Thursday, June 19, 2008

...when the gospel is reduced to political protest

A timely encore presentation

With the political candidacy season heating up to a fever pitch just 5 months away from the Presidential 2008 election, I thought this was a timely and needed article to republish today. The political spin doctors are bringing on their A game in the tough business of politics.

What is the answer for the cultural issues facing us today? How are we to respond; and what course of action should we as believers be embarking upon? I hope the following article will begin that process of discussion and search biblically.

The Cross Waves Higher Than the Flag,
Roms. 13:1-7

Several years ago, many in the media and in the church were in an uproar that Madonna had done it again going too far with her book release, SEX, and her companion album, EROTICA. The "Queen of Sensual Shock" had consumers talking, governments banning, educators clamoring, librarians shuffling and, yes, evangelical leaders boycotting. What Madonna had actually done, in an ingenuous sort of way, is to bring to light what our world around us is wrestling with everyday; mainly a self-absorbed, narcissistic, hedonistic belief system absent of moral restraint. Biblically, it is what Judges 17:6 so succinctly states "...every man is doing what is right in his own eyes." That statement sums up the "Oprah Winfrey School of Theology" impeccably. But something more profound was being communicated as well... Madonna is more sold out to her sin, than many Christians are to their Lord.

What originally prompted the writing of this article had been the call to boycott Time-Warner and its many subsidiaries by leading Christian psychologist, author and radio talk show host, Dr. James Dobson, because of Madonna’s book and album release. I do understand it is a normal reaction to rise and sound a clarion call for moral leadership and accountability when one is faced with the open sensuality displayed in Madonna's book. I also truly believe that Dr. Dobson's motive was not self-serving nor incendiary when he had attempted to do so. But one has to ask him the obvious question, "how do you expect her to live apart from regeneration in Christ?" By her own confession, she is living as an unbeliever in Christ.

I ask you... why do we in the church constantly become outraged when we see non-Christians living like non-Christians? Why do we "require" that unbelievers live in some sort of comfortable legalistic "righteous" bubble before they come to salvation through Christ? Have we forgotten what we were like before we tasted the kindness of God in Christ for our salvation? Have we forgotten how we were slaves to various lusts and passions of our hearts? Have we forgotten how sinful we were apart from God's grace? Have we forgotten how depraved we were and to what depth of disobedience we plummeted? How dare we hold any non-believer in derision and set ourselves above them thinking we now as Christians could not ever succomb to the depth of sin they might be in. What arrogance; what self-righteousness; what non-Christlikeness. Oh may we remember beloved: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).

One of the great reformational truths and Pauline doctrines in the New Testament is the sinful nature and depravity of man. We are conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5); by nature children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1); dead in trespass and sin (Ibid.); utterly inable to save ourselves (Romans 3:19-25); and our own righteousness being valued only as dirty, filthy rags...(Isaiah 64:6). However, under God's common grace, depraved people are still capable of doing acts of kindness and gestures of good will to their fellow man--though they have no eternal benefit. In other words, though we are totally depraved, we are not living out that depravity to the absolute fullest extent of its ugly condition. Man is created in the image of a holy God and therefore morally and spiritually responsible to his Creator for his actions. But at the same time, unregenerate people - though able to do acts of kindness and goodness to their neighbor - are completely incapable of living a life pleasing to and for the glory of God (Titus 1:15-16). That is why this "legislation of morality" is an effort in futility. At best, it is the "white-washing of the tomb" though inside is nothing but the stench of dead men's bones. Beloved, we should not be outraged when the world is living like the world; we should be outraged when the church fails to live like Christ (1 Corinthians 5:9-13).

Though we may applaud Mr. Dobson's sense of moral purity, the only relevant question on this or any other issue facing us in society today should be, what does the Word of God clearly say? Are we reacting from a "moral majority like" social consciousness or from a biblical worldview? How should we as Christians respond to the mandates and ethics of a fallen world? Is this a first amendment issue, as some have suggested, or is there a "higher law" at jeopardy? What does Scripture say in regards to civil disobedience? Can we cure the moral maladies by the political legislative process? When someone's ideology differs from the churches is the solution to heed the call by evangelical leaders to apply an economic squeeze on their financial enterprises until they comply with our pragmatic, spiritual agenda? In short, ladies and gentlemen, what do we do with Madonna?

