Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why the Charles Worley’s of the World Make the Welton Gaddy’s Seem Plausible (2/2)

Yesterday I interacted with this video:

It’s a misnomer to call this guy a pastor.  Pastors feed their sheep.  Pastors protect their sheep from the wolves that are harming their sheep.  They don’t work to convince the sheep of strategies for taming goats.  Pastors stand before a hungry congregation and feed them with “thus saith the Lord”.  They don’t put their own opinion on an equal plain with God and His Word just because they sign their checks with Rev.

This guys rant is going viral on the internet.  And with every click and view, what the gospel says about homosexuality is muddied.  Hate filled garbage like this is what makes it almost impossible for Christians to actually engage the homosexual community and provide the light of Jesus.  This is what people hear and see whenever believers say, “homosexuality is wrong”.  And it is junk like this that gives rise to the Welton Gaddy’s of the world; who, rightly, do not want to be seen as this guy, but wrongly, also miss the gospel. 

Lost in all of this is the transforming gospel.  Worley misses the gospel on at least three fronts. 

He misses the problem

Worley’s solution is to get all the “gays, queers, and lesbians” together and put them in a plot of land surrounded by an electric fence, drop them some food, and watch them die out.  Why will they die out?  Because they cannot reproduce. 

One of the problems with Worley’s solution is that it wouldn’t work.  And that fact actually exposes his wrong-headed gospel-denying theology.  Homosexuality is a matter of the heart more than it is a matter of genetics.  It is not a matter of “them”.  It is a matter of “us”.  Folks like Worley deny that the same seed that sprouts homosexuality is present in his own heart and is probably what birthed this angry tirade. 

The problem with homosexuals is not fundamentally their sexual orientation.  The problem with homosexuals is the same problem with heterosexuals—idolatry.  When we make homosexuality the problem it’s like condemning an apple because it stopped growing when plucked away from the tree. 

I stand firmly with Scripture and say that engaging in homosexual activity is sin.  But I also stand firmly with Scripture and say that my bouts of anger, joylessness, apathy, pride, and a host of other things is sin.  I’m standing with God and His Word against my sin.  My sin problem isn’t a “them” problem, it’s a “me” problem. 

He misses the solution

The Christian’s ultimate goal for an angry man is not to get him to stop being angry.  It certainly isn’t to kill him off.  The Christian’s ultimate goal for an angry man is to help him find grace, forgiveness, and redemption in the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 

The Christian’s ultimate goal for a homosexual is not to make him heterosexual.  It certainly isn’t to section him off from society, drop food, and surround him with an electric fence.  The Christian’s ultimate goal for a homosexual is that he becomes a worshiper of Jesus.  Again, that he finds grace, forgiveness, and redemption in the precious blood of Jesus. 

Worley have very wrong-headed and hateful goal in this tirade.  “Get rid of the queers”.  That’s not the way of Jesus.  Of course neither is pretending that homosexuality is not sinful.  The way of Jesus is to actually acknowledge that we are guilty before God in far more than homosexuality.  It is to admit that homosexuality (or pride, or lust, or anger) is a fruit of a much deeper worship problem.  The only answer for worship problems is the gospel of Christ.  That’s the solution—not electric fences. 

He does both like a jerk

I imagine that Mr. Worley stepped down from the pulpit feeling rather good about his bold stance against homosexuality and President Obama.  He really stuck it to them.  The problem is that it inadequately reflects the posture of the prophets of old and more importantly of Jesus. 

Find the places in Scripture where Jesus is absolutely furious and engaging in something that may be construed from an uninitiated observer as a rant.  Notice his audience.  You will find that it is those that are “within the fold” and are hard as rock in their hearts that Jesus comes like a hammer against.  Seldom does he say, “Watch out for those dirty filthy Romans”.  In fact his aim is less about disagreeing with Rome and more about setting up His own Kingdom. 

Now find the places in Scripture where Jesus interacted with sinners.  Notice his posture.  Was he bold?  Yes.  Did he back down from what is sin and what is required of his kingdom?  Did he engage them like a self-righteous jerk?  Nope.  He stood boldly for the truth but engaged the broken and rebellious with compassion. 

And that is a significant problem because the Welton Gaddy’s of the world come behind the Charles Worleys’ and offer “peace, peace” when there really is no peace.  They offer a mock compassion that is easily swallowed up because everybody and their mom can identify a Worley-esque bludgeoning as “not the way of Jesus”.  But what is lost in all of this is the actual voice of Jesus which compassionately calls sinners (homosexuals, prideful pastors, angry daddy’s, and greedy Republicans) to faith and repentance.  He encourages loose Samaritan women to drop their water jug and drink deeply from the “spring of water welling up to eternal life”. 

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