Saturday, January 5, 2008


"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? ...But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your bretheren." (1Corinthians 6:1, 6-8)

This article again shows how self-styled "conservative, "traditionalists," who fancy themselves "Bible-believing Christians," can conveniently ignore certain crucial verses from Scripture, such as the the verses quoted above, when it's their own ox that's being gored. We've seen the same thing happening in the Episcopal Church (See my December 9th post.), as we have seen it happening in many other denominations within the institutional Church.

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that it is to our shame when we take a brother/sister in Christ to a secular court, and not seek to work out our differences with other Christians; it's better to be defrauded than to go to the secular courts to resolve our differences. Here, of course, although couched in sanctimonious terms such as the desire to do more missionary work ("'What we wanted was to be a blessing to the presbytery and not something to hurt them,' [Memorial Park's senior pastor, Rev. Dean] Weaver said. 'If we went above that number ... we'd have to get rid of staff, we'd have to get rid of missionaries ... or we'd have to borrow some money'."), the bottom line is that a schismatic church wants the proceeds from the church's property when it splits from its denomination, usually because the denomination has become "too liberal," is in favor of women's ordination, is in favor of affirming same-sex relationships, or is in favor of ordaining to the ministry partnered gay clergy .

Just as in the secular world, these homophobes take their schtick, their prejudices, and fixed mind-sets, and bring them to the other side of the street, and act no differently than does anyone who doesn't profess to be a Christian, and they do it under the auspices of being "...a so-called Confessing Church, declaring faith in the Bible's authority, the lordship of Jesus Christ and traditional Christian sexual ethics."

In fact, those who see the Gospel as one of inclusiveness and love, explaining God's grace to all who trust in Him, are the true "Bible-believing" Christians, the true "Conservatives," who see Jesus words such as expressed in the Beatitudes, and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and who see the Apostle Paul's insistence on the Gospel of grace, God's unmerited favor to all those who trust in Him, as being the only Gospel to be found in Christianity. It is the exposition and living out of the Gospel of grace that is true orthodox Christianity!

The judgmental legalists and self-righteous perfectionists, those who preach and live out the false gospel of exclusion, and who seek to place yokes of bondage and heap guilt on others, have not only missed the message of Jesus, but are seemingly oblivious to the reason God was incarnated in Jesus in the first place, and they are those of whom Jesus speaks when He says, "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves." (Matthew 23:15)

No Christian worthy of the name wants hypocritical wolves in sheep's clothing discipling others into their own perverted brand of what they call "Christianity" which is nothing more than their preconceived prejudices that have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus and the Gospel of grace; their perversions of the Gospel being foisted on their disciples in the name of Jesus who, in the last day, will say to them: "...I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:23)

Perceived safe targets to persecute encourage these self-styled "Bible-believers" to impose their own prejudices and mind-sets regarding same-sex relationships on a few passages of Scripture, most of which are not at all relevant to Christians, or to anyone else living in the twenty first Century, claiming the mantle of their being true to Biblical teachings. However, when money is involved, all bets are off, and these legalists have seemingly no compunction to take other Christians to secular courts in diametrical opposition to Paul's injunction for us not to do that very thing, just as they contravene Jesus' teachings that we are not to judge others; contravene Paul's injunction that Christians are not to let another's conscience determine our liberty in Christ. As Paul wrote, "...for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?" (1Corinthians 10:29)

This question gets at the essence of God's grace, the freedom of a Christian, and our obligation to confront and put the lie to the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion that has taken over most of the institutional Church, and show the hypocrisy of self-styled "Bible-believing Christians" who use the Bible as a hammer on others and yet conveniently ignore that very same Bible when they perceive that their financial (or other) ox is being gored, as we see in this article.
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