January 15, 2011

Scripture Twisting - John MacArthur

"What can you do for me" or "What have you done for me lately?"

"If it doesn't aid me in what I think is right...then I am not interested"

One of my pet peeves. People misappropriating the Scripture to serve their own selfish needs. In a pair of sermons from John MacArthur I am trying to show how society and culture had done such a thorough job of confusing the truth that even the learned of the church are becoming unsure of themselves. I believe part of this is because they are not firmly rooted in the word to begin with. They do not hold Scripture in the highest regard (please note I said highest, not high). Scripture is God's special revelation of His character and what is expected of us. It is inerrant. It is is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. It is truth. Believe it or not it is the only absolute truth that man will find in this life. Being such it is the benchmark and measuring stick for our behavior. People say they do not what to believe anymore. They say there is no absolute truth, things are all subject to peoples individual opinions, education levels and...lifestyles. This is just wishful thinking. In the Bible God offers the measuring stick for man. Ignore it to your own demise. Just as a preacher understands that his highest authority available to him to take out into the world is the Word, so too this authority is available to the believer. Like the first post, this second post will come as a slap in the face to today's society and culture and what most have come to accept as "normal" and "acceptable" behavior.

As for the misappropriation of Scripture, John does good job of expounding on this topic here. The reason I post this sermon now is because the previous sermon needed context so that I did not appear as an incoherent rambling backwoods homophobic. It is clear that the sin of homosexuality becoming a cultural "norm". The advocates of this "norm" are now actually trying to claim that the Bible says nothing adverse or against homosexuality. What has become even more clear is that Scripture is now being twisted by advocates of homosexuality and every other sin under the sun that believe the Bible actually condones there sin in particular because they can find a verse that says so in the Christian's Holy Writ. How often have we heard this misuse of Scripture.

"You shouldn't judge because the Bible says, 'judge not lest ye be judge'. Anyone that reads the following two verse realize that this verse refers mainly to hypocrisy. "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

Some of the underlying error is addressed in the sermon in the previous post by John MacArthur. These error stem from various reasons that include poor hermeneutics, exegesis, Bible interpretation and a backlash against twisted legalism. Pharisees and teachers are the target of the passages here in this post but the understanding is that these are the "learned leaders" and the ones that should be leading the flock towards God not away.

We can see the same parallel today in our churches. Entire denominations are not only condoning illicit sexual relationships they are actually catering towards them. In the worst case some of the leaders of churches are involved in questionable relationships themselves. They label themselves, "tolerant", "open-minded", "alternative lifestyle friendly" or even more brazenly marketing themselves to the culture as adaptive to "cultural need" or "come as you are" and don't worry about changing. This is all easily translated to an acceptance of sinful behavior by the church which itself is a sin. This is called enabling and appeasement. If there is any doubt I recently pulled this quote off of a local church's website in the borough adjacent to mine. Much of the wordage is cryptic and obfuscatory but the intent is clear. One needs only to do a little homework to see that some of these "churches" are part of a much larger network of religious organizations condoning illicit sexual behavior in contradiction to their own Holy Bible. If they truly believe that the Bible is the infallible word of God they would not be condoning these sins. The advertisement for the Church in their website: I've italicized the duplicit language in their mission statement to draw attention to how subtle it is.
If you're looking for the chance to be a seeker--to explore life's meaning, to examine spiritual and social questions, to find ways of living more constructively as a multicultural society, then we're looking for you...

If you're looking for a creative worship experience--to share your joys and concerns, to hear provocative preaching, to lift your spirit in song, to share in worship which is regularly planned by church members along with the pastor, then we're looking for you...

If you're looking for a church which is "autonomous"--where a congregational vote is the highest authority in church affairs, and where every Christian is free and responsible to interpret scripture and faith according to his or her own experience and intellect, then we're looking for you....
So not to purposely demonize this church I have abstained from actually naming them but it can be found on this page of Gay Affirming Churches in Pennsylvania which is a national organization for gay advocacy. Make no mistake about it. The largest threat to Christian's religious freedom will come from a minority bent on making our religion into "hate speech" and their concerted attempts to normalize illicit sexual behavior. On the same side of the coin we must fully understand that this is only one of many sexual sins plaguing the culture today-the worst of which is adultery. We are to despise the sin not the sinner. These people can be saved but if channels are not opened up and kept open for discussion no ground can ever be gained and no inroads made to save people...people God loves but because of His justice...must punish for their sin. The two sides will get farther and farther apart with no chance of meeting if these walls continue to be erected by those bend on alienating themselves from the Christian faith.

This sermon and the previous should be view in conjunction with one another. My advice to those that believe I am out of line posting these types of posts is this: Instead of trying so hard to hold on to the sinful logic or the logic of our culture's that has strayed from truth, I recommend that you go to the Word that Jesus Christ came to fulfill and embody in and of Himself. The Bible.

Oh, one more thing. Please note that I never directly attack homosexuals in the last two post, I went after the sin of homosexuality. There is a difference. I care about God's creation. If you read back through the last 500 or so post... there is a pattern in this blog to hammer the sin...not the sinner. God loves them as I do. The Bible commands me to love my neighbor. That means everyone outside me. That means all sinners and saved alike.

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