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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

Dad Rod Thursdays – “The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church” In Video.

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Francis Chan in his book Crazy Love wrote the following words which I provide to you for your consideration.

Most of us use “I’m waiting for God to reveal His calling on my life” as a  means of avoiding action. Did you hear God calling you to sit in front of the television yesterday? Or to go on your last vacation? Or exercise this morning? Probably not, but you still did it. The point isn’t that vacations or exercise are wrong, but that we are quick to rationalize our entertainment and priorities yet are slow to commit to serving God (p. 167)

By the way if your looking for a good book that will both challenge your spirit and convict your heart I commend to you this book. What makes his work stand out compared to others who point us to “loving our neighbors” is that Chan centers us in Christ as the means of our action from beginning to end. If you’ve had the chance to read Crazy Love I’d like to hear your thoughts.

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Do you have a child with disabilities, or know of a family who has such a child? If so, you might want to consider getting the newest resource to come out of the Desiring God ministry. It’s titled Just the Way I Am (For ordering information you can go here) Here’s the description posted on their website:

Through photographs, Bible passages, and her own story, Krista Horning’s book tells of a wise and sovereign God who turns all things for good, including disability.

Born with Apert syndrome that has required more than 60 surgeries and countless hours of therapy, Krista and her family understand the severe pain and suffering associated with disability. Yet they also experience God’s grace and are able to live with hope in God because they are anchored in God’s word.

From the Foreword by Joni Eareckson Tada:

With a tenderness tempered by her own physical challenges, Krista considers it her life’s calling to lovingly lead kids with disabilities beyond their questions to discover just how wise and sovereign God really is.

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Last week, Christian artist Jennifer Knapp “came out,” confirming rumors about her homosexual lifestyle.  In this article, we will be looking at an interview by Christianity Today that shows several things about her situation that are revealing and troubling.

The opening line of the article reads, “Veteran artist returns after seven-year hiatus with a feisty new album, Letting Go, while also revealing that she’s gay.”

 Jennifer Knapp has decided to return to the Christian music industry after taking a seven year leave.  Upon returning, she has stated unapologetically that she is a practicing lesbian and presently in a same-sex relationship, and she has been traveling with her lesbian partner all over Europe and the United States during her musical hiatus.  Now she’s back, writing Christian music and performing, all the while investing in a long-term relationship with her female sex partner. Regarding her relationship, Knapp says:

I’m certainly in a same-sex relationship now, but when I suspended my work, that wasn’t even really a factor.

 Her immoral relationship was not even a factor as to why she took time off from her “ministry.” Knapp says later:

…if you remove the social problem that homosexuality brings to the church—and the debate as to whether or not it should be called a “struggle,” because there are proponents on both sides—you remove the notion that I am living my life with a great deal of joy. It never occurred to me that I was in something that should be labeled as a “struggle.” The struggle I’ve had has been with the church, acknowledging me as a human being, trying to live the spiritual life that I’ve been called to, in whatever ramshackled, broken, frustrated way that I’ve always approached my faith. I still consider my hope to be a whole human being, to be a person of love and grace. So it’s difficult for me to say that I’ve struggled within myself, because I haven’t. I’ve struggled with other people. I’ve struggled with what that means in my own faith. I have struggled with how that perception of me will affect the way I feel about myself.

 That’s quite a revealing statement.  In Jennifer’s mind, homosexuality is nothing more than a social problem to the church, a debate with “proponents on both sides.” To Knapp, homosexuality does not even register as a sin. 

Therefore she does not consider it a “struggle,” most likely referring to an internal struggle against sin since, after all, it is not sin to her.  No, her struggle is with other people who do see it as a sin.  She goes on to identify some of these people, among them, “conservative evangelicals”:

The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about.

 Now I cannot say with any certainty how kind or meanly evangelical Christians have treated Jennifer.  I personally do not know her, but I can relate to her because of our common humanity.  But notice a few things here.  First, Jennifer, like so many professing Christians, shop around for Bible verses that meet their “perceived needs.” But like any shopper, they are free to pick and choose – take some, leave the others. 

Knapp says the Bible literally saved her life.  What part of the Bible is she referring to?  Certainly, salvation comes by grace through faith in Christ.

