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Christianity is fractured

Christians don't possess the truth, we are possessed by the Truth

split

I’ve seen some eyes opening, one by one, to the fact that Christianity in the US is fractured, and that it was fractured purposely by those pursuing an agenda to advance LGBT causes at the expense of religious liberty.  An excellent piece by Joe Carter is one example of such an epiphany.

He wrote,

This is the reality that religious believers must recognize. We are not facing a new, unexpected challenge to religious liberty. This campaign of vilification was put in place more than three decades ago in order to normalize and institutionalize a life-destroying, soul-crushing form of sinful behavior. We may be shocked that on this issue some Christians are more influenced by an obscure essay they’ve never read than the book that contains the Word of God. But those are the facts that we must accept.

The fracture comes as a cultural wedge driven into the heart of Biblical authority.  For to accept LGBT behavior as if it were another genetic disposition and expression of love as intended for humans, is to deny the Biblical precepts defining marriage, sin, and the proper role of humans on Earth.  For some Christians, this is an acceptable compromise, and for others, it’s too large a pill to swallow.

At minimum, the fracture has caused confusion within the Christian community, leading some to doubt their own beliefs.

Erick Erickson wrote about Biblical authority, illustrating with a well known story from the Book of Daniel,

Too many Christians today try to find loopholes. What is five times five? Twenty-five. What is two times three? Six. What is the purpose of man kind? To glorify God. What is the first commandment? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. What is the definition of marriage? Ummm . . . .

I’ll say it again: the wedge and the resulting fracture in Christianity is no accident.  The leaders of the LGBT movement have been running their playbook for 30 years.  The seminal book on this topic is “A Queer Thing Happened to America:  And what a long, strange trip it’s been”.  It’s 700 pages, scholarly and footnoted.  I would recommend reading it to anyone engaged in the fight for religious liberty in this country.

The fracture has nearly accomplished two of the key goals these LGBT leaders set out in their book “After The Ball” written over 30 years ago.

At a later stage of the media campaign for gay rights-long after other gay ads have become commonplace-it will be time to get tough with remaining opponents. To be blunt, they must be vilified. (This will be all the more necessary because, by that time, the entrenched enemy will have quadrupled its output of vitriol and disinformation.) Our goal is here is twofold. First, we seek to replace the mainstream’s self-righteous pride about its homophobia with shame and guilt. Second, we intend to make the antigays look so nasty that average Americans will want to dissociate themselves from such types.

That’s right, the LGBT leaders consider Bible believing Christians to be their enemy.

And Christians have been engaging the enemy trying to convince them we’re their friends.  This is a disastrous strategy.  It never works.

It never works.  Never.

In this engagement strategy, Christians who seek understanding and fellowship are swayed by their personal friendships with their gay friends—it’s okay for Biblical Christians to have gay friends, it’s okay to like gay people and eat meals, play sports, and listen to music, basically what friends do.  It’s not Biblical to let their desire to engage in anti-Biblical behavior change a Christian’s concept of sin.  That happens a lot.

Those Christians who are swayed serve to make the Christians who aren’t seem like monsters for believing the Bible.  In fact, that’s been the plan from the beginning.

I am not advocating bitter hatred or vitriol:  those who align themselves with (the late) Fred Phelps or his followers are as anti-Biblical as the LGBT leaders themselves.  In fact, it would appear that Phelps and his ilk might even be coconspirators in advancing the LGBT cause:

The public should be shown images of ranting homophobes…bigoted southern ministers drooling with hysterical hatred to a degree that looks both comical and deranged; menacing punks, thugs, and convicts speaking coolly about the “fags” they have killed or would like to kill;  [excerpted from Carter’s piece, from After The Ball]

The fractured wing of American Christianity believes that “niceness” equates to “love”.  Matt Walsh wrote about what he calls the “Nice Doctrine”,

The propagators of the Nice Doctrine can be seen and heard from anytime any Christian takes any bold stance on any cultural issue, or uses harsh language of any kind, or condemns any sinful act, or fights against evil with any force or conviction at all. As soon as he or she stands and says ‘This is wrong, and I will not compromise,’ the heretics swoop in with their trusty mantras.

