Beware Those Who Praise You

Consider this scenario: A young dynamic Christian leader renounces his faith, dumps his family, and takes up an adulterous lifestyle (actually, and unfortunately, this happens far too often already). But then he goes on to become a leading champion for adultery.

He becomes a leading activist, campaigning for the cause of adultery. He does all he can to subvert and undermine both marriage and family, and the Christian faith. He champions his ungodly, sinful and unbiblical lifestyle, and flaunts his sin in public.

He then offers awards to those who support his cause. He in fact offers an award (which is proudly accepted) by a leading evangelical Christian. The award is for all the services this leader offered to the adultery community. And the adultery pride press writes up the story in glowing terms, commending this Christian leader for all his help to their cause.

So what would you think of the person receiving such an award? Would that speak well of his Christianity and his commitment to Scripture? Would you not say, “This is just plain wrong; it does not compute”? How in the world can someone gladly, willingly and proudly accept an award from such a person who has renounced his faith and dumped his own wife and kids?

How in the world could any Bible-believing Christian take such an award? Yet that is exactly what has happened, and even more incredibly, more than once. Several Christian leaders have been given such an award, but I must change just one word here. Please replace the word “adultery” with the word “homosexuality” and we have an actual situation which is occurring now and has been for some years.

These Christian leaders are out and proud in affirming the homosexual community, and have readily taken these awards. But my question is this: If we would rightly be shocked at a Christian leader affirming and endorsing an adulterous lifestyle, then how can we support them if they affirm and endorse the homosexual lifestyle?

This is just another example of the perilous state of the so-called evangelical church today. We are told quite clearly in Scripture that no adulterer will inherit the Kingdom of God. And no homosexual will either. Of course in both cases this text (1 Cor. 6:9-11) is referring to those who were caught up in these sinful lifestyles, but have since renounced them when coming to faith in Christ.

Paul makes this perfectly clear when he says, “and such were some of you”. They used to be adulterers and homosexuals, but they came to Christ in faith and repentance and renounced their past sinful lifestyles. And with God’s help they were able to find real freedom and deliverance in Christ.

That is the good news of the gospel. Any and every sin can be forgiven, cleansed and overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. Justification always must lead to sanctification. If there is no changed life, one has to ask if one was ever saved in the first place.

The Holy Spirit is just that, holy, and he will not and cannot reside in a person who stubbornly clings to his sin, and resists God about dealing with known, unconfessed sin. Salvation at its very heart is about agreeing with God. It is taking him at his word, and acknowledging that our sin separates us from God, and that unless we agree with him, renounce our sin, repent of it, and seek his help in becoming a new person in Christ, we are still dead in our trespasses and sins.

That one may still struggle with such temptations after receiving Christ is not at issue here. Some people find instant healing and deliverance for their sins, while others may well struggle and take some time to gain the victory. So we are not referring to those who still struggle with these sins but really do want to change with God’s help.

We are referring to those who have called God a liar, and who have said that there is nothing wrong with their homosexuality (or adultery, or whatever sin they still want to enjoy, justify and defend). It is these people (and their misled supporters, whether pastors or other so-called leaders) who are playing fast and loose with biblical truth and are leading many people astray.

What Paul said is perfectly clear, and no amount of obfuscation, trickery or mental gymnastics will do away with his message. Only those who want to justify known sin can avoid this passage or twist it to their own destruction. But sadly we are seeing this happening more and more by so-called evangelical Christian leaders.

I do not mean to be singling out just one or two individuals here. The tragic truth is, there would be many such Christian leaders and pastors who would also fit nicely into this camp. They have long ago abandoned the biblical teachings on this subject, and have happily embraced the homosexual agenda, either in whole or in part.

They are in fact doing the work of the homosexual activists for them. They are softening up the churches to fully embrace the homosexual lifestyle, to ordain practicing homosexuals, and to even allow same-sex marriage in our churches.

The radicals have long known that it is far easier to subvert an institution from within than battle against it from without. Thus they have very cleverly been targeting churches, and those leaders who are soft on this issue. They have gotten these leaders to do all their work for them.

And one day we will likely see these very same leaders fully turning against those who see this as the sell-out of our churches to secular activist agendas. As soon as more “hate crimes” laws and the like are passed, and Christians who take a stand against all this are taken to the courts and thrown into jails, these leaders will be there cheering, giving their solemn blessing to the new inquisition.

Just as Jesus warned about, there will come a day when his true followers will be hauled before the courts and tossed into the prisons, and these religious leaders will be there supporting all this (Mark 13:9; John 16:2-4). And of course they will think they are doing God a service in all this.

These leaders will perhaps even be happy to cast the first stone at those who remain true to Scripture. Just as some “Christian” leaders sided with the Muslim activists against fellow Christians in an infamous court case in Victoria some years ago, they most likely will do the exact same thing here.

