Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's About the Word, Church

My friend and dear brother Johnny Tucker (International Mission Association, Citronelle, Alabama, U.S.A.) had this to say:

Much has been said about one of the "Duck Dynasty" stars concerning something he said which was perceived to be against homosexuality. I have not read what he said so I don't know the full and truthful connotations involved. 
However, the issue is not what he said, what a network did, or what a journalist wrote. The issue is much more critical than all of this: the issue is, "what does the BIBLE say." If he quoted the BIBLE then the issue is settled. If he is a Christian then he just did that which is required by GOD. If he gave his "opinion" it is exactly that - his opinion. 
Do we, as Christians, really expect anyone who is not a follower of CHRIST to agree with THE BIBLE. How absurd for us to think that one's mind can be changed about BIBLICAL principles by putting pressure on them. For one to believe and accept THE BIBLE as authority, faith is an absolute necessity. 
The bottom line here is money. The networks will do everything necessary to keep money flowing. Yes, stand up for that which is right. Freedom of speech is critically important. Thank GOD for people who aren't afraid to, "...speak THE TRUTH in love." However, what's the big deal. Phil, is suffering because of his beliefs. What's new? I see this happen every day of the week. You want to take a stand for TRUTH then get in a church where the GOSPEL is taught and preached and be a vital part of getting the message out about the redemptive power of THE CROSS AND THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS. 
You've taken a stand for Phil who is a very wealthy man. When is the last time you stood up for your Pastor, who has struggled financially so that he can continue to speak THE TRUTH? When is the last time you told your Sunday School Teacher, "...thank you for faithfully teaching GOD'S WORD. 
Do we want to take a stand for TRUTH? Great, let's take our noses out of TV sets watching sports activities which are provided for our "pleasure" primarily by alcohol advertisements. Do we really want to do what's right or are offended because someone messed with our entertainment. 
This world is not impressed by our words: guess what, GOD isn't either. Actions testify of that which we really believe. I'm wondering what The Duck Dynasty Family will do with this situation. Their actions will speak "Loud And Clear". They have the greatest opportunity now more than any other time in their lives to show, "what they are made of." They aren't the only ones who face this great opportunity. What will you and I do? See you in church Sunday as we prepare to get GOD'S MESSAGE OF HOPE out to a world in need of a SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. 
See you in church, Sunday. Right?

* * * * * * *

It’s not really about Phil Robertson, but that’s where all our focus is, isn’t it?

Honestly, one of the more stunning things to me out of all this didn’t come from Mr. Robertson or any A&E spokesperson. It came from Wilson Cruz, a spokesperson for G.L.A.A.D. (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). “Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.”

Mr. Robertson, of course, didn’t “lie” against “true Christians.” In at least part of his published GQ interview, he closely paraphrased 1 Corinthians: “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, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (6:9-11).

If Christianity is not defined by the Word alone, it is not “true Christianity.” It’s not defined by Mr. Robertson or Mr. Cruz. It’s defined by the Word.

I wonder how many believers are standing for the cultural icon “Phil Robertson,” and how many are concerned about the further twisting of the definition of Christianity and the marginalizing of the Word.

How many believers could find Mr. Robertson’s quote in the Bible? Or can answer the frequent claim that Jesus didn’t address the issue (He did)?

As I have said for almost two decades: the Scripture teaches us that the biggest threat to the Church will always come from within. Antichrist is not a political figure in some government, but a Christ-twisting deceitful spirit that arises within the Church (1 John 2:15-23; 4:1-6; 2 John 7). The warning is against false teachers within, not forces without. Read the Word and be on the alert!

While our attention is on A&E (which is anything but a Christian company, so is operating perfectly within its worldview and belief system), it should be on ourselves and the Church. Again, let me repeat one of my life-principles: do not expect unbelievers to act like anything but unbelievers; they can do nothing else, and if they begin to act like believers without being believers, they’re just damned legalists/moralists that still don’t have this what we want from the A&E corporation? As my brother Johnny Tucker said above, do things like this increase our sense of urgency to be in the Word as the Body of Christ? Or is the exponential increase of pictures of Phil Robertson on my FaceBook wall a full indicator of where the focus of believers is right now?

God has attached no promise to work through a single man (or family) who has a popular show on television. He has attached promises to work through His Word, the preaching/teaching of that Word, the keeping of that Word, the showing forth of that Word in the Lord’s Supper and baptism, and the Body built by His Spirit through that Word. This Word will outlast us, this cultural, this nation, this age. This is where our focus should be, and this is where we should be teaching our children and grandchildren to keep their focus.

“A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.’ A voice says, ‘Cry!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever. Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and His arm rules for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His recompense before Him. He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows Him His counsel? Whom did He consult, and who made Him understand? Who taught Him the path of justice, and taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, He takes up the coastlands like fine dust” (Isaiah 40:3-15).

It’s about the Word. Get together and read it, hear it, pray it, sing it, study it,  live it.

It’s about the Word.

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