Christianity in Conversation with Atheism
In John 7:17 Jesus made an incredibly controversial claim that is directly related to both the gospel and one’s ability to possess true knowledge of it. He said, If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The context of Jesus’ claim came on the heels of his assertiveness to stand up in the Temple and teach others. The Jews were astonished and asked a very logical question: How is it that this man has an education when he has never been formally or even informally trained? Good question. Where does Jesus’ knowledge come from? This brings us to what would prove to be controversial in Jesus’ day and no less controversial in our own. Jesus claimed that his teaching was not his own. It belonged to the one who sent him. Who sent him? In John 3:17 Jesus claims that God sent him. So, the ‘him’ in this context must refer to God the Father. Now, let’s follow the argument. The Jews are evaluating Jesus’ teaching. Is it true, or is it false? Should a rational person believe the claims of Christ or should they reject them?
Jesus answered the Jews’ question with a simple but deeply provocative claim: The condition that must be met, the criterion for knowing whether or not Jesus’ teaching was from God is having a will that is aligned with God’s will. The necessary condition for knowing the truth about Jesus’ claim is having a will, or desire, to carry out God’s will and desires. In other words, a heart for God is necessary if one wants to know the truth about Jesus’ claim. The only way to possess true knowledge about Christ is to have a regenerated heart. For, you see, the condition of the natural man is hostile to the things of God. Paul said that those who are in the flesh are hostile to the law of God (Rom 8:6-8). He said that the natural man cannot understand the things of God (1 Cor. 2:14). He also said that Satan has blinded the minds of those who do not believe the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4). Jesus himself said that the reason the Jews did not receive his words is because they are not able to do so (John 8:43). This raises a serious epistemic problem for Christians where the gospel, evangelism, and apologetics are concerned. If you must believe the gospel in order to be saved, shouldn’t you at least know what it is? And isn’t it the case that men should evaluate claims to determine if they are true before accepting them? Shouldn’t the Christian gospel be submitted to the bar of human reason like any other claim to truth if we are to determine whether or not it is worth believing? Isn’t this the point of Christian apologetics? In short, no, God’s word is never subjected to creaturely evaluation where it’s integrity or authority is concerned. Asking the question, “Has God said” where God has spoken is always a very hazardous practice.
When one examines the word euangelion in the lexicons they discover that it means “God’s good news to humans.” The word gospel appears 101x in the NASB. Of those 101x, 81x it is used with the verb preached. Another 8x it is used with the word proclaim. Finally, it is used with the word believe in 6 of those cases. The gospel then is something that is preached, proclaimed, and believed according to the overwhelming evidence of the New Testament. The gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, it is proclaimed, and it is believed. To contend that the gospel is more than this is to introduce a definition of the gospel that is foreign to the teachings of the New Testament. This raises the question of content. What is the content of the gospel that is to be preached, proclaimed, and believed?
It is worth mentioning that the word euangelion also appears in the LXX at 2 Samuel 4:10 where one of the warriors thought he was bringing Saul’s death as a report of good news. The LXX translates the Hebrew bĕśōrâ to euangelion. The Hebrew word bĕśōrâ appears only 6x in the Hebrew text. It means to bring news, glad tidings, to announce, to receive good news. Hence, the sense of bĕśōrâ and euangelion is the publishing of news or good news, an announcement or proclamation of some event or some occurrence. The idea of doing something is bound up in the words euangelion or bĕśōrâ is without any warrant whatsoever. The gospel is statement of fact that something has happened. The gospel is a claim. It is a claim that one asserts and one that must either be believed or rejected.
One of the most concise statements on the content of the gospel is found in 1 Cor. 15:1-4. The Apostle Paul says, For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. The content of the gospel that was preached by the Apostles then is simply this: that Jesus is the Christ who died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised from the dead on the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures. This is the gospel of the kingdom that shall be preached and proclaimed until Christ returns. This is the message that shaped classic evangelicalism and that sets classic evangelicals apart from every other branch of Protestantism. Indeed, this is the good news that is the gospel. The good news is the Jesus is the Christ, he died for our sins, was buried, and raised again on the third day. That is the content of the gospel that is to be believed or rejected.
If the gospel is a claim or an assertion to be believed, the question that one will naturally ask is whether or not belief in this claim or assertion is justified or warranted. What is our epistemic warrant for our belief that the claim made by the gospel is actually true? What evidence can be brought forth that will convince the unbeliever that the gospel is actually true and should be believed? The theory of justification is a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs. Epistemologists are concerned with various epistemic features of belief, which include the ideas of justification, warrant, rationality, and probability. Loosely speaking, justification is the reason that someone holds a belief. (Theory of justification, n.d.) The idea is that one should only continue to hold to a belief if they have grounds or evidence or good reason for doing so. Usually, the criteria for what qualifies as grounds, evidence, or good reason are employed using methodological naturalism. The notion that such criteria would be insufficient to evaluate Christian belief is usually met with intense opposition and ruled out as extreme subjectivism from the start. What is a Christian to do?
For starters, I think William J. Abraham is onto something when he says that our epistemic obligations are person-relative. Whether or not an individual is warranted in believing a claim is dependent, to a large degree, on the reasons the individual might have for holding the belief. This brings us to the question of warrant. Alvin Plantinga, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame focuses on the issue of warrant rather than justification. In Warrant and Proper Function, Plantinga explains it this way: A belief B has warrant for S if and only if the relevant segments are functioning properly in a cognitive environment sufficiently similar to that for which S’s faculties are designed; and the modules of the design plan governing the production of B are (1) aimed at truth, and (2) such that here is a high objective probability that a belief formed in according with those modules is true; and the more firmly S believes B the more warrant B has for S.
According to Jesus and Paul, unbelievers have a serious problem where warrant and the gospel is concerned. According to Christianity’s own teachings, teachings that are derived from Scripture, an unbeliever is incapable of understanding, knowing, and believing the gospel in his or her unregenerate state. If we take Plantinga’s idea of warrant and couple that with the Scripture’s teaching on the noetic effects of sin, we have an epistemic dilemma where the gospel is concerned or, so it would appear. The specific issue is that the unbeliever’s cognitive faculties are not functioning as designed. Jesus said that one must desire what God desires if they are to understand his teachings. Paul said the natural man cannot understand the things of God. Since this is a necessary condition of warrant, it follows that the unbeliever is unable to possess warrant for believing the gospel. Something has to happen to the cognitive faculties before true belief and true warrant is possible.
