Tag Archives: New Testament

Conservative Pacifists in the Culture War Part 2

The Obama Inauguration Committee features a new "Heretics Only" water fountain policy.

The Obama Inauguration Committee features a new “Heretics Only” water fountain policy.

Christ was no doubt on to something when He limited His public ministry to three years. Any longer and a mere human may forget what he said before or, even worse, lose enthusiasm for an earlier message as the culture changes.

Which is evidently what happened to the Rev. Louie Giglio. Until recently he was scheduled to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Giglio — founder of the “Passion Conferences” that are marketed to college–age Christians — had lately been in the news for his work against human trafficking and had said grace, so to speak, over the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the White House.

But then an aggressively homosexual lobbying group dug up a sermon Giglio delivered in the mid–90’s and accused him of being an orthodox Christian that believes in the Bible. Well, that was that and Giglio lost no time beating a hasty retreat from the inauguration.

Giglio might have made a better decision if he’d listened to his own sermon before deciding to run up the white flag.

In it the reverend is addressing the homosexual onslaught that traditional culture was just beginning to experience. Giglio wisely pointed out, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community. Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive movement. That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as unknown warm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”

That was not only wise, it was prophetic. Then Giglio mentions what both the Old and New Testament have to say regarding homosexual practices and concludes, “…homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle…homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the world of God…That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to the issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.”

Again, there is nothing that a plain reading of Scripture does not tell one. Giglio was not embellishing and he was certainly not personally condemning homosexuals. He just stated the obvious at it applies to the Bible and observant Christians.

Homosexual practices are not a lifestyle. The practice is a rebellion against God at the most fundamental level. God created woman for man and blessed the union. Any other arrangement is a perversion of God’s plan and God’s intent. And it remains a perversion in spite of the fact the only perversions elite culture recognizes today are smoking, obesity and magazines with a capacity larger than 10 rounds.

Giglio also said, “We must not sit quietly by and stick our heads in the sand and let whatever happens happen in our country. We’ve got to respond to the world we live in. That is the mandate that comes to us as people of God. And this issue is coming more and more to the forefront every day.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Giglio did not do. Instead he issued a weak statement that reads, “Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15 to 20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer that I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.

“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

This reads like it was written by the same people covering up the massacre at our consulate in Libya. And “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ” means exactly what?

Christ is significant with or without Giglio’s help. What He needs are teachers who will engage the culture. My fellow conservatives are off the mark when they view this incident as another instance of a politically correct culture that hostile to Christianity.

The culture has always been hostile to Christianity. Good grief, Herod murdered all the male children in Bethlehem aged two or under in an effort to end Christ’s ministry before it began. You can’t get much more hostile than that.

What Giglio has done is acquiesce in the disparagement of the truth of the Bible. What kind of message does this send to the young Christians that Giglio is supposed to be leading? Does Giglio hope the culture will be at least as accepting of him as it is of tobacco executives?

Does it mean Christianity has some vaguely disreputable beliefs that we only share privately with our friends, but the philosophy is not something we want to identify with in public?

How, exactly, does that differ from a meeting of the Klan?

We are losing the culture war because Christians are lead by pacifists, as I wrote about earlier. Giglio has “evolved” from confronting the culture to surfing cultural waves. His current cause is “human trafficking,” which has a number of advantages for a timid Christian. One, all the right organizations are against human trafficking. Two, you get to hobnob with celebrities. And three the chances of offending someone in the congregation are infinitesimal.

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, asked the Washington Post: “Are all Orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage and sexual ethics?” “Are only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper–political correctness? Will the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don’t subscribe to the views of Western secular elites?”

Giglio evidently thinks refusing to confront the administration’s “Heretics Only” drinking fountain policy is being polite. But the message it sends the flock is one of weakness and vacillation when it comes to the plain language of the tougher parts of the New and Old Testament.

And it really compares poorly with the Catholic bishop who is preparing to go to jail rather than comply with the Obamacare abortion mandate.

Lou Giglio is building a ministry designed to attract the young in Atlanta. Up until now the name was “Passion City.” In light of his failure to affirm his own message, I suggest Giglio might want to consider changing the name to “Mildly Enthusiastic (But Not to the Point Where We Would Offend Anyone) City.”

Evangelicals Flying Blind

The NAE's next project: Revising the Ten Commandments

The NAE’s next project: Revising the Ten Commandments

Prominent on the list of things we didn’t know we needed is the new code of ethics for preachers released this year by the National Association of Evangelicals. It appears evangelical pastors have been flying blind, without any sort of guidance as to Christian behavior in the pulpit and church offices.

Leaving church ladies at the mercy of pastors gone wild.

