Church leadership is tripping over themselves to line up with the latest cultural flavor of the day… while wondering why God doesn’t seem to be blessing their efforts.
Historically, the response to God not blessing such efforts would be a return to prayer, repentance, and rebuilding your life on the blueprint found in His Book. It’s a pattern that has held up for oh… a few thousand years now.
But the new guys? They are far more tuned into the ways of the world, and marketing machines, and global trends.
Skinny jeans and smoke machines ‘seem’ to be doing the trick for some of the lively young churches (until they get shipwrecked by a series of high-profile moral scandals).
But some of the more traditional mainline churches — hemorrhaging membership — have gone the chameleon route.
Rather than offering Christ as a Bold alternative to the turns-to-ashes-in-your-mouth of todays’ more socially acceptable forms of self-worship and idolatry, and guarding the gospel against false teachers, they have given ground, smoothing off the rough edges of the faith that offend sinful human hearts, those hard words which challenge us to abandon sin that we may embrace a deeper and more satisfying walk with Almighty God.
The Rev. Megan Rohrer has been elected as a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, becoming the first openly transgender person in the U.S. to do so in a major Christian denomination.
Rohrer will serve as bishop of the Sacramento-based Sierra Pacific synod, which encompasses close to 200 congregations in Central and Northern California and northern Nevada.
“I am humbled and honored, and aware that this call is bigger than me,” Rohrer said in a speech after the ballots were counted on Saturday. “My hope is that your grandkids will call you, and your kids will call you, and your friends will call you, and ask you about your faith. And when they call, tell them how much you love Jesus and why Jesus’ faith in you meant why you could have faith in me.”
…After coming out as lesbian while attending a Lutheran college in Sioux Falls, Rohrer told KALW in 2014, they were harassed by their peers, who would treat their identity as something to be cured.
…Last year, Rohrer gained some celebrity for an appearance in the fifth season premiere of Queer Eye, in which they lent support to an openly gay bishop in Philadelphia who was on an emotional journey to self-acceptance.– KPCC
Much attention is given to Rohrer’s sexual identity. And that’s exactly the problem we have with most of these identity politics.
‘During this time when some imagine trans people at their worst, Lutherans have once again declared that transgender people are beautiful children of God. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and my family as I accept this call.’ —DailyMail
I guess Rohrer never got to the part of scripture where a long list of sins are referenced with the amazing line ‘such were some of you’, in the past tense, celebrating the transformative work of God. Does this line up with what that bishop is celebrating?
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, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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. —ICorinthians6:9-11
The kind of ‘transitioning’ the gospel is based on is the kind we see with the butterfly, the kind spoken of in verses like ‘be not conformed to this world, but be transformed through the renewing of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12)
We are not called to root our identity in those superficial aspects of our life, such as our skin color or a physical disability. Nor are we called to root our identity primarily in our ethnic, cultural, or socio-economic in-group, showing hostility to outsiders. So why would it be a moral ‘good’ to root our identity in our sexuality?
The CHRISTIAN identity is to be rooted in — and this should go without saying — Christ.
Any perspective that falls short of that is idolatry. It is also disqualifying for anyone who would want to take on the responsibility of becoming Christian religious leaders (and higher standard of judgment, as James 3:1 warns us).
Martin Luther could not be reached for comment on this news. But if he were, the English translation might look a little something like this famous movie quote…
Here are some of Paul’s closing words in his First Epistle to Timothy, on the topic of false teaching. Judge for yourself whether this appointment can be squared with Paul’s own words.
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a sick craving for controversial questions and disputes about words, from which come envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between people of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
…20 Timothy, protect what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly, empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— 21 which some have professed and thereby have gone astray from the faith.
Doctrine AND behavior both matter… and Jesus Himself is the measuring rod for both.
As for anyone saying that Jesus was silent on certain biblical topics in the gospels might want to keep reading to that final book of the Bible where He spoke not in the couched language of parables as a savior who was still keeping his cards close to his vest until after His work on Cavalary was finished, but in the direct speech of King whose work was already done. He doesn’t mince words on this topic or any other.
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