The believer is seized by divine truth. The Word of God is not evaluated and embraced by the Christian. The Christian believes the gospel and knows the gospel because of the internal testimony or instigation of the Holy Spirit. The Christian’s knowledge of the gospel is not borne out of methodological naturalism. Instead, John states it clearly: But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. And then again, But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him. The gospel is a supernatural message from top to bottom. Understanding and believing the gospel takes the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit. God writes his law on the hearts of those who embrace the gospel.
This post is really not a specific defense of John MacArthur’s recent alarm-sounding posts regarding the encroachment of liberation theology (as I call it) into evangelical churches, especially, Southern Baptist churches. It is a direct response to Terrance Jones’ criticism of John MacArthur’s concerns.
To begin with, Jones engages in the unethical tactic of poisoning the from the very start of his criticism. He writes; However, the presence of true and real blessings does not mean the absence of some alarming realities. Unfortunately, people who can’t wrap their mind around the previous statement will struggle with the criticisms I levy in this post. They will only see the “heads” side of the coin, unable to comprehend that “tails” even exists. First, I am interested to understand what Jones classifies as alarming realities at TMUS. However, the fallacy exists in how he follows up his claim. If you end up disagreeing with Jones’ criticism, then that can only mean that you can’t wrap your mind around it. You are somehow defective unless you agree. This is a very questionable tactic and what makes it disturbing is that it seems to be universally employed by those on Jones’ side of the argument.
As one reads Jones article, it seems clear that he is a lot of pent-up anger. He has held his views on this subject for at least 11 years. And finally, for whatever reason, he feels like now is the time to speak the truth. I must confess that I find it difficult to respect men who know the truth, but find reasons for holding it in, not speaking it, not teaching it, for any reason. To be clear, there is no good reason for not telling people the truth in love. The primary reason we do not do this is the fear of man and a lack of the fear of God. To know God’s truth and not speak it is a practice no pastor or elder or teacher should ever engage in.
Jones levels a criticism against MacArthur that few men would dare to do; To hear Dr. MacArthur and Grace To You say/write narrow-minded, inconsiderate, and frankly unbiblical things about the intersection of the gospel and racism has had a profound effect on me. Now, as you read Jones’ article and this blog, you should be asking for specific examples. Will Jones quote MacArthur’s post and provide a specific example of why and how it is narrow-minded, inconsiderate, and unbiblical? Jones’ goes on to describe Phil Johnson and John MacArthur as having a cavalier attitude. He then says; Their comments/writings do nothing to consider the circumstances of anyone other than upper middle class, Republican-leaning white men (I’m neither republican nor democrat), and minorities who are accustomed to that culture. It seems pretty clear that Jones’ is a bitter young man whose rage is finally coming out. The problem is that Jones’ is a pastor. He is supposed to be a theologian. And when a theologian criticizes someone’s point of view, he should state the facts as fairly and plainly as he can and provide an argument rebutting the view. Up to this point in Jones’ post, all I see is anger and bitterness. I see no argument. I see no rebuttal. What I see is a man who is angry and who has decided to use his blog as a tool to vent. Jones’ post isn’t reinforcing the social justice claims and it certainly isn’t moving others to change their mind. It isn’t even helping John MacArthur or Phil Johnson see the error of their ways (if they were in fact in error to begin with and I don’t think they are).
Jones’ then moves to what he thinks is “proof” that something is terribly wrong at GTY. He points us to the academic probation recently enforced on TMUS. This is a red herring and a very unethical tactic on Jones’ part. Whatever the issues are at TMUS around their academic review, they have little to do with MacArthur’s post regarding liberation theology, the social justice movement, and the gospel. One thing that Jones’ fails to acknowledge is that worldly people who want to pretend to live in the Christian community will very frequently classify basic accountability as intimidation and bullying. So when that language shows up in a report such as this one, we would be wise not to jump to conclusions about what that language is actually describing. Not only that, but the entire model of not having a seminary that is responsible for training pastors to be run solely by the church is questionable on biblical principles. A strong case against the current seminary model can easily be made. The entire idea of accreditation in our system seems to fly in the face of sound biblical teaching regarding training men for ministry. But that is beside the point. Nevertheless, it does help one understand that Jones’ introduction of this situation doesn’t have the sting he thinks it does. To be sure, it seems like an attempt to discredit MacArthur so that the social justice, liberation theology folks can continue their advance with as little resistance as possible.
Jones then criticizes the TMUS curriculum for not having a single book authored by a black man. He then talks about the history of theology class not exploring any African theologians other than Athanasius, and that was briefly. One should note that Jones’ is operating from memory here and not actual documented facts. Why would Jones remember something like that? Is that an indication that he is proactively looking for melanin levels in others? Why can’t people see that the real problem here is that people should NOT be raising their children in such a way as to make things like melanin a basic cultural identifier to begin with? Why not teach the Irish Christians not to make so much out of being Irish and the Germans, the Indian, the Chinese, the Africans? It is okay to hang on to certain cultural traditions and practices. We do it this way or that way is the beauty of diversity. But to elevate our identity based on this kind of criteria in the Christian community is contrary to Christian unity. Not only that, but I am pretty sure that TMUS would have spent a good deal of time talking about that obscure theologian, Augustine, in a class on historical theology. Still, the bigger question is why does it matter if Augustine was African, or European, or Asian? If I read the New Testament correctly, it doesn’t. Not even a little. Any mention of the nations in the NT is to demonstrate that God was fulfilling his promise from the beginning that in Abraham, all the nations of the earth would be blessed. And the emphasis there is on the fidelity of God, not the secondary issue of diversity. God does what he says he is going to do. That is the point.
