Released From the Shackles of Jesus

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Because of a recent interaction, I have decided write. I recently read a book on the topic of why many young people have left the church. In addition, I have read books on the theology of martyrdom over the past few years. I would like to put all of this together.

One of the many reasons mentioned as to why young people are leaving the church is the churches handling of the subject of homosexuality. While I have strong personal feeling on this issue, I am also subject to the scriptures.

Recently, I found myself counseling an individual. The person was defending their current lifestyle choice and were disturbed at the church’s stand and potential response the actions. The individual had trouble understanding why Christian friends, family and church might reject the person for their choices. In passing, this person mentioned the Church’s general stance over homosexuality and that it was troubling to them (their transgression was not homosexuality). This caught my ear. Although, I had read a book mentioning some of our youth’s reaction to the Church’s stance, I had never encountered it.

One could ask why homosexuality? Why is the church taking special issue with this sin? What about the other sins: drunkenness, drug use, adultery, sex outside of wedlock, lying, stealing and others? It is seen as simple bigotry against a group of innocent loving people. They are Americans and should have the right to live as they choose.

Today we discuss it because it is more prevalent. Moreover, it is unnaturally pushed on our culture as normal and good. Maybe we would talk about the perversions like bestiality or necrophilia if legislation were introduced to legalize them.

There are two things to mention: Biblical fidelity and culture/society. We as Christians are obligated to uphold Biblical orthopraxy. It is our duty to live to Biblical norms and avoid the norms of our culture when they contradict. At times it is also necessary to bring correction to  one another.

In addition, the Church has the responsibility to be a vanguard for culture and society. We warn the culture of the destructive force of certain attitudes and actions. We try to use our numerical political force to keep destructive forces at bay, that work to destroy the family and culture. These are dirty jobs.

Corporately we act as a prophet. Like the prophets of the Old and New Testaments, we warn of the coming destruction. This is not an enviable job.

As the prophets, we shall be hated. Like Jesus we shall be misunderstood. Most of these messengers of the Bible suffered greatly for their fidelity to the Bible and for giving the loving warning of God’s coming wrath.

Martyrdom is what we suffer as a result of being this witness. I have read martyr means witness. We use the term martyrdom for those who suffer or are killed as a result of their witness.

Young people are easily swayed by the seductive power of pop-culture. If they want to fit in, feel liked and hip, they have no other choice but to surrender, abandoning  the archaic countercultural dogma passed to them by their parents and pastors.

These young people are for the slaughter. They find themselves between two worlds: one requiring strength, self-restraint, and hard work, and the other is libertine. They have to choose between brocolli and ice cream; home work and video games: waiting and having it now.

To enter into the mainstream of this cultural-digression they feel they must make amends for their past sins by denouncing their faith. They are compelled to take up stones to prove they  are worthy of this libertine cult’s praise. This is their initiation!

Their sin was being part of the Church, not having sex as a teen or not taking illicit drugs. They feel great contrition, shame and remorse—they were betrayed by their parents. Their penance:  to stone their parents; indulge in the liberated lifestyle; and profane the sacred Church. There is no group more qualified to hurt the Church and be our persecutors. They were good, “holy” moles for so many years.

They are now freed of the cold, steal shackles of Jesus. Simultaneously, they enjoy the feeling, the immediately gratifying sensation, now embraced by those who seem victorious.

2 Tim 3:1-5 “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”

It is no wonder that many youth leave the church…Martyrdom is not for everyone!

As Jesus asked ”…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”


9 thoughts on “Released From the Shackles of Jesus

  1. Hello Cliff. I think you are a bad pastor, because you preach in this way against gay people. You are the one driving gay people out of the church, promoting bullying, and driving gay people to suicide. Shame on you.

    And- I want to promote dialogue across the Church. I am a Christian.

    “Like Jesus, we shall be misunderstood”, you say. Remember the Pharisee who went to the Temple to pray- “Thank God I am not like this publican”. What did Jesus say?

    No, homosexuality is not the “sin” “unnaturally pushed on our culture”. Adultery is. You are a pastor. Have you ever had a couple in your church, on their second marriage? Read Mark’s Gospel: that is adultery. Yet you do not care about it, because it is the sin you sympathise with. Yet even the gay people who buy the bullshit you peddle, and imagine they have to be celibate- contrary to the Bible, which says “it is not good for the man to be alone”- become uncomfortable in your church, and leave.

    You can, if you wish, read articles delving into the Greek Hebrew and Aramaic, and finding that only specific acts of gay lovemaking are condemned. For example, Romans 1 condemns sex during idol worship, in Rome in the first century, notably in the worship of Cybele. Yet you ignore them. You do not have ears to hear.

      1. Not quite, Cliff.

        You see, if you were taking any action at all about all the adultery around you, in the wider culture and in your church, or alternatively if there were no adultery as Jesus/Mark defines it in your church, I think you would say.

  2. Equating bestiality and and necrophilia to homosexuailty is ridiculous. I hope for your sake before you reach those gates you think soberly about the pain you cause those who would stay or would come to Christ. You seem a man concerned with the least but have proven yourself to be false. Show the love of Christ to the least indiscriminately if at all otherwise you show only hatred to the least you’ve chosen not to minister to.

  3. It’s of interest that that you choose to respond neither coherently nor pleasantly to the thoughtful comments readers of your blog have left. From my hazy recollection of the New Testament, this is not what Jesus would do. I hope you can lose the anger and find peace with yourself one day.

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