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"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)

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    We are a community of confessing believers who love the gospel of Jesus Christ, affirm the Biblical and Christ-exalting truths of the Reformation such as the five solas, the doctrines of grace, monergistic regeneration, and the redemptive historical approach to interpreting the Scriptures.

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  • « eBook Sale - NIV Application Commentary | Main | Galatians 1 - The Same Gospel »

    Where Did Those "Hateful" Christians Come From?

    Calling Christians "hateful" for pointing out sinful behavior is a tactic born of slick corporate image consultants, but it is not an argument. By declaring the intent of Christians either hateful or bigoted (i.e. sinful) for simply expressing what God teaches is to profoundly misrepresent the intentions and beliefs of Christians. Not to mention the fatal inconsistency of calling Christians "sinful" for their declaring certain behaviors as "sinful". How can one consistently say that anyone who calls someone's behavior "sinful" is sinful? Isn't this the pot calling the kettle black? Aren't you guilty of the very thing of which you accuse another? Furthermore, how do you know if Christians are wrong? What standard is being appealed to here? This sinister scheme of marginalizing Christians for their beliefs actually promotes the most ignorant form of intolerance there is. For it pretends objectivity while giving a wholesale monopoly to secularists to determine for all of us, what is, and what is not, sinful ... thus making themselves into the new gods of the age.

    Fact is, contrary to bumper-sticker wisdom, true Christians do not think they are more moral than others... we believe we are all in the same boat and, often times, much worse than others. We believe the world that has been pulled over ALL of our eyes to blind us ALL from the truth. The truth revealed by God that we are ALL slaves born into bondage. So we are merely sinners pointing other sinners to freedom and to bread ... and the intent, for the most part, is not from the vantage point of moral superiority (we're not), but rather one of love, to help mankind by pointing to their only hope for escape. Any so-called Christian who does it for any other reason is probably a moralist, or at least not being consistent at all with Christianity's central teaching of grace. For we believe that morality will damn just as much as immorality, apart from the Savior.

    Posted by John on May 1, 2013 05:53 PM

    Comments

    Many Christians condemn others for "what God teaches." They do NOT condemn divorce, which is directly addressed by Jesus in all three synoptic Gospels. They do not condemn those who are led by their greed (i.e., Wall Street bankers who nearly destroyed our economy, Congressmen who allow themselves and other government officials to make money based on insider information). And yet, they condemn those who love, those who seek justice, those who want all human beings to be treated as children of God. This is hateful.

    @Glyndon Morris

    You said, many Christians "do NOT condemn divorce, which is directly addressed by Jesus in all three synoptic Gospels. They do not condemn those who are led by their greed..."

    Indeed we cannot pick and chose our sins. The Bible sweeps us all up as we all stand condemned before a holy God.

    As Scripture says, "For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all." (Rom 11:32)

    But to be frank, if I may be so bold, I think perhaps you may partially be a victim of the image consultants yourself as I have rarely met a Christian who does not boldly condemn divorce, stealing, corporate greed and the like. There are of course many nominal Christians which are more involved in politics and moralizing than the gospel, which the media love to focus on, but the vast majority of devout Christians want MORE THAN ANYTHING for "all human beings to be treated as children of God." But we believe only the gospel can bring people there. By denying them the gospel they will never be treated as children of God but remain in their bondage and rebellion to him. I have heard talking points like yours from Atheists and other secularist groups, but it seems to me to again be a tactic, and not an argument and quite alien to most Christians who don't think like that at all.

    Since we all have no hope from ourselves then, it matters not how moral we make the world. Apart from Christ, morality only kills. Only helping to make people be nice and moral is like putting a Band-Aid on cancer. Although many may think making America more moral by strong political lobbying is their highest calling it may come as a surprise that morality and and making people nice is not our commission. We have not been mandated by God to do this and I believe this a diversionary activity. If the heart is not transformed or regenerated, all we do, then, is redirect the sin. We then make people into Pharisees and Jesus said that by making somebody a convert to our morality, we merely make him "twice as much a son of hell as [our]selves." This is just repackaged legalism, attempting to attain godliness by a systematic change of behavior which does not spring from a renewed heart. Both liberals and conservatives make the mistake of making behavior change/modification the issue when only supernatural intervention will suffice for this broken world.