Jones admits that he ranted many times to Dr. Paul Felix about his frustrations. And in this section of his post, he talks about his passionate desire to impact the African American community. Since when is a minister called to focus on a group of people based on melanin? As a minister of the gospel, shouldn’t you be interested in reaching everyone you can with the gospel without regard for their physical features or even their ethnicity? Why do we focus on specific people groups? The Apostles didn’t take that approach. They went everywhere preaching as they went. They had no regard for ethnicity or melanin or eye color or ear size. They broadcast the good news and trusted God to bring his own to Christ! So should we.
Jones then ends his post with the most amazing contradiction. He writes; It is hypocritical for Dr. MacArthur or anyone to say “just preach the gospel” thinking that will solve all issues. It doesn’t even work in his own church and the institutions he leads. It certainly will not work in your communities and churches. Hear me well. The true gospel is sufficient. This is like saying, ~A and then in the next breath saying, A. Jones says preaching the gospel won’t solve the issues and then he says the gospel is sufficient. I find this is all brands of movements that sneak into the church. The movement that wants to deny inspiration will say they affirm it. The inerrantists will use inerrancy language positively as if they really believe it. The language of conservative Christianity is used to import just the opposite ideas. It is typically a tactic employed to get people to lower their guard. I am not sure if Jones is actually doing that here or if his argument is just that sloppy.
Jones ends is post by returning to the lack of textbooks written by African theologians. Jones talks about MacArthur and Johnson being unbiblical and partial in this area. But Jones doesn’t bother to offer a biblical demonstration of why melanin or ethnicity ought to be a consideration for textbook selection in a seminary setting. What I want is the best thinkers textbooks in the classroom so that men can be trained with excellence. How prevalent is black liberation theology among black theologians? How many black theologians condemn MLK for his heresy and hypocrisy rather than give him a pass because of his civil rights accomplishments? How many black theologians are staunchly reformed in their theology? Someone recently asked Candice Owens why there were so many white people at her event. Her response was classic; only 13% of the population is black. What do you expect?
Terrence Jones has written an article about John MacArthur and Phil Johnson that failed to interact with a single thing MacArthur has written recently on the issue of social justice and the gospel. Worse than that, he has interacted with anything either man has written on the subject. Moreover, he treats both men as if they have never spoken out against the sin of racism. That is preposterous and slanderous. Jones made the decision to use the situation with TMUS to his advantage in an attempt to disparage the reputation of good men who have done more good for the kingdom than most in our generation. Why? Because TMUS doesn’t have any textbooks written by black theologians? Because MacArthur has refused to take his eyes off the true gospel and resist cultural trends to chase social causes that are not gospel issues? This isn’t about racism. Grace To You, John MacArthur, and Phil Johnson are all on record condemning racism as a sin and urging repentance. But for Terrence Jones and men of this ilk, that simply isn’t enough. The Apostle Paul wrote: For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor. 2:2)
Military battles are all about strategy and execution. One of the most common military strategies is known as the flank. If a fighting unit can flank its enemy in battle, it’s chances of winning that battle increase exponentially. This is because the opponent will face fire on its front as well as from its side. This is known as a crossfire. The maneuver, if executed correctly, can end a battle in short order. Another strategy that is vitally important to successful military campaigns is the gathering of information about the enemy’s strategy. This is usually accomplished through intelligence and in most cases involves spies. Being able to speak the language of the enemy and understanding a something about the cultural practices of the enemy go a long way in making for an effective spy. These two military analogies will serve as good illustrations for what is presently taking place in the American Evangelical Churches, most of which are SBC, many of which are PCA. We not only have spies in the communities, we are a good way into being flanked by the enemy.
Recently, The Gospel Coalition sent out an announcement by way of Twitter entitled, “Derrida, Foucault, and the Bible.” The course seeks to provide an overview of the work of these two philosophers as well as “Establish a way of thinking about the Bible that helps you bring it into conversation with philosophical ideas in an authentic and rigorous way.” In addition to this, a new book will be released later this year with the title, “Can White People Be Saved?” The first couple of sentences in the description of this book read as follows: “No one is born white. But while there is no biological basis for a white race, whiteness is real. What’s more, whiteness as a way of being in the world has been parasitically joined to Christianity, and this is the ground of many of our problems today. It is time to redouble the efforts of the church and its institutions to muster well-informed, gospel-based initiatives to fight racialized injustice and overcome the heresy of whiteness.” I should point out that a review of the contributors to this book uncovers a relationship with Derrida’s philosophy as well. Having studied philosophy as part of my apologetics training, I have to admit that I find it extremely fascinating that any evangelical leader or organization would consider the philosophies of Foucault or Derrida valuable Christian reading. I had to think more deeply about what was going on here. After months of conflating social justice with biblical justice, and of creating ungodly division through the racial reconciliation movement, and then the #MeToo overthrow of Complementarianism, the gay Christian Revoice conference of the PCA, and finally the over-stepping of boundaries by the churches on immigration policy, we now shift gears as this movement introduces these old pagan philosophers as new heroes and their philosophies as if they are epiphanies. Please know that I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am not saying all the men leading this movement are behind the curtain cooking up this strategy with pain-staking deliberateness. That said, I am also not saying they are not, either. But to say confidently that no such strategy is in anyway in place, to me, seems implausible. I don’t believe in coincidence. One this is sure, Satan has a strategy even if those who are carrying it out are unaware of their role in it. Paul told the Ephesian believers: Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. (Eph. 6:11) There is certainly a strategy at play. What exactly is going on? The purpose of the rest of this post is to try and help you connect the dots between the old hermeneutic of Liberal Protestantism and the hermeneutic of those modern evangelicals, so-called, who are to one degree or another, pushing the above agenda. It is a package deal and there is an underlying hermeneutic that serves as a basis for current challenges to age-old doctrines (complementarianism) and the introduction of new ones (racial reconciliation and gay Christianity).
