Let’s Take the Great Commission from the Top, Part 2

May 24, 2016 at 11:50 AM 1 comment

greatcommissionIn the first article in this series, we introduced what should be common knowledge as well as a consistent foundational understanding for every Christian regarding the Great Commission. We noted that too often, especially in American society, Christians are made to feel as though they are not really obeying the Great Commission directive unless they are also involved in doing whatever they can to change American society. The problem with this approach is that it often causes Christians to lose credibility in general, not to mention seeing people opposed to change as God’s “enemies,” therefore our enemies. Because of this outlook, Christians tend to become very issue-oriented instead of Great Commission-oriented.

Recently, two ministers at a Tennessee church were recently arrested for, of all things, human sex trafficking.

The arrests included 46-year-old Jason Kennedy, the children’s minister at Grace Baptist Church in Karns, as well as 36-year-old Zubin Parakh, who worked as a volunteer creative pastor in Oak Ridge.

churchleaders_humantraffickingApparently, the two ministers did not know one another and were from two separate churches. During the FBI sting operation that ultimately nabbed the two (and others who were not church workers), Kennedy “wanted to have sex with both the underage juvenile and the other female in the room. The defendant placed the agreed amount of $100 on the counter. The defendant removed his pants and was taken into custody by law enforcement.” Looks like case closed, doesn’t it? Caught with his hand in the cookie jar so to speak. Who knows if these guys are true Christians? They could be, as sad as that is, but they could also simply be pedophiles who found a great avenue for their proclivities.

How does this happen? How can alleged Christians behave in such a manner while pretending to be against the very things they are involved in, and maybe even protesting those very things that have them caught up? It proves several things. First, Christians are not perfect and do not become perfected in this life once they embrace salvation (though some don’t even try to rise to God’s standard through the empowering of the Holy Spirit). Second, the church is a great place to hide for people who desire to be with young children and are not actually Christian, but can pull the guise off to the unsuspecting. Third, Christians (and non-Christians alike), who are often engaged in some form of condemnatory language against society may be hiding their own proclivities for the very thing they condemn.

anti-HomosexualactivistsIn another example, the image shows 15 individuals who have all spoken out against homosexuality and they themselves have allegedly been caught in some sort of homosexual act. Often and unfortunately, people who virulently speak out against certain issues in society do so to cover the fact that they themselves deal with that very same issue and their coming out against that issue is designed to prove to the rest of society that they have no such inclination within themselves.

Obviously, many people in society hide their true selves from most of us. We all have hidden areas that we understand are A) against societal norms, B) against God’s Word, or C) both. Because of this, we do what we can to squelch them or overcome them. I know people who struggle with alcoholism. The worst part is that they think no one else knows because they believe they have concealed their problem so well. They haven’t. It is like this with most of us in one form or another.

But the danger for Christians who go head-to-head against issues is that those particular Christians have become issue-oriented rather than the Great Commission-oriented. As I stated last time, when Christians do this, the tendency is to see those with whom we disagree as enemies and this should absolutely not be the case. Christians like myself, who prefer to avoid getting involved in political arguments, are also seen as enemies because I’m seen as standing in the way of the Dominionist’s agenda of a fully transformed American society.

If we consider the Roman Empire that existed during the days of Jesus, Peter, Paul, and the rest, we would see that the issues those folks faced were often the same ones we face today, as Christians. Yet, while Paul and other New Testament writers carefully explain how Christians are supposed to act in the world, the plain truth of the matter is that neither Jesus, Peter, Paul, or the rest tried to change the society God had placed them in. They saw their job as saving people out of that society spiritually and into God’s Kingdom. This is extremely clear.

If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you, (John 15:19 NASB).

I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one, (John 17:15 NASB).

Here is an interesting text from the apostle Paul to the believers at Corinth (1 Corinthians 5:9-13 NET)

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what do I have to do with judging those outside? Are you not to judge those inside? But God will judge those outside. Remove the evil person from among you.