I firmly believe, as I am sure Dr. Dobson does, that as Christians we must not be given over to situational ethics but to truth; and specifically to the truth contained in the Word of God. It alone can bring clarity for all things pertaining to life and godliness (John 17:17; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Therefore, let us endeavor to search the Scriptures and extract its principles that can shed light and provide meaningful dialogue and direction as to how we are to respond as Christians in the face of an ungodly generation.

It's easy to be outraged today. Whether you are from the liberal left, the conservative right, the moderate middle, Christian or atheist, people are promulgating for their rights while abdicating others freedom. This conflict for individual rights whether it be family values, sexual purity or sexual preference, religious freedom, the sanctity of human life or morality is thundering across America today. The flames of these issues are burning white hot against the dark standardless times facing this nation.

One of the most recent "social causes" that Christians seem to find themselves in is the ongoing fight for a constitutional ammendment defining marriage and family as "one-man, one-woman" against the trend these days to legitimize same sex marriage. While I totally agree with the conviction that same sex marriage is wrong and sin against God, it saddens me that one evangelical leader, a faithful-godly pastor, has said that he will spend the remainder of his earthly days, "until his last breath is taken", to get a constitutional ammendment passed that biblically defines what family and marriage according to God's Word should be. Again, at face-value this looks like a noble battle. But I appeal to you beloved to be thinking biblical Christians not reacting to social ills but proactively responding out of the truth of God's Word. What people need is not the constitutionalizing of moral standards contained in God's Word, but the call to repent of their sin and turn to God by faith and through grace in Christ Jesus in order to have the forgiveness of sins and the promise of eternal life. How sad it would be if that particular pastor was reduced to being a political voice fighting for a constitutional ammendment on marriage, rather than being a herald of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We are like drunks in a fog staggering without clarity of mind trying to find a place of sobriety and rehabilitation from the addicting and intoxicating ills that plague our lives and land. Each side has drawn their battle lines in the sand and by doing so; each side has drawn their weapons. The concern for us as Christians should be that many in the church are trying to use carnal weapons to fight spiritual battles. So how are we to act as believers in a fallen world to issues like the one being addressed above? Let's look at what the Word of God says.

First, our strength as Christians stems not from having access to the White House, rallying millions of born again believers in a moral majority, obtaining influence in the political/socio-economic realm, massing large scale petition drives, or organizing city wide marches down the corridors of main street U.S.A. Our power is solely found in the Lord. In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul gives us what William Gurnall calls "the Christian in complete armor". The armor is our feet shod with the gospel of peace; the belt of truth; the breast plate of righteousness; the helmet of salvation; the shield of faith; the sword of the Spirit. Out of the six pieces of armor listed take note that not one piece deals with human institutions, ingenuity, ability or means. Only spiritual ones. That is why it is called the armor of God!

The foe we face, beloved, is not made of flesh and blood, like Madonna, "but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (v.12). We are to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (v.10), as well as, to "put on the full armor of God that [we] may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil" (v.11).

The strength to fight spiritual battles is not found in us, but only in Christ the Lord. In other words folks, brace yourselves, we are inconsequential and impotent when it comes to using human means to execute spiritual warfare! 2 Cor. 3:5 removes all doubt when Paul says, "Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God."

Secondly, the weapons we should use are not carnal but divine! It concerns me that when the church confronts sin in the world today, that our first thoughts are to picket, protest, march, boycott, generate publicity, lobby politicians, etc. Certainly the prophets of old had reason to protest the evils propagated against captive Israel. But Jeremiah says, "And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare" (Jer. 29:7). Paul had ample opportunity to wage a revolt against the Roman populace and government for the utter filth and degradation that filled the streets of Rome. But he didn't. What about the temple prostitutes at Corinth and the occult practices and genocide that Nero practiced? No uprising ever occurred in the Biblical record. Even our Lord had just reason for leading a people out of the horrific moral and political climate He encountered. But instead, Jesus said these amazing words to Pilate before He went to the cross, "....if My kingdom were of this world my disciples would be fighting..." (John 18:36). Do we think that we are more capable, sophisticated, wise, equipped, intelligent, perceptive, holy people than the prophets, the apostles, and even our Lord Himself? Truly we have made "flesh our arm" (Jer. 17:5) and are reaping the benefits of our lowly labor.

