Monday, August 5, 2013

Christian Hypocrisy and the Homosexual Question

Following the recent passing of legalisation by the British government legalising homosexual marriage a homosexual man has said that he and his partner will challenge the Church in court over the Church’s exemption from having to solemnise homosexual marriages. A news story about this was published by the Christian Institute, a British Christian lobbying organisation, on its web site on 1 August 2013 here.

Various Christian bloggers have commented on this on the internet and have bewailed this development. Lawyers had already warned the British government before the legislation was passed that there would be legal problems with the exemption and that such legal challenges were likely. But the government pressed ahead regardless.

Christians and Christian organisations are now busy condemning this legislation and bewailing the legal challenge to the Church that will inevitably arise. But it seems to me there is a problem here. Why are Christians objecting?

Over the last forty years, the time that I have been a Christian, and during most of which I have sought to promote God’s law as the standard of justice by which both individuals and the nation as a whole should abide, and which has been the standard under which our systems of common law and equity were developed and previously governed, I have repeatedly been told by Christians—leaders of Churches, pastors, clergymen and their fellow travellers—that we are not under God’s law any more but under grace and therefore that seeking to promote the application of God’s law to modern society is “legalism.” Those who have promoted God’s law in this way have been characterised as “heretics” by many mainline Christians, including evangelical and Reformed Churches and pietistic ministers.

Well, if this is the case why is there now all this fuss about homosexual marriage from Christians? Why should Christians require homosexuals to live by a standard (God’s law) that they themselves do not believe is relevant any more and do not believe they have to adhere to themselves? The Bible has a word for this: hypocrisy. The Churches for the most part have abandoned the preaching of God’s law and teach that it is no longer relevant to modern society. The Church of England, which in Queen Elizabeth I’s reign put the Ten Commandments up on large boards in every Church in the land to remind the people of their duty, and which required them to be read out every Sunday in the liturgy of the Church, no longer requires this. Most of the large boards with the Ten Commandments on have now been taken down and the Ten Commandments are seldom read out in church on a Sunday any more. I myself heard an Anglican vicar tell his whole congregation that “There are no rules in Christianity.” I also heard another vicar tell his congregation that the Ten Commandments were not for them but just for the clergy. The problem is not just in the Church of England though. The mainline denominational Free Churches and independent evangelical and Reformed Churches have on the whole been just as antinomian. And many evangelical and Reformed ministers and leaders have frequently excoriated, ostracised, abused and misrepresented those who have sought to promote a theonomic view of Christian ethics, while promoting themselves as champions of evangelical piety and Reformed orthodoxy. Contrary to their own opinion of themselves, however, such behaviour reveals them to be sanctimonious haters of God’s law—false prophets. Opposition to rather than acceptance of theonomy has been the norm in the British evangelical and Reformed Churches for decades.

But now all of a sudden Christians are up in arms and crying blue murder over the homosexual issue. They need to sit down and shut up and start thinking about this more biblically. And they need to ask themselves this question: why is this happening?

Romans chapter one tells us that a homosexualised culture, along with a lot of other things that we are currently experiencing in the West, is God's judgement on a nation’s spiritual apostasy. This problem will not go away until we deal with the apostasy of the Church. Much as I agree that homosexual marriage is wrong, the answer to this problem does not lie in challenging the homosexual lobby, nor in lobbying government to force one particular community (homosexuals) to abide by a law that Christians themselves do not believe is applicable to modern society. We have arrived here as a nation because the Church has abandoned God’s law, and when the Church abandons God’s law the nation abandons God’s law. This is not rocket science. We are dealing here with basic principles of biblical ethics and political theology. Yet the Church leaders are for the most part utterly ignorant of these principles.

For most of the twentieth century and now in the twenty-first century the Church in the West has been seeking to replace the God of the Bible with a feminine deity of her own devising. The Church was in the vanguard of promoting feminism. This is why the Church is full of effeminate men posing as leaders and pastors. I am not saying they are all effeminate, but the majority are, and the effeminate pietism of evangelicalism is as good an example of this as effeminate liberalism is.

The way to deal with this is to deal with the cause: the apostasy of the Church. When we do this, and when we start living in terms of God’s word, and conforming our lives and Churches to God’s law, we can trust God to bless our attempts to transform society. But if we are not prepared to live by God’s law in our own lives and in our Churches, why should we expect God to make non-believers live by his law? The homosexual clergy and the increasingly homosexual culture in our nation are God’s answer to the effeminacy of the Church and the effeminacy of the nation.

It seems to me increasingly, as Christians make their objections to the homosexual issue known, that so many in the Church, including the majority of evangelicals, seem to think that they do not have to live by God’s law but that non-believers should. Why can Christians be antinomians but not non-believers? This is hypocrisy on steroids. How come so many Christians object to homosexual marriage because it is immoral (i.e. against God’s law, since the Bible tells us that sin is the transgression of God’s law), yet they reject theonomy and say that we are no longer under God’s law. Either we are or we are not. If we are not then homosexual marriage is not immoral.

