Welcome back for the second installment of “Answers for ‘Questions Christians have for other Christians’”. The fact that you are reading this article implies that I did not offend you so much in the first article so as to scare you off. I’ll try harder in this one. 😋
In the first article I introduced the video, “Questions Christians have for other Christians” by Buzzfeed, and we examined a few of the sillier questions. In this edition we will take a closer look at some of the hidden tactics used in the video to communicate their message in a powerfully deceptive way.
There is a dangerous lie spreading through the church that in order to effectively reach the world for Christ, we must look like the world, talk like the world, dress like the world, and more or less imitate the world as much as possible so that we can be more likeable (please notice that I did not say “relevant”, because it is not really relevance that worldly Christians seek but rather avoiding rejection, because they love praise from people more than praise from God). The lie is this: if we want to reach the world, we must first become one with the world.
And this is truly at the core of this video. At face value, it appears to be a video all about terrible things that the church needs to fix or change, but when you shine the Light of God’s Word on the subject and compare each question to what Scripture says, it will become clear that they are not actually asking questions but are actually making statements. And these statements are made in the form of questions intentionally so that the listener feels he has to give an answer. And when he can’t answer right away, it generates the false assumption that the statement made in the question must be true. It’s a common debate technique and can be quite deceiving. And the statement behind the smoke screen is this: “Stop taking God’s Word literally and start embracing the things that the world values.”
Not following what I’m saying? Let’s take a look at a few more of their questions and you will see.
Why does the church consider LGBT christians as “less than”?
I don’t remember there being a demographic of people that Jesus saw as less than. Here is a good example: What is the statement being made here? Quite honestly, her language is slightly vague as it’s not entirely clear by her question what exactly she means by “less than.” “Less than what?” is the first question I would ask in order to gain clarity and know how to better answer the question. But from what I can gather from her tone of voice, choice of words, body language and slightly sassy attitude, as well as the sentence that followed, I think I can ascertain that she means that the church, as a whole, considers LGBT people who identify as “Christians” as a lesser form of Christian, or that Christians, as a whole, consider themselves as better than LGBT people. Either way, I think there is enough information conveyed to come to a reasonable conclusion about her general statement she is making: Christians in general all think they are better than LGBT people.
Beside feeling quite judged by her judgement that all Christians judge LGBT people (hmmm, now that I think of it that seems a bit….ohhhh what’s the word…. hypocritical), I find some fatal flaws in her statement. She claims that Christians in general view LGBT “Christians” as less than. The truth is that true Christians, and the Bible, don’t consider LGBT “Christians” as less than anything. We, and the Bible, simply don’t consider them as Christians at all. Think about it. How can someone be sold out for Jesus and yet say “God, I repent of all my sin...except for that one sin you call an abomination… and I place all my trust in You for everything… except for anything having to do with not being gay.” That’s like a heart surgeon who refused to take a single gross anatomy class in med school. I’m sorry, but he’s not a surgeon.
Look, I understand that there are Christians who have been saved out of that lifestyle and who still struggle from time to time with thoughts, feelings, and temptations. It’s not the temptations that are sin but rather it’s what you do with those temptations that is sin. Christians should be loving and sensitive to those who have escaped that lifestyle and who are in the process of sanctification, just like they are. People who practice heterosexual immorality will be punished too you know. But God does make it clear that homosexuality is a deadly trap and is an abomination before Him (Leviticus 18:22). The Scriptures make it clear all throughout the Bible that homosexuality will be judged by God. Therefore, if we simply smile and pretend it’s no problem, that would be like smiling at someone who is walking backwards towards a cliff instead of warning them to stop and turn around (i.e. repent) before it’s too late.
Jesus showed grace to sinners who were humble, such as the woman caught in the act of adultery, and lovingly exhorted them to “go and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11) To sinners who were proud of heart, such as the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-26, He gave them the law so they could see their sin and have the chance to humble themselves. In both cases, Jesus addressed their sin and called them to repentance. We must do likewise, but this necessitates calling sin what it is… sin. If we keep avoiding addressing sin, in an effort to not offend people, we are actually doing WAY more harm than good because we are not warning them of the cliff that they are ever approaching (judgement). And that, my friends, simply is not loving.
