Friday, January 22, 2010

the pain of division

Brian McLaren describes the pain of division and I whole heartedly agree with his concern over division. I still take issue with McLaren however. The problem isn't so much what he says in this video, it is how he and many liberals live this out. The liberal compromises God's truth under the guise of a redefined meaning of love ...

McLaren attempts to differentiate between acceptance and approval [about the 2:05 mark in the video]. But what does acceptance really look like in practice? What does approval really look like in practice? This is where the liberal cannot hear. They perceive that one cannot disapprove of sin and still love others. I contend Scripture is clear this is not only possible but expected. Sadly human history is on the side of the liberal but we must not jettison Truth due to our failure to live it.

We can know the Truth and we must live that Truth in Love. On knowing truth, Francis Schaeffer writes in Escape from Reason, "... the biblical presentation is that though we do not have exhaustive truth, we have from the Bible what I term true truth. In this way we know true truth about God, true truth about man, and something truly about nature. Thus on the basis of the Scriptures, while we do not have exhaustive knowledge, we have true and unified knowledge."

We know the truth of sin and how it separates us from God. We can debate ad nauseum the nuances but to allow the fuzzy edges to blur the main and plain is not acceptable. Homosexuality is sin. Those that love God love righteousness not evil. They practice righteousness not evil.

There's even a point where sinfulness is such that we disfellowship from the sinner (e.g., 1 Cor 5.1-2). The liberal wants to disregard Scripture such as this ... or, come back with, "well why don't you apply that to sin X?" as if the latter somehow makes their embrace of sin ok. But we are not talking about that extreme.
The liberal simply cannot conceive of a world where one can honor and respect another and yet call sin sin. One person I recently engaged hosted a conversation with a well known lesbian. She was known only for her lesbianism. In the conversation they discussed her lesbianism. No where in the public conversation did he suggest this sin was a sin. Instead he only supported her in her sin and said how he couldn't begin to criticize her due to the "junk" in his own life. He deceives himself if he believes his exploration in this area conveys anything other than validating homosexuality.

This guy's problem is that he thinks the only way to show acceptance and love to the homosexual is embrace them and not confront their sin. He thinks the only way to confront the sin is to "cast them out". Conveniently the liberal ignores God's direction. They assume the only other option to their failure to respond to sin is to jump over God's plan and go to the other sinful extreme of becoming a Pharisee/Legalist/etc...

What I like about this guy is that he gets that we cannot be the Holy Spirit for someone. He is right. He knows that our force of argument and intellect will not cause someone to change at the core. But where he fails is that if we are in Christ, then speaking truth will bring life. It is only death to those already dying (2 Cor 2.15-17). We must speak truth in love and with grace but to not speak truth is not love or grace.

He is also interesting because he once wrote that homosexuality is not ok and does not express the love of God. He stated that we are to help others live their new identity in Christ instead of one of homosexuality. He celebrated a man's deliverance from homosexuality. This I love and interestingly, he didn't consider his viewpoint at that time to be condemning or hateful. But his recent writing and interview doesn't have the same sense. In the interview he said among other things, "someone can claim a relationship with Jesus and claim to be gay, and openly gay." I think if he were honest he would see that at least those he interacts with publicly see him as saying homosexuality is not a sin issue. And I'm further saddened because he perceives my confrontation of him as hateful and condemning toward homosexuals.

I'm not advocating shouting "SINNER" in the faces of all who sin. Scripture is clear, we are to restore gently (Gal 6.1). But the error made by the liberal is to never call sin sin - well, unless it is found in someone they consider a conservative. Then they just want to know why other conservatives don't call it out and make a big deal out of it ... ironic. The liberal doesn't see that a way the Holy Spirit speaks to the soul of man is through us. Again, ironic given that the liberal makes a big deal out of good works so that our actions speak for the Kingdom.

So here is my conclusion, we must learn to live in peace and that does not look like either extreme, i.e., ignoring sin nor blasting a bullhorn in someone's ear claiming to be the Holy Spirit. Both are wrong. Instead, we instruct one another (Rom 15.14; Col 3.16), comfort and reconcile one another (2 Cor 13.11), serve one another (Gal 5.13), bear one another's burdens (Gal 6.2), forgive one another (Eph 4.32), submit to one another (Eph 5.21), encourage and build up one another (1 Thess 5.11), and on and on ...

Technorati Tags: ,

No comments: