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This Is Why Christianity Is On the Ropes

Feb 3, 2016

There most certainly is such a thing as sin, such a thing as Satan and such a thing as deception. These three run together, resulting in incredible damage – spiritually and in other ways. Of course in the world people are under the complete control of Satan, sin is a way of life, and deception is everywhere.

That is to be expected. What should not be expected – but sadly happens far too widely – is to see all three things having a field day with those who claim to be Christians. Every day we find folks who claim to be followers of Christ who are clearly deceived and allowing Satan free rein in their lives.

There are just so many examples of this. Simply take one particular area, that of sexual sin. I have heard every sexual sin and perversion being defended by those who claim to be believers, whether it is homosexuality, polygamy or what have you.

Rubber stamp with word deception inside, vector illustration

Plenty of “Christians” find no problems whatsoever with premarital sex for example, and the surveys on this are utterly staggering. Not only do they think it is just fine, but they are doing it as well. Imagine that: living in known sin while claiming to be a disciple of Christ.

I was reminded of just how pervasive this is in Christian circles with a recent lengthy debate elsewhere with a gal who also thought there was nothing wrong with premarital sex. She was a classic example of someone fully deceived on this matter. Instead of siding with the clear teachings of Scripture, she threw out every idiotic objection we expect immoral unbelievers to come up with.

But simply reading the Bible would clear up all this deception. There are hundreds of passages on sexual immorality which we are commanded to flee. The passages here are so numerous, that let me restrict myself to just a few verses from just one book:

-1 Corinthians 5:9-11 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.
-1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
-1 Corinthians 6:13-14 You say, “Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food.” (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.) But you can’t say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality. They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies. And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.
-1 Corinthians 6:18-19 Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,
-1 Corinthains 7:1-2 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.

Of course using the Greek to get a grasp of all this is preferable. Consider just one rather broad-ranging word. The Greek word porneia has a number of meanings, all centring on illicit sexual activities such as prostitution, premarital sex, bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism, incest, and so on.

As the standard Greek-English lexigraphical reference work by Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich and Danker (BAGD) states, the word means “prostitution, unchastity, fornication,” and is used “of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse”. So here we have all forms of illicit sexual activity covered by just one word.

As always, the biblical norm for human sexuality is seen in a lifelong male-female marriage – nowhere else. All this is so utterly clear and obvious in Scripture that it is just bizarre that one has to go over these basic biblical truths. But deception is rampant in so many churches, so we have confused believers like this arguing just like any pagan would. Indeed, this gal threw every ludicrous argument that I normally get from atheists and sexual libertines: love is all that matters; God looks at the heart; we don’t need lists of rules, etc, etc.

It is just staggering to come across this utter nonsense from someone claiming to actually be a disciple of Christ. Let me just mention a few of our many exchanges. I was assured by her that love is all that matters, and if two people are committed to each other, that makes all such premarital sex just peachy.

I replied, by that unbiblical reasoning, homosexuals or threesomes or anyone who “loves” and seems “committed” would be just fine and we should approve of what they are doing. Indeed, homosexuals, and those into polyamory, incest or paedophilia will often claim it is all about a loving and committed relationship.

Or consider this howler of hers: “If Christians only concentrate on obedience to God, we run the risk of not understanding the heart of God fully. I believe that there are grey areas in the Bible where God’s compassion overides the rule.” What? Obedience is just an optional extra, and can lead us away from God?

The Bible everywhere says the exact opposite. Let me provide just four verses, all from Jesus himself on how obedience is essential to any claim of loving God:

-John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
-John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me.
-John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”
-John 15:10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

And sexual activity such as fornication is merely a “grey area”? Oh puh-leese. Next we will hear that murder and rape are grey areas as well. This is the bitter fruit of a mind riddled with relativism and a blatant disregard for the word of God.

