Thursday, December 14, 2006

Answering Bakker & Brown





The online edition of CNN, cnn.com, recently ran an article by Jay Bakker and Marc Brown http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/12/13/bakker.brown.commentary/index.html. Bakker, the son of former PTL Club leaders Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner, is pastor and co-founder of “Revolution Church”.

Jay Bakker and Marc Brown
Bakker and his long time friend and staff member of Revolution Church Marc Brown, severely misunderstand Biblical Christianity. While I agree with the premise that Christianity should not be co-opted by a political party, the fact that one political party adopts platform planks more amenable to Christians, does not equate to Christians be co-opted by a particular party. The other party has rather shown itself to be antagonistic to many positions Biblical Christians hold dear.

Bakker and Brown then imply that Christians supporting laws which force others to live by their standards is somehow bad. Christians do support laws which reflect the Judeo-Christian background from which the legal basis of our republic was fashioned. Every law reflects someone’s standards. The idea that Biblical Christians should not be an influence upon society is ludicrous, especially from those who purport to teach Biblical Truth. Jesus, Himself, called His followers the “light of the world”, the “salt of the earth”.

The mis-guided Bakker and Brown then attempt to explain that people are turned off by the hypocrisy and judgementalism of Christians. They seem to suggest that Christians should simply accept each person as they are, and even go so far as to imply that Christ accepted them as they were. That simply is not consistent with Biblical teachings. While The Lord Jesus Christ did indeed receive everyone who came to Him just as they were, He didn’t expect them to remain that way. In fact, to the woman caught in adultery, He admonished, “Go and sin no more.”

Jesus first message was one of repentance. Though people flocked to Him, we’re told in John chapter two that He did not commit Himself to those whose hearts were not right because He knew what was inside them. Jesus’ last message to the church in The Revelation was also one of repentance. Repentance is much more than simple acknowledgment of a truth. It ultimately means to turn from one’s sin.

The conundrum faced by those who purport such positions as Bakker and Brown is the determination of what is sin. I agree with their statement that such things as homosexuality and abortion should not divide Believers. I honestly believe that all Biblical Believers should adamantly oppose those practices as sin. However, the tenor of the article leaves me believing that they meant something much different than my position.

Bakker and Brown go on to explain that the rhetoric surrounding homosexuality and abortion is too shrill and that we should just love everyone. I agree. Those pushing the liberal agenda of homosexuality and abortion are extremely shrill in their pronouncements. They need to experience Christian love. The Biblical kind of love which confronts them in their error and calls on them to repent. Christian love is not irresponsible acceptance of error, but rather the willingness to suffer in order to communicate Biblical truth. Jesus loved those misusing the temple so much He took a whip and drove them from the premises.

We are admonished by Bakker and Brown to love people as they are, without an agenda. I contend that those who are genuine followers of Jesus Christ must have an agenda. We are commissioned to go and make disciples. That includes confronting them with the Biblical Truth and trusting The Holy Spirit to convict them of error. Convincing them of their error is not our mission. However, neither is it our mission to make such accommodation for them as to enable comfort in their error.

While Jesