Opinion: The world doesn’t like Jesus nor those who follow Him

by Peter Heck · Mar 16th, 2021 9:54 am
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Last Updated Mar 22nd, 2021 at 2:22 am

The moment I saw the "breaking news" that the Vatican had announced Catholic clergy could not bless the sin inherent in gay unions, I knew it was only a matter of time before the same cultural crusaders who told us the LGBT political movement was only about securing secular rights, not about policing what religious people believe, would be having an aneurysm.

Right on cue, CNN's resident LGBT activist host, Don Lemon, hopped onto gay-friendly ABC's gay-friendly daytime talk show, "The View," to lecture Christians about what we believe.

"I think that the Catholic church and many other churches really need to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that (opposition to gay unions) is not what God is about," Lemon said.

I don't know how any thinking person – believer or not – who reads Lemon's statement isn't left asking a patently obvious question: how does Lemon know what God is about? How do any of us know? It's clear that Lemon rejects Scripture, as do many others.

But once you abandon God's self-revelation in His inerrant word to understand Him, how does "god" not simply become a projection of your own personality, a blank canvas upon which you've painted your own conception of what god should be, based upon your own self-interested passions, opinions, and desires? You decide what is of ultimate value, you fashion your god to reflect that, and you worship it.

Is it really that difficult for people to see how "God" no longer exists in such a subjective context – how that kind of religion is merely vain self-worship?

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How anyone could think that is a perspective the church should embrace is mind-boggling. Granted, I'm not Catholic, so I can't speak on the pope's behalf. But any hand-wringing on the part of believers about what the culture will think of us if we don't comply with the spirit of the age misses spectacularly the entire point of Jesus' church.

It doesn't surprise me, nor does it even bother me, to see worldly takes like this:

From a worldly perspective, that makes total sense. From a worldly perspective, the church should be affirming everyone to be the best version of themselves, to embrace what is real in them, encouraging whatever expression seems to bring them the most happiness.

That's what will fill seats on Sunday mornings and offering plates in the process. That's the Jesus everyone wants to embrace, and the kind that, when preached, will help the church and culture form a productive alliance with one another.

The only problem is that the Jesus everyone wants to embrace isn't the real Jesus. The real Jesus is the One most everyone wanted to crucify.

He's the One who told His church not to form an alliance with culture, but instead to be counter-cultural; not to crave the approval of the world, but to boldly offer the world something other than a mere echo of itself.

That means not affirming people's false perceptions of who they are, but instead ushering them through the darkness to the brilliant light of God's glory, which will inevitably and inescapably reveal to fallen humanity the depths of our own depravity. In the penetrating light of His goodness we are exposed, with all we thought to be our righteousness laid bare as filthy rags.

We learn that those things we foolishly believed would bring us happiness and fulfillment were actually cruel deceptions of an ancient evil who has been enticing us with an irresistible siren-song of self-worship since the Garden of Eden.

To be clear, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Jordan's assessment that following the Jesus of Scripture will leave believers isolated and rejected by the ever-expanding majority of people who, as Mr. Lemon, prefer to be their own god.

In other words, we'll be treated by society just like Jesus was treated. We'll be treated in our time just as countless generations of believers in every age, in every realm have been treated. So be it.

The refrain of the redeemed, no matter how small that remnant may become, will remain the same: you may have this whole world, give me Jesus.


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