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Wednesday
May092012

Standing on Solid Rock, Not Sinking Sand

Recently I read a masterful article in The Christian Post by Dr. Albert Mohler, who is nothing short of a modern-day prophet. In the article, Dr. Mohler warns, “The urgency to reach people with the Gospel can, if the church is not faithful and watchful, tempt us to subvert the Gospel by redefining its terms.”

Specifically, Dr. Mohler drew attention to how some evangelical megachurches appear to be softening their positions on homosexuality. He calls on evangelical leaders to steer clear of the sinking sand of celebrating homosexuality—a quicksand that the mainline churches, I believe, have fallen into. Many evangelicals today need to take a hard look at what happened to their mainline forebears.

Having once served as a priest in the Episcopal Church, having warned my denomination’s leadership against sinking sand, having walked out before the denomination enveloped me, I offer my plea to my friends in some of these churches.

I am hearing the same language I heard 25 years ago: “We must love without passing judgment,” they say. “We need to accept people regardless of their moral practices.”

But my concern goes far beyond those misleading statements. The questions that no one seems to ask in the midst of this muddled thinking are: Why is the homosexual lobby adamant that their practice should not only be accepted, but celebrated, especially by Christian leaders? When they know full well what scripture says? Why does the homosexual lobby feel that it’s not enough for the church to love and care for them as individuals?

Recently, I was discussing that with a man who is gay, a man whom I care deeply about. His argument was, “If you truly love me, you must accept me into membership.”

He agreed that his lifestyle was against the clear Word of God; he even agreed that it was against God’s created order. Nonetheless, he wanted me to “get on” with accepting that this is a new day and that a new model is needed. Never mind that I would have to compromise the Word of God.

Sadly, many believers today are thoroughly confused. With respected church leaders sending them mixed signals, no wonder they don’t know what to believe anymore.  

I am very sympathetic to their confusion. Christian leaders will pay a hefty price for leading their flocks astray. But believers with genuine concerns must ask a deeper question: Is the Bible still authoritative over me today?

Once you start there, then other questions arise. Why is homosexuality singled out for acceptance in mainline and now evangelical churches? Why don’t we also accept the sin of adultery? Why don’t we accept the man, his wife, and his mistress into membership?  Or why don’t we accept a host of other heterosexual but habitually immoral lifestyles?

The answer is less complicated than we may think. If we look at the history of the homosexual movement, we will get the answer very quickly.

From its inception, the homosexual lobby worked tirelessly to make society accept their lifestyle. They had a well-conceived strategy that adopted the long view of history rather seeking immediate results.

First they managed to persuade the American Psychological Association to drop homosexuality as a “deviant” behavior—meaning the behavior could now be viewed as normal.

Then they targeted the theologically wobbly denominations like the Episcopal Church. Instead of addressing whether their sexual practices were a deviation from God’s design in creation, the lobby framed the argument around whether or not believers were “narrow-minded haters.”

Churches such as the Episcopal Church, followed by others, fell victim to that argument. As a result, they abandoned the Bible as their only compass. Bishops, such as Bishop John Shelby Spong, have written popular books and articles declaring that the Bible is filled with myths and is no more inspired than Shakespeare’s writing.

That wrong-headed teaching set the stage for where we are today. With the biblical foundation giving way to man’s whims, the homosexual lobby saw their chance and they took it. They knew the Episcopal Church was just the first step in pushing their argument from church to church.

As is always the case, the Word of God has to be undermined, or “reinterpreted” in light of modern culture, before any sin can be celebrated and not repented of. After all, who wants to reject anyone? Certainly no one in the church of Jesus Christ, where love is the measure of all things.

As for me, I cannot and will not reject anyone. I am commanded by my Savior to love even those who choose to establish themselves as my enemy.

But although I love them enough to appeal for their repentance so they can be restored in fellowship with God, they trample this type of love underfoot. They say, “You cannot accept me without accepting, approving, and even celebrating my sin.”

If we want to please the Lord, and if we believe that obeying His Word is a matter of life and death, then we must not fall for that trap.

Like our Christian forbearers, we must ask: Do we obey God or Caesar? Do we sell our birthright in exchange for acceptance by those who reject the authority of God? Do we abandon our convictions (at our immeasurable cost) for the approval of society?

