4/10/19 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Clear and Present Danger was a 1994 American spy thriller film featuring Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, an appointed CIA Acting Deputy Director. In the movie Ryan is kept in the dark by colleagues who are conducting a covert war against a drug cartel in Colombia, apparently with the approval of the President.
I believe that the church in America is in “Clear and Present Danger.” Instead of conducting a covert war against a drug cartel, there is a covert war against the authority of God’s Word. We expect it from without… On March 13, 2018 a college student from Indiana University of Pennsylvania was banned from Christianity class for saying there are only two genders.
But many do not expect it from within… Rob Bell, founding pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church movement, best-selling author and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, said this about gay marriage… “I believe God [is] pulling us ahead into greater and greater affirmation and acceptance of our gay brothers and sisters and pastors and friends and neighbors and coworkers.”
Will Rob Bell or the Word of God be our final authority? … God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24
Carl Lentz of Hillsong New York recently appeared on ABC’s “The View,” where he was asked whether or not abortion is considered a sin at his church. While the answer was unclear, Lentz said that “God is the judge” and that he (Lentz) would prefer to know a person’s name and beliefs before deciding as to whether or not they have sinned.
Who will be our final authority? Carl Lentz or God? … They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:25
“They worshiped created things.” Did you know that if you kill a pre-born sea turtle, you can be fined $1000 and sentenced up to one year in prison? If you kill a pre-born bald eagle it is even worse: you can receive a $250,000 fine and up to two years in prison. Yet in some states if you kill a pre-born human being, not only is there is no penalty, in some cases it is even encouraged!
Please understand that the issue is not just about abortion and homosexuality, although those are two of the hot buttons in our society. The question the church has to ask itself is this: who is going to be our final authority? Is the Word of God going to be our final authority, or the opinions of men and women?
Who is going to be our final authority?
Is the Word of God going to be our final authority, or the opinions of men and women?
For those of us that have determined that the Word of God will be our absolute authority, we should not be surprised when we are marginalized and attacked… For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
There is but a short path from “itching ears” to closing one’s ears to the truth. Paul warns Timothy that itching ears will lead people away from truth, to myths. There is very little doubt in my mind, that when one turns to myths, they move to Spiritual bondage… To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
When God’s Word no longer becomes our final authority, the results can be devastating. When we move away from God’s Word, the church can become a congregation of comfortable, professing Christians, listening to a comfortable, religious talk that contains no Bible doctrine. And when that happens, people no longer are getting saved… So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17 / And people are no longer becoming sanctified. Jesus prayed… Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
Brian, can’t we just agree to disagree on this? When it comes to whether or not we are going to hold God’s Word as our final authority… no, this is a deal-breaker. We can’t all just get along… “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Jude 1:18-20
Please understand that we welcome all sinners into our church, otherwise our church would be totally empty. Yet although we welcome all sinners, we cannot affirm sin nor can we change our final authority, the Word of God… All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I believe that there is a very “Clear and Present Danger” in the church today. That may make a great theme for a movie, but it will destroy the church. The good thing for us is that we know the solution to this problem… Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 2 Timothy 4:2
It is time that the Church in America not only says they believe in God’s Word, it is time that we live our lives like we believe God’s Word. And God’s people said… AMEN!