Paul is referring to his previously written communication (apparently lost to us), to the Corinthians yet the above quote is from what translators have labeled 1 Corinthians. Nonetheless, he states here that he had mentioned previously that the believers in Corinth should not associate with sexually immoral people. If we take that out of context, we could easily arrive to the wrong conclusion. Thankfully, Paul explains himself in the very next sentence. He wasn’t saying that we should avoid people of this world who are not Christians because the only way to successfully do that would be for God to remove us from this world, but He deliberately keeps us here until our deaths. They exist and they are part of this planet. We probably rub elbows with some of them on occasion. While we should not knowingly hang around pedophiles and others like them, chances are good that we will have occasion to deal with them in society whether we know their sexual proclivities or not.

What Paul is saying is that we should understand those folks exist in the world and that would make sense because the world is filled with fallen people and at one point, we were counted among them. We cannot avoid them simply because many of them hide their true natures to others. Paul is also not saying that we should join in with them either. Essentially, Paul asks one question, which is too often ignored by Christians today. It is this:

For what do I have to do with judging those outside? (Emphasis added)

Outside what? Paul is saying people who are outside the local church are not to be judged by Christians. He says “But God will judge those outside.” That is God’s responsibility, not ours. His whole letter here is talking about how Christians are to deal with other Christians i. If a person starts attending a local church, whether they think so or not, they are coming under the authority of the Bible (and the leaders who hopefully represent the Bible accurately), in that situation. They always have the option of leaving that local body, but for their sake and the sake of that local body, they must stop doing things that are routinely done and accepted in the world.

But what do we have happening today? We have groups who either identify as Christian, conservative, patriot, or all three going into Target to protest their new transgender bathroom policy. Is this, or is this not going against the very clear teachings of the apostle Paul? Do we ignore his authority because we live in the United States and have a “right” to protest?

Historians tell us, for example, that homosexuality was simply part of the Roman Empire. There are too many articles on the ‘Net alone (not to mention books), that highlight the situation (and they are not all favorably disposed toward homosexuality either). Here’s one, here’s another, and here’s another. Whether you agree with the particular slant of the authors of each of these articles is yours to decide. The point is that homosexuality was somewhat of a prominent and accepted part of Roman society.

However, even though that was the case, I do not read in Scripture where Christians were taught or expected to take up the charge as Roman citizens (for those who were, like Paul), and to do whatever it took to change society so that homosexuality was no longer an acceptable practice. Paul never did that and the only time he actually brought up his Roman citizenship was to use it to further the gospel by observing his right to have his case heard before Caesar (cf. Acts 25).

Too many people today – both in and out of the church – are way too issue-oriented. People run for public office on one issue, “If elected, I’ll repeal Obamacare!” or “If I’m elected, I’ll keep the federal government out of public bathrooms!” Once again, this pits people against other people and serves no purpose except to divide society even further. It ultimately pits Christians (or people who appear to be Christian) against non-Christians over issues, but not salvation.

I’m not saying that Christians need to be fully accepting of the many perverse practices that society wants to foist on us as “normal.” Those things will never be normal as far as God is concerned. However, I am stating that when we pit ourselves against an issue (homosexuality, transgenderism, etc.), the truth is that we end up pitting ourselves against people who desperately need to hear the gospel. Our interaction with them becomes venomous and this is how we come across in society. This is why there are so many memes out there about Christians being homophobic, transgenderphobic, Islamaphobic, xenophobic, and toss in as many other phobias as you can think of today. They serve to distract us from our true calling, our true purpose.

Within the church, there is to be an established order of the things that are acceptable or not acceptable. People have a choice as to whether or not they will align themselves only with the things that God personally has approved. Those who choose not to align themselves with God’s order should go elsewhere. They should not be coddled or acquiesced to because of the way they see things. Paul has church order and discipline clearly outlined in several epistles. This is where Christians can lovingly “protest” when others in the same local body are doing things that are prohibited by God. Yet, all too often, Christians are too busy looking outside the church to the world!

Christians need to understand that our true calling, given to us by Jesus Himself is to go into all the world and preach the gospel so that souls can be saved. We don’t preach the gospel so that societies can be changed, though that certainly sounds altruistic. It’s not. It’s a lie of the enemy, who is the master of lies.

If every Christian spent the rest of his/her days preaching the gospel to people instead of trying to change society, that alone would be enough to fill your plate.

Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, eternity, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming. Tags: , , , , , .

Let’s Take the Great Commission from the Top, Part 1 Let’s Take the Great Commission from the Top, Part 3

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