The Church in America has lost its impact, insight, and identity because it has lost its identification with the head of the Church, Jesus Christ. We are more associated with the political process - Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Christians than with the work of Jesus Christ. We have sought and become a political-economic force rather than a spiritual one. Why is it that we can assemble five thousand Christians to champion a cause or boycott an artists public display of sensuality, but at that same time its virtually impossible to gather five hundred Christians for prayer meeting? The problem with the world is not the world, ladies and gentlemen. The problem with the world are Christians trying to sneak into heaven incognito.

We have two weapons in the body of Christ: Prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-4; Ephesians 6:19-21), and the Word of God (Luke 4:1-12; Hebrews 4:12-13; Ephesians 6:18; Psalm 19:7-10; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Though they are few in number they are tremendously powerful.

Listen to the Apostle Paul as he describes the omnipotence of these weapons. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful [literally powered by God] for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5). "Every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" - like pornography? Yes. "Taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" - like Madonna's book distributed to libraries? Yes. When we may accomplish all that through divine means to the glory of God, why would we ever resort to the foolish, fleshly, carnal human efforts of boycott?

I know that it sounds tremendously heroic and courageous to call for such action as a boycott, but is it more a sign of spiritual weakness that we do not trust the Lord to bring justice in His time, by His standard, in His way. I am not saying do nothing; don't get involved. But what I am saying is... do it God's way. Would we not rather see lives changed for eternity through the gospel than give ourselves over to economic-political evangelical manipulation?

Civil disobedience is only allowed Biblically under two strict circumstances: 1.) When the government commands us to do something that God prohibits; and 2.) When the government prohibits us from doing something God commands! Therefore, since our government has not mandated for every citizen of this country to buy, study, memorize Madonna's book and causing many to lust, covet, etc. and violate God's standard of holiness, the issue cannot be won through the legislative process. According to our country's laws she has the right to release her art and we have the right not to buy it. It's that simple.

That brings us to the private sector. Certainly, no one would ask Dr. Dobson to withdraw all of his books from the same stores that sell Madonna's books (as he had said he would do-but hasn't); it would also be unreasonable for Dr. Dobson to organize and publicly insite a boycott of every bookstore that carries non-Christian objectionable material; every movie theater that shows an PG-13, R, and X rated movies; every magazine stand that displays all soft and hard pornography; every kind of venue that carries product unacceptable to the Christian ethic including Madonna's. If we take his line of thought to its logical conclusion, we would constantly be in a state of protest, boycott, banning, ostracizing and civil upheaval within the church. We would be paralyzed from doing what we should have been doing all along and that is proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.

Let's turn the tables a bit. Years ago, Barbra Streisand called for a boycott on Colorado because they did not affirm her own ideology involving gay rights. Are we now going to boycott all her albums and films? Picket her rare concert appearances? Cease to rent her videos? Are we going to again use carnal weapons to fight spiritual battles?

We are asking Madonna to live a standard of righteousness that she is incapable of living. Romans 6:20 says, "For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness." She is not a Christian by her own admission. What people like Madonna need is not our protest, but to hear of the gospel of grace; salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. "If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. All the old things pass away - behold all things become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). Wouldn't it be great to see Madonna become a new creation in Christ and to be our sister in the Lord!

The problems that plague our society are not political, economic, or even moral at their core - they are spiritual. We cannot fight spiritual problems with carnal weapons. May the world find us doing what our Lord has instructed us to do - not marching in the streets but on our knees; not protesting nonbelievers, but proclaiming the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God unto salvation. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Madonna saw thousands of Christians praying for her and proclaiming the gospel of grace rather than evangelical leaders calling for a boycott of her? Remember, Jesus Christ our Lord was known as a "friend of sinners", not a socio-economic political agitator.

In closing, may we all heed these four great truths that Paul gives to Titus as to how we are to live in a fallen world:

Recognize Your Duty
"Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men" (Titus 3:1-2).