The best weapon the church has at her disposal for defending the truth is the truth itself. The Scriptures are self-attesting, sufficient, our final authority for faith and practice. But those Scriptures are also self-interpreting. The frontal assault against the Scriptures aimed at evangelicals over the years has proven to be ineffective with only small successes here and there. A second attack has been aimed at the sufficiency of Scripture. This has produced more fruit but still has not delivered the desired results. There is a bottom line for the enemy and I will get to that soon enough. The old enemy of liberalism is back to attacking the Scripture in the area of hermeneutics. The act of communicating comes with intentionality. God intended something very specific when he communicated to us by way of the divine revelation that is Scripture. In short, when God spoke, he intended that we understand what he had to say. It is here that Satan spends most of his time strategizing against the people of God. And it is here that Christian leaders must spend energy and effort ensuring that God’s people are equipped with an accurate understanding of the truth that sets us free. And it is here that a theme has emerged among some evangelical leaders and that them is hermeneutical at its core. This brings me to Derrida and Foucault and their role in this strategy.
Who is Jacques Derrida?
Derrida is the French philosopher who brought us the philosophy known as deconstructionism. Deconstructive postmodernism finds its seedlings in the soil of phenomenology, structuralism, Heidegger, and Nietzsche. It is not my intention to get into the technical aspects of deconstructionism. My aim is to give you the big rocks of this philosophy so that you might gain some understanding of Derrida’s role in this new strategy. Keep in mind that there is no such thing as neutrality and this is especially the case where human philosophies are concerned, and this is even more pronounced where philosophy of language is the subject. In other words, there were numerous contributing beliefs that led Derrida to the place where he landed and none of those beliefs were neutral where Christian belief is concerned.
With Derrida’s deconstructive postmodernism comes the collapse of all dogmatic theological claims. A communicated message (to include all of Scripture) like a letter, never simply arrives at the address to which it was posted. Derrida says that Criticism traditionally seeks to establish the authorized meaning of the text, the original meaning placed in the text by the author. Deconstruction consists in putting this authority ‘out of joint’. Deconstruction stands over again the idea of an authoritative, fixed meaning in the text. There is no such thing as an authorized authorially intended meaning in the text, in the sign or the thing signified. Everything is always in flux. What Derrida’s project seeks to do is to undo metaphysical versions of theology that seek to think God as supreme “Being.” Kevin Vanhoozer is helpful; What Derrida denies is that there is any presence, any kind of being or determinate reality outside the play of signs. There is no original ground or “home” of meaning, nothing beyond particular and contingent language systems, and therefore nothing to keep meaning centered, stable, and determinate. The Christian has to ask what the consequences for Derrida’s deconstructionism are for the sacred Scripture. What hope can God have for establishing a text that preserves his truth to all nations throughout every generation? The consequences that Derrida’s deconstructive postmodernism are indeed fatal for Christian doctrine. This is why any suggestion of bringing Derrida’s views into the Church should be met with stern opposition. Hopefully, you are beginning to see how incorporating Derrida into any strategy designed to bring the historic position crashing down might make sense. But this is only one tactic among many others.
Who is Michael Foucault?
Foucault is another philosopher being mentioned by these so-called evangelical leaders. Perhaps it would be good to signify them as the liberal-Marxist evangelicals, or LME for short. Foucault is a French philosopher also prominent in the area of philosophy of language. Foucault’s theories are concerned with the relationship between power and knowledge. He is interested in influence, manipulation, and control.
Foucault argues that interpreters may want to believe in a rational presence who controls textual meaning, but such a belief is dishonest if not idolatrous. The author is a stopgap figure invented by interpreters frightened by the prospect of endless meaning. The author is, therefore, the ideological figure by which one masks the manner in which we fear the proliferation of meaning. The author is an idea whose use is no longer required.
Foucault’s earliest writings focused on psychology and developed within the frameworks of Marxism and existential phenomenology. He thought that bodies of knowledge are tied to systems of social control. Foucault’s work carried with it an explicit ethical component displayed in his works, “The Use of Pleasure” and. “The Care of the Self” which aimed at the liberation of human beings from contingent conceptual constraints masked as unsurpassable a priori limits and the adumbration of alternative forms of existence. One does not have to read far before realizing that Foucault was not only interested in the relationship between knowledge and power, but more to the point, he was interested in the kind of power that freed men from the bondage of restraint, sexual restraint being only one of many. In other words, Foucault was after a power of his own. He wanted the kind of power that pulled human beings out of the dungeon of sexual restraint that he blamed on the Victorian age. Foucault was an open sadomasochist who was notorious for his sexual deviance. In fact, on June 25th, 1984, it Foucault’s sexual deviance caught up with him and he died from complications due to the HIV virus. Christians would be well-served to start paying closer attention to the direction that some leaders in the evangelical churches desire to take them. How can an evangelical pastor, theologian, or scholar be taken seriously after positing the idea that a man like Foucault has something valuable to add to Christian thought?
What is the Hermeneutic of Liberation Theology?
For several months now the Liberal-Marxist Evangelical movement has pushed an agenda that has focused on themes that have much in common with a hermeneutic of liberation. As the man who is credited with this hermeneutic, Gustavo Guierrez said in his own words: The theology of liberation offers us not so much a new theme for reflection as a new way to do theology. Theology as critical reflection on historical praxis. The hermeneutic of liberation theology reads the Scripture from the underside as its proponents call it. In other words, it reads the Scripture while standing in the shoes of the various oppressed and marginalized groups. It begins with the poor, the outcast, the female, the black, the homosexual and it looks at Scripture as if Scripture was written specifically from their personal vantage point. In other words, rather than beginning with the doxological purpose of Scripture at the highest level, and rather than examining each text through a doxological-redemptive lens, placing the text in his historical, cultural setting, examining the linguistics, grammar, language, and theological frame, the hermeneutic of liberation begins with the man, the individual, and works from there. To put it simply, Liberation Theology drives the hermeneutic rather than allowing the hermeneutic to inform and correct the theology. As Grant Osborne observes, “By the very nature of language the Bible’s univocal truths are couched in analogical language, that is, the absolute truths of Scripture were encased in the human languages and cultures of the ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and we must understand those cultures in order to interpret texts properly.”
Bridging the gap between the foundational meaning of the ancient author and its contemporary relevance can be challenging and at a minimum it demands effort. Too often we confuse clarity with simplicity or worse, easy. To say that Scripture is clear is not the same thing as saying that it is easy to interpret.