The deliberate and definitive answer to those questions must always be: God’s Word must be obeyed over the trends of culture and the perceived need to give Christianity a “good” image.

If anyone insists that we must accept their argument or else be called names, the answer is found in Matthew 5:11: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

We must stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ and not the sinking sand of the world. For those who are faithful to the Word of God, we can say with Martin Luther, “Here we stand. We can do no other.”

Reader Comments (17)

Her in the U.K we are having these problems. We are faced with the possibility of Gay Marriages in Church. I firmly believe in marriage between a man and a woman. How else can the human race procreate other than by artificial insemination in the case of women or adoption, if any children are still being born. I have gay people as friends and accept them as such, but cannot agree that marriage is correct for them.
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLen Hales
Romans 1:21-32 should be plenty to disprove any posture that the warning about homosexuality is entirely an Old Testament hate message!
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterH E MCPETERS
The article is like crying over spilled milk.I am anxiously waiting for the fulfillment of my favorite book in the BIBLE: The Book Of Revelation.
I pray we all have enough OIL for our Lamp.
May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterA.K . Adadevoh
The really unfortunate thing is that so much of the name calling is coming from inside the church - and now that includes a lot of potshots at Albert Mohler over his article. It is encouraging to see him commended for speaking up.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohnM
Thanks for this timely clarification, I was getting to the point of feeling so confused (which I knew was not from God, as He is not the author of confusion) that I was giving up on ever feeling resolved in my heart. I feel that Jesus would have loved any gay person and probably would have been found in their midst. But He would have also been telling them of His Father's kingdom, casting out their demons, healing them and admonishing them to repent.
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
The Lord says that regarding any sinful behavior (including homosexuality), practicing Christians should speak the truth in love, God's Word the only truth there is. What homosexuals are failing to realize is that when a Christian points them to the truth of God's Word and how they must confess and abandon their sin or suffer the eternal consequence of their rebellion and disobedience, those pointing the way of salvation are the only ones who truly love them. It may take lots of time, prayer and witnessing, even while those who desperately need deliverance act out, become angry, accuse, shout and call names, etc., although staying in the fight and steadfastly continuing to speak the truth in love regardless of anything else is what Christians must continue to do, the church and all the angels of Heaven rejoicing over a single rescued sinner who finally sees the light and comes into the fold. God give us strength to daily fight the good fight of faith!
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMoe
Our President said that his daughters could not understand why gay couples are treated differently. It is his responsibility to teach them, not just accept their view as correct. In the same manner, it is the responsibility of our church leadership to address these issues forthrightly from the pulpit. To preach the word of Christ which brings salvation; not the social gospel that fills the pews with souls destined for eternal damnation. The fulfillment of the "Golden Rule" is not to allow people to persist in sinful conduct, but to admonish, instruct, and love them into repentance. Not to be too political, again our President has demonstrated that he is not at all well-grounded in his understanding of true Christianity. .
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDean
I completely agree with this, and wrote about this very topic a few weeks ago when there was controversy in our state regarding a Catholic high school that pulled a former student off of the speaker-program at their graduation ceremony for being gay and engaged to another man. You can read about that situation at my blog here:

http://michigal.blogspot.com/2012/04/what-does-jesus-loves-really-mean-story.html
May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJubilee on Earth
Dr. Youssef, I believe you have a good point - to stand on solid rock, not quicksand. However, I find it ironic that the only solid rock (the Catholic Church) is not that on which you're standing. Also ironic is that you ended your article with the implication that Martin Luther was faithful to the Word of God, which indeed he was not. He took several whole books and parts of others (with which he did not agree) out of the Bible. Sounds like quicksand to me. As soon as people start interpreting the Bible themselves instead of relying on the one, standard interpretation that has always been there and unchanged (i.e. through the Catholic Church) they step into that quicksand, and that is exactly what EVERY Protestant denomination has done, essentially. Dr. Youssef, you're only a few steps away from making a very good Catholic. :)
May 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterB.C.
Micheal has stated the truth of the day, Apostasy in the complacency to Gay orientations, to the Abomination unto God.
May 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterabey
@B.C. (the Catholic writer)

Please do not concern Dr. Youseff, or any of us for that matter, w/ Catholic banter of a so called "solid rock" church.