They will side with the homosexual activists while the true followers of Christ are persecuted, imprisoned and fined. Sadly that is where all this is headed. I will say this quite clearly: it is not a question of if this will happen, but a question of when it will happen.

Then we will see those who are really faithful to Christ and his teachings clearly separated and distinguished from those who are not. But it begins now with those who would rather side with those waging war against the Christian church than side with the clear teachings of Scripture.

[1204 words]

10 Replies to “Beware Those Who Praise You”

  1. I was just reading the following paragraph from Bonhoeffer, by Eric Metaxas before I read your article.

    In 1937, the Nazis abandoned all pretense of being even-handed and came down hard on the Confessing Church. That year more than eight hundred Confessing Church pastors and lay leaders were imprisoned or arrested. Their leader, the outspoken Martin Niemoller of Dahlem, was among them. On June 27, he preached what would be his last sermon for many years. Crowds had overflowed his church week after week. That final Sunday, Niemoller was no less outspoken than he had always been. From the pulpit he declared “We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of the authorities, than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is; and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.” That Thursday he was arrested.

    Yes, us Christians need to be faithful to Christ right to the end – no matter what.

    Annette Nestor

  2. “We are referring to those who have called God a liar” – It’s not so much that they are calling God a liar, Bill, but calling such as us liars, in interpreting his word as we do (ie. realistically). As you later suggest, such people have come to believe they themselves actually know God’s real will – and it isn’t in line with the principles that such as you (and I) espouse (it’s the “liberals” self-righteousness that gets me!).
    John Thomas, UK

  3. My prayer is for those living in adultery and homosexual lifestyles to obey God, leave such, repent and return home. Such living is approved by denominations, this is not scriptural.
    By allowing people in leadership to live in adulterous and homosexual relationships today, the church is supporting grievous sin. Leadership living contrary to God’s Word in the church cannot be healthy.
    Families are being destroyed by the enemy.
    The world says compromise, be happy. God’s Word reads to live Holy and in honour.
    Judith Bond

  4. Sadly if we use the Biblical definition of adultery 35 to 50 percent of evangelicals are indeed practicing the scenario you use at the beginning of this article. The Bible says that to remarry after divorce if your covenant spouse is alive is indeed adultery. The homosexual community mocks us not because of the exception but because of what has become the rule. It is simple, blatant hypocrisy for some one who is living an adulterous lifestyle according to Scripture to judge in any way those who are in any other sin.
    Jim Drago

  5. Yes @Judith, all based on the lies of our enemy, that is Satan. I cannot remember how long since I have heard a sermon preached clearly and unashamedly on “resist the devil and he will flee from you” or “stop sinning and repent, turn from your evil ways and start doing what you know to be right”. All I see is rationalisation for sin whether it be lust, gluttony, covetousness etc. and this from the pulpit. Not in my entire life have I heard anyone speaking out against adultery within church (the common practice of divorcing of one’s Christian spouse for someone new) from the pulpit. I guess it doesn’t go down well with half of the congregation who are remarried, or attract that young upwardly mobile set (you know, the ones with all the spare cash in their wallets).
    Garth Penglase

  6. Brother Bill; Your commentary was like a cool pure breeze after a very hot day. When I taught on this subject at a well known Christian school, a professor stood and said; “Dr. Webb, I have never heard of over 95% of what you taught about earliest Church History, but it is so concrete, I do not see how the Church will be able to get around it.” I replied; “They won’t get around it my brother; they will just ignore it because of the cost involved. It is interesting to see how Jesus spent most of His ministry thinning out the crowds who followed Him, but the present day churches will accept just about anything with a temperature of above 56 degrees, regardless of their lifestyle. We need to be reminded to re-read Luke 14;25-35. God bless you Brother Bill.
    Dr. Joseph A. Webb

  7. Bill, this is an AWESOME is about time such articles are written & published & read..we need more people with HOLY BOLDNESS to stand up for the TRUTH..BEFORE time runs out FOREVER!!! Have included 2 quotes & some EXCELLENT websites on COVENANT MARRIAGE below:
    “The holiness of God rejects sin. What the holiness of God rejects, His Love cannot embrace.”
    – Jacob Damkani – The Trumpet of Salvation to Israel
    “Heterosexual immorality begets Homosexual immorality and the downward spiral continues.”- Warwick Marsh – The Canberra Declaration

    Jyoti Mastapha

  8. This might be a bit off-topic, but I am thinking over two serious matters: 1). Whether I should start defacing brand new books by highlighting and/or underlining sections in them, and 2). What is Truth?

