Tag Archives: Apostle

SCOTUS Decision: Right or Wrong

So in the aftermath of the landmark SCOTUS decision I find myself in a very lonely spot. First, I want to say I recognize that the LGBT community has been marginalized and often completely rejected.  This absolute rejection should never be trivialized…. it is real and I have seen it firsthand.  The Christian world has made a spectacle of homosexuals for many years.  As a Christian I apologize for that … and I fear that many people look at Christians and say “if that’s what being a Christian is, I don’t want anything to do with that”.

On the other hand I believe that both the biblical and biological definition of marriage and family will always be one man and one woman.  A legal redefinition will never change that.

So I often find myself — not being able to take the side of my Christian family — and I can not take the side of the LGBT community.  A very lonely spot indeed.

I also believe this is a time where the GOSPEL message of Christ will shine more than ever.  Rather than put my own words on my unique stance I will defer to people smarter and wiser than me:

Even though SCOTUS has legally redefined Marriage… God’s definition of Marriage will remain the same. The biblical and the biological story both confirm one man and one woman as the design for Marriage and Family. As Pastor Bill Bohline said today ….”Christianity should always be counter-cultural.”  I believe the Gospel will shine more brightly in light of the SCOTUS decision made on Friday.

I think Tim Keller says it best.

“All problems, personal or social come from a failure to use the gospel (“The Good News”)  in a radical way, to get “in line with the truth of  the gospel” (Gal.2:14). All pathologies in the church and all its ineffectiveness comes from a failure to use the gospel in  a radical way. We believe that if the gospel is expounded and applied in its fullness in any church, that church will look very unique. People will find both moral conviction yet compassion and flexibility.

For example, gays are used to being  “bashed” and hated or completely accepted. They never see anything else. The cultural elites of either liberal or  conservative sides are alike in their unwillingness to befriend or live with or respect or worship with the poor. They are  alike in separating themselves increasingly from the rest of society.”

Advertisements

Pauls admonishment of Peter: The Preservation of the Gospel: Acting in Line with the Truth of the Gospel

In Galatians 2:14, Paul lays down a powerful principle. He deals with Peter’s racial pride and cowardice by declaring that he was not living “in line with the truth of the gospel”. From this we see that the Christian life is a process of renewing every dimension of our life– spiritual, psychological, corporate, social–by thinking, hoping, and living out the “lines” or ramifications of the gospel. The gospel is to be applied to every area of thinking, feeling, relating, working, and behaving. The implications and applications of Galatians 2:14 are vast.

I sincerely believe, All problems, personal or social come from a failure to use the gospel in a radical way, to get “in line with the truth of the gospel” (Gal.2:14). All pathologies in the church and all its ineffectiveness comes from a failure to use the gospel in a radical way. I believe that if the gospel is expounded and applied in its fullness in any church and in your life, that church and your life will look very unique. People will find both moral conviction yet compassion and flexibility. For example, the cultural elites of either liberal or conservative sides are alike in their unwillingness to befriend or live with or respect or worship with the poor. They are alike in separating themselves increasingly from the rest of society by either  religious moralism or social status.

In terms of Church ministry:   Legalism tends to place all the emphasis on the
individual human soul. Legalistic religion will insist on converting others to their faith and church, but will ignore social needs of the broader community. On the other hand, “liberalism” will tend to emphasize only amelioration of social conditions and minimize the need for repentance and conversion. The gospel leads to love which in turn moves us to give our neighbor whatever is needed–conversion or a cup of cold water, evangelism and social concern

I have personally seen that the gospel is the way that anything is renewed and transformed by Christ–whether a heart, a relationship, a church, or a community. It is the key to all doctrine and our view of our lives in this world. Therefore, all our problems come from a lack of orientation to the gospel. Put positively, the gospel transforms our hearts and thinking and approaches to absolutely everything.

In Galatians 2, Paul (an almost apostle) opposed Peter (an apostle) with not acting in line with the truth of the Gospel.  Pauls reason for doing this was twofold:

(1) To oppose any rejection or exclusion from the Gospel community based on racial or socioeconomic status (ie Jews vs Gentiles). In this case the Jews were “snubbing” the gentile community.

(2) To correct the idea that law-based righteoussness  plays any part in a movement toward a righteoussness in Christ.    “Justified” means “counted righteous” or “declared righteous” by God (see esv footnote). If people were sinless and perfectly obeyed all of God’s perfect moral standards, they could be justified or “declared righteous” on the basis of their own merits. But Paul says that this is impossible for any Gentile or even for any Jew to do (cf. Romans 1–2). we know that a person is not justified by works of the law. Paul saw that Christ had taught justification by faith, and so he called God the one “who justifies the ungodly” (Rom. 4:5). Paul will soon show that this view was taught even in the OT (see Gal. 3:6–18), though it was not the view of most of first-century Judaism.

Here is the biblegateway text on Galatians 2:11-21.

Paul Opposes Peter

14When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.

17“If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes Continue reading