“Have an affair.”
I mean, really, why not?!
If the Gospel is only about personal salvation and not linked directly to repentance and obedience to Christ as King in practice and in detail in every realm of life in accordance with His Nature as revealed in His Word, then why shouldn’t American “Christians” be having extra-marital affairs by the millions? Why shouldn’t American “Christians” have tens of millions of accounts at Ashley Madison?
If the crystal clear words of Christ the King are openly dismissed and trampled when it comes to children’s education, economics, and law, then why not on marital fidelity, too? (See: Presuppositional Law: Where we begin with law determines where we end.)
If we want a good whiff of the rotten fruit of modern American “Christianity”, we need only take a deep, painful breath of the unfolding Ashley Madison saga and savor the deep, thick, pungent aroma of what passes for “the gospel” in America. (See: Beware the “Gospel in a Bottle” and Limp Wristed Gospels Make Limp Wristed Cultures.)
American culture, believe it or not, is a product and consequence of American “Christianity”, or, better put, the American religion that often masquerades as Christianity.
This counterfeit Christianity serves to provide the illusion of truth while openly repudiating the Gospel command to repent and opposing the Gospel-fueled Great Commission in practice. In this, American “Christianity” serves as something of an escort service; an institution comprised of spiritual prostitutes being led by their favorite pimp or purveyor of man-centered religion…with their favorite flavor of “Jesus lingo” sprinked around the edges, of course.
Lest we get the idea that this perversion is confined to the more flamboyantly flakey left-leaning “progressive” churches now scattered all across the fruited plane, let’s be clear that some of the most “conservative”, “Bible-based”, and even supposedly Reformed churches are very much into the “Gospel in a Bottle” approach to escorting people to hell.
While each Gospel-in-a-bottle Church has its own individual spin on any number of secondary and peripheral points, they tend to operate as effective escorts to oblivion in the following ways:
- These churches preach Jesus and talk about the beauty and power of the Gospel. This approach is usually quite beautiful and good in and of itself, but in context here it is actually a feint. Jesus will be fawned over, Bibles will be read and preached from (often in context, even), and the Gospel will be spoken of, sometimes even in detail. But when it comes to application…
- These churches steadfastly refuse to vigorously pursue, much less directly apply, any clear passages that might address (and therefore inherently confront) the active sin of its members. This is done in the name of “love”, of course. It is done for the sake of “preserving unity” (meaning: preserving church membership rolls).
- In order to facilitate Point #2, these churches present and adamantly defend an intentionally vague, purposefully imprecise notion of sin when it comes to addressing sins openly embraced by members of the church. The sins of other people are fair game, however, and are clearly repudiated and warned against from the pulpit, of course. But are the clear, open, ongoing sins of church members confronted and corrected in a similar manner in accordance with the Gospel and Great Commission command to be and make obedient disciples of Christ (see: Matthew 28:18-20)? Not so much.
- In order to facilitate Point #3, which enables Point #2, the whole Gospel must be fundamentally altered, if not abandoned outright, and those who would faithfully proclaim and seek application of the whole Gospel in a manner that makes other church members uncomfortable must be silenced or, failing that, driven out of the church. Thus, “love” and “unity” centered on a counterfeit gospel and phony Christianity is preserved. Thus people and the culture that they comprise is “lovingly” escorted to hell.
This is how the American “Christian” church has led us to the happy land of, among other things: “gay marriage”, mass child sacrifice for convenience, and Ashley Madison as a “legal” business openly allowed to operate in “the land of the free” and the home of “the brave”.
It all begins with the nature of God, the nature of man, the nature of sin, and the necessity of the Gospel…the whole and true Gospel, which drives the Great Commission. (See: The Awesome Gospel.)
After all, if Americans have the “right” (“God-given”, even) to openly worship false gods, then why don’t they have the “right” to have an affair? Why don’t they have the “right” to cheat on their husband or wife? (See: Note to ‘Merica: There is no “God-given right” to worship false gods. Repent accordingly.)
If American Christians have the “right” to disregard the Word of the Lord whom they claim with their lips when it comes to children’s education, law, and art, then why on earth would they ever expect to hold “those other people” accountable to the Word of God when it comes to the sanctity of life, sexuality, and marriage?
Talk about hypocrisy!
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So the ongoing Ashley Madison scandal isn’t evidence of America’s rejection of religion. It’s evidence of our embrace of American-style “Christianity”.
- When we “protect” people from conviction under the whole Gospel, we “protect” them from potential repentance.
- When we “protect” people from Scripture’s clear descriptions of sinful activity when it hits too close to home, we “protect” them from potential restoration.
- When we “protect” people from repentance and restoration, we are “protecting” them from true life and consigning them to darkness and death.
- When we “protect” people and culture from these things – even when we claim to be doing so in the name of “love” and niceness – we are actually really and truly escorting them to hell.
May God grace His people with a supernatural zeal for repentance, the pursuit of personal holiness, and faithful application Gospel-fueled Great Commission…while there is yet time…and before we reap any more fruit of American “Christianity”.
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Extremely well said Scott, It's not America's dismissal of religion by any stretch of the imagination, it's our grip of American-style Christianity. So genuine. It helps me to remember a TV show back in the 60's before your time, it was called "Love American Style" Very comparative idea. It was Hollywood's adaptation of affection which was entirely plain damnation motivated desire. What's more, our cutting edge places of worship have gone with the same pattern. I would love to see the look on John and Charles Wesley's countenances in the event that they get a look of todays places of worship. Thanks!!!
Very well said Scott, It's not America's rejection of religion at all, it's our embrace of American-style Christianity. So very true. It reminds me of a TV show back in the 60's before your time, it was called "Love American Style" Very similar concept. It was Hollywood's version of love which was actually just plain hell inspired lust. And our modern day churches have followed suit. I would love to see the look on John and Charles Wesley's faces if they get a glimpse of todays churches.