Consider also this doozy: “The Bible isn’t a set of rules, it’s a relationship with God. That is what matters to be within His will.” Um, what?! What exactly is the Ten Commandments all about? There are sets of rules all throughout the Bible. We have lists of things we are commanded to do, and lists of things we are commanded not to do. Sounds like rules to me.

Simply consider the various sin lists or vice lists found in the New Testament. There are heaps of them, such as in:
Mark 7:21-22
Romans 1:24-31
Romans 13:13
1 Corinthians 5:10-11
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
2 Corinthians 12:20
Galatians 5:19-21
Ephesians 4:19, 31
Ephesians 5:3-5
Colossians 3:5-9
1 Timothy 1:9-10
1 Timothy 6:3-5
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Titus 3:3
Revelation 21:8

So what are these all about? They are “sets of rules,” the very thing this gal claimed had nothing to do with the Bible or our relationship with God. Sorry, but you don’t get much greater deception than that. One simply cannot have a relationship with God except through obedience, as the passages I just mentioned above make perfectly clear.

But these antinomians who want to justify sin have to simply ignore or deny the majority of the NT to push their twisted agendas. I realise this “relationship only” baloney is all the rage in the emergent church movement, but it is simply damnable heresy, leading people away from God, not to him, as I explain here: billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/01/jesus-law-and-relationship/

Let me mention one last shocker of hers. Someone posted four simple words on her thread: “fornication is a sin”. She replied this way: “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” Incredible – talk about mangling a verse to justify sin! I deal with the abuse of that passage in detail here: billmuehlenberg.com/2016/02/02/difficult-bible-passages-1-peter-48/

I of course do not mean to be picking on one individual here. The real tragedy is, there would be millions of such people sitting in our churches in the West. They may attend services, and go through the motions, but at the end of the day, they seem to be just like their secular counterparts.

Indeed, when they think like pagans, talk like pagans, and act like pagans, we have every right to ask if they are indeed pagans. When people claiming to be disciples of Christ push the very same ungodly, pro-sin agendas that a non-Christian does, even seeking to defend things like fornication, then you know we have a massive problem here.

When you effectively call God a liar, shake your fist at his face, and reject his Word, you really do forfeit any right to be called one of his own. You are simply just like any other rebel who still needs to lay down his arms, repent, and come to God on his terms, not your own.

We really do need to remind ourselves just how pervasive and dangerous satanic deception is, and how sin accepted and embraced leads to even more blindness, deception, and rejection of God. See this piece for more on this: billmuehlenberg.com/2012/03/13/on-deception/

Smith Wigglesworth had a great line about this which is worth finishing on:

The reason the world is not seeing Jesus is that Christian people are not filled with Jesus. They are satisfied with attending meetings weekly, reading the Bible occasionally, and praying sometimes. It is an awful thing for me to see people who profess to be Christians lifeless, powerless, and in a place where their lives are so parallel to unbelievers’ lives that it is difficult to tell which place they are in, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit.

[1818 words]

14 Responses to This Is Why Christianity Is On the Ropes

  • Some years ago, I had a girl who had been attending my church for sometime and wanted to get baptised in my church.
    I promptly enrol her for some baptism class but she was too busy and missed out on the classes. I extended extra grace and decided to have a couple of lessons in her place.(with my Mrs. alongside me of course).
    Then we realised that there was only one bedroom in her apartment and she was sharing a double bed with her boy friend.
    We raise our objection but was promptly accused of being judgmental and bigot! Understandably, she left our fellowship after that and happily join a mega church where personal accountability would be much less.
    Such is the state of our world.

  • Thanks Jeremy. And such is the state of our churches sadly. Your tragic story could be multiplied many times over.

  • The difficult thing about Christianity is that it is distinct from cheerless legalism. Remembering that the Jews never kept the laws that God gave them, even the old testament emphasis is on the need of mankind for grace.

    Being able to keep the law in any form is a gift of God, after justification by Christ and this is lived in conjunction with personal discipline and obedience.