Remember your Depravity
"For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another" (Titus 3:3).

Rejoice in your Deliverance
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:5-7).

Render Good Deeds
"This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men" (Titus 3:8)


Jimmie W. Kersh said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

JoeL said...

I appreciate your article yet I believe your criticism of Dr. Dobson is a bit over the top. I am a graduate of SBTS in Louisville and currently work for a pro-family organization so I am very familiar with the battle being fought in culture.

I Dr. Dobson has to decry the behavior of the "lost" because pastors do not. In dealing with pastors, many Southern Baptist, the word "moral decay" or "sin" is an ambiguous word which is never defined. How do you reach a world when the gospel proclaimers will not condemn the very actions which are destroying our society.

I believe your criticism would be better placed on ministers who will not decry or denounce pornography, attack on marriage in our culture of which many "saved" persons do not care about, or the attack on religious liberty.

In one of your songs you proclaim that Washington DC is the "whore in the upper bay" and when I heard you at SBTS some 8 years ago, your words were sharp and loving at the same time yet I believe the lyrics are misplaced.

When Dr. Dobson is on the side of Christ, plase choose to send your fodder to the side that is killing us: "apathetic ministers and the ignorant elect" our seminaries are turning out.

I wonder if your song's lyrics should be changed to reflect the product our seminaries are producing.

John Hollandsworth said...

Well said.
I would add that part of government's God-given function is to restrain evil, and in a participatory government system as we have where we are essentially part of the government then we are responsible to indeed be participating in that government. Action, like that orchestrated by ADF which resulted in homosexual marriage being overturned in California, is part of what Jesus wants us to be doing, while realizing that restraining evil will never regenerate a heart, but God uses moral law, including that imposed by government, to testify to His holiness.

Hessel-Man said...

Hi counterculturejoel,

I have that album that contains the song you're talking about - the song is "My America". The context of the lyric you site is as follows:

"I have a dream for America,
She's humble, strong, and free
Where the common man 's never second-hand to some blind bureaucracy

Lady Liberty has dignity; she's not a whore in the upper bay
And family, faith, and children are not just thrown away"

Seems to me, if I understand right, that the use of Lady Liberty in the song is more to symbolize America in general (as a culture, or people) than Washington DC (the government). The dream being that America would be free in reality (free in Christ, freedom from slavery to sin), not licentious.

Anyway, just to say, I can't agree that it was a misplaced lyric. Not trying to come down on you or anything... just didn't really think it served the point you were trying to make very well. Steve's a very careful songwriter, and his applications are usually spot on. Maybe if the song had been "My Ecclesia", the seminary line would have been appropriate. :)

Grace and peace,
Stephen Hesselman

JoeL said...

I did not say the lyric was misplaced but would be better served representing the apathy among in the ministry. Maybe if concerned citizens like Steve and yourself would spend more time engaging the "Saved" it would be a battle better pursued than to attack a person who is on the side of Christ.

Hessel-Man said...


Since we only have typed words to communicate with and not the advantage of voice tones as well, I hope you can believe me when I say that what I said was not meant to be an attack at all. If you go back and read your post, you'll see "...yet I believe the lyrics were misplaced.", which is why I thought that's what you meant. I'm sorry I didn't see the flow of your argument.

In regards to Steve attacking Dr. Dobson or other evangelical leaders, I think that's a bit of a misrepresentation. If you read carefully over Steve's article, you will find him assuming the best of his motives and understanding why folks would be considering these goals as noble, but at the same time, examining and testing these actions according to Scripture. I don't believe it is an attack to examine everything biblically, and I would imagine we would agree there. Overall, I believe what Steve is saying is that boycotting and legislating are carnal weapons... but we should be using spiritual weapons. And what weapons are those? Preaching the Gospel... this involves what you are talking about as well. Calling all men everywhere to faith and repentence. This is devestating to sin.

I think the main question is, why spend all our efforts on carnal weapons, when we should be spending our efforts on spreading the Gospel? Seeing people saved and sanctified. And that, boycotting and legislation do not communicate the Gospel... these do not express our concern for the lost. And shouldn't our focus be to see these folks come to be saved?

