It is 2:29 a.m. on a Saturday morning and I have absolutely no idea where this blogpost will go.
I do know,however, that I just returned from David Platt's Secret Church and that I am completely and utterly moved by Jesus Christ in so many ways. If you don't know what Secret Church is then I encourage you to find out more, but basically David Platt teaches the 100% gospel truth for 6-7 hours straight, highlighting areas around the world that actually do have to gather in secret churches. If you have read his book "Radical" then you know how this got started and the meaning behind it and how incredibly powerful it can be not only for those who are actually meeting in secret churches, pouring over the word of God with their lives literally at stake, but also for those of us who just want more Jesus. If you have time, then I think you might even be able to find the podcast of the secret church and I HIGHLY encourage you to spend 7 hours with David Platt exploring some of the most crucial, controversial topics that Christians have to deal with these days. I do not know what I am about to write, but I do know that God did not make me to be silent and I can not be silent after what I just heard.
Tonight we dealt with a number of topics, some of the major ones being abortion, homosexuality, sexual immorality, marriage problems, slavery, poverty, racial boundaries, among many other things. Ultimately the main thing that really resonated with me was that the truth on these controversial topics can not simply be glossed over because we as a church have an utter fear of society.
When is the last time you sat down at a church sermon and your preacher talked at length about how homosexuality is a flat out sin? Or how abortion statistically has defeated the number of deaths in the holocaust again and again? Racial Discrimination? The government? Yeah, I can't remember either. That's because churches just don't. We as a Christian society have completely bought into this whole idea of "come as you are" and "judgement free zones". While these types of things are very important and should indeed be regarded as gospel truths, we have completely blown them out of context. We have let society scare us into avoiding pointing out the wrongs of sin in fear of the hundreds of thousands of fingers pointed at the church with the labels "hypocrites", "bigots", "homophobes", "racists", you name it. We have churches today that preach that being gay is perfectly acceptable, that being faithful to God will result in financial blessings of which you should not have to share, that knowing Jesus should be comfortable, and more. And to what prevail?
BILLIONS of people are dying without the gospel. People who will never know the forgiveness, the wholeness, the never ending love that is Jesus Christ who died for our sins! As a church we should realize that the sins of a homosexual are no worse than the sins of sexual impurity that a heterosexual couple may commit, however we must not remain silent on a controversial issue in fear that it will offend someone. In case you haven't read the very words of Jesus, almost everything that Jesus calls us to do are completely controversial! We just don't read it as this way because our modern westernized culture has taken the radical words of Jesus Christ and shaped them into something we can find comfortable. Spoiler alert, Jesus calls us all to a radical life. We were made to be absolutely uncomfortable. We were destined to work and then work and then work some more and to give most of what we make to the poor or the widowed or whatever other cause you feel like you should give to. We were called to die to the desires of our own flesh, flee from sin as much as we can, and let Jesus walk with us every step of the way. We were not called to live as we please, to buy multiple homes and store up possessions for ourselves, to utterly ignore the problems around us or the billions dying in the world without Jesus. We were not called to live only in America, to justify that people in America "need Jesus too", simply as an excuse to not go to the nations. (If you are called to America, by all means, serve America! If you are using it as an excuse to provide yourself comfort, that is a sin and a direct violation of the Bible). Contrary to popular belief in the south, the white race is not the superior race. It is very biblically evident that we all came from the same race, therefore how can we possibly regard one as better? How could we possibly justify opposing things such as interracial couples? As long as both parties revere God, it is completely biblical (The only times God told his people to not marry interracially were in times when the other race were not godly and would lead his people astray). Opposing everything Dave Ramsey might teach, our finances are not ours. We should handle God's money with care and with education, but we should not hold on to it. I, as well as most of North America, am so incredibly guilty of this. While most of the world is living on $1-$2 dollars a day, the average American lives on no less than $90. This should shake us all to our very cores. My heart hurts thinking that I as well as almost everyone I know has bought into the world's view on material objects. The effects of our lust of money are deadly. It is complete foolishness to tell ourselves it is not our jobs to support others financially, be it someone who lives down the street from us, across the country, or across the world. There is nothing in the Bible that tells us this is okay, that your hoarding of money can be justified because someone in another country doesn't deserve it. That they don't handle it in an educated way, therefore they don't deserve it. Please, tell me where Jesus said anything close to that, because so many of us live as if he said it time and time again.
I realize that was a lot of biblical vomit, but my heart is absolutely full. 200 pages of a study guide filled with truths that for so long I have felt guilty for believing. Living in a society where anything goes while I believe very controversial biblical truths, especially in positions with political influence, has been one of if not the biggest struggle in my life. To take a stance on something knowing someone will call me a bigot, tell me that I serve an oppressive religion (Oh my goodness, if only they knew...Forgive them, Father), write off my beliefs as irrelevant because I live in the bible belt, am white, for the most part attend church at baptist churches.... that, readers, has been so hard.
I don't stand by my beliefs because "that's how I was raised". I don't stand by my beliefs because that's what white southern baptists in the bible belt of middle-class believe. I stand by my beliefs because they're biblical. I stand by my beliefs because they are 100% without a doubt biblically supported and truthful. They are things that are biblical fact and to argue them is to change the very words of God and at that point change a religion. I stand by them because at one point in my life I hit rock-bottom and knew that I was void of God and I was in need of a Savior. I felt Jesus Christ, I knew without a doubt that God was real and that I was feeling him and absolutely nothing anyone can ever tell me will ever change that belief. I stand by them because I am a sinner in so many different ways, no better than any gay, feminist, receiver of an abortion, killer, rapist, you name it. I stand by them because I have seen utterly broken people in the midst of the darkest points of their lives turn to our God, cry out his name, and have their lives absolutely changed. I believe in them because I have seen the hand of God reach down and touch my life forever. And believe me when I say that even the thought of death in persecution will never EVER make me back down from those beliefs. I will defend my Jesus until the very end of my human body if that is what it takes because, though most of our modern day church simply doesn't want to hear it, that's what we are called to do if it comes down to it.
So, after a very long post that probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense but is just what is swimming around in my heart right now, I challenge you to discover God's truths. In the next few days I might be writing a post on each issue addressed tonight. The thoughts portrayed in this blog are very honest, but I assure you they are all grounded in truth and scripture, and most of all love. I believe we were not called to serve ourselves or to twist the words of the bible into things that benefit our sinful desires, and I probably offended quite a few-if not all of my readers. Not a single person does not struggle with a sin addressed in this, including myself. And that's okay. But we MUST be aware of it. I hope you look for the posts to come on topics, my takes of what David Platt led us through, and again I encourage you to look for his secret church podcast.