So, where does this all leave us? How do we connect the dots? The efforts to convince white Christians that they have guilty of being racists, over-privileged Americans who are not doing enough to help the marginalized have been relentless. This applies as well to the idea that there is an epidemic of abuse toward women in the churches, that the church must insist on the most liberal immigration laws, that gay Christianity is now a thing, and that women must be permitted positions of leadership within the church. Can you see the theme? The oppressed and marginalized as defined by Liberation Theologies are pounding on the evangelical church: black liberation theology; feminist liberation theology; gay liberation theology; poor liberation theology.
In order for the Liberal-Evangelical Movement to effect change, it is now calling on others for help. Jacques Derrida will provide the tools necessary to question, challenge, and deconstruct whatever traditional, historical, dogmatic doctrines of Scripture there is that stands in the way. Michael Foucault will help them on two fronts: first, he will blame the oppression of homosexuals on man-made Victorian age philosophies. He will claim that whatever doctrines and practices these folks do not like are actually the products of a religious will to power by the majority of Christians, white Christians who happen to be privileged. These tyrants have whitewashed Christianity with their white supremacy and have made Christianity a “white-man” religion. Second, he will use knowledge, so-called to throw off these shackles and assist the movement as it seeks to take control on mainstream evangelicalism. With the help of Derrida and Foucault as well as the spies who have espoused a form of liberation theology secretly, the flank of mainstream evangelicalism is well underway. All is not lost, however. There are a number of men who are on the front lines and who, with the help of the Holy Spirit and by the grace of God will not allow the flank to see completion.
If you are attracted to these ideas being put forth by the Liberal-Evangelical Movement, I would encourage you to hit the pause button.
The racial reconciliation movement ignores the work of the cross, the power of the gospel, and requires that you harbor grudges and hatred in your heart. It focuses on man and uses the illegitimate criterion of melanin to do so.
The #MeToo movement ignores the order of creation from the very beginning and dares to challenge the historic interpretation of Scripture on the role of women in the home and in the church. It focuses on the demands of women who want to impose cultural attitudes on the church.
There can be no such thing as a gay Christian. There can only be Christians who used to be gay or gay people who are not Christians.
At last check, the United States had one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world, allowing over one million people to enter the country legally. For Christians to criticize the civil authorities for doing what is within their right to do brings shame, reproach, and blasphemy on the name of Christ.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Heb 4:12–13.
With all the rage over feminist issues going on as a result of the #MeToo movement, it isn’t shocking that pastors and professors holding to a more culturally friendly position on the issue of male-female roles in the family and the church should start to come out of the shadows into the light. After all, it seems a bit safer these days to do so. In an article over at The Christian Post, Michael Gryboski reports that Darrell Bock and Sandra Gahn are two professors who are inching their way out of the shadows. Gryboski reports the following:
Sandra Glahn, associate professor in Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary who teaches a gender studies course, and Darrell Bock, senior research professor of New Testament at DTS, disagree with those who interpret the passage as meaning that wives must be subservient to their husbands.
The text does not mean that wives are to be “subservient to their husbands.” Bock says that the countercultural text has been misused. Bock says that it’s the word submission that is the problem. To some people, the idea of submission is a four-letter word. Gahn chimes in to tell us that people reading this passage need to pay attention to the verbs used in Scripture, especially for the husband. I wonder why we only have to pay attention to the verbs used “especially for the husband.” That seems a bit out of place to me. “Often, when we look at the verbs, the wife gets to submit, and it gets taught that the husband gets to lead. But that’s not his verb. That verb is not there. His verb is love, and it’s not phileo love, it’s agape love, which looks a whole lot like submission,” said Glahn. Glahn goes on to say that submission is not a woman word, it’s a human word. And then she brings out the old argument that husbands and wives are to submit to one another. And now we get to the idea of mutual submission which really isn’t submission at all. Think about that for a second. If two people are supposed to submit to one another, then no one is really submitting to anyone. There is no leader to whom the other person must submit.
Now, let’s take a quick look at the passage in question and see if we can ascertain the meaning of the passage so that we can apply it to how we live as Christians in the current environment. Let’s begin with the first verb in this pericope: Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. The verb is actually in the previous verse and it is a participle. Verse 21 is a transitional verse and the participle likely carries an imperatival sense being supplied by the imperative “be filled” with the Spirit. The wife’s submission hearkens back to Gen. 3:16 where God recognizes that Eve will desire to rule her husband but he shall rule over her. The hoti clause points clearly in this direction. This subordinate clause is a causal clause. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. In other words, because the husband is the head of the wife, the wife should submit to the husband. What does being the head of something mean? Well, look into the next clause, “as Christ is the head of the church.” Just as Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head of his wife. Because of this, wives are to submit to their husbands.
Now, if this isn’t clear enough, it gets even clearer: Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Just as the church is subordinate to Christ, the wife is to be subordinate to her husband. So far, it seems farfetched that one could read this text without understanding it to simply mean that wives are to submit to their husbands just as the church submits to Christ. This clearly places the husband in a leadership position. How could it not? I do not have to say to the husband, now, you must lead. If I have said to the wife, you must submit to your husband, implicit in that statement is a corresponding statement to the husband to lead those who are submitting to him. That goes without saying. For a professor at DTS to miss that strikes me as odd. I am having a hard time deciding if these professors are as inept as they seem sometimes or if they are just trying to save their necks from a culture that is increasingly calling for their heads.
So far, the only significant verb at this point occurs in v. 24 and it is, hypotassō. It is the word translated “submit.” Paul now turns his attention to the husbands. The wife has her instructions: submit, be subordinate to your husband. Paul issues the command: Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. The Greek imperative is used for love and it means in this context, to have a warm regard for someone, to cherish and have affection for another. Paul repeats this command in v. 28 and 33. As Christ loves the church, each husband is to love his own wife.
There is nothing in the meaning or use of the word agape here that should lead any reasonable exegete to see submission in its meaning. It just isn’t there. But Gahn says clearly that agape love looks a lot like submission. Maybe this is the problem. Those who work with the languages as a matter of routine have come to realize that there isn’t a neat category for phileo love and then another one for agape love, etc. The fact is that these words are used with overlapping meaning on numerous occasions. The best way to determine the meaning of a word is to read it in its context. Gahn is apparently ignoring that exegetical principle.
