Why I Am Disappointed with Pope Francis | Chris Castaldo

Source: Why I Am Disappointed with Pope Francis | Chris CastaldoChris Castaldo

In this article Dr. Castaldo ponders whether Pope Francis’s silence about Jesus during his American visit was in keeping with the phrase (mistakenly) attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, which says, ““Preach the gospel at all times, and use words if necessary.”

I admit that I reject the premise of this axiom for one simple reason: it is always, always, ALWAYS necessary to use words when preaching the gospel.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14-15, NIV/1984)

Dr. Castaldo writes from deep knowledge of Catholicism. You can also check out Dr. Castaldo’s blog and learn more about him www.chriscastaldo.com

Michael Brown and T. D. Jakes: An Unfortunate Interview and a Failed Rebuke

Michael BrownOprah JakesI believe several things dynamics are at work in the Huffington Post interview with T. D. Jakes. The interview was first posted on the Huff Post website on August 4. The topic of discussion was Jakes’ new book, then turned to the LGBT community and the black church.

After personally transcribing the interview myself, I tend to think that several dynamics were at play in the interview. First of all, I think two conversations were going on. The interviewer, Marc Lamont-Hill, academic, journalist, author, activist, and television personality and Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, was looking for Jakes to endorse the LGBT community and to admit to an acceptance of homosexuality. Jakes, it seems to me, was trying to be benevolent with his “Jump the Broom” theology (if you don’t know what that means check out this post). The interview spurred what Jakes referred to as “a virulent diatribe in cyber-Christian-land” which demanded a reiteration of his stance on that old diversion, same-sex marriage.

Jakes may think the criticism unfair, but the proof is in the pudding: the Huff Post article accompanying the video. In sum, the article claims that Jakes thinks it is absolutely possible for the black church and the LGBT community to co-exist, that Jakes’ own views on homosexuality have evolved and are still evolving, and that LGBT people should find a church that aligns with their own views on faith.

While Jakes was waxing eloquent on the separation of church and state, the republic, and pluralism, Hill heard him endorsing homosexuality.

Jakes can be irritated at the outcry from cyber-Christian-land, but in reality the force of his interview was simply to placate the LGBT community and give quarter to the concept of gay Christianity.

Michael Brown called Jakes out asking him to clarify his stance on homosexuality. This elicited a “reiteration” of Jakes’ stance on same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, Jakes didn’t answer the question and Brown let him off the hook.

In his article, “Oprah, Osteen, Jakes, and Homophobia,” Brown is somehow encouraged that Oprah still welcomes Osteen and Jakes after they openly claimed homosexuality to be a sin. First of all, there is little to be worried about with inviting Osteen on your show. He is not going to be polarizing. Second of all, T. D. Jakes is a powerful, popular black man with a feel good theology. Oprah would never reject him. Neither of these men have ever stood up to Oprah and called her out for her new age religiosity or her pro-gay stance. Why wouldn’t she welcome them? Brown ends his article with a pointer on how not to be labeled a homophobe. Anyone who unequivocally takes a stand against homosexuality as a lifestyle (which Jakes did not do in his interview) is going to be labelled a homophobe and a hater.

While I have no problem with Jakes “reiteration,” and I do not think he supports homosexuality, he absolutely encouraged gay Christianity. Here is a quote from the interview:

“If you don’t like those convictions and values and you totally disagree with it, don’t try to change my house, move into your own. And establish that sort of thing and find someone that gets what you get about faith.”

The answer for the American culture that rejects truth from the Word of God is not “find a place to go where people agree with you”! My goodness, this only feeds America’s twisted definition of tolerance. The answer is, “Go to a Bible believing church and sit there until God changes you! Immerse yourself in the Presence, the Power, the Word, and the worship of the True God!” Yes the church must be accepting and loving. But sending the LGBT community into inclusive churches where they can be surrounded with people who agree with them (which as a community they are wont to do anyway) is an unfortunate message!

Post Script: Once again the issue has gotten side-tracked by the diversion of same-sex marriage. The issue is gay Christianity!

Jonathan Rauch Is Wrong About Genuine Evangelicalism

 

This article was written in response to an article by Jonathan Rauch in The Daily News. I submitted it to The Daily News as a rebuttal but, alas, they did not need it. Here it is anyway! You can read Rauch’s article here. (Jonathan Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.)

 

quote-a-liberal-society-stands-on-the-proposition-that-we-should-all-take-seriously-the-idea-jonathan-rauch-74-57-37

 

Jonathan Rauch’s Op-Ed in the Daily News, “The Last Gay-Marriage Holdouts,” demonstrates many of the misunderstandings, assumptions, and wrong opinions that float to the top when people discuss evangelicals and homosexuality.

First of all, Rauch misses the nuance involved when he refers to those “young people who disagree with their elders who disproportionately [prioritize] anti-gay rhetoric and doctrine.” The “disproportion” he refers to has to do with those in the church who ask, “Why do you focus only on the sin of homosexuality and not the sin of lying, etc.?” The issue here is that, when addressing those who support homosexuality—either inside or outside of the church—we are not dealing with people who admit that homosexuality is a sin. We are, instead, dealing with those who say it is normal. So when people try to make this distinction they are invariably comparing apples to oranges. The church does speak out against lying and adultery and hatred and all manner of sins. But the Supreme Court did not meet recently in order to say that lying is a basic human right or that murder is protected by the fourteenth amendment. To those who agree that homosexuality is sin, we can talk about where it ranks among sin. But to those who want to compromise the Bible and normalize homosexuality, the traditional evangelicals cannot help but speak out.