The new code also means I’ve wasted hundreds of dollars on Bibles and commentaries that — judging by the NAE — provide no real structure for living a life that glorifies Christ.

Dang! Where did I put those receipts?

Until now I’d assumed external offenses are handled quite nicely by criminal law and internal offenses governed by the Bible. That’s what I get for practicing theology without a divinity degree.

Luder Whitlock, former president of the Reformed Theological Seminary, explained in a Christianity Today interview, “Clergy intend to do the right thing, but…when you have a world that’s swirling with change like ours and so few people know the Bible well, it’s all the more imperative to come up with something like this.”

In other words, the Bible might have been comprehensive enough for nomadic tribesmen who followed a smoke signal instead of a GPS signal, but not modern iPhone man. But if these people “don’t know the Bible well” what are they doing in the pulpit?

Helping God out when it comes to rules and regulations is nothing new in ecclesiastical circles. I belong to a church that was so strict Jesus couldn’t be a deacon. You see the Lord and Savior was also a drinker and it was forbidden to imbibe.

But even our canonical rule writers failed to stay current. So it came to pass that one could smoke crack with Mayor Barry and be a deacon in good standing, but one “easy pour” Miller and you’re out.

However, I remain convinced the Ten Commandments, Golden Rule and the New Testament will cover any modern eventuality. The NAE cites pastors involved in extramarital affairs (7th Commandment), sexual assault (7th & Golden Rule) and financial fraud (8th & 10th Commandment, Golden Rule). Expanding our search we find pastors guilty of homosexual abuse of minors (7th, 1st Corinthians 6:9, Luke 17:2), visiting prostitutes (7th and 1st Corinthians 5:1), tax fraud (8th & 9th Commandments), stealing babies (8th & 10th Commandments), assault (Golden Rule) and misrepresenting credentials (9th Commandment).

So where are the loopholes?

Pastor Joel Hunter, who signed the code, told the Washington Times: “There’s a need that we’re reminded of when we see pastors living unethical lives. We want to raise the level of accountability because apparently some pastors believe they’re a law unto themselves.”

A statement that sounds remarkably like the boastful Pharisee in Luke 18:10–11: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.”

Pastors are already held to a higher standard. In James 3:1 it says, “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” Not a verse you hear too often from the pulpit since it puts a real damper on Sunday school teacher recruitment.

It just goes to show somewhere, someone is pouring the foundation on a new Tower of Babel every day. Codes like this were only a matter of time after churches started developing “mission statements.” If the Great Commission isn’t your mission, what is?

Too many Christian leaders are slightly embarrassed by the Bible. They’ve forgotten their apologetics and simply apologize when it comes to the eternal Truth.

No wonder people are leaving the church. If the religious leadership doesn’t have enough faith in the applicability of the Bible to modern life to live by it, why should the congregation pay attention? Meanwhile the morals and tone of the culture at large continue a precipitous decline as Christians and pagans alike make it up as they go along.

The earnest people at the NAE with their new “code” are unfortunately contributing to the erosion of confidence in the Bible among their own believers and certainly among the secular world. Where does this quest for relevance stop?

For example, NAE is currently holding firm on homosexual marriage, but for how much longer? Biblical marriage certainly doesn’t conform to modern mores. If you can revise and extend the commandments, what’s to stop you from joining the Unitarians and revising marriage?

Paul tells us — pastors and parishioners alike — to “put on the full armor of God.” He certainly felt that “armor” was up to the challenge. I wonder why the leaders of the NAE don’t feel the same?