Not only does agape love in this case not carry any hint of the notion of submission, the model for the husband-wife relationship is parallel to Christ and the church. Christ loves the church. That is agape love as well. Does that mean that Christ submits to the church? We are in the immediate context of this pericope. If not, why not? How can we say that this kind of love that the husband owes to the wife sounds a lot like submission but not so with Christ and the church especially when they are within spitting distance of one another?
So, are Sandra Gahn and Darrell Bock correct when they say that this pericope has been widely misused? Is it the case that this text is pointing us to the concept of mutual submission between the husband and the wife? I cannot see how such an interpretation could be considered feasible for even a second. The word translated submit is pretty straightforward. The model for that submission is Christ and the church. That seems pretty easy to understand to me. Moreover, there isn’t a hint of submission in the word “agape.” And if there is, then this would mean that Christ should love (submit to) the church the same way that Gahn and Bock say that a husband should submit to his wife. Mutual submission is nothing more than a concept invented by scholars are who either inept in their ability to handle the text or dishonest and motivated by the fear of losing their credibility among a pagan culture who, as the professors themselves put it, think of wifely submission to their husbands as if it were a four-letter-word. Well, it’s not a four-letter-word. What it is, is the commandment of our sovereign Lord whom we are obligated to fear and obey and acknowledge in all we say and do. That is what it is.
So the answer to the question is, yes, it does. Ephesians 5 really does tell wives that they must submit to their husbands. And if you are telling them something different, then you are contradicting God. That is an undesirable position to be in for certain.
When one surveys the history of Christianity and compares that history with the original teachings of Christianity, it can be an eye-opening experience. For example, we know that the Christian church is built by Christ, not men. We know that the church belongs to Christ, not men. And we know that Satan wants to destroy the church. Jesus told Peter in Matt. 16:18, And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Notice that Jesus calls the church “my church.” Also, note that Jesus says, “I will build my church.” Jesus goes on to say quite literally, whatever you might bind on earth WILL HAVE BEEN BOUND in heaven and whatever you might loose on earth WILL HAVE BEEN LOOSED in heaven. The use of the perfect tense focuses the reader on the fact that Matthew is emphasizing the heaven’s action of this verb, over the action of the apostle’s binding and loosing which are both in the aorist tense.
Whatever authority Peter and the apostles had, it’s source would be in heaven. It is wrong to think of this language in a way that has Heaven backing the apostle’s play. Better, it should be understood that apostolic authority, the spiritual authority of the church is restricted to divine authority. This makes it possible for leaders in the church to go beyond their authority. And indeed, when Christianity roles into the 4th century, this is exactly what happens. Men have turned to eyes to temporal and political authority and power and have assumed that God will back their play. They begin to misuse and abuse their spiritual authority. They begin to exceed their authority, failing to understand the treason they are committing when they do so. It is not just abuse for a pastor/elder to exceed his spiritual authority, it is the highest form of treason.
The path to recovering the church lies in returning to the absolute authority of Scripture. This means that Scripture informs the structure of our churches locally from the standpoint of leadership and it means that the entire service centers around the Christ revealed in Scripture. In Titus 1:5, Paul writes, This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you. There are a few things worth noting in this verse. First, there are some things that are lacking that need to be corrected. Apparently, one of these items, likely, the most important one is the appointing of elders in every town. The clear inference here is that a lack of elders means that your church has a deficiency that requires correction. Commenting on this verse, George Knight writes,
κατὰ πόλιν is used in the distributive sense: “city by city” or “in every city” (BAGD s.v. κατά II.1d; cf. Acts 15:21; 20:23; also κατʼ ἐκκλησίαν, Acts 14:23). This means that plural πρεσβυτέρους relates to each city that has a church: Several elders/overseers are appointed in each church. This corresponds to what was done in the cities of Philippi (Phil. 1:1) and Ephesus (Acts 20:17, 28; cf. 14:23; 1 Thes. 5:12, 13; 1 Tim. 5:17).
Every local church is to have a plurality of elders. The lack of a plurality of elders in the local church is considered by Paul a problem that must be rectified. He deliberately left Titus in Crete so that he would work toward this end. If your local church does not have a plurality of elders, each man being equal in authority as the next man, then your church is deficient in a critical area and it should address this deficiency promptly and with a sense of urgency. It does not matter what kind of ecclesiology the people have become accustomed to. As an elder, you are obligated to train them according to the authority of Scripture and fix it. Do it now. Only then can you begin to recover a NT church.
A plurality of elders, when done biblically, guards against the dominant charismatic personality type. This helps protect all the elders and more importantly the church from adopting bad practices, unbiblical teachings, and guards against mission drift. To the elders at Ephesus, Paul wrote the following ominous warning: I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. It should be noted that Paul called for the elders, plural, of the church at Ephesus to come down to him. Once they were assembled, Paul issued this very sober warning about the spiritual dangers of Christianity and the duties of these men to protect the church from these dangers. Of course, a plurality of elders doesn’t help much if there is one dominant personality (Sr. Pastor) who manipulates the composition of the body of elders.
Another component of recovering the church is getting the gospel right. The state of affairs that has obtained today regarding the gospel is quite disturbing. It seems to me that many Christian leaders have trouble distinguishing the gospel from the good works that result from the gospel. Opposing abortion is, to many, a gospel issue. Immigration has become a gospel issue. Stopping human trafficking has become a gospel issue. And if that isn’t bad enough, we still have the Billy Graham-Charles Finney revivalism hangover. Christianity is a product of human will. This is also known as decisional regeneration. As long as the churches fail to understand the gospel revealed in Scripture, there can be no recovery.
Another problem is the failure on the part of the churches to evangelize. Some people evangelize more than others. And some people don’t evangelize at all. They simply don’t open their mouth and share their faith with anyone, ever. In fact, asking someone if they go to church is as close as some people get to evangelism. If that is you, I hate to inform you that you are not evangelizing. To evangelize is to share the gospel. That requires some sort of confrontation. And it is that confrontation that we desperately want to avoid. It is impossible to recover the NT church in our churches without also recovering the practice of evangelism. Tell someone the truth about how Jesus Christ saved you from the darkness of sin and translated you into the kingdom of the light of the glorious gospel!
