Wednesday, March 26, 2014

why we can't compromise on the truth of God's word



So this World Vision thing? I don’t want to get into all of that. If you haven’t read about it click over to Christianity Today’s article. The short story is that World Vision changed it’s employment policy to allow for same sex couples who are married to be employed by World Vision. It’s a policy change that was made on the basis that many churches now accept same sex marriage, and many states allow it as well. I don’t sponsor a child through World Vision so I don’t have a bias towards or against the organization. 

Also, I don’t intend to make this all about World Vision and homosexuality. In fact, that’s not even the point of me writing this here today. 

What I’m wondering is this: is this cracking open a bigger issue within the church?

As a Christ follower I believe in the absolute truth of the Bible. I believe it’s God word and as such, it is an authority in my life. Because it is God’s infallible word to his people, I believe every part of it. It will never change, and it is always true. This means I rely on every word of it, and strive to follow biblical truth in my life. So I pattern my life after what the word says. I choose to love all, even those who hurt me. I choose to place the needs of others before myself. I choose to submit to my husband. I choose to speak the truth. I choose to tithe a portion of my income. And I choose many other things that are sometimes inconvenient and uncomfortable and hard for me to do. I choose these things because I know that patterning my life after the truth of God’s word is the only way to finding real life, and I choose these things because I love God and want to honor him with my life. 

Either the Bible is true for all of my life, or it’s not true at all. Imagine you were diagnosed with cancer and your doctor prescribed a whole cocktail of treatments to cure you. Would you just choose the treatment options that were comfortable, and had the most pleasant side effects, knowing that it won’t completely cure you? Or would you take everything, even though it would be much harder, knowing that it was the only way to survive? We can’t just pick the Biblical truth we like, or focus on what is popular, and ignore the rest. As a child of God, and a follower of Christ, I must be able to stand on the whole truth of the word. The Bible clearly outlines God’s standard of holiness set for all of his people, it is one that challenges us to lives free of sin. Sin is anything that separates us from God; be it homosexuality, perversion, sex outside of marriage, drunkenness, gluttony, or selfishness (just to name a few). 

But here’s the rub, I fall short of that standard of holiness every day before I even finish my morning coffee. We all do. All of us sin, all of us miss that mark. That shouldn’t keep us from trying to attain holiness. And the fact that I can’t make it makes me very grateful for Jesus and his gracious sacrifice for me. Without that sacrifice, I don’t stand a chance.

But here we have the bigger issue, are we willing to leave our lives of sin because that’s what the Bible commands? Do we believe that the entire word of God is true and applicable to our lives, or not? We can’t just focus on loving others and forget about all the other things that God asks of his people. 

This isn’t about whether you should drop your sponsorship of a child through World Vision. This isn’t even about World Vision. It’s about the veracity of God’s word. Either it applies to all my life and reveals every area that needs to be transformed by God, or it doesn’t apply at all. And that’s where I think we might be missing it. When things happen around us that are contrary to God’s truth, we can’t just accept them on the basis of being loving to others. Jesus was loving to be sure, but he also told those redeemed by him to go and leave their lives of sin. Here’s something we don’t always like to hear, God hates sin. He is a holy God, and as a holy God, he will judge each of us according to the decisions we make in this life.  

So please hear my heart on this, sin is sin. My goal is not to make this about World Visions’s employment stance. My point is that in the end all sin leads to death. And God’s word will never change and his word tells us very clearly to leave our lives of sin as we pursue him. It doesn’t tell us to compromise, or go along with popular opinion, or choose the commandments we like and skip the rest. 

I have to stand on something, or I will fall. And so will the church. 

2 comments:

  1. amen! we just had a mind-boggling occurance in our neck of the woods (it's made it to national news). Christians who are taking a stand are being ostricized. It's hard navigating when to speak and when the wise don't answer the foolish. Ultimately, I hope to be someone (a family) that glorifies the LORD with our lives. AND the best way we can do that is by getting into His word, and allowing that to transform and guide our lives.

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    1. Wow- that is mind boggling. There will come a time when the real truth is regarded as a lie-we’ve got to know the Word and allow it transform us to be able to stand firm until the end.

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