Saturday, June 21, 2014

His Truth Is Marching On

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted this week at its General Assembly to allow its ministers to bless same-sex marriages in states where such unions are legal. I have seen a lot of gloating about this on the internet ("even the Calvinists have come around!") from people who don’t care one thing about the denomination, would never join one of its churches, and don’t have the slightest understanding about biblical or historical Christianity. Still, they’re happy. The “tolerant” rejoice that another dissenting voice has agreed to change its tune to their own. It is one more institution of the counter-cultural resistance that has fallen.

In Matthew 19:3-6//Mark 10:2-9 Jesus endorses the Creation Ordinance concerning marriage (Genesis 2:24). In other words, Jesus agrees with one of the foundational laws of God in the Bible and defines “traditional” marriage. It takes precedence, in fact, over Moses’ limitations on divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1-4), given because of the “hard hearts” among God’s people.

Once a Church decides it will no longer follow the Word of God (and specifically the Word of Christ), it is no longer a Church. It has forfeited that privilege. The Church is created by the Word, and if the Church leaves the Word, it has cut itself off from the root and is no longer a living organism. This reality is not governed by human beings, human law, or human confessions/creeds/directories of worship. It has been proclaimed by God in His Word.

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20).

“And His mother and brothers came to Him, and they were unable to get to Him because of the crowd. And it was reported to Him, ‘Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wishing to see You.’ But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it’” (Luke 8:19-21).

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments...he who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him...if anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you...if you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love” (John 14:15,21,23-26; 15:10).

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:1-5).

“So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Revelation 12:17; 14:12).

There are still denominations that still hold to the truth of the Word of God in the United States of America.* The P.C.U.S.A. has been dying for some time before this, and this capitulation to the culture will not change that. It is unsurprising to see the culture do what it does, but is grievous when an institution proclaiming itself to be a church of the Lord Jesus Christ reject His Word and the Word of Him Who sent Christ.

With the original apostles we confess “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). This is what it means to be the Church. What of those who vote to ignore the Word? It doesn’t change one thing about the truthfulness of the Word. This has been argued and addressed before: “...they were entrusted with the oracles of God. What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘That you may be justified in Your words, and prevail when you are judged’” (Romans 3:2-4).

The true Church has persevered in its faithfulness to the Word of God since the beginning, and will continue. One-voice “tolerance” and “diversity” aside, “the Word of God is not imprisoned” (2 Timothy 2:9). The Kingdom of God is eternal, unstoppable, and has the promised victory.

*Including the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. I have people I greatly admire in both denominations and am sorry that some will confuse the P.C.U.S.A. for these two denominations in their ignorance.

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