My title may sound like a follow-up to my last blog about the 21 Christian brothers who were beheaded in Libya this past weekend and in a weird twisted way it may. But no, this is about a 5th column within the church itself which is growing ever stronger advocating the church “get on the right side of history” or become irrelevant and die.
From what were we saved and redeemed? This may sound like a rhetorical question. Light was shown on the sin of man by the giving of the laws of God. This was done in order for him to realize his need for God and the need to be cleansed from the curse of sin. It’s not like sin is simply some bad habit we should eventually be rid of, but more like some agent of death we must be rescued from lest we be destroyed in hell.
Wow, that last line makes it sound like there is some Holy God out there who will cast us into outer darkness unless we convert to His way of thinking. Yea, pretty much. But unless you come to the realization He loved us so much He sacrificed His only Son in order to make it possible for that to not happen, it can be made to sound really intolerant and judgmental.
In 2011, Rob Bell was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Just a few of years earlier he was named one of the 10 most influential Christian leaders by The Church Report. For some time Rob has been leaning heavily towards the universalism tenant that there is no eternal physical punishment (i.e. hell) and more recently he has fully embraced same sex marriage.
I am only somewhat familiar with Rob Bell, but there are millions who hang on his words. So when he says ‘the Church will “continue to be even more irrelevant” if it continues to cite the Bible’s prohibitions on homosexual behavior’ referring to the Bible as some “letters from 2000 years ago”. I guess there are a goodly number of people who stand up and take notice, especially when he says it shoulder to shoulder with the Big O herself (Oprah).
And here is where it really gets twisted. In referring to the church’s battle against same sex marriage his wife states that “there are churches who are moving forward and there are churches who are almost regressing and making it more of a battle”. Rob followed with “I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. … You sort of die or you adapt … we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.”
So, brothers and sisters, 2000 years after “those letters” were written to encourage us to repent of our destructive sinful ways, follow Christ and be saved from eternal punishment, it is now we the church who, Rob Bell claims, must repent of our commitment to that holy living and revert back to a time before those thousands of years when living sinful lives was vogue ——- or die. In other words, what was considered destructive and sinful living for 2000 years has all of a sudden become not sin and any commitment advocating the avoidance of sinful living has been turned on its head and has now become the destructive thing?
And it’s not just from former “old letter” believers where this is coming. Just this week a judge in New Jersey declared any counseling for, even requested, conversion therapy to be fraudulent and prosecutable.
So, after what did happen with the 21 CHRISTIANS in Libya this past weekend, you thought your commitment to Christ mite at the worst put the choice before you to convert to Islam or die with the name of Jesus on your lips. No, brothers and sisters, it’s much, much worse than that. In order to “get along” in this generation, you will have to deny over 2 thousand years of church history, deny those faded “silly” letters, deny the testimony of the saints, deny your own experience with God and even deny the purposeful sacrifice of Christ. Or become irrelevant and die.