They insist that Jesus was a nice man, and that He never would have done anything to upset people. They say that He came down from Heaven to preach tolerance and acceptance, and He wouldn’t have used words that might lead to hurt feelings. They confidently sermonize about a meek and mild Messiah who was born into this Earthly realm on a mission to spark a constructive dialogue.

The problem here is that you can’t have a constructive dialogue when the other party in the dialogue has as their objective to either make you believe they are right, or to demonize you.  This is not constructive.

How to heal the fracture?  I’m not sure it can easily be healed, but what Christians can do is decide whether to follow Biblical authority or cultural authority.  Those who follow cultural authority call Biblical authority “dogma”.

The father of all community activism, and modern radical revolutionary thought, Saul Ailinsky, wrote about dogma decades ago in Rules for Radicals,

I detest and fear dogma.  I know that all revolutions must have ideologies to spur them on.  That in the heat of conflict these ideologies tend to be smelted into rigid dogmas claiming exclusive possession of the truth, and the keys to paradise, is tragic.  Dogma is the enemy of human freedom.  Dogma must be watched for and apprehended at every turn and twist of the revolutionary movement.  The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice.

Ailinsky’s words are subtle and seductive.  Who are Christians to believe that they have the answer to everything in one book?  The words summon the images of the inquisition, the crusades, the pogroms, and the Salem witch trials.

Those words and the beliefs they convey put enough doubt in to the hearts of some believers in Christ to move them into the cultural authority side of the fracture.  It seems more and more move that way every day.

The answer to the fracture may be shocking to some readers.

Jesus was not nice.  But Jesus was not violent.

Jesus restrained Himself with incredible, supernatural strength.  The small bits of outrage he exhibited were a very mild demonstration of His displeasure with hypocrites, fakers, and self-promoters within the religious establishment.

Jesus was and is God.  The earth, the sea, the sky, and universe, obey His command.  With a single word, He could have summoned ten thousand angels to do His bidding, to wipe the face of the earth clean and start over.  He could have called down thunder and fire onto His enemies (as some of His disciples suggested).

But Jesus did not do that.

The Bible says we, Christians, are to have the same mindset as Christ:

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
[Philippians 2:6-8 NIV]

Christians are not to be dogmatic, because dogma is a product of man.  The “tragedy” that Ailinsky paints so well resulting from those “claiming exclusive possession of the truth, and the keys to paradise” is not the dogma of Christianity.

The fact is that Christians do not possess the truth.  Rather, we are possessed by the Truth.

Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Either we, as His followers on earth, are possessed by Him, or we are not.

Following cultural authority is the wide road, and the Bible tells us where that road leads.  It is through the narrow gate that we must pass.

In America, we need a cultural revolution.  It starts with an awakening.  Then comes a personal decision each must make:  will I follow Biblical authority, and be possessed by the Truth, or will I follow cultural authority and compromise the Truth?  For the Truth is not an object to be manipulated, but the Person and Divinity of Jesus Christ.  Deny Him at your own peril.

When Jesus was on earth over 2,000 years ago, He restrained Himself.  When He returns, He will not.

While there is still time, place yourself on the side of history (His story) that has the ultimate win.  Fight the good fight, and endure to the end.

At this time, it may appear that the cultural war in America is being lost by Christians, but only for a time.  If enough sleepers awaken, we can have a turning back to God not seen since the days of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.

May it be so.

P.S.  I’ve said this many times, that belief in the Bible hangs on two verses:  Genesis 1:1 and John 14:6. Genesis 1:1 claims that God created everything, and in John 14:6 Jesus claims that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.  If these two verses are true, then everything else in the Bible must also be true.  If either of them are false, then the Bible is nothing more than a fable.

 

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