Thursday, October 09, 2014

A Self Righteous Gospel

This post is not about the LGBT community or how they view themselves. Although I do believe some people are born with aberrant mental perspectives about themselves and same sex attractions because of the continuing consequences of the fall, this is not about that entirely. The main thrust of this post is about the blatant, aggressive, and colossal self righteousness which continues to permeate the moralistic, patriotic American evangelical community. It is a disgusting display of moral and spiritual hubris which compromises the gospel and presents believers as bastions of morality at the expense of redemption.

It is so very easy to say you believe in the fall of man through a doctrinal perspective. That is so safe and avoids any dangerous gospel outreach to certain classes of sinners. But if you truly wish to follow Jesus outside the safety of the doctrinal camp and touch lepers, then you must take your doctrine of original sin and death and juxtapose it upon the doctrine of redemption by grace through faith. How did the church ever get to the point of attacking certain lost sinners because they sin and demanding they change before they are redeemed? The gospel has always been a lifeline to sinners worldwide regardless of what sin they commit or what sinful agenda they are promoting. If we cannot over look those things then we must also reject the cross.

Unless you are willing to risk your moral reputation you will never touch all the citizens of the lost kingdom. If they criticized Jesus for loving sinners with a portfolio of open debauchery and sexual sinfulness must we avoid being judged unfairly because we also love the same community of sinners? And the most despicable part of any unjust condemnation is that most times it comes from the self righteous evangelical community that has been captured by the political spirit that chooses sides Jesus never chose. Until God takes me home I will not remain silent in the face of a safe gospel which is comfortable from behind pulpits but recoils at the thought of being living and loving gospel witnesses deep inside a western leper colony.

Once you have been redeemed through the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord you should be filled with unspeakable gratefulness as well as unspeakable humility. So how did the evangelical community ever come to join hands with the hubris of politics and moral crusades? How did we ever come to the place where we were rescued and yet turned around to condemn those from whom we just came and who stand in desperate need of a rescue themselves? It is mindboggling if you see it for what it is. It goes against the mission of our Savior and it is diametrically opposed to the life of Jesus and His gospel.

Peruse the internet and read the posts on conservative blogs and news feeds which purport to be Christian. Most of them champion a patriotic spirit as well as a moral crusade and a mission to save this fallen culture. And yet millions of professing believers consume their message and allow it to affect and infect their minds and hearts. And in so doing they move further and further away from Christ and His gospel of redemptive love. To receive the gospel of grace for your own soul and then present it on a plate of moral condemnation to those still lost is self righteousness and hubris on a breathtaking scale. But, sadly, it is the prevailing spirit in the western evangelical community.

But that spirit can be openly identified as self righteousness. It sits back and categorizes each leper according to their sin. Evangelical, heterosexual adultery and divorce and remarriage is forgivable and demands no crusade, but same sex attractions by lost sinners must be aggressively confronted, not with the gospel of redemption, but with condemnatory rhetoric. And this confrontation is so important to defending a lost and hedonistic culture that joining hands with cult members and conservative unbelievers is now acceptable. That is open rebellion to God’s Word and presents an affection for a nation and a culture which is above any affection for God’s Word regardless of all the inerrancy rhetoric.

Jesus had every opportunity to present His views on same sex practice, and yet He used the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah to judge the heart of Pharisees and moralists. It surely was not that the Savior approved of or condoned sin, but as was His common motive He often revealed a self righteous heart as the worst sin of all. That was a common thread throughout His life and teachings. And yet we seem to overlook the core of His teachings so that we can construct a man made gospel which condemns lost sinners rather than loves them a la the cross of Christ. And after decades of embracing such a false ecclesiastical construct the church has become entrenched and imprisoned by a deception which blinds the heart with moral and national blindfolds.

Because I believe in ministering to the LGBT community with the gospel and not presenting myself as an adversary, many professing believers want to know if I would marry a gay couple. You see, instead of judging their own heart they judge mine. Of course I would never marry a gay couple. But I would attempt to surrender to the guidance of the Spirit and love and minister to them. It seems there is nothing more disconcerting to the evangelical community than loving LGBT people without providing a doctrinal portfolio complete with the rhetoric of condemnation.

For the record, I have long since cleansed my portfolio from such unchristian rhetoric.

But just who are redemption ready sinners? Are they the ones who have reformed themselves by the strength of their fallen flesh and then deserve a gospel presentation as if it was icing on the cake? Are those who press forward an agenda that promotes acceptance of their sin, are they unworthy of divine love and the gospel? Must we condemn them so no one can accuse us of being soft on sin? But let us examine the record. There was man who dedicated his life to searching for followers of Jesus and killing them, albeit not by beheading but by stoning. I guess we might consider that more antiseptic and humane?

That man’s name was Saul of Tarsus. In today’s toxic spiritual environment we would pray that troops would bomb him with accuracy and kill him. Most churches would rejoice over such a scenario. But Jesus came to Saul and saved his soul. I submit there is a great divide between the ministry of Jesus and the ministry of a culture bound, nationalistic church. Actually, in earthly terms, Paul was murderer and deserved death himself, and yet Jesus saved him and anointed him to be the prophet of the gospel. Can you imagine such a thing today? Believers by the millions literally hate Muslims and gays and many others kinds of sinners. The majority of professing believers in America approve of drone strikes in order to preserve our fallen way of life.

The overarching point of my post is that the western church has left the gospel of grace and now practices a gospel of moral law. And we have culled out a few choice sins and made them our whipping boys. You can take a glass of pure milk and add a few drops of arsenic and the entire glass in undrinkable. It has become poison even though it is 99% pure milk. And when you add anything to the gospel you compromise the entire thing and make it carnal poison.

And just what is our definition of grace? Does it contain small amounts of law? That is a contaminated gospel which straddles the fence between law and grace. Let us cease from our attempts to reform lost sinners and our self righteous moral phylacteries and let us live and preach the gospel of redemption by grace through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. It takes a deep faith in Jesus in order to overlook the sins and see the souls.

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