Christians who do not live by God’s law should not criticise homosexuals for not living by God’s law. Christians should not complain about homosexuals not living by God’s law until they have criticised the Church for not living by God’s law and until the Church has repented.

It is time to be consistent. God is beating us with the rod of chastisement for our apostasy. It is time that the Church woke up to this. The homosexualisation of our culture is a judgement on the Church and on the nation (though not the only one). It will not go away, because God will not hear our prayers for it to go away, until we as Christians start obeying God’s law in our lives and Churches and thereby provide a true witness to our societies, which is to say until we start living as a prophetic society that calls to world to repentance not only by our words but also by modelling to the world what society should be like—obedient to God’s law. If you are not prepared to subject your own life to God’s law, and if you do not think God’s law is applicable to your Church and to the political order, quit complaining about homosexuals. Take the log-jam out of your own eyes before you start complaining about the dust in other people’s eyes. The homosexualisation of our culture is God’s answer to the Church’s apostasy and disobedience. It is meant to bring the Church to repentance for her antinomianism and spiritual apostasy. It will not go away until the Church repents of her idolatry and disobedience because it is God’s doing, his chastisement of a disobedient Church and a disobedient nation.

If you are a member of a Church that does not believe in the abiding validity of God’s law as the standard of righteousness (justice) for personal and social—including political—behaviour, you need to challenge the leaders of your Church to repent of their sin (i.e. their rejection of God’s law) and insist that they start teaching God’s law to the Church. If they will not do this you need to do all you can to get together with other members of the Church and have the leaders thrown out and excommunicated. If they are not capable of teaching God’s law to the Church you still need to get them thrown out of their office and get someone in who can teach Christian ethics to them and to the Church. Get rid of these false prophets. They are the problem, not the homosexual sub-culture. They are the ones who have brought us to this sorry state, not the homosexual sub-culture. The homosexual sub-culture is part of God’s judgement on their sin.

If you are not able to do any of this in your Church you need to leave the Church and find a Church that does. If there are none where you live you need to get together with as many others as you can who will support you and get someone in as a missionary who will start a Church that teaches Christian ethics according to God’s law.

It is time to stop pretending that these antinomian ministers and clergy are what they are not. They are false prophets and if you do not get rid of them you will go down with them. “For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17).

5 comments:

  1. If we are under Gods Law, where does Grace fit in? Paul spoke about being free from the law but added the question of does this give us a right to sin all the more. He replied may it never be! So I would submit it is not the church not living under the law that has caused the issues we face, but an incorrect view of our freedom and of who God is.

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    1. Paul said: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Rom. 3:31). He also said: "What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own son in the likeness of of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, *that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit*" (Rom. 8:3-4). As sinners obedience to the law can never save us from our sin, since our obedience cannot atone for our sin. If we are to be saved, God must save us by his grace in Jesus Christ. But the fact that the law cannot save us from our sin does not mean we should not obey God's law, that it has no role in our lives. The law of God is a transcript of his righteousness, and Jesus told us that we are to pursue that righteousness. The abandonment of God's law is the mark one who who walks after the flesh, not the Spirit, and one who walks after the Spirit seeks to obey God's law. This is what Paul says in the quotation above. This does not mean that the one who seeks to obey God's law is saved from his sin by such obedience. It means his seeking to obey God's law is his response to God's saving grace in Christ. So Jesus said if you love me obey my commandments. Obedience and grace are not contrary to each other. The problem I am addressing is that the Church on the whole whole has abandoned God's law as a rule for life, especially as it applies to modern society. If God's law is not applicable any longer, as so many Christians argue, why is homosexual marriage a sin, as so many Christian are now arguing? Either God's law does apply, in which case homosexual marriage is a sin, or it does not, in which case homosexual marriage is not a sin. But many in the Church today want to say God's law is not applicable now that we are under grace, but then they argue that homosexual marriage is sin. Well, the Bible defines sin as the transgression of God's law (1 Jn 3:4). And Christ came to save us from sin, i.e. from the transgression God's law. If the Church abandons God's law and no longer teaches it, then it is no wonder the world abandons it. Being saved from our sin by Christ and obedience to God's law belong together, they are not opposites. God is not mocked. If the Church continues to cast aside God's law there will be inevitable consequences because the salt will have lost it's preserving effect upon society. And God will bring judgement against a society that commits such spiritual apostasy. This is what Romans chapter one says. Look at the list of things God's gives a disobedient society up to in Romans Chapter one and you will see a good description of modern Western society. Lawless Christianity is not possible. It is a perversion of the faith, apostasy, not an example of it. A Christian society that becomes lawless towards God's law is an apostate society.

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  2. Excellent, Stephen. Thanks for such a good article.

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  3. I enjoyed your article, thanks. I do not feel that we should require non-Christians to act like Christians. Act like civilized people, yes, but not Christians. What would be the point of that?

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