Another major piece of this puzzle is equipping the saints. If you are a pastor and you are not spending the overwhelming majority of your time and energy working a robust and healthy discipleship system of some sort, then you are doing it wrong. According to Eph. 4:11-12, God gave pastors…to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. The saints are biblically inept today. They know very little about what the Bible actually teaches. They know less about any kind of systematic theology. And they know almost NOTHING about the history of Christianity. Most professing Christians spend very little energy becoming acquainted with the one being they say is the most important person in their life: the Triune God revealed in Scripture.
It is precisely this lack of discipleship and equipping that gives platforms to movements like the Charismatic movement, and people like Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Steve Furtick, Beth Moore, Andy Stanley, and a plethora of charlatans ranging from outright heretics to those fleecing the church and slandering the name of Christ with their scandalous doctrines. Not only that, this lack of equipping and education in the churches makes the church far too dependent on men. In order for accountability to work, you have to have godly leaders holding the churches accountable and churches holding their godly leaders accountable. One of the most serious problems in our churches today is that our pastors are used to doing far too much without any oversight. Some churches have given their pastors far too much autonomy, thinking that this should make things run more smoothly. To the contrary, it places our pastors and our churches at tremendous risk. The churches have to be responsible for calling their elders/pastors. They have to be responsible for firing them if necessary. Our churches have to create structures where the elders are transparent, reporting on the details of projects and priorities. The leaders need to be able to provide biblical justification for the items that are on their radar. The communication between the elders/pastors should be free-flowing, clear and constant. If that is not the case in your church, I would encourage you to begin to work to change that. We are all sinners and we need to hold each other accountable.
The apostle Paul said it this way: submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Eph. 5:21)
 George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992), 288.
Christianity isn’t collapsing! The gospel hasn’t changed an iota! Jesus Christ is the same today as he always has been and always will be. The gospel is still saving men just as effectively and efficiently as it always has. That’s what the gospel does. Men of God are still standing in their pulpits and thundering the truths of Scripture just like men of God have done since men of God began to exist. The Holy Spirit is still applying the truths of biblical revelation to the hearts of the elect and transforming their lives more and more into the image of Christ. Amen! Biblical Christianity has not changed. American Evangelical Christianity on the other hand? Well, that’s a horse of a very different color. And the color of that horse, if it is not changing, is at least becoming clearer today than it ever has been. This deistic moralism parading as Evangelical Christianity in America has been mortally wounded and is drawing her last breaths. Well, she is drawing her last breath as far as being able to pass herself off as being truly Christian. She is dying from the standpoint that she will no longer be able to hide her pseudo-Christian nature. Everything in the dark is finally being brought to light. We are beginning to see just how many hypocrites and fakes there are in the ranks of the so-called American Evangelical Christian Churches.
One of the clearest indications that American Evangelical Christianity is drawing her last breaths is the onslaught a tribalism that has finally revealed itself to be inside the churches just as much as it is in the world. One of those tribes is the homosexual movement. It is partly the low view of marriage among American Evangelicals that gave rise to the gay marriage movement. Evangelicals had abandoned God’s view of marriage long ago. The divorce rates and lack of subsequent discipline regarding those rates serve as sober proof that this is the case. Now, those gay marriage chickens have piggy-backed on the SJW nonsense of racial reconciliation and the utterly absurd #MeToo movement to take the church by storm.
As you are probably aware, there is a conference taking place at Memorial Presbyterian Church located in St. Louis, MO. This is a PCA church. This is more than a little disturbing. The conference is endorsed by prominent SBC personalities like Matt Chandler and Karen Swallow Prior. It is also endorsed by Gabe Lyons, a man strongly defended by Darrell Bock over at Dallas Theological Seminary. Finally, it is also endorsed by Francis Chan, a man who has obviously swerved far from the truth after graduating from TMS.
I am going to use two sources to point out some very basic flaws in this worldview. And yes, “gay Christianity” is a worldview. One that Christians have to be aware of and one that we have to repudiate and refute. One source will be Jason Harris’ blog article responding to Phil Johnson’s post and the other one is the Statement of Marriage, Sexuality, & Gender from The Center for Faith, Sexuality, and Gender.
To begin with, paragraph 3 of the Statement of Marriage, Sexuality, & Gender reads this way: The Fall has corrupted God’s original intent for human sexuality in all persons; therefore, all people—straight or non-straight—experience corruption in their sexuality. I added the emphasis. Note that there is a presumption that being straight or not being straight is in the same category. This implies that non-straight, or gay tendencies or desires are morally neutral or worse, just as natural as those of straight, or heterosexual people. This is deliberate. The first aim is to normalize homosexual desires, proclivities, or as Jason Harris calls it, same-sex attraction. The next article says, Simply experiencing attraction to the same sex (or being gay) is not in itself a morally culpable sin. So, according to this statement, being a homosexual is not a morally culpable sin. Is a person’s sexual desire, appetite, preference a morally neutral trait? Jason Harris distinguishes attraction from desire and both of these from lust. He has constructed an elaborate scheme designed entirely to remove any and all moral culpability from homosexual desires. But what about this distinction? Can one be gay, celibate, and therefore a true Christian? Can you have sexual desires to be with a man and be a Christian, as long as you are not acting on those desires?
To begin with, there is nothing in science to support the theory that same-sex attraction is genetic. In other words, the gay gene is still a thing of myth. It doesn’t exist. Second, there is no reason to think that human beings cannot recognize that a particular desire is wrong, unnatural, unhealthy, and harmful, and as a result made a conscious choice to abandon that desire. What you will hear is that people just don’t do that. But there is evidence available that suggests they can and they do, even if it is rare. There is no science anywhere that demonstrates that gay people are really women stuck in a man’s body or that lesbians are men stuck in a woman’s body. These are the facts. So why is it so difficult for someone to take charge of their sexual desires and attractions and change them? The simple answer is they don’t want to. Their desire lies in the other direction. The sexual desire we feel has to be replaced by a stronger desire. It has to be replaced by a desire that is more important, more powerful, stronger than it is. Unless that happens, the sexual desire will continue. Now, that explains why it is so terribly difficult to change one’s sexual desire/attraction. But it does not answer the question, is sexual attraction in and of itself morally neutral?