But this same word of God also saves from judgment by warning of God’s impending judgment on children of disobedience, those who are, among other things, sexually immoral and homosexual (1 Cor. 6:9; Eph. 5:5).  Knapp seems to be altogether disregarding these verses and other verses stating God’s warnings to be holy (1 Pet. 1:15-17; Heb. 12:14).  But I suppose Jennifer would see all of these warnings as “clobber verses.”

Knapp goes on:

I’m not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn’t allow homosexuals within our church. There’s a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I’ve been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.”

 Do you see how warped the mind of a natural man or woman can become?  Homosexuality is not only contrary to God’s word, but even to nature itself.  But if it can be relegated, like so many other things, to being nothing more than a “theological argument,” then it can be shelved for the theologians to wrestle with.  But in categorizing unrighteousness in such a way, she no longer feels the need to search her heart, examining Scripture and herself in fear to see if she is truly among the saved. 

But there’s “a spirit that overrides” that for her, a spirit that she’s been gravitating to in Christ.  But that Jesus Jennifer is gravitating to is a figment of her own imagination.  Christ is both lover of the Church, His bride, and also Judge of the world in righteousness.  Yes, He embraces sinners, but He condemns the ungodly to eternal punishment.  Jennifer, like so many other professing believers have fallen into the snare of making for themselves an imaginary Jesus, an idol of their own creation, that imposes no perfect standard and makes no demands of righteousness upon anyone but loves them just as they are.  But that’s not the Jesus of the Bible!  Yes, we must come to Him as we are, but Christ Jesus never leaves us there.  Being grounded in Christ always, always leads to fruit – works of righteousness and increasing holiness.  If there is no fruit, there is no root!

She responds to another question saying that she is not attending a church these days, but says in another place, “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”  Something about goats (unregenerate people) –they’re quite uncomfortable among the sheep (the true people of God).  And inversely, those who belong to Christ also love the communion of saints.  There’s no other place we’d rather be than among our siblings in the Lord.

Knapp says:

It’s not on my agenda to convert the world to a religion, but to convert the world to compassion and grace. I’ve experienced that in my life through Christianity…I aspired to be a Christian in my private life, and I think it’s a wonderful side effect that can happen with music…For me, it’s the journey that I’m on, trying to figure things about as best I can.

 Again, this Christianity she embraces is a Christianity of her own making.  She aspires to be a private Christian, having broken free from the body of Christ.  But Jennifer needs to know that you can’t break free from the body without also being severed from the Head.  You can’t have one without the other.  And her rebellion against Christ is perhaps most evident in this statement:

I’m not going to let go of my faith and I’m not going to let go of the passion to do music the way I want, in case there are other people telling me I can do neither because of personal decisions I’ve made.

 That has the same tone as Frank Sinatra, who boasted toward the end of his life, “I did it my way.” It’s the rebellious attitude only an unregenerate person can make, or at the very least a wayward Christian who is on the verge of apostasy from the gospel.  She’s not letting go of her faith or of doing music the way she wants.  But any true child of God bows the knee to Christ, knowing we are governed not by what we want but by what Jesus commands.  That’s what Lord means.

Jennifer said, “I wrote ‘Inside’ in complete and utter fear to voices in my head that told me that I couldn’t be a person of faith,” and I want to say this with the uttermost sensitivity, but I wonder if these voices in her head are her guilty conscience because she knows what she is doing is wrong.  I truly pray they are, for they are the only signs of hope that I have seen thus far.  These voices serve to guide her back to what is right and true, and therefore they are blessings.  God often uses our consciences to show us that we are in sinful rebellion against Him.  The Spirit of Truth convicts us unless our consciences are seared.  The more Jennifer refuses to obey that voice, the more she refuses to turn her back on her sinful practice, the less she will hear that voice.  If she wants to silence it, all she has to do if ignore it long enough and it will go away.  I pray she does not.  I pray this voice of conscience drive her back to the cross, to the throne of grace.  I pray she repent before it’s too late and she’s too far gone.  I do pray for her and ask you to pray for her as well, that God would pour down grace and repentance on this wayward sister until she comes into the light.

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