    Without justifying sin in anyway, I can see how young believers can mix up grace and obedience. They are told that law doesn’t matter, its all grace but miss the second part of Christianity that because of grace this must lead to a life of personal holiness and self discipline.

    I remember doing an assignment at bible college on “Jesus’s attitude towards the (OT) law” and being surprised that Jesus thought more of the law than many reformed Christians. The relationship between law and grace is complex but the law is far from obsoleted in Jesus’ eyes and ought to instruct a spirit led and grace justified believer.

    I found Chris Wright’s book Old Testament Ethics for the People of God to be helpful in understanding the responsibilities of believers who are called to be holy before a holy god

  • It is too easy to get distracted or not want to be seen as judgmental Bill if not in the Word daily. I know I have a much better thinking and acting way when I have given time to the word not just reading but thinking what does this to me? I often pray, lord Jesus, give me your spirit for my words & actions towards others. I saw the War room which inspired me to put scriptures on a wall in my spare room. I may only be getting in there for 5 mins at moment. But having falling down I have got back again.

  • The issue comes back to a fundamental flaw in post-modern thinking. It comes from the confusion or misunderstanding of the nature of human love. Today, human love is more often than not, mistaken for desire. Sex outside marriage is about fulfilling a desire, it is not about love.Yet the non-Christian world (the biblical gentile world) confuses what is desire and what is good. Dallas Willard in “Divine Conspiracy” puts it better than I can, but you can’t define good in terms of desire. We all know you can desire something that is not good for us. That second sausage roll or piece of chocolate is a case in point. Which is why God uses the bible as an ontic referent as to what is good. Because God loves us He only wills for us what is good for us, and because we sometimes desire what is not good for us, He has shown us what is and isn’t good. We may not fully understand why this is so, but we must trust in His instructions, and not on our own desires. When one rejects God (and disobeying His commands is such a rejection) one will have begun to loosen one’s mind from reality and when this happens, “anything goes”- the mantra of moral relativism. The mind is then directed by the will, and not vice-versa.

  • Please listen to this and it will clarify the issue brilliantly.

  • Many thanks Philip Impey.

    I don’t know whether this is off topic but apart from fornication being committed in the mind, it also possible to commit adultery even without a lustful thought.

    C.S. Lewis says

    “Most of our ancestors were married off in the early in youth to partners chosen by their parents on grounds that had nothing to do with Eros. They went to the (sexual) act with no other “fuel”, to speak, than plain animal desire. And they did right; honest Christian husbands and wives, obeying their fathers and mothers, discharging to one another their “marriage debt”, and bringing up families in the fear of the Lord. Conversely, this act, done under the influence of a soaring and iridescent, Eros which reduces the role of the senses to a minor consideration, may yet be plain adultery, may involve breaking a wife’s heart, deceiving a husband, betraying a friend, polluting hospitality and deserting your children.”
    Frances Schaeffer, talking about Dante, the Italian poet who fell in love with a young girl called, Beatrice at first sight, said that he loved her with a spiritual passion all his life. Then he married another woman who bore his children and washed his dishes but he never forsook his love for Beatrice. Schaeffer said that It has not pleased God that the distinction between a sin and a duty should turn on fine feelings. This act, like any other, is justified ( or not) by far more prosaic and definable criteria; by the keeping or breaking of promises, by justice or injustice, by charity or selfishness, by obedience or disobedience.

    Again to loosely borrow from C.S. Lewis, Gene Robinson and his “June bride” could say to one another in an almost sacrificial spirit, “It is for love’s sake that we have led astray young people in the church and those weak in their faith.” They may even feel a particular merit in such sacrifices to the idol of such love; what costlier offering can be laid on the love’s altar than one’s conscience and the break up of the Anglican communion.