Jesus, the Liberal Democrat

It’s tough enough trying to be a Christian in this secular world without taking misleading doctrinal advice from non–believers who deny the divinity of Christ.
But some Christians obviously can’t resist because Hindus, Buddhists, Zen masters, Wiccans, pagans, fire worshipers, polytheists, agnostics, atheists and Unitarians continue their work of trying to get us to follow the “real” teaching of Jesus.
The latest advice comes from the religion columnist for the WaPost: Lisa Miller. Lisa is a conflicted Jew. The kind who goes to a Reform synagogue and says prayers for Israel, but her bizarre philosophy of moral equivalence leads Miller to believe Israelis are mean to Arabs. So she feels like it’s time to redefine the word “Israel,” at least for prayer purposes.
Fresh from altering the intent Jewish prayer, Miller turns to occupy Wall Street with helpful advice on how Christians should respond to this civic tantrum.
Lisa knows just how Jesus would have responded, had He spent a few days in Zuccotti Park: “Thus, (H)e might have sympathy for the various causes espoused by the campers (end hydrofracking, tax the rich, support unions, cap executive pay.)”
Poor Jesus, He never gets a break. Plagued by Pharisees during his own time – thrown among parasites today.
Miller’s non–divine Jesus is an advocate of what John Eldredge calls “wispy wisdom.” Christ becomes non–judgmental, vegan philosopher whose market beliefs are Karl Marx without the aggressive beard and class struggle.
Naturally Miller turns to Bart Ehrman for expert agreement. Ehrman’s a favorite of secular, non–believing reporters because he’s a former evangelical Christian who lost his faith over typos in the New Testament. Today Ehrman is an agnostic professor of religion and the go–to guy for reporters looking to enlist Jesus in the Socialist International.
Still, even cursory readers of the New Testament know Jesus did not spend a lot of time discussing investment strategy, although Matthew 25: 14–30 comes close.
Theologically it’s complicated, but the parable concerns a rich man going on vacation. He gives three of his servants ten, five and one talent of silver and then heads for the beach. When he returns, the master calls the servants to account. The ten–talent and the five–talent men invested and doubled their money. But the one–talent servant buried his for fear of losing it.
The master praised those who doubled their money, but fired the one–talent servant, which sounds to me like a rousing endorsement of capital gains.
If you really read the Bible, it’s hard to co–opt the Savior into your earthly political plans without simply inventing theology.
He had plenty of time to confront civil authority, yet Christ focused on religious authority. He didn’t discuss the politics with the Centurion or tax rates with Matthew. In fact the only system of government approved by God was that of the judges, and the Jews disliked that so much they demanded a king. Democracy and the consent of the governed are not mentioned in the New Testament because it’s not a political science or economics text. The Word is directed at individuals and not banks, corporations, the GOP, Congress or Parliament.
But Miller does real damage when she repeats the big lie of our modern, dissolute age. “The Jesus of history would love them all. What Jesus really said, and what he meant, are the subjects of culture’s greatest controversies, but one thing is sure. Jesus gave preferential treatment to society’s outcasts.”
This half–truth is used to justify homosexuality, shacking up, sex before marriage, out–of–wedlock births and much of the rest of the degeneracy of our age. But it’s a lie.
Jesus’ ministry was in sharp contrast to that of the Pharisees who weren’t interested in people unless they were already members of the club. Jesus did do outreach. His ministry was directed at sinners and He welcomed them. For adulterers, thieves, terrorists, prostitutes, tax collectors, men with anger issues it was come one, come all.
But to remain in His presence you had to be willing to change EVERYTHING.
He changed the names of His disciples, ordered them to abandon their families, and rebuked them for lack of faith. The prostitute and the fornicator had to lead a moral lives and the thief stopped stealing, to mention but a few.
Yes He reached out without regard to your past or your station in life, but if you were to follow Him, it was under His rules and Christ did not grade on the curve.
That’s the truth Miller and other liberal Bible hijackers conveniently overlook.

Announcing Publication of The New New Testament

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2011 — Very different from other New Testaments, the New New Testament is not the work of scholars but of a simple scribe who says he was asked by Jesus and the original authors of the New Testament to rewrite this as they want it to be today. Many may have trouble with this concept, the scribe himself being one of them. It is very hard for us to believe that “everything is possible with God.” (Mark 10, 27)

The scribe, Ken Maley, says, “When Jesus asked me in 2009 to write this down he promised the aid of each of the original authors to help guide me. They were the authors and Jesus’ Spirit was the Editor in Chief.” All this comes down to one simple question: Can Jesus give us a New New Testament if he wants to? For those who are willing to consider that possibility, the rest will be personal judgment flowing from heart and mind. The questioner is invited to read some selections from the New New Testament and let their hearts meld with their minds to give the answer.

The teaching of Jesus presented here is in no way something new. It was the core teaching in the early Church up until the fourth century when money and power overrode tradition, and to this day it is the teaching of many Eastern Churches, which never lost Jesus’ real Message.

Those very close to Jesus knew this teaching and later taught it. Christianity went underground in many places because Jesus’ core teaching — that we are God (John 10, 34) — continued to be illegal for a long time after Jesus was killed for preaching it, and so had to be kept secret except among members of the Communities.

When asked the impact of such a re-issue of the world’s most important book, Ken Maley answered: “It cannot be stressed enough that Jesus does not want a new Church, or a new sect to come from his Message here! He simply wants his core Message to be taught and believed in all his Churches! His teaching here may well radically change Christianity today everywhere except in those places, mainly in the East, were his core Message was never lost, but it must be seen as a return to that Message and not a changing of it!”

The New New Testament may be purchased at: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/new-new-testament?store=book and at other places. For additional information, videos and selected texts, please see http://www.NewNewTestament.org.