The gospel is being attacked directly by those who believe they are compassionate and loving toward sinners. I'm NOT saying Christians should be hateful toward sinners. But we need to be aware of the attacks on the gospel that compromise, for whatever reason, with Biblical righteousness undermine the whole reason why Jesus died on the cross of Calvary. The arguments of the "compassion & love" can sound palatable, but they are deceptive. They are based on emotion, not the Scripture. These arguments directly warp and pervert the gospel of Jesus to fit our sin rather than change and save us.
There is one such example that came to my attention this morning while I listened to "The Briefing" by R. Albert Mohler. (1) He discusses the following Q/A with Jen Hatmaker, a popular speaker and writer in Christian circles who recently began to speak in favor of the LGBT/Gay Marriage movement, encouraging the church to stop trusting the Bible and start caring for others.
That's the deception - stop trusting the Bible. But, here's the rub. In an interview with Jonathan Merritt, the most important question of all was asked:
"You mention faithfulness and God. Do you think an LGBT relationship can be holy?"
"I do. And my views here are tender. This is a very nuanced conversation, and it’s hard to nail down in one sitting. I’ve seen too much pain and rejection at the intersection of the gay community and the church. Every believer that witnesses that much overwhelming sorrow should be tender enough to do some hard work here. (2)"
Her compassion is exemplary, but her theology is terrible. Embracing the idea that what God condemns is somehow acceptable because of the pain inflicted by agreeing with God is just foolishness. Such theology is based on emotion, not scripture. She doesn't understand the word "Holy." The Bible is where we even get the word Holy in the first place. It's a term used from the beginning to the end. It describes God. "Holy," as it applies to God (and so to anything/anyone else) means something like without moral, spiritual, and factual blemish. In other words, God is morally perfect; spiritually perfect; and factually perfect. God's character is Holy. Christ is as well, for Christ is the express image of God. Man, on the other hand, is unholy. We are sinful beings. Our unholiness destines us for judgment, hell, and destruction. God's compassion has never been nor ever will be a compassion that merely overlooks unholiness. Instead, God seeks to remove our unholiness and replace it with His Holiness. Jesus came to the cross to pay the penalty for our unholiness. Jesus' blood was shed to wash our unholiness from us. If we won't let that take place, we remain in our unholiness to face God stained and marred by it. Pretending that it isn't there or changing the narrative to avoid it will not in any way make our day before God any different. His Holiness means He deals with truth, not fiction. Our wildest imaginations and articulations will not give us any hope in that moment because God will judge us based on what is true, not what we believe. Our only hope is the blood of Jesus! Have YOU accepted God's righteous judgment that you are a sinner? Have you repented of your sin? Have you trusted Jesus' blood to wash you of it? Have you committed your life to live by God's standard of holiness? If so, you have a sure hope based on God's lasting promise of eternal life. And that is the gospel (good news).
The entire LGBT/Gay marriage movement is all about rejecting God's standard for sex and marriage in favor of something else entirely. That means rejecting God's Holy plan for man's unholy practice. The death of Jesus is intended to save man from his unholy nature and practice, not authenticate it.
Don't be deceived, Christian. If you embrace her teaching, you won't be able to ever tell the gospel again - because you will have gutted righteousness, repentance, and transformation into the image of God through the death, burial, resurrection, and indwelling Spirit of God from the message.
Indeed, she's right, the conversation is nuanced and hard to nail down - if you reject the Bible. There is some very hard work to be done, and Dr. Mohler rightly asks if she's done that work. Her stance has resulted in LifeWay Christian Resources pulling her books from their shelves (3) because it's downright blasphemous (in my estimation).
I'll talk about the compassionate AND truthful response Christians should have toward those practicing the LGBT lifestyle in another post. For now, I only mean to show how those who believe the Church should embrace that lifestyle is a direct, but subtle, attack on the very hope of eternal life we have through Jesus Christ.
2. Merritt, Jonathan; "The Politics of Jen Hatmaker: Trump, Black Lives Matter, Gay Marriage, and More," (Religious News Service: From the Internet: http://religionnews.com/2016/10/25/the-politics-of-jen-hatmaker-trump-black-lives-matter-gay-marriage-and-more/, 11/4/16)
3. Chandler, Diana; "LifeWay Pulls Hatmaker Books Over LBGT Views" (Baptist Press:From the Internet: http://www.bpnews.net/47792/lifeway-pulls-hatmaker-books-over-lgbt-views, 11/4/16).