    One could not find a more holy couple that that of Jeffrey John , the homosexual dean of St. Albans Abbey and his long standing lover, the rev Grant Holmes . They have married and yet, we are led to believe have solemnly sworn to abstain from any future, sexual activity. This indeed is a beautiful and unearthly marriage, difficult to match even in a heterosexual partnership, but is also a form of gnosticism and denial of God the Creator who ordered that a man cleave to his wife in order to become one flesh. I just hope that, when and if a homosexual at St. Albans declares that he has finally broken free of the bondage of his habit and is now clothed in his right mind, there is as much celebration and enthusiastic applause- as there surely will be in Heaven – by the cathedral congregation of about 300 , over this one sinner who repented , as when Jeffrey John and his partner’s marriage was announced from the pulpit with the words : “It is a delightful occasion for them both but I am even more pleased that the congregation reacted so warmly and arranged a reception after the main service to toast their good health.” It is more than likely that such a repentant sinner would be rushed off to the nearest diversity training centre or even mental home. Indeed the more holy and exemplary these two try to appear the more grotesque they become, even more so to root -and -branch LGBTs who see themselves as revolutionary rather than as conventional goody goodies.

    David Skinner UK

  • Au contraire, Bill, I think this behaviour by so-called Christians is exactly what Jesus predicted for the End Times.

  • The simplest discourse on this subject is 1 John 1 and 2. John, who is so often called “the apostle whom jesus loved” makes it so clear there that a person who says he is walking with God and yet does anything God calls sin without repentance is a liar and the truth is not in him. Simple and straight forward, nobody can miss that.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  • “I, of course, do not mean to be picking on one individual here. The real tragedy is, there would be millions of such people sitting in our churches in the West. They may attend services, and go through the motions, but at the end of the day, they seem to be just like their secular counterparts.”…quoted from BM in his article.

    While it’s clear you wish to point out that you are not singling this lady out for for rebuke or comment, it’s sad that we live in a time wherein you need to explain your reason for commenting on her delusional view of fornication and what is meant by, “Love covers a multitude of sins.” What a very depressing commentary on the state of the modern church, huh, Bill? We now have to explain why we dare to point out sin and a warped Biblical worldview….

    It’s so easy to become desensitized today, due to way too much viewing of television, to lose sight of the role God intended sex to play in the life of believers who are in a married relationship…and that that role is intended ONLY in a marital relationship. Heck, we’ve lost the entire concept of, “You may NOW kiss the bride.” Even that small act of affection was not intended to be a part of the betrothed couple’s lives until they were officially married before God and according to His standards. A very foreign concept to modern man, including the church, indeed, but still, His rules, not ours.

  • I am reading this for the first time December 29th 2017. Your assessment is right on target.
    I have found that many Christians do not have a hatred for sin. Their behavior is no different from the sinners in the world.

    Thanks for this truthful and enlightening article. May those who read heed.

  • True, Bill.
    Thanks for this reminder.
    Fact is what is happening is what Jesus & the Apostles said would happen.
    The love these pagans within the church (tares) are talking about, is a redefining of godly biblical love:
    It is focussed on Self.
    These people love, but they love themselves & their desires.
    They do not love Christ & certainly not in the sense of taking up your cross daily to follow Him to die on that cross.
    They simply are using God as cover for their sin & as justification of it.
    It actually entails blasphemy:
    They are the “doers of iniquity” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7:23.
    But: Socially, politically & theologically, yes, Christianity is ‘on the ropes’.
    But in God’s way it never is, as He knows His own & keeps them & prepares them for His glory.
    We should battle on, “contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints” (Jude) as you courageously do at great cost, but let us never lose hope, for Christ is King forevermore.
    He is our “hope of glory.”

  • Nowhere can I see Paul’s letters or anywhere else in the Bible it is okay to be with someone if you are not married, as long as you love on another. Waiting to be married before I live with someone I have always believed and I don’t care how much our society today frowns at it. Sadly, as you wrote, many Christians think the way of the world on this too. I want try and to do God’s will.

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