there is a very dangerous tendency to be sucked in by secular mores? The Israelites experienced this, with their weakness for sexual fertility cults. Christians today experience this when a firm line is not drawn between being "in the world, but not of the world" (Jn 17:15-19). 

Won't you also admit that acceptable behavior becomes an acceptable standard? What is taboo yesterday is socially acceptable today, and Christian morals in general don't usually lag too far behind the culture. 

I essentially see your view as a recipe for spiritual disaster. Read Eze 22, and consider how far Israel had fallen from the halcyon days of the Mosaic Covenant (Ex 19:1-6). This was because they did not practice firm separation. 

You wish to see government stop legislating morality and see authentic compliance to God's word as the practical outworking of a real love for Him. I understand. Your methods, however, will produce nothing more than a modern day version of Eze 22. 

Christians everywhere have an inherent obligation to stand fast for God's truth, and to make this stand on His Word. The fact that is is not politically acceptable to stand on His Word in public forums is not my fault and I don't care that it offends people. The truth must be made known. People already know the truth anyway, you know - they just suppress it in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18-32). 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois. 

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I see your point, but also disagree

I'm not worried about offending people and I will always stand on his Word. My issue is using the power of governmental authority to make that stand I think is a misuse of power. I also agree and understand when you say that acceptable behavior becomes and acceptable standard, and that Christians often are just 3 steps behind culture. but, I never would ever say the culture's behavior is acceptable. Christians are 3 steps behind culture regardless. I think regardless what we as Christians do we need to step outside of culture and need to stop trying to fit in. I actually think that my view may help that. I think that if my view of things happened there would be come a sharp distinction between the way people lived their lives. I think it would prevent the slow downward follow the leader slope that leads Christians into worldly practices. I think that it would basically eliminate the middle ground of society. That group that claims Christianity will not longer have any need or desire to claim it.  It is very difficult I think for Christians who truly believe in the Word of God and desire to please Him to fall down the slippery slope of liberalism quickly. In my mind I think my view would create such a sharp distinction between Christians and non-Christians by removing the middle ground of nominal Christians, that one would literally have to give up their entire belief structure to jump across the gap. Will people still fall and go into liberalism... yes, but I think it would be more difficult for those who do to lead others to follow their path, Yet we know that it would be different for unbelievers to cross that gap. Because the power of God can easily bring the unsaved the other way. Culture would be so rotten that very few are going to take anyone wanting to use the culture to reach culture seriously. Creating that super gap I think could provide a Christians who live a distinct life, but still provide opportunities to reach down and be used by God to help pull a drowning sinner searching for true out of the sea of his own depravity. If it were to work it would need to create that chasm of difference that almost forces a militant fundamentalism.

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Practicality

Bro Paynen:

Suppose I decide to advocate for legalizing bestiality in the township where I live. Suppose I sincerely believe that any man and woman has the inherent right to a loving, mutual relationship with their pet turtle, iguana or gerbil. I also believe the turtle, iguana or gerbil should be entitled to be covered by my insurance, etc. I also want to the ability to press murder charges if any punk teenager decides to run over my gerbil accidently . . . two or three times. After all, gerbils have rights, too.

Would you encourage Christians to mobilize and formally protest this ridiculous initiative?

Would you sit at home, content with the knowledge that you are not forcing Christian morals on someone?

You must recognize that the very concept of morality is grounded in God's holiness. Our conscience, which tells us right from wrong, is written on our hearts by God (Rom 2:14).

Would you advocate not "forcing" morality on people, out of a desire to not "impose" Christianity upon them?

I suggest that your motivations are correct, but your execution is seriously flawed. People must be lovingly but unapologetically confronted with their sin and their state before a holy God. Part of sanctifying God in our hearts (1 Pet 3:15) is a willingness to stand for God's Word in every aspect of our lives. I believe you want to do this, but your ideas about the place of Christian morality in the public square is wrong. It is not merely Christian morality - it is God's holiness.

It is very difficult I think for Christians who truly believe in the Word of God and desire to please Him to fall down the slippery slope of liberalism quickly.

They do not fall into liberalism - they fall into secularism. They fall back to their old sins. They return to drugs. They return to alcohol. They return to pornography. They return to adultery. They can rationalize doing so because they're living day by day in a wicked, secular society which (in your version) is devoid of any Christian influence upon the political process.

We are called to be strangers and pilgrims in this present world (Heb 11:13; 1 Pet 2:11). We live in the world, but are not of it (Jn 17:16). We are called to separation - never isolation. We must be engaged in our society at every level, not withdrawn from it.

 

TylerR is the Pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Divernon, Illinois.