Second, these days a distinction must be made between what is passing for evangelicalism in the media and traditional evangelicalism. Traditional evangelicals are not worried or concerned about becoming “cultural strangers in their own land.” Genuine, Bible-believing Christians have never made cultural acceptance their number one goal. Going forward, anyone wanting to be intellectually honest will need to observe the distinction between the new liberal evangelicals, and those genuine, traditional evangelicals who still hold to the authority of Scripture.

Third, Rauch claims that all evangelical congregations include openly gay members. This is simply not true. For one thing, I assume that this is simply a sloppy use of the word “member.” Show me the evangelical church that has openly gay members—people accepted into membership with full knowledge that they were practicing homosexuals—and I will show you a church that is not evangelical.

Next, to compare Jesus’ interaction and approach to the woman at the well who was living in adultery (John 4) and the current debate over the acceptance of homosexuality and, further, to connect it with the concept of inclusiveness, is simply bad hermeneutics.  Jesus did not offer inclusion to the woman at the well! He confronted her sin and invited her to come clean. When the church takes this approach to homosexuality it is referred to as homophobic!

The next subtle assumption comes with the question, “Why would God create gay people for a life without sexual intimacy and loving companionship?” The traditional evangelical answer? He didn’t. He didn’t create people gay. They were not born that way. Nevertheless, in order for those with same-sex attraction to be in right standing before God they will have to renounce homosexuality conceptually and in practice, daily crucify same-sex desire, and may very well have to live their lives as ones chosen by God to be single. People throughout history have been able to live without sexual intimacy for reasons not as lofty as a right standing before God. And to assume that sex must be a part of a fulfilled life is to sell humanity short.

What is happening in evangelicalism is a purification process. Those young “evangelical” pastors who are suffering from the pains of “cognitive dissonance” and the agonizing conflict between “head and heart” on this issue are simply not evangelicals. Not because traditional evangelicals  don’t care about those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Many of us do; all of us should. But allowing sympathy to trump truth is to take a fools path. Americans need to learn again that just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that he or she hates you. That type of thinking represents an arrested emotional development.

Finally, Rauch is right about one thing: American evangelicalism is on a collision course with itself. When it is over, true evangelicals will continue to stand behind the Bible. The rest can join those American Catholics, mainline Protestants, Mormons, and the Pope whom Rauch indicates all support homosexuality.

 

 

 

Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet

Rob Bell Suggests Bible Not Relevant to Today’s Culture – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

Few things are more sickening than listening to people speak disparagingly about the Church who themselves have no spiritual credibility to speak of; no right to touch or judge the body of Christ.

For Oprah to ask Rob Bell, “When is the Church going to get this” in reference to the normalcy of homosexuality, is nauseating. Rob Bell is practically blasphemous in this video. He is a prophet of some Church other than the true one. Error is one thing, but falsehood and treachery are different matters!

 

via Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet.

The So-Called “Third Way”

Oh brother! There are times when the logic on display in some of the articles and books I read simply can’t be ignored for its eloquent subjectivism. Consider this quote from pastor/theologian Greg Boyd on the gay Christian issue:

The “gay-issue” that many of us are wrestling with these days is usually presented as an either-or issue. Christians must either accept that homosexual activity is a sin that bars people from the kingdom and the church, which is where most evangelical churches stand today. Or they must accept that there’s absolutely nothing sinful about homosexual activity, at least in a covenantal context, and that it is therefore perfectly okay with God, which his where many liberal churches today have gone.

So, then by definition, the “third way” is to accept that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin but to go ahead and endorse and affirm homosexuals because we do not want to hurt their feelings by rejecting their preferences.

Boyd falls into the same error in his article as do many others when he tries to discuss adultery in the same context as homosexuality, including the “all sins are equal” argument. The problem is that no one is advocating that adultery is ok, but people are advocating that homosexuality is ok as long as it is practiced by people who love each other!

The “peace at any cost” theology will always lead to error because world peace and human comfort are not God’s highest priorities. You can build a church based on a watered-down gospel of error but all you get is an errant, watered-down church!

Homosexuality and the Church: Finding a “Third Way” – ReKnew.

Another Christian Artist “Comes Out,” Promotes Gay Christianity

I’ll admit that I have never heard of Jennifer Knapp until today. Apparently she was a fairly successful Christian artist who took a seven year hiatus, recently returning with a secular album. Oh, and she’s gay.

You can read the Christianity Today interview with Knapp for yourself. I read it. She has the proper gay Christian talking points in her arsenal. When asked about her thoughts concerning what Scripture says on the topic of homosexuality, she answered:

Knapp: The Bible has literally saved my life. I find myself between a rock and a hard place—between the conservative evangelical who uses what most people refer to as the “clobber verses” to refer to this loving relationship as an abomination, while they’re eating shellfish and wearing clothes of five different fabrics, and various other Scriptures we could argue about. I’m not capable of getting into the theological argument as to whether or not we should or shouldn’t allow homosexuals within our church. There’s a spirit that overrides that for me, and what I’ve been gravitating to in Christ and why I became a Christian in the first place.

Knapp, who admits that she is “not capable of getting into the theological argument” concerning homosexuals being allowed in the church, refers to “clobber verse” and Levitical law about shellfish and clothing made of multiple fabrics. She’s able to refute the church’s interpretation of Levitical law. She is also able to imply hypocrisy on the part of Christians who do not affirm gays. But not capable of a theological discussion on the topic!

To trivialize the dire importance of the church’s stance on homosexuality by references to shellfish and multiple fabrics betrays less than a full grasp of the situation and confirms that indeed Knapp is not capable of leading the theological conversation. And yet, she is surely making a theological, doctrinal statement.

Jennifer Knapp Comes Out | Christianity Today.