    I think the language of today has been corrupted and word definitions have been reversed which confuses the average person. Tolerance, hate, love, acceptance etc., have all been turned upside down and used in an Orwellian good is bad, bad is good, method to beat back Christians and try to turn the table on them. When facts dont matter, and emotions rule the language, there isnt much to do but shine the light of Christ in the dark world, and be ready for persecution.

    The times are as the 12th chapter of Judges reads;"there was no prophet in Israel and everyone did what was right in his own eyes" Instead of "let God be true and every man a liar." God's word has been set aside and the word of God is treated as a fable, within the churches, that once believed in the truth of scripture.
    Jesus prayed "sanctify them through thy truth thy word is truth". Without the word as the standard of God, man is left to his own imagination and devised plan for his salvation (Justification by faith as a gift from God, as well as sanctification of life which is the work of God.) "The sword of the Spirit is the word of God." We live in the end time, when as the Bible reads "If the light that is in you be darkness how great is that darkness" the time is now coming again as the early church experienced. "They that kill you will think they do God service." and as Jesus said "think it not strange that the world hates you, they hated me before they hated you." Apostle Paul wrote "they that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The time of persecution is upon us, the Lord has promised to abide with his bride till the end.

    Political action is still useful for two reasons. First of all, we need to maintain our freedom to proclaim the truth. That is the whole point of the Exodus.

    Secondly, people need to realize that they are sinners before they come to Christ. As national laws approach the standard of the Bible they will aid in this task. Paul said that the law is the school master that leads us to Christ.

    Divorce! The Chick Fil A "prophet" so recently equated divorce with homo-sexuality himself! Wronnnngggg! Divorce is a sin, not a death sentence. Jesus and his apostle Saint Paul treated the particular sin of divorce on a case by case basis. Who done what and why not cart blanche! Not at all like today's modern pharisees do.

    @ Glyndon Morris and John Hendryx

    I understand John´s article, and especially appreciate the fact that he makes a distinction between true Christians and false ones, and acknowledges that even true Christians are liable to err, even very seriously. I think though that Glyndon does have a point. Historically, Christians have never been the most popular of people. This is obviously expected if we are faithfully following Jesus. However, in our times I cannot say accurately that Christians are completely blameless in our witness to the world, the way the Bible calls us to be. This should cause us to make our calling and election sure, instead of turning a blind eye to our flaws. Of course a true Christian cannot live a life of sin but that does not mean that a Christian cannot sin, ie be hateful. For example, Martin Luther who I believe was a true Christian struggled with his hatred of Jews! There is a possibility today that majority of Christians struggle with being hateful in the way they go about exposing the sin of unbelievers, for example in Uganda, hateful attitudes towards homosexuals by professed Christians are not opposed strongly enough by Christians around the world. I like the last paragraph in John´s response to Glyndon and found it very insightful. I agree completely that the problem is essentially a problem of the heart and should be handled as such through the gospel and not through political/moralistic means. We are seeing the world becoming increasingly liberal. Could this perhaps be due to the political lobbying of some professed Christians, and if so would not the best response be confession and repentance of sin?

    I feel that it is strange that today it seems like many Christians are persecuting the world, whereas before it was vice versa. We need to return to the Bible and have our lives reformed after the life of Jesus.

    I certainly agree that the Bible says we are to call sin for what it is and that all are in sin. I have no issue with anyone calling me a sinner, and as a Christian have no embarrassment about saying that about everyone I meet. I do think its helpful however, to consider how our sin is mingled with our obedience to the Word though. Many times, too often in my experience, Christians hide their self righteousness, bigotry, sexism, greed, anger, etc... behind their "obedience" in calling sin for what it is. The passion to be faithful is all too often a suitable scapegoat behind which we can all too easily wound others with words of truth in an ungodly manner. I do this too often with my kids, and though I've said something true, made true judgments, but done so inappropriately. While I am confident, absolutely confident, the accusation of being "hateful" will be applied to any who dare make any critical judgments, I am equally confident the accusation would have far less potency if rather than immediately retort with Bible verses we actually listened and discerned our own hearts. Making true judgments based upon scripture is no more godly than the sins we rightly judge. The accusation of being "hateful" may, at times, be appropriate given our ungodly use of biblical truth and it may be - in my opinion, is - a good bit of the reason terms like "hateful" are used against us.

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