    You write at the end of your article about remaining true to Scripture and following the clear teachings of Scripture. Having come to chapter 23 in the above mentioned book on Bonhoeffer, I have had to review some of my old thinking. Did Corrie Ten Boom remain true to Scripture (did she ‘lie?’) when she hid the Jews or were Bonhoeffer’s ‘deceptions’ to the Nazis – lies. Here is a section of Bonhoeffer worth quoting at length:

    What Is truth? Bonhoeffer obviously meant that those opposed to Hitler must rethink their approach to the new situation in Germany. Bonhoeffer was quite willing to do this, to forgo his previous position of outward opposition to the regime and suddenly pretend to be in step with it. But of course it was only so that he could be in opposition to it on another, more fundamental level.

    This involved deception. Many of the serious Christians of Bonhoeffer’s day were theologically unable to follow him to this point, nor did he ask them to. For many of them, such deception as Bonhoeffer would soon be involved in was no different from lying. Bonhoeffer’s willingness to engage in deception stemmed not from a cavalier attitude toward the truth, but from a respect for the truth that was so deep, it forced him beyond the easy legalism of truth telling.

    In Tegel prison several years later, Bonhoeffer wrote the essay “What Does It Mean To Tell the Truth?” in which he explored the subject. “From the moment of our lives in which we become capable of speech,” it begins, “we are taught that our words must be true. What does this mean? What does ‘telling the truth’ mean? Who requires this of us?

    God’s standard of truth entailed more than merely “not lying.” …

    Bonhoeffer knew that the flip side of the easy religious legalism of “never telling a lie” was the cynical notion that there is no such thing as truth, only “facts.” This led to the cynical idea that one must say everything with no sense of propriety or discernment, that decorum or reserve was “hypocrisy” and a kind of lie.

    Now this is something I know I am going to have to revisit again and again. I noticed Metaxas does have an index in the back of the book, so at least I can put off the decision to deface my books, for a little while longer at least. The second matter is more convincing … Telling the truth can mean telling a lie.

    Annette Nestor

  9. Hi Bill.
    Let me just move a little further to another often relevant side topic that indicates the double standards as illustrated here.
    Abortion! often but not always it is the result of an adulterous or casual relationship and some women will fight long and hard for its retention as a choice and men will often cajole or threaten women into it’s parlours.
    The casual death of a child they have nurtured for a while just does not register as a consequence in many until it is invariably too late. In opposition to this there are those that suffer at the loss of a child for the rest of their lives.
    In this there is a double standard and no amount of legislation will ever be able to cover both outlooks. However those outlooks can generally be separated (with very few exceptions) into the simple choice between good and evil.
    Consider the following statements from an ABC interview at a Senate enquiry for women who suffered forced adoptions and the loss of their children.

    Primarily from a Church. And as a submission to the enquiry it was said.
    “We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and now for the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time,”
    “For the pain that arises from practices of the past, we are genuinely sorry.”

    In some cases, the adoption practices had “devastating and ongoing impacts” on families.

    “There are likely to be people in our community who continue to live with pain and grief as a result of adoption practices of the past,” Mr Laverty said.

    Catholic Health Australia is prepared to support the setting up of a framework that would allow the victims of forced adoption to get access to records to help contact lost family members.
    and would also support a fund for “remedying established wrongs”.

    At least 150,000 Australian women reportedly had their babies taken against their will by some churches and adoption agencies.

    Juliette Clough said she was just 16 when she was forced to give up her baby boy at a Catholic-run hospital in Newcastle in 1970.

    “They just snatched away the baby,” she told ABC Radio, adding that at the time her ankles were strapped to the bed and she had been “gassed”.

    “You weren’t allowed to see him or touch him, anything like that, or hold him and it was just like a piece of my soul had died, and it’s still dead.”

    What is the point that is missed here? Is it the lost choice? Would these mothers have preferred an abortion freely available as it is today? Would Choice have alleviated their suffering? I doubt it.

    So many people pushing abortion are only concerned with a) making money (The death houses) or b) the loss of perceived freedom or living conditions. But never the magnitude of the gift. c) Yet there are some who genuinely perceive it as an act of mercy on behalf of the child and these need our help much more than condemnation before the killing.

    For many of those women who conceived then suffered forced adoption as a result of a known or unknown adulterous, deceitful or a perceived loving relationship, tens of thousands now wish they still had their child.

    Is it not possible to consider our laws in matters of this magnitude not as a matter of Choice between life and death where one is condemned (without choice) by the will of, or co-erced mother but rather the future of the child and the well being of those adopting parents so willing to love and nurture it.
    Why is it so necessary to have late term abortions? Surely another month out of ones life is not the end of the world. Especially when so many cry out for a child.
    Surely it is better not to live the rest of your life with the forced death of your child but rather the knowing that one day you may be able to reach out and touch it’s living soul.

    Consider also this, Despite the message of Christ, his forgivness and everlasting love many churches and congregations of by-gone years condemned the unwed mother and by stigmatisation or abandonment actually promoted dangerous abortions.
    Now those same churches need to stand wholly behind the abolition and eradication of this vile act. (some do).
    Because Rachel is still weeping for her children.

    Dennis Newland

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