Do you not know that Jesus is the head of the Church? and not Peter?

Do you not know that Jesus was speaking of himself as the rock and not Peter (watch a debate on this and it is irrefutable to those who actually study Greek).

Do you not know that your "solid rock" is indeed not fallible?
The Catechism (841) claims, "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day." - Do Muslims accept the same God? NO!! They reject our Lord and our God! But the "solid rock" church claims they worship the same God.

Do you not know that your "solid rock" used to sell salvation for a price?

Did you know that your "solid rock" makes a divorced woman pay $$ to take communion again (as if that is even Biblical)?

Did you know that your "solid rock" church rejects Christian brothers (even Dr. Youseff) from taking communion? Is he not a true Christian? This is horrible, literally horrible and makes a mockery of the Lords table.

Did you not know that because of your so called "solid rock" church that many many people reject Christianity as a whole because of the Catholic church's deeds - for instance the molestation of little boys? Its sad to say and I apologize for brining it up but its true!!

The "solid rock" is Christ!!! It is Jesus alone and his Word alone! Not a man-made church - sorry sir but you are wrong. Jesus Christ is Lord and his Church is the worldwide believers who profess his name - not your fallible Church.

Bottom line: Dr. Youseff is a Christ following Christian who is encouraging all of us to love Christ - not a man-made tradition based fallible church. Peace
May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJimbobbeebob
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Psalms 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

There are and will be consequences to our nations blatant acceptance and celebration of sin. We are rotting from within because there is no fear of the Lord. Wisdom is fleeing from this nation along with God's love.
May 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGlen
HI,

PLEASE HOW DO I GAIN ETERNAL LIFE, AND ESCAPE GODS FURY, TELL ME
May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam
The Lords Prayer (traditional)



Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,

The power, and the glory,

For ever and ever.

Amen.
May 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdam
re: Jimbobbeebob
THANK YOU. As a 58 yr old female, raised Catholic for the first 18 years, I can tell you what I was taught. That I would never go to heaven, that I was bad, that I deserved to go to hell. That God was vengeful, I could not hide from him, and he was going to get me and make me pay. In Catholic School, I never opened a Bible, never discussed God's love, grace and forgiveness. I recall nightmares of being mistaken for Jesus and they were going to crucify me instead, until I betrayed Him and said that I was not Jesus, there He was. The guilt of betrayal in my dream has haunted me all my life. I no longer listen to Satan's lies that I am unloved by God. Lie's that came from the mouths of Catholic Priests and Nuns. I read the Holy Bible. I follow Christ.
For B.C. to insinuate that the Catholic Religion is THE Solid Rock, in my opinion is nothing short of Blasphemous. This "Religion" had me fleeing from God. Now, I run to Him. I accept all blame for my sins, I believe that I have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus, Son of God. I just wish I had not been raised Catholic, it caused wasted years of unbelief. How could I trust in the vengeful God they taught me about? I thank all the Christians that crossed my path in the past 40 years, who introduced me to the One, True, Unchangeable God. I especially thank Dr. Youssef, for his unwavering teaching.
Homosexuality is sin. Satan lies and lies effectively. He did so from the mouths of my Catholic School teachers and from today's Public School teachers who teach our Children that Homosexuality is normal and not deviant behavior. I am a Christian Grandmother, whose's firstborn granddaughter is caught in the Devil's talons, of a "normal" homosexual lifestyle. Do I love her? Oh, with all that I am and it is because I love her that I do not approve of her CHOICE. It is because I love her that I pray for her deliverance, it is because I love her that I share Christ's love and forgiveness with her. It's because I love her that I ask you all to pray for her as well.
We are in an era of no right or wrong... a big blurry mess. Without these borders it is easy to become lost. I don't know about anyone else but if I were lost I would consider it a loving act for someone to find me and show me my way.
June 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmmieO
Adam, you cannot save yourself, but Jesus can save you. not by works, but by His mercy. God so loved the world,that He gave his Son Jesus that whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Repent and trust Him Now for salvation.
July 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLin
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