Wednesday, January 23, 2013

don't believe everything you hear

If there's anything that's frustrating to me as a pastor, it's that the voice of God's word is being drowned out by the myriad of voices in our culture. This is not surprising since the Bible said it would be this way. Right after Paul encourages Timothy to "Preach the Word" he says that a "time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths" (II timothy 4:3-4). Well, I'm going to keep preaching the truth of the Word of God...but myths and stuff the culture wants to hear abound...Here are a few myths that many (especially a younger generation) have bought as truth...because it sounds like what we want to hear: 1. Myth - people are born homosexual or not. This is not in fact a scientific conclusion, but our culture wants to believe it so that they don't have to listen to God. God calls homosexuality a sin...we must deal with that. 2. Myth - the most important thing is to protect the children of the world from physical harm, be it gun violence, abuse, poverty, or being orphaned. In fact, as Christians we must care for those who are most vulnerable and our belief demands we have an active response to love and protect these innocents..but it's not the most important thing. Protecting these children spiritually is what matters most. Bringing them up in The Lord is more important than any safety or rescue measure we could take. 3. Myth - it is our duty to reverse global climate change. I'm not going to debate whether we have sufficient data to conclude what is going on (interesting that scientists want to make this world billions of years old, but think we will destroy it in two generations), but is it our main job to save our environment. Again, the proper Christian response is to be good stewards of what God has given us (ie. don't litter, control waste, nurture growth, etc...), but it is complete arrogance to believe that we can change the decay of the world since our Sovereign God has promised it is ending and decaying and that He will end it when He determines...In other words, we can't destroy what He wants to maintain, and we can't preserve what He is going to destroy. God's footprint is bigger than our carbon footprint. 4. Myth - to live together we must totally agree on everything. In fact, my favorite person in the world is my wife Sara and we don't agree on everything. It would be a very boring relationship if we did. Christians should be the most loving and accepting people of others in the world, but I don't have to change what I believe to be true in order to love someone! I can love a sinner without saying their sin is okay...and I do. As you can see there are some really significant untruths out there,but we must listen with discerning ears. What is your source for absolute truth? For me it's the Word of God and anything that conflicts with that is something I should be suspicious of.

9 comments:

Lisa Huston said...

AMEN!!! Well said (as always). I love the passage you used. Savannah just had to memorize this for Speech Meet at school. I chose it for her because I too thought this is a VERY important thing for us all to remember. We should be listening to what God says in the Bible, not what we see on TV or hear from "teachers" that our society builds up, or even our parents in some cases. I want my children to know what the Bible says and trust that...and if I stray from it I hope they call me out on it too. God Bless You!

Mike Egenes said...

Standing ovation.

Peg said...

You are so right Pastor. In a society where everything is "relative"....those NON-NEGOTIABLES of our faith still stand. The TRUTH is still the TRUTH...and God's Word IS TRUTH!!
Thank you for being real!!

Vicky said...

Mike, thank you for not only preaching these truths, but never backing down from them. Several years ago I had a conversation with you about things going on in my life. I was getting so irritated because you wouldn't tell me what I wanted to hear, but I praise God every day because you told me what I needed to hear. (the absolute truth of God)Thank you for being so bold!

NinjaPrincess said...

We have to be careful drawing lines in the sand over topics the Bible doesn't directly address (genetics & homosexuality, the age of the Earth, etc.)

Because, what if we're wrong? At one time the church was adamant that the sun revolved around the Earth, because the Bible said so (Psalm 93:1, Psalm 19:4-6). Scientific discoveries forced the church to reinterpret these passages.

Many Christians will fiercely defend the claim that the Earth is 6,000 years old. Conversely, many atheists won't even consider Christianity's message because of that claim. I worry that the church's stance on this debatable topic is making the gospel unattractive.

Mike Baker said...

Ninja Princess. Two things to think about: I can only draw lines in the sand that God has drawn. I hope you see the difference between the world being round or flat and something that God says is a sin. Homosexuality is defined by God as a sin, not the church. The second thing is that our job is not to make the gospel attractive. It is a good news. Jesus certainly didn't make following Him attractive (anyone who comes after me must....), but He did promise that doing so would lead to everlasting life.

NinjaPrincess said...

Mike,
I agree with you – the Bible is clear that homosexuality is a sin and must not be practiced. I apologize for not mentioning that. My point was that the Bible does not address whether or not homosexuality is a genetic condition.

Similarly, the Bible is clear that God created the universe and that man is a special creation. It does not specify, though, how long God’s six “yoms” were.

If we are not called to make the gospel attractive, can we agree we’re called to not make it unattractive? If the Earth is 4.6 billion years old, and our message that it is 6,000 years old prevents someone (or thousands of someones) from hearing the gospel, what will God say to us?

Thanks, as always, for your thoughts!
~NP

Elvira Brooks said...

Amen! Well said

Laura Karr said...

Love this Mike. I too, get frustrated with the false truth people cling to these days. I pray that the Spirit would open all of our eyes to the truth in the Word. Satan uses the same lies today as he did in the garden... deceiving us to not believe what God said and that He loves us.

I especially liked what you wrote about disagreeing with those that you love. This is something God is growing me in currently. Hard lesson for a people pleaser, but a life-changing one for sure!

Thank you for your example of following Christ.