CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Christians, Compromise and Carnality

Aug 12, 2014

That huge numbers of Christians today are selling out big time concerning their faith is not surprising. We were warned about this 2000 years ago. Jesus and the disciples made it perfectly clear that many would abandon the faith, succumb to carnality and sensuality, and end up siding with the world.

We see this being played out all around us these days. The massive capitulation to the homosexual agenda by so many churches and so many Christians is just one prime example of this. Instead of standing true to Jesus Christ and the Word of God, these compromising Christians simply follow the world wherever it goes.

Instead of defending biblical truth, and facing the music for doing so, they take the easy path of making friends with the world and going along with its ungodly agenda. And amazingly they still think they are actually Christians while doing all this.

Well, I have news for them: they are spineless wonders who will one day stand before the Judge of all things. There is nothing brave about slavishly pushing what the world is pushing. Real strength comes when we resist the siren song of a world at war against God.

Opposing the seductive agenda of trendy leftist secularism is what really takes courage and strength. Indeed, any dead fish can simply float downstream. It takes a strong living fish to move upstream, against the flow. Sadly the church today seems to be filled with dead fish, simply floating in the world’s wake.

And when we compromise in one key area of biblical truth, then we are almost certain to compromise in other areas. New research makes this altogether clear. Mark Regnerus analyses data from a study of 16,000 Americans, and the results are shocking, yet not really surprising.

The key finding is this: “Churchgoing Christians who support same-sex marriage are more likely to think pornography, cohabitation, hook-ups, adultery, polyamory, and abortion are acceptable. And it’s reasonable to expect continued change in more permissive directions.”

His recent article goes into detail on this, and it makes for very sobering reading. But as I say, it is not unexpected: when we tell God he is wrong about one thing, we will soon tell him he is wrong about many other matters. Regnerus explains the research:

I rely on the Relationships in America survey, a data collection project I oversaw that interviewed 15,738 Americans, ages 18-60, in early 2014. It’s a population-based sample, meaning that its results are nationally representative. The survey asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with these seven statements:
1. Viewing pornographic material is OK.
2. It is a good idea for couples considering marriage to live together in order to decide whether or not they get along well enough to be married to one another.
3. It is OK for two people to get together for sex and not necessarily expect anything further.
4. If a couple has children, they should stay married unless there is physical or emotional abuse.
5. It is sometimes permissible for a married person to have sex with someone other than his/her spouse.
6. It is OK for three or more consenting adults to live together in a sexual/romantic relationship.
7. I support abortion rights.
There is more to sexual and relationship morality than just these seven items, to be sure, but they do offer us a glimpse into how people perceive various practices and relationships. In order to ensure this is not just an exercise in documenting the attitudes of Christians “in name only,” I’ve restricted the analysis to churchgoing Christians—here defined as those who report they attend religious services at least three times a month and who self-identified with some sort of Christian affiliation. And I’ve restricted the analysis to those who report a position either for or against same-sex marriage. (I’ve excluded the one-in-four who reported they are undecided.)
For comparison purposes, however, I report the population average for each measure here, to use as a gauge of where the country is as a whole, as well as the attitudes professed by self-identified gays and lesbians who also report affiliation with a Christian tradition, and gays and lesbians that do not report a Christian affiliation. Because there is no attendance proviso attached to these two groups, the minority of gay and lesbian Christians that are regular churchgoers may also appear in one of the first two columns.homo 69

The accompanying graph says it all, so there is no need for me to repeat the findings. Read the figures and weep. Regnerus concludes with these words:

Churchgoers who oppose same-sex marriage sense that they are out of step with the rest of the nation about sex and relationships. (The numbers above reinforce that.) And Christians who favor legalizing same-sex marriage often remain embattled with those who oppose it, and yet sense that their own views on sexuality still lag behind those gay and lesbian Christians from whom they’ve become convinced of the legitimacy of same-sex marriage. That, too, is true. Gay and lesbian Christians, in turn, have much in common with gay and lesbian non-Christians—their social circles often overlap. The sexual norms of the former are not as permissive as the latter, but are still well above the national average in permissiveness. The latter likely constitutes a reference group for gay and lesbian Christians (together with heterosexual Christians with whom they are in fellowship).
Given the rather massive divide in attitudes about sexual and romantic relationships evidenced in the table above, reference group theory—if employed here—would suggest that the current division between these groups of churchgoing Christians will remain far into the future. Even if a share of American Christians who presently oppose same-sex marriage track in more liberal directions—and it would be shrewd to presume that this will occur—those Christians who already support same-sex marriage are themselves still tracking in that same direction. And, from the looks of it, they have plenty of territory to cover yet.