To be honest, I'm still wrestling with some of these issues, and where responsibilities are, but I do know I'm not doing enough to share the Gospel, and that such an admonishment is much needed. And that the Gospel is the solution to the moral ills of our culture seems apparent also. Unregenerate people will act according to their nature. When we were, we could not do otherwise. We should be as much sold out to the Lord as some unbelievers are to their sin. I accept your admonision that we should be holding minister's accountable for not being tough on sin and calling for repentance. I think you'll find Steve is already doing that. To quote from the article: "Beloved, we should not be outraged when the world is living like the world; we should be outraged when the church fails to live like Christ (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)."

I hope for more "Iron Sharpening Iron" in this thread.

Grace and peace,
Stephen Hesselman

Jeremy Weaver said...

As I understand it, our only offensive weapons against sin and the spiritual maladies of our day are the Word of God and prayer. These two weapons do not unleash the Church and give it the right to legislate morality, but they both unleash the power of God to change the heart's of men and women.
As we proclaim the Gospel faithfully and boldly, the Spirit is at work through that Gospel. And in our prayers we ask that our Father's kingdom will come, not by political processes, but through faith in and repentance towards Christ, and that Christ would return to set up His visible kingdom on this earth.
To fight with any other weapons is to fight a losing battle.

Gordan said...

Isn't exposing/decrying sin and declaring God's moral law a part of preaching the Gospel of Grace? And aren't we supposed to preach this to unbelievers?

No, we don't expect the unregenerate to act regenerate, but we are under a mandate to announce God's righeous judgment on sin, as well as His gracious salvation in Christ, to all the earth.

I don't think you (Steve Camp) argued against that in your post at all. But there were places where you might be misunderstood (re: the Madonna example) as advocating that the Church do nothing other than "preach grace."

Unknown said...

I'd like to know the chapter and verse in scripture where pastors are called to "decry or denounce pornography, attack on marriage in our culture of which many "saved" persons do not care about, or the attack on religious liberty."

God forbid I should be distracted from feeding Christ to my sheep.

JoeL said...

To lead your people from sin you must illustrate for them what sin exactly is. Many pastors do not denounce porn because they themselves are addicted to it. Survey after survey will prove that data. Enough said about this subject. All I know is that Dr. Dobson is a trusted and viable soldier for Christ in the current cultural engagement.

Unknown said...

Breus said "I'd like to know the chapter and verse..."

Ephesians 5:11 would be a good place to start: "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." There are many other examples in Scripture of prophetic voices decrying social and moral evils.

I basically agree with most of what Steve's written in this post, but this may not be an "either/or" issue as much as it is a "both/and" one.

SJ Camp said...

To All:

These comments are well placed and voiced. May we stand for what is good, moral, right and true in society; but may we take our stand on the rock of the gospel--and not on the sand of cultural morality.

Eph. 4:25-32

donsands said...

Pastor's need to preach the gospel, and the whole counsel of God from their pulpits.

If they have political agenda's, then let them leave the pulpits, and run for election.

I would love to see people like Rick warren resign from the pulpit, and run for Congress.

The Word of God isn't political. It's the power of God unto salvation.
The gospel is the light that shines in the dark world. The gospel braks the heart. It cuts deep into the soul.

Abhorring sin and preaching the gospel of grace is our call.
Simply hating sin may seem righteous, but it's not.

We need to hate sin, and love Christ.

This is agreat subject, and a difficult one.

There such a fine line here to be drawn, and it may even overlap.

But I appreciate you posting this again. It's a subject that I need to wrestle with.

Marcia said...

I wrote a post about something like this on my own blog; about how Christians spend too much time debating political issues and not enough time feeding sheep.

The comments got a little carried away, and if any of you would like to contribute, I'd like to know what you think.

Marcia said...

Sorry. Link here.

olan strickland said...

Good post Steve! There are two unbiblical and unbalanced "forms of godliness although its power has been denied" that are deeply infecting the body of Christ.

One is the one you have mentioned in this post - "picketing and boycotting" - which is nothing short of isolation (unbiblical separation) through the attempt to create a Christian sub-culture based on the power of carnal weapons and not the divinely powerful Word of God. This has the "appearance" or "form" of godliness - but it is not!