In the beginning, God created man, male and female. And he created man with a natural desire, a natural sexual attraction to a woman. God said in Gen. 1:31 regarding this state of affairs that it was very good. But we all know what happened not too long after that. Man played the fool, believing that he could live autonomously. He thought that he could get along without God, carry on his life independent from God. The result was disastrous. Man fell into a state of moral depravity. Evil entered the world. Two kinds of evil entered to the world to be precise: natural evil and moral evil. Natural evil involves natural phenomenon like a tornado that destroys things, including peoples’ lives. Moral evil is that contamination of the being of man, not his physical being, but his soul. Every part of man has been corrupted by the fall: his intellect, his will, and his emotion. While this does not mean that man is as depraved as he could be, it does mean that there isn’t a part of the human person that is untouched by sin. Evil resides in every part of every human being that has existed after the fall.
Now, Jason Harris, in agreement with the statement on marriage, sexuality, & gender believes that sexual attraction is a morally neutral thing. On the other hand, however, Jason admits that same-sex attraction is the product of the fall. He compares it to earthquakes, cancer, and cavities. He then compares a teenage boy who is attracted to a female classmate to same-sex attraction as if they are somehow equivalent. Jason couldn’t be more wrong. SSA is not like a cavity. Unlike the natural evil that is the cavity, SSA goes to morality because it resides in the human psyche. It is not physical. It is mental. It belongs, not to the body, but to the soul. It is a composition of the human person, not the human body. Remember Genesis 1:31: sexual attraction between a man and a woman is very good. It is God’s perfect design. It is an act of the human person. Being an act of the human person, it cannot be morally neutral. It resides in human desires. The victim mentality says that we are servants of our desires. They control us. We do not control them. This is stated by the LGBT movement ad nauseam. The problem with this worldview, and that is exactly what we are dealing with, is that it is antithetical to Christianity. Genesis 1-3 provides us with the clear design of God’s world and the fall of man into sin that brought about the curse.
In addition to same-sex attraction being a component of the human person, and therefore, subject to the curse and possessing moral qualities, the apostle Paul informs us in the NT on more than one occasions that desires can surely be immoral in and of themselves, contrary to the gay Christian arguments. For instance, Col. 3:5 says, Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. Jason Harris and others claim that SSA is the result of the fall. They go on to claim that it is better for Christians, at least many of them make this claim, not to identify themselves as being gay. Well, if SSA is just as natural as opposite-sex attraction, as Jason has so clearly argued, then what is the problem with identifying as a gay Christian since it is morally neutral?
To add to the issue, Paul paints a picture in Romans 1:24-28 that clearly tells us that same-sex attraction, or homosexual desire, is a shameful, or degrading, disgraceful passion. If it is forbidden for a man to lie with a man as with a woman, then it naturally follows that it is forbidden for a man to desire to lie with other men in such a fashion. You are only kidding yourself if you think you can separate attraction from sexual desire. It is impossible and anyone who attempts to tell you otherwise is only kidding themselves. Can you? As a woman or a man, can you dispense with your sexual desire and only always have just an attraction to the opposite sex? I don’t mean a person specifically. I mean the desire for sex itself. Unless you have the gift of celibacy or have been injured in some way, you cannot have attraction without sexual desires in the mix. It is utterly foolish for us to think otherwise. My point is that if the “attraction” is not mortified, the desire won’t be either.
Finally, we turn to 1 Cor. 6:9-11. In this section of Scripture, Paul moves through a list of sinful people, fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, etc. And adamantly tells the Corinthian church three things: these kinds of people will not inherit the kingdom of God; second, the Corinthian church contained people who used to be these kinds of people at one time in their past; but now, they are no longer these kinds of people because they have been washed, sanctified, and justified. At one time, some of the Corinthians were fornicators, and Paul says, but no longer! At one time, some of the Corinthians were homosexuals, and Paul says, but no longer. Now, I confess that I find it odd that a person who supposedly has come to Christ in faith and repentance from the homosexual lifestyle would insist on still identifying themselves as homosexual. If this text is rightly understood, it seems to me that Paul would have been opposed to this practice. They are no longer homosexuals. Why insist that they are? I am convinced that these people who claim to be Christian but who insist on being identified as gay, homosexual, or SSA are not at all Christian because they are still a homosexual with homosexual desires that they are not interested in abandoning. That is speculation on my part. But I think I have good ground for that speculation. So, it isn’t baseless speculation. It isn’t sheer conjecture.
- There is no scientific proof that SSA is genetic.
- There is no science to support the view that SSA cannot be changed even by the conscious efforts of the individual.
- SSA attraction is a perversion of the fall. It is not physical or biological. It is a component of the human person and as such is not morally neutral.
- Opposite sex attraction is very good according to Gen. 1:31. It’s opposite is very bad.
- 3:5 clearly teaches that there are evil desires as do many other passages in the NT. Desire is not morally neutral.
- Romans 1:24-28 describe homosexual desire as a degrading, shameful, disgraceful passion that leads to unnatural sexual activity.
- 1 Cor. 6:9-11 denies the idea that homosexuals should still identify themselves as homosexuals after conversion. They should see their homosexuality in the past tense and identify themselves as washed, sanctified, and justified.
- SSA is difficult to change because people do not desire to change it. The only thing that can change any human desire is for a competing desire to present itself as more desirable.
- People only stop being same-sex attracted when another desire that conflicts with it takes over. In this case, a desire to please God, to glorify God is sufficient to kill same-sex attraction.
- If your desire to please God is not enough to cause you to hate same-sex attraction, then you either do not desire to please God or the Bible is false, and Christianity is a lie.
- If the gospel of Christ, applied by the God the Holy Spirit to the human person is not enough to deliver one from the sin of SSA, then again, the Bible is false, and Christianity should be abandoned.
- Those who hold to the view that one can be gay and Christian, have homosexual desires and be Christian would be wise to examine their view of God, their view of sin, and their view of the power of the gospel and the sufficiency of Scripture.