Again, if anyone is even remotely familiar with the warnings of Jesus and those of the other writers in the New Testament, this will not come as a surprise. Indeed, all of Scripture speaks to this. The many warnings – and examples – of Israel falling into compromise, carnality and capitulation in the Old Testament also demonstrate these sad truths.

So while these pro-homosexual “Christians” today will speak about how enlightened they are, how progressive they are, and how tolerant they are, they of course are no such thing. They are rebels and apostates who have called God a liar, and will one day give an account to the Holy and Righteous God about their disobedience, immorality and rebellion.

I would not want to be in their shoes on that day.

www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2014/08/13667/

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28 Responses to Christians, Compromise and Carnality

  • No compromising from this brave woman I feel many will be encouraged listening to her. This is a great example of what is required of us. I have felt very sad that there has been a deafening silence from our church leaders and political leaders while young and old are being slaughtered right across the ME.This silence is evident in so many areas of our faith as you point out. Just as Christ wept over Jerusalem I am sure he is weeping now over us.

  • “Churchgoing Christians* who support same-sex marriage…”. One would expect and hope that such people would not exist, but sad reality tells us otherwise.

    *Perhaps he should have added the word “professing” in order to be accurate.

  • Can we infer from this data that there were a total of 19811 people polled, who were divided into the 5 categories.
    In this case the ratios are:
    13.4% Churchgoers opposing HS
    5% Churchgoers accepting HS
    79.4% Non-Churchgoers and non-HS
    1% HS Churchgoers
    1.2% HS Non-Churchgoers

  • I guess if the scriptures prophecy there will be a falling away in the church we should expect it.

  • This is what I don’t understand about Christians who speak against homosexuality, and perhaps someone can give me an answer to this question, as I have yet to find another Christian who can :

    I have friends who are gay, and I have lived with gay people, so whilst I don’t profess to be an expert on homosexuality, I have spent enough time around them to know that for the vast majority being gay isn’t a choice, it’s intrinsically who they are just as we are heterosexual. Who would honestly choose to be gay in this world? In Iran you get hung for being gay, as in many parts of the world, in most countries, at best, you experience discrimination. So the point I make is that if being gay was a ‘choice,’ I think you would find the gay community would be a fraction of the size it is today. The fact that gay people in Iran and elsewhere risk being strung up for being gay, and despite this continue to be gay, suggests they have no choice in the matter. Asking them to become heterosexual is like asking me to become gay.

    This brings me onto my next point ; God created all of us, he made me heterosexual, he gave me all the characteristics that make me who I am. You can probably see where I am going with this… if God created all of us individually, which includes our sexual orientation, this also means he created people that are intrinsically homosexual.

    So here it is, let’s just say we accept my argument that homosexuals have no choice in being gay, if God created all of us and prescribed our sexuality, then he also created gay people.

    If God created gay people, then how is something that God created (or the physical act of homosexual sex that is the manifestation of homosexuality) sinful?

    This is why as a Christian I have a hard time accepting that homosexuality is sinful. I know gay people who want to be Christians, they never asked to be gay, despite some who may believe otherwise, they can’t live as heterosexual’s any more than you or I can live as homosexuals.

    If anyone can explain otherwise I’m all ears.

  • Thanks Bob. If you are indeed all ears, can I suggest you have a read of my earlier book, Strained Relations? There I deal with questions like yours in extensive detail. I would prefer that you look there if you want nuanced, detailed and carefully discussed answers. But I can give a very quick summary of what was said there here:

    People may have orientations or predispositions to all sorts of things, be it anger, overeating, or same-sex attraction. All that of course is due to the fact that we live in a fallen world. So every single one of us is born with an orientation to self and sin, and away from God. That is basic Christian teaching.

    It is of course not God’s will that we have an orientation to sin. That is not how he made us, and that is not the way things were meant to be. But the Fall has caused all this, and sin now damages God’s good intentions for his creation.

    But the story does not end there. Why did Jesus come? He came to dies for our sins, and to set the captives free. He came so that we might no longer have to be bound by our sin and orientations, and so that we can be remade and transformed into his image. That means all of our sinful desires and attractions can be turned around and healed substantially if we let God work in our lives. And in both my books I include testimonies of former homosexuals and lesbians who have now been set free by Christ, with their lives radically turned around.

