Monday Morning Insights

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    And speaking of Christianity’s horrible image…

    And speaking of Christianity’s horrible image…

    Read this post from today first... then come back here...  There is no doubt that Christianity has a bad image.  If you read the post that I just linked to, you'll find that one organization is trying to help change the view of Christianity from folks like these below.

    Interestingly, both of these examples involve homosexuality (again, I think a HUGE issue that the church HAS to deal with in the next years).

    I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is very clear on homosexuality being a sin.

    Unfortunately, so do these people.  Take a look:

    The first is a video by Robert Breaud.  An ex-homosexual, who I guess wants to help people not be gay.  So he takes his guitar out in public to do this:

    HT to Jesus Needs New PR for this video

    And then there's this tactic:  Let's scare them.  This is from Josh McDowell's son:

    HT to Jesus Needs New PR for this video as well

    Yesterday, we looked at how Joel Osteen answered the question of homosexuality on the Piers Morgan Show:

    I do NOT have the answer.

    I think singing anti-gay songs in public probably will get more ridicule than anything.

    I think the 'you'll die from aids' argument doesn't argue well any more.

    Some in the church are fully embracing homosexual lifestyle as totally acceptable.  This, in my opinion, is totally UNACCEPTABLE.

    The problem is, we have a good percentage of people in America who are homosexual that don't know Jesus.

    It's more important to me that they don't know Jesus than that they are homosexual.

    That doesn't mean that we embrace their homosexuality.  But it does mean that we're concerned for their soul.

    So... then the question becomes (for me)... how can/will we best reach them?

    It seems to me that the best way is to convince them of their need for Jesus.

    In nearly every other case, we allow the Holy Spirit to do His job in the conviction of sin.  Evidently we feel we need to help the Holy Spirit out, pre-conversion, so that everyone knows up front that a part of their lives is a big 'no-no'.

    I've been a Christian for years, and there are still parts of my life that, as much as I wish and try sometimes, still become big no-nos.

    So... reading these posts together... what conclusions have YOU come to?

    Is it possible to change Christianity's image when we have guitar man and you'll die from aids guy speaking for us?  What's your approach?  What's your church's approach?


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    1. Peter Hamm on Thu, January 27, 2011

      [It’s more important to me that they don’t know Jesus than that they are homosexual.] I wonder if we couldn’t just let those words sink in a while.

      One guy is greedy, became a Christian, but stayed greedy, even though the Bible condemns greed with perhaps as strong language as homosexuality.

      Another guy is gay, became Christian, and stayed gay, but uses what I think is “revisionist lexicography” to explain away the passages about homosexual behavior, or follows those who do.

      But most of our Christian sub-culture ghetto thinks that the second guy is going straight to hell, and the first guy merely “struggles”, or we totally ignore his sin (more likely).

    2. Jerry on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I agree, we should be more concerned with them knowing Jesus and then letting the Holy Spirit work on their lifestyle. Truth be told, we all have some growing to do that will only happen as we submit more and more of our lives to Christ.

      On that note, shouldn’t we be encouraging one another to live more Christ-like lives and not focusing just on the “big” sins? Certainly they need to be addressed, but not to the exclusion of other, “smaller” sins. The fact that we have more to work on than we can ever complete underscores our need for a Savior. Praise be to God for sending His Son!

    3. Leonard on Thu, January 27, 2011

      I did not find McDowell’s comment that bad.  I certainly wouldn’t lead with it.  But would it be different if he said, there was a guy who started drinking at 14.  His parents decided to embrace and support him in this behavior and now 22 years later, he is dead because of liver disease. 

      Very few who are reading these words would disagree with the above statement.

    4. charles e Whisnant on Thu, January 27, 2011

      As a pastor/teacher I must and do preach the Word of God.  If the passage of Scripture says living together as a couple and not married is sin, than it is sin. The scripture doesn’t change when the culture changes.

      If a homo couple came to our church, I would not preach a sermon that Sunday on homosexuality, unless it was in the text where I am teaching.

      If after the service they would ask what I believe about them, I would tell them exactly whatt I believed what the bible said.

    5. Josh R on Thu, January 27, 2011

      Funny you mention this,  I just blogged at great length about this yesterday.

      I think much of the problem that we have in American Christianity is that we are so focused on individuals and individual repentance that we blind ourselves to the fact that many people are predisposed to various behaviors because of the pain inflicted upon them by others. 

      Yes, they need to repent for their own sins, but they are unlikely to do so unless they are healed at the deeper root.  Many people are defiled, not so much by their own sin, but by the sins commited against them by their fathers, their families, and the society at large. 

      The sins of the culture at large are erosive.  They drag everybody into the raging torrent of Sin.  People in the river grasp desperately for anything that will solid that can save them—But often they do not find it.  Frequently people resign themselves to their fate and find a vice that will comfort them to death. Drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality for example These vices damage legacy - but legacy isn’t much of a concern if you feel doomed.  Why invest in creating more doomed creatures?

      Anyway criticizing their vice doesn’t do anything to save them.  You have to show people that solid ground exists and that salvation is possible..  We need to give them someing solid to grasp.

    6. Fred on Thu, January 27, 2011

      A friend of mine has a son who is a gay “Christian.” He and his “partner” go to church more than I do and they participate in everything. He posts “Christian” comments on Facebook everyday and tells everyone how much he loves Jesus. What do you do when that becomes the norm in the church?

    7. Zad on Fri, January 28, 2011

      Okay, I think the guy on the guitar is VERY creative! Its a personal testimony AND it states pretty clearly a message that needs to be heard today.

      I gotta say, nothing stupid at all about it.  I think its AWESOME.

      Look , you can say THEY NEED JESUS. Well thats true. But I kind of agree with Finney, Spurgeon and others who basically said, “If they don’t know the law - they have no need of grace.”

      Tell me guys how can you explain grace to someone who doesn’t even think they are lost?  Its not just the gay thing. Obviously. But unless people know they ARE sinning they’ll never know the need of a savior.

      Much appreciation to the “drowning analogy” but frankly most of America thinks they are swimming along just fine.  Until the blindness to sin is changed, they won’t repent.  This is why you have people go to church with their homosexual partners (or unmarried heterosexual sex partners) and think nothing of it. They want the “feel good” messages - but see no need to escape their sin. Probably because we do a pretty poor job of explaining what sin is and what it does to people.  THEN—-> they see the need of a savior.

      I think the Apostle Paul said it first…. but the law is a school master… and it shows people the need of grace.

    8. Todd on Mon, January 31, 2011

      Let’s of great posts and thoughts, here, thanks! Peter, you hit the essence on the head.

      Fred, I would say that kind of situation is likely to become more and more common. However, I think it is symptomatic of a larger must less discussed issue: the tendency of the American Church to increasingly ignore, sidestep, skip over, and fail to teach or disciple regarding any issues that make people uncomfortable, discontented or angry. It is the price of idolizing popularity and ‘numbers.’  Think about it, how long has this kind of situation been true of active church goers refusing to acknowledge or address habitually sins such as gossip, slander, cursing, greed, self-centered ambition, gluttony, deception, premarital sex, abortion, etc. to the point these things are considered ‘no big deal,’ ‘technically wrong but practically acceptable,’ ‘private and nobody else’s business,’ and so on? It’s only natural that homosexuality would come to be added to the list.

    9. Ron Yost on Mon, January 31, 2011

      Joel should run for some political office. He won’t take a stand on anything but the mythology associated with the goodness of people and the prosperity he believes God owes to humanity. When someone pins him down he may say he believes what the bible says, but he always leaves a back door.

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