It is common thinking among most non-Christians – and far too many Christians, alas – that Jesus somehow just accepted everyone without question, that he never had a harsh word to say about anyone, their beliefs, or their behaviours, and that his only message was for folks to just be happy and be nice.
Jesus was simply a Middle Eastern Santa Claus who came to give everyone goodies, make everyone happy, and never interfere with the lives of anyone. That is the revisionist version of events, at any rate. But it of course is dead wrong, and those holding to such views are walking on really dangerous ground.
No one who has actually read the Bible, and believed the Bible, could ever come out with such idiotic and patently false beliefs. Simply reading the four gospel accounts and what Jesus actually taught and did without preconceived ideological agendas will dispel those myths.
Two clear-cut examples of this that I came upon today are worth looking at. First, it seems that we have yet another case of some big cheese Christian songstress who has decided that her morality – or lack thereof – trumps that of the Word of God.
Mind you, I had never heard of this woman before, but evidently she is a big deal in contemporary Christian music circles. I refer to one Lauren Daigle. It seems she is not only really popular among Christians, but she is basically clueless about the faith which she claims to represent.
Consider this shocker of a headline: “Popular CCM Artist Lauren Daigle: ‘I Can’t Say One Way or the Other’ If Homosexuality Is Sin, ‘I’m Not God’.” The article opens this way:
Popular contemporary Christian music (CCM) artist Lauren Daigle said this week on the “Domenick Nati Show” that she can’t answer whether homosexuality is a sin because there are people that she loves that are homosexual and she is not God, stating that people should read the Bible to find out for themselves, and let her know what they learn.
“Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?” Nati, whose broadcast is aired on iHeart Radio, asked forthrightly. “You know, I can’t honestly answer on that, in the sense of I have too many people that I love—that they are homosexuals,” Daigle, known for the hits “How Can It Be” and “You Say,” told the celebrity publicist.
“I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God,” she continued. “So, when people ask questions like that, that’s what my go to is. Like, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out, let me know because I’m learning too.’”
The two also discussed criticism Daigle recently received for appearing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” “For me, it was really sad that their outlook would be, ‘Oh, because Ellen’s gay, she’s bad.’ That’s sad. It’s so sad,” Daigle opined. “What people don’t realize is I went to Ellen and she is just a bundle of light. She is so joyful. She was so kind.”
She said that DeGeneres encouraged her “that she has what it takes to be a history maker in this world,” and advised not to burn herself out. “It’s sad to see people criticize her. … She’s just a beautiful person,” Daigle remarked.
There is just so much wrong with this – where does one begin? No one who actually reads the Bible can be under the slightest doubt as to what it says about homosexuality. Not only is it everywhere clearly and unequivocally presented as sin, but it is renounced in the strongest of terms.
It is impossible to really know what the Word of God says and to be in any doubt about this matter. But notice her starting point here: she has homosexual friends. So what? All the more reason to tell them biblical truth. All the more reason to warn them of wrath to come. All the more reason to love them enough to let them know they do not need to be trapped in this sinful and dead-end lifestyle.
Having just read again 1 Corinthians 5-6 this morning, I am even more stunned at this colossal sell out of biblical Christianity. These chapters are all about sexual immorality and the need to JUDGE these sins! The Corinthians were allowing gross sexual sin in their ranks, and Paul was not only shocked that the man had committed such sin, but that they refused to reprimand the sinning Corinthian.
Paul lets them know that they will judge the world, and even judge angels one day, so why are they not judging this sinner right now? See 1 Cor. 6:1-3 on this. Paul is just stunned at how wrong these Christians are concerning blatant sin and the need to judge it.
Yes, I think we are all quite aware that you are not God Lauren. But that does not absolve you of your biblical responsibility to discern and judge as Scripture commands. And guess what – are you paying attention here? – in just a few verses after this Paul makes one of the most clear, and damning, claims about homosexuality. Please read verses 9-11 Lauren and let them sink in:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. 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.
Just what part of that is so hard to understand? And no, Ellen is NOT a bundle of light. At the moment, unless she repents, turns from her sins, and commits herself to Christ, she is a bundle of darkness who is leading countless individuals astray – sending them to a lost eternity.
Bear in mind that I am not picking on Daigle of course, because she is not alone in all this. Four years ago I wrote about these matters, highlighting seven famous musicians who all claim to be Christian, but who all have lost the plot when it comes to biblical teachings and biblical morality. See here: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/08/17/a-great-way-to-destroy-the-faith-of-millions/
So she is simply the latest in a long line of Christian celebs who seem to have sold their souls in order to be popular, to be well liked, and to be accepted by the world and by worldlings. Sorry, but this is just not a goer. The Christian has two choices, and two choices only: either we seek to please and obey and serve God, according to his own instruction manual, or we seek to serve and please men.
It is one or the other. To seek to be accepted by men is to displease God, and to seek to please God is to be rejected by men. Nothing could be more clear than what Jesus said about this: “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
The same with the Apostle Paul: “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). And James: “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
As Spurgeon once put it: “This shall be an infallible test to you concerning anyone’s ministry. If it is man-praising, and man-honouring, it is not of God.” Or as Tozer said, “The desire to please may be commendable enough under certain circumstances, but when pleasing men means displeasing God it is an unqualified evil and should have no place in the Christian’s heart. To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”
The second example concerns an exchange I found a few hours ago on the social media. A Christian friend had bemoaned another case of a horrific murder in the US and said – quite correctly – that without repentance and turning from self to God – this person was without hope.
But sure enough a rather biblically illiterate Christian came along and offered his two-cents worth. He was one of those who seems to push the line that Jesus accepts everyone just as they are, and therefore so should we – end of story.
This is what he said: “Jesus…..who accepted all faiths, non believers prostitutes, sinners etc, I have hope for those who pretend to be so called Christians in the season of Christmas!” Um, no – not even close. Jesus most certainly did NOT accept all faiths. How could he?
Not only does he fully uphold the First Commandment (“You shall have no other gods before me”), but how could someone who said this actually accept all faiths? “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus came to announce that there is only one true faith, and all others are false. As we read in John 10:7-8, “Therefore Jesus said again, ‘I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved’.”
As to Jesus accepting sinners etc, two points. Um, sinners are the ONLY people Jesus dealt with. There were and are no non-sinners. Every person Jesus dealt with was a sinner. And he did not “accept” sinners of course. Instead, he loved them enough to challenge them to change. He demanded that they change.
He demanded repentance and faith as a way out of their dead-end lifestyles and into the Kingdom. He rebuked sinners and warned of judgment to come. Indeed, no one else in all the Bible spoke so much about the wrath of God and future punishment for sinners who refuse to leave their wicked ways.
But the two examples I have presented here are unfortunately fully representative of how way too many people think – and that includes way too many Christians. Only those who refuse to read and obey the Word of God can come up with such theological mumbo-jumbo. It is not only theologically ludicrous, it is straight out of the pits of hell.
Telling people that Jesus accepts everyone just as they are and we should just lighten up and relax is the counsel of demons, not the views of Almighty God. Such false ideas will send millions of sinners to hell, and no Christian should dare offer such falsehood and false hopes to anyone.
Two additional thoughts. Some might wonder, “How then should she have answered the question, ‘Do you feel that homosexuality is a sin?’” The obvious and easy response should have been this: ‘It does not matter a hill of beans how I feel about the issue. What does matter is what God has said about it. And he has clearly said that it is indeed a sin, and it must be repented of and turned away from.’
Two, it goes without saying that we must pray for her and others like her. One thing to pray is that these celebs will decide who they will serve: the Holy and Righteous God of the universe, or themselves, their careers, and their egos.