    But as I say, if you really want to dig into this more deeply, I spend a lot of time looking at these issues very carefully and thoroughly in my book. Let me know what you think after you have read it!

  • And some of your objections that you offer are of course the standard fare of the homosexual lobby, but not the stuff of biblical Christians. For example, the idea that no one would choose to be a homosexual because of possible opposition or persecution just does not stand. If that would be the case, no one would choose to be a bank robber either, for fear of public disapproval and opposition from the law. We are all sinners, and we are all good at rationalising and justifying our sinful behaviours. Until we stop rebelling against God and until we finally lay down our arms, we will always find ways to justify sin and excuse immorality.

  • Finally, plenty of homosexuals themselves, as I fully document in my book, state that homosexuality is indeed a choice, or a good part of it. So are these homosexuals being liars here? Forget what I say, or even what the Bible says for the moment; if plenty of homosexual activists are saying this, then we better take heed, and stop promoting the discredited myths about homosexuals being born that way, and so on. But I have entire chapters on this in my book, so you better grab it and read up!

  • Thanks for the replies guys, i guess the sticking point for me, and perhaps the ‘crux’ of my argument, is that i believe for the majority of homosexuals its not a choice. I accept that there are homosexual people out there that may be able to change, and for some people they were not ‘born’ gay, its a choice for them. But i think this is a minority. I don’t think there is any use in trying to persuade anyone here that being gay, for many at least is not a choice, as i don’t imagine anyone is going to change their opinion based on anything i say, and vice versa.

    However, lets just say for sake of argument i’m right, the question still stands, if people are ‘born’ gay, and God made them that way, how is this a sin?

    I don’t ask this question to try and be argumentative, but this is one aspect of Christianity i cannot rationalise, if i thought being gay was a choice it would be much easier, but obviously that’s not the case for me.

  • Thanks Bob. As to those who don’t want to change – fine. Who here has said they have to change? If they don’t want to, they don’t have to. But we are talking here about those who do want out of the lifestyle. And the simple truth is, many many thousands have left the lifestyle.

    And of course I have already answered your question, albeit briefly, but it seems you don’t like the answer. If you are not just asking rhetorical questions here, with your mind already made up, then you will do what I suggest: get my book and give it a careful read. If not, then I may have to question how serious you really are about these matters. Not that you have to get my book – other books cover these matters as well, but if you are in Australia, it is readily available.

    But to be honest, I am always a bit dubious when someone comes along, asking a question, and when a proper and sound answer is given, they still ask the same questions! So it is up to you to decide if you are really after truth here, or if you already know what you want to believe on this, and no amount of evidence will change your mind (including homosexuals themselves who say that choice is really an element here).

    And even if we did buy your argument – so what? Take a similar case. Say a guy has always had an orientation to anger and says it has nothing to do with choice. When he becomes a Christian and still has ugly angry outbursts, what do you say? “Well, you were born this way, you can’t help it, it is genetic, so it is cool.” No Christian would talk so foolishly. They would say that in Christ there is genuine hope and change. This predisposition can be dealt with over time if we let God work in our lives.

    And also, by your reasoning (which I also document in my book), if you insist that people cannot help being this way, then how do you reply to the paedophile who says the same? Do you just say, “Oh well, you can’t help it. It is not your choice, and you just have to live with it.” Baloney! Even if he feels he had no choice in how he got these inclinations in the first place, he most certainly can choose to resist such inclinations. We are not animals. We have free will. If you are a Christian, you will not effectively call God a lair, and say He cannot change people. Paul said clearly in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 that homosexuals will not get into the Kingdom. But he goes on to say,. “But such were some of you.” They came to Christ in faith and repentance, and they changed. They were no longer homosexuals.

    So Bob, it seems you have a choice to make here: if you claim to be a Christian, you either agree with God and his Word, or you tell him he is wrong, and that you know better. What is it going to be? Choose wisely bud. I will pray that you do. That is not to say you can’t have doubts and questions, but you do need to follow truth when it is presented to you.

    And finally, your last line was not clear. If you were saying that you have same-sex attractions, well things remain the same. Do you agree that change is possible if you want it, or are you going to tell God you disagree with his position on this? Again, you can now choose what you do with this.

