Creative Commons: Christian Values Candle Set
Many churches (and individuals) are teaching and preaching Christian values to a lost world. This message is calling for people to respect and embrace the standards of behaviour taught in the Scriptures. It must be noted that outward conformity to Christian values will extend certain benefits to an individual’s personal life and to those around them – however, this in and of itself it detrimental and damning to the hearer. Dr. R. Albert Mohler insightfully notes in a recent blog post,
“Hell will be filled with people who were avidly committed to Christian values. Christian values cannot save anyone and never will. The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a Christian value, and a comfortability with Christian values can blind sinners to their need for the gospel.”
Here Mohler makes the important point that what is essential in our message to the unbelieving world is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the unmistakable teaching of Scripture that the practice of Christian values comes as the result of one hearing and heeding the gospel of Christ (see Col. 1:3-6). This is necessary because the gospel – not Christian values – contains “the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16). This does not mean that the Christian isn’t concerned regarding societies abandonment of Christian values and nor should they be silent on such matters. As Mohler also says,
“We should not pray for Christian morality to disappear or for Christian values to evaporate. We should not pray to live in Sodom or in Vanity Fair. But a culture marked even by Christian values is in desperate need of evangelism, and that evangelism requires the knowledge that Christian values and the gospel of Jesus Christ are not the same thing.”
The point is, we as God’s people are to make the gospel known because only the gospel’s power can bring true and eternal change to a sinner’s plight. We are to preach the gospel!
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or Why the crafty serpent is winning the argument again
Two of the most hotly contested topics in the church today are homosexuality, and the role of men and women in the church. The two issues have two things in common. Firstly, they arguably cause more disagreement and controversy than any other topic within Evangelical and wider Protestant circles. Secondly, on both of these issues, pastors, lay people and theologians are essentially reinterpreting what scripture says. It’s the second of these two that I will focus on here.
My focus is how Christians are reinterpreting scripture, though homosexuality and gender roles will be used as illustrations of how it is occurring. Readers may disagree with me on those issues, but that merely serves as an illustration of the controversy surrounding them. In attempting to make sense of the biblical texts which speak of these issues, you hear people say things like, “Oh, but that text is for that particular church at that particular time.” Scholars are translating the original Greek in entirely new ways, showing that Paul didn’t really mean that homosexual practice is sinful when he wrote Romans (see Rom. 1:26-29, for example). Paul also couldn’t have meant that women are not to teach the bible when he wrote to Timothy (see 1 Timothy 2:6-14). Even if he did, they might say, it doesn’t apply to us today. In other words, people are starting to say that Paul didn’t really mean what we’ve always thought. Continue reading
At one of our church’s recent corporate prayer meeting, we prayed for our nation. We prayed that the government would not legalise gay marriage, that the horrific practise of abortion would cease. More broadly, we prayed that our nation’s slide toward paganism would be slowed. Why do we pray for these things? Why do we need to contend for social, moral, and political issues? I was reminded of one of my favourite quotes from the great J. Gresham Machen. He explains an important reason why Christians must contend for these sorts of issues:
“We are all agreed that at least one great function of the Church is the conversion of individual men. The missionary movement is the great religious movement of our day. Now it is perfectly true that men must Continue reading