All Scripture – The Foolishness of Picking and Choosing
The meaning of the term ‘Evangelical Christian’ has no resemblance today compared to 50 years ago, that is for certain. Now, we have gay Christians, prosperity Christians, social gospel Christians, liberal Christians, republican Christians, extreme Christians, and many more. Underlying the idea of all of these labels is that as long as you ‘believe in Jesus’ you can use the name ‘Christian’. However, all of the other considerations necessary to form a worldview and Christian doctrine are subjective and formed by my own preference.
The fact of the matter is that there are many things in the Bible that offend people who call themselves Christians. These people don’t want to accept what a given text would say, and therefore immense grammatical gymnastics are performed to quell this response… to explain it away. But then there are people that just deny a certain thing that the Bible plainly teaches; pretending it isn’t there.
Many ‘Christians’ reject the bible’s teaching on issues such as: abortion, homosexuality, worldliness, lust, God’s justice and wrath, materialism, or even concepts such as election. This is nothing new, to be sure. But if the reader of this article takes issue with one of the aforementioned issues or other biblical teachings, I ask you the following question: how do you know what you know about God?
As we have written about previously on this site, the Bible itself identifies it as being ‘breathed out by God’ (2 Timothy 3:16). God inspired the writing of 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10…
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, not revilers, not swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
… Just as much as he inspired John 3:16 and any other Bible verse found on a coffee cup or read at a wedding.
Of course, the world does not have an understanding of what a true Christian is. If I called myself a basketball player and have the right shoes, clothes and I practice daily, I may seem like I know what I’m doing. But if after tip-off in a game, I start kicking the ball instead of dribbling it – am I a basketball player?
In the same way, people who wear the label Christian but believe little or (even more destructively) only what they want to in the Bible are, in no meaningful sense, Christians. The foolishness of the US president is just the latest example of how these personal confessions of people mean virtually nothing if you don’t care to submit to God’s word.
Consider this: If you cast doubt upon a plain teaching of the Bible, you by extension are casting doubt upon anything else you claim to know about God: His goodness, grace, forgiveness, love, and ultimately the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
I’m not saying that if you reject something the Bible teaches (like a literal Genesis for example), it is impossible for you to be saved – but what I am saying, is you are immensely inconsistent, and that is a problem. You’re standing on very shaky ground.
Recall what James wrote:
“You believe God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe – and shudder!”
You see, you claim to believe in Jesus. So do Satan and demons as indicated in multiple texts in the Gospels where a demon calls Jesus the Son of God (Mark 1:24). Believing in His existence is not enough. In order to be saved, you must repent from your sins and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Trust in His sacrifice made on the behalf of sinners – receive the gift of salvation.
When you submit yourself to Christ, you submit yourself to His word. This is something absolutely necessary in the life of a believer. A ‘gay Christian’ or a ‘liberal Christian’ (meaning one who re-interprets God’s word to suit his/her preferences) is a walking contradiction. The same reason a Bible-believing Christian rejects homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle is the same reason we trust in Christ for salvation – God revealed it to us to be true through the Holy Spirit, and His word is trustworthy.
For you, I would challenge you to examine what you believe, and why you believe it. Are you taking ‘every thought captive to obey Christ’ (2 Corinthians 10:5)?