  • Dell Cook, Hamas and the Pink Mafia have pullled off incredible propaganda coups. They have made Christians and Jews as enemies of humanity. Both Christians and Jews are openly described as an infection. We are about to see ourselves cleansed from society. Perhaps not immediately but give it five or ten years- even twenty; it will happen.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmffgIqlAYA

    David Skinner UK

  • Bob Goodwill, some homosexuals have an orientation to cannibalism. Does this excuse them?
    Paedophiles are also following hard in the slip stream of the gays by claiming that they also have no choice but to be what God has made them .

    http://www.drjudithreisman.com/archives/2011/08/conference_aims.html

    http://tomocarroll.wordpress.com/tag/b4u-act/

    Virtuous paedophiles
    http://virped.org/

    Toronto star
    http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2013/12/22/is_pedophilia_a_sexual_orientation.html

    David Skinner UK

  • “are ‘born’ gay, and God made them that way” Bob, people were not made by God as gay. God is in no way responsible for how people are. Some people believe they are born murderers (“natural born killers”), and so might be able to shift the blame for anything they do onto God. That’s not how it is. What we do is our choice, we are responsible for it. Many people believe they are “naturally” (whatever that is) gay – but exercise their power NOT to act on it (gay sex).

  • Moreover, Bob, it is not true that the homosexual condition is genetic; it is the result of various influences often experienced in the early stages of a person’s emotional development. If a young person experiences a sexual pleasure this becomes powerfully imprinted on the imagination and the mind. Sow an erotic thought and reap an action. Sow an action and reap a habit. Sow a habit and reap a character. It is no wonder that a homosexual would claim that they were born that way and can never change.

    Do we not all experience aspects of our nature that we never chose and would prefer not to have but find it almost impossible to change?
    Read Romans chapter 7.
    Hear it from the horse’s mouth.
    Peter Tatchell, the most influential gay man in Britain has said,
    “Because our sexuality is fixed at such an early age, many lesbians and gay men feel they have been homosexual all their lives and therefore mistakenly conclude that it must be genetic and that they were born queer.”
    “Who we are attracted to largely derives from a combination of social experience and ideology. In other words, everyone is born with the potential to be queer. Exclusive heterosexuality is mainly the result of a socially-encouraged repression of same-sex desire. In a society where there were no pressures or privileges associated with being straight, a lot more people would be queer or bisexual. Lesbian and gay attraction would cease to be a minority sexual orientation and become something that almost everyone would experience.”

    http://www.petertatchell.net/lgbt_rights/equality_not_enough/beyond_equality.htm

    http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/1263/beyond-equality

    David Skinner UK

  • Bob, listen to what Bill and John are saying.  The Bible always labels homosexuality as sin.  Even if think we are born that way, Jesus’ exhortation to us is this:
    ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.’ Luke 9:23.
    This applies to all of us, whether we are homosexual or otherwise. So, we can be freed from sin’s bondage.

  • Yes, homosexual activity is sinful, and so is heterosexual activity – outside of the marriage between 1 man and 1 woman who are not closely related. Both are called sexual immorality.
    Male-female sex has God-given rules for the protection of families and children. In the hippie era these restraints were deliberately attacked.They jumped out of their imagined frying pan of restriction and into the fire of family and social breakdown for their children/grandchildren.
    That was a mistake, and kicking the can further down the road of sexual immorality ain’t gonna fix it.

  • The feelings, urges, and desires I have today are substantially a product of *all* the choices I’ve made in the whole of my past life. Every thought I’ve entertained in my mind and every decision I’ve ever made, no matter how trivial and fleeting, contribute to what I am today. The millions of thoughts I think each day have a cumulative effect and they help to shape what I think and feel and do in the future.
    So if I find myself a homosexual now, it’s not that I woke up one morning and felt a spontaneous attraction to my own gender out of the blue, but that in my past I have made a series of sinful choices, each one insignificant in itself, but they created a domino effect which have moulded my current outlook and desires.
    Our thought patterns and habits of behaviour become increasingly ingrained in our natures as time goes on. We become ‘hardened’ in sin. A heavy ship sailing at full speed has huge momentum derived from its past propulsion and steering and therefore it is unable to change course instantaneously. Even if the pilot turns the rudder instantaneously, the ship continues in its old trajectory for a long distance before changing course. It is sobering to think this is a picture of our lives.
    Yes, we were all born with a disposition to sin but throughout our lives we either consent or resist that disposition in millions of subconscious and conscious thoughts. In the process we either confirm our sinful inclinations and magnify them or starve them and weaken them. God will hold us accountable for every impulse of our mind. God treats us as responsible creatures, not as hapless victims of forces outside our own making.

