‘Be careful that nobody spoils your faith through intellectualism or high-sounding nonsense. Such stuff is at best founded on men’s ideas of the nature of the world and disregards Christ!’ (Colossians 2:8 JBP).
The Church of Scotland’s General Assembly recently voted to allow ministers to be in same-sex ‘marriages.’
Surrendering to political correctness pressure
Once a bastion of righteousness and biblical integrity, the Church of Scotland has surrendered – as other churches have – to the pressure of contemporary political correctness and has chosen to compromise its integrity for the sake of not appearing to be out of step with current trends.
With a bit of unconvincing ‘double talk’ the principal clerk of the General Assembly stated, ‘We had a debate which made very clear that we were not interfering with our theological definition of marriage …’
A case of ‘having your cake and eating it’?
The Bible makes it quite clear that marriage is between a man and a woman and a different view may only be arrived at by a contorted exegesis.
Challenge of raging battles today
Martin Luther was the most influential figure in the Protestant Reformation in the early 16th century.
Luther once wrote, ‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’
Obviously we should have no wish deliberately to offend others. Yet people often take offence when their opinions, values and beliefs are challenged. Some even react in an aggressive way. However, as Christians we must not be prepared to take the path of compromise in order to avoid disagreement, or, worse, outright hostility.
The gospel itself may even be offensive to some. Paul wrote about the ‘offence of the cross’ (Galatians 5:11). When we declare that only in Jesus Christ can we find salvation (Acts 4:12), atheists and people of other religions may well complain that they have been offended and accuse Christians of intolerance and bigotry.
It is inevitable that there will always be many who react strongly to the biblical message. But that does not mean that we should avoid declaring biblical truth or modify that truth for the sake of ‘peace.’
Honour God, not betray!
Yes, the challenge to stand up for biblical truths and principles is unavoidable for churches today. However compromise is not the way to honour God – nor will any honour nor integrity be attributed to those who choose that route.
The psalmist declares, ‘Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord. Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts. They do not compromise with evil, and they walk only in his paths. You have charged us to keep your commandments carefully’ (Psalm 119:1-4, NLT).
Dr Jim McClure, author of several books and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives.
In his well-researched Grace Revisited he reveals grace as having a strong active meaning and is like a many faceted diamond out of which shines a greater understanding of the great God we worship. Normally $35 but now offered free by Dr Jim in EPUB and MOBI versions to anyone who contacts him at firstname.lastname@example.org