So to conclude, true Christians should not see any LGBT person as less than themselves. But if Christians do not address their sin and call them to repent and trust in Jesus to save them, then it would be like an oncologist who, after seeing your MRI’s, tells you that your cancer is no big deal and not to worry about it. Would you ever go back to that doctor again? Would that be the right thing for him to do? Absolutely not. In fact, that doctor would deserve serious punishment for such malpractice.
Why do you think Facebook is an appropriate place to discuss theology?
Again, ask yourself what is the statement being made here. This is the classic “keep religion in the church” argument. She is telling you to stop talking about faith on Facebook because it is uncomfortable to others (unless you post some unbiblical, idolatrous statement about how God doesn’t judge us and doesn’t really care about our sin...then you’re good to go).
Why is Facebook an appropriate place to discuss theology? Same reason people feel it’s an appropriate place to discuss their sexuality, drinking habits, and sins they love to indulge in (let alone the lewd pictures and shameless profanity smeared everywhere on Facebook). Again, no one seems to make a big fuss about that, so what’s wrong with using whatever platform we can to be salt and light?
Why are we as Christians more known by the things we hate than by our acts of love?
This is an example of covering a lie with a “half-truth”. The implication being clearly made here is that Christians go around hating people and hating things instead of loving others. In truth, we are commanded to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (c.f. Romans 12:9). And it’s true that we are generally known more for what we stand against than what we stand for, but why exactly is that? Is this because we don’t speak up about love and grace? Is it because Christians never show people love and grace? Is it really because we are haters and are just sooooo intolerant of everyone else?
Or is it possible that the reason the world hates us is because it hated Jesus first? (c.f. John 15:18) Well, since the girl asking the question produced no evidence to support her assertion, and since there is overwhelming evidence that Christians have been irrationally and violently hated by most people throughout the centuries (and almost as much today as they were in the 1st century A.D.), I would have to conclude that Jesus, and Christians, are hated much more by the world than vice versa.
So why does the world hate Jesus?
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.” John 7:7
You see, the world hates Jesus because Jesus exposes the evil in the world and calls it what it is. So when we speak up about sin and speak the truth in love to others, naturally the world hates us too, and is rather quick to judge us as haters (ironically) no matter how loving our attitude may be. When I talk to people about God and faith, the conversation is usually very friendly and amicable...until I say the word “sin”. Once I begin to talk about sin and the coming judgement, their countenance usually changes immediately, and the conversation makes a hairpin-turn.
From observation, it can be seen that Christians are known for what we “hate” because the world selectively focuses only on what Jesus stands against and almost altogether ignores all of our acts of love we do everyday, everywhere, to every people group we can on this planet. Where is my evidence? Check out how “religious” people measure up against the world when it comes to “acts of love” (keep in mind that according to a 2015 Gallup Poll, 93.75% of these “religious” people in America identified as Christian):
Religious people give an average of 4.17 times more than non-religious people (Source: The Almanac of American Philanthropy, 2016)
“Among Americans who have volunteered within the last year, three quarters belong to a religious organization, one quarter do not.”
(Source: The Almanac of American Philanthropy, 2016)
This means that of the estimated 8.7 billion hours of service that Americans serve in a year, 6.5 billion hours are served by those who belong to a religious organization.
In 2015, about 60% of all NGOs (non-government organizations, such as World Vision, Salvation Army, etc.) were “faith-based”, 70% of which were Protestant Christian organizations alone, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics. And according to “Evangelicals and International Aid”, by A. Olsen, “That figure almost certainly understates the presence of evangelical groups in international assistance, because most Christian NGOs do not receive federal funding and thus do not register with USAID.” These figures also do not take into account the thousands of Christian missionaries who are actively providing for the needs of people in underdeveloped countries, worldwide today.
Now that you have seen how shedding the light of God’s Word in any and every circumstance will illuminate the truth and dispel the lies, it is time for us to graduate to the heavyweight questions. So get ready to arm yourself with the full armor of God, because the questions that we will examine in the next article will be the top 3 deadliest questions in the video.
As it says in Job 38:3, “Brace yourself like a man,” because the next article will certainly not be for the faint of heart.