  • Indeed Sid, ” If you eye offends you ; pluck it out. If your hand offends you cut it off. Better to enter Heaven minus bits and pieces rather than enter Hell whole.” – or words to that effect.

    David Skinner UK

  • “……However, lets just say for sake of argument i’m right, the question still stands, if people are ‘born’ gay, and God made them that way, how is this a sin?

    …… this is one aspect of Christianity i cannot rationalise……”

    I’ll try Bob,

    ….because He also made the way for us.

    The Bible tells people how to live as hetrosexuals with plenty of referrances to parents, children, mothers & fathers, sisters & brothers. etc ….Nature in general.

    There’s nothing on how to live as a homosexual in the Bible. Nothing at all.

    He didn’t want us to live like that.

    Being gay is a choice.

  • Bill, you are quick. Glad this report is getting readership and hopefully thoughtful-ship as well.

  • Great answer to Bob, Bill.
    If I can add my two cents worth to this discussion…

    Bob, do you agree that the Bible clearly condemns homosexuality?
    If so, then to say that God condemns homosexuality and yet has made people homosexual is to suggest that God takes great pleasure in creating torment and is somewhat perverted as he toys with peoples lives by condemning them for something he has created.

    This caricature of God goes against everything I know of the character of God as revealed in scripture.
    The character of God is completely the opposite of that prescribed above.
    He is patient and gracious with us more than we can ever deserve.
    He does not delight in our failings and create confusion and torments for us.

    Saying that God made people homosexual and then he condemns homosexuality is actually an attack on the very character of God.

    Read Bill’s book- its very eyeopening and helpful.

  • Thanks for all the replies guys, they have definitely given me something to think about.

    Bill – I’m not gay, and do not have any ‘same sex attractions’ as you put it, I’m happy married with children.

    I will have a look on IBooks for your book and have a read 🙂

  • It is so encouraging to read your articles, Bill. Sometimes we can feel very much alone, as Biblical Christians, in standing up for the truth – and I’m sure you often feel the same – especially when professing Christians, both individuals and organisations, join with the world. I am also encouraged by the number of people commenting, who back you up and reinforce what you say.
    Because of what I read here, I am encouraged to take action.
    I just wrote to Scripture Union Tasmania about their shameful treatment of Troy Williams (chaplain)
    Thanks, Bill – and all the other faithful Christians who live according to God’s Word.

  • This may be a bit off topic, but I have written to Lyle Shelton of ACL the following email:

    “Dear Lyle,
    Thank you for your email notice. Apart from the fact that Canberra is too far for me to go, what with other commitments during this time, even if I lived in Canberra I would not be attending, when of all people Bill Shorten is the keynote speaker. What you imagine he has to offer on such matters as concern ACL (and any other Christian organisation for that matter) I cannot comprehend. I fear that all he will give is a string of party political platitudes and propaganda. My impression of him is that he has no real interest in any specifically Christian issues at all.
    Your purpose would be better served if you did not try to “pally up” to high profile political personalities, who are only really interested in their own ends.
    Yours Sincerely
    Murray R. Adamthwaite”

    I will be interested as to what reply (if any) I get.

  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for all your efforts.

    Bob everything is a result of what we choose to do. God gave us a free will and he is not going to insult us by taking it away from us. Your homosexual friends may be likeable people but they are engaging in filthy, unnatural acts. That is the unvarnished truth whether you like it or not. Homosexual activity is a grave sin just as it is a sin for a woman who chooses to have the baby in her womb killed in an abortuary. God does not want us to sin because it draws us away from Him which does not make us happy. He created us for happiness and knows what will make us happy.

  • The main reason why people become homosexual and get sucked into the homosexual lifestyle is because of issues with the opposite sex, such as being rejected by the opposite sex and not being able to make it with the opposite sex or being hurt and abused by the opposite sex or not being able to relate to the opposite sex.

  • Hi Bill just a short note in response to your comments to which i thoroughly agree … God Bless

  • I’m glad to read such a great piece. God is merciful. However men must not take His mercy for granted. He is our creator. What He hates He hates and we His children must hate them likewise. Else we start checking ourselves and our beliefs.

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