The other is on the opposite end of the spectrum - "engaging the culture" - which is nothing short of contamination (unbiblical participation) through the attempt to create a Christian culture based on the power of carnal methods of being like the world to win the world rather than the divinely powerful gospel and authentic witness who has been genuinely changed by it. This also has an appearance of godliness - but it is not.

We are to have contact without contamination - a biblical separation without isolation - and as Vance Havner once said, "The world is not going to be changed by complaining about it or conformity to it but by combustion within it!"

gigantor1231 said...

That suth'n boy is talk'n some right true stuff!
Good'n Alabama.

Contend earnestly for the faith.

But will there be eggs, grits and grandmas biscuits and gravy in heaven?

Unknown said...

Bravo Mr Camp:

This stuff never works. The companies either stop for a brief period of time and start their 'stuff' again when things have simmered down or the companies explore new markets and still make profits.

If the ones who urge boycotts are not bad enough, you ought to have the experience to work for a company that once did business with the boycotters......

I used to work for a company that produced 'a service' that attracted the attention of the national leader of a 'morality-focused ministry' (not Dobson, another story altogether). This guy wanted to come and see operations and talk about doing business. This guy and his team shows up and as he walked in the door, asked to use the restroom. Fifteen seconds later, he walks outs and boldly proclaims in his loudest voice

'Right now, we can't do business'

and explains how the parent company of the toilet paper manufacturer advertised on a network prime-time show where a character on that show announced their bisexuality...

The owner, seeing the potential dollar signs of lost business (and these guys will spread the rumor like wildfire among their buddies if you don't cave in to their manipulative demands), eventually caves in to this leader and sends an employee out to get some department store generic brand toilet paper. While the owner and this leader are doing business, one of the leader's team members walks around the facility with a list stating 'changes' from soft drinks in the break room, vendors of office supplies, one computer manufacturer, etc that had to be addressed before signing the contract to do business.

The contract was signed, the soft drinks were changed, we went from one office supply vendor to another, etc. No more dress-down Fridays, the dress code was changed, no more magazines in the breakrooms, our e-mail addresses were given to these people to receive their 'alerts' and 'boycott' e-mails, etc. We could not unsubscribe nor discard them (we were audited).

Implementing our services at their facility was 'controlled', from what hotel ( mom-pop no franchise hotel) we stayed at when visiting them (they would pick us up for dinner from the hotel, we found out that the owner would scan the rooms after checkout and notify the leader if we left it in a mess or stole towels and soap) to the lone woman who admitted that a female security guard took her to the back, measured her skirt hem in reference to her knees, and 'received training' on how to 'cross her legs' and quickly pull the hem of the skirt over the knees

The dynamic behind all of this is the story of Achan found in Joshua 7. They believed that if anyone they deal with has 'secret sin issues' or are not on the same page as them, or fails to follow their instructions to a tee, then they are doomed to fail in their own crusade until the 'secret sin issue is rectified'.

They really believe that.

gigantor1231 said...

I question the sanity of folks that take a scripture passage like the one that comes from Joshua 7 and make it a hallmark and rule to live by when conducting business and or living life! What is done with the entire rest of the Bible? It has to be totally disregarded to live like that.
Obviously we have standards to live by as Christians but stuff like that is just nuts. I have met and know a few folks like that, they are King James only and house church only and it is very uncomfortable being around them. I love them as my brothers and sisters but their legalistic attitude is a harsh thing.

The Seeking Disciple said...

We have lost our faith that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16) and that the gospel can transform a society as people are transformed by the Spirit of God through regeneration (John 3:3-7). Steve's text is clear that the gospel transforms cultures and not politics. Many evangelicals and many emergents seem to believe that Jesus is okay but that culture is changed through who is in the White House. Jesus is Lord and we must proclaim Him and our duty is to proclaim His kingdom and not the kingdoms of this world. America will fade into eternity but Jesus will still be Lord of all!

Betsy Markman said...

Wow, so glad to have found this article even though it's now over a year old! Very thought-provoking, convicting, and challenging.

V. Settles said...

Thank you for this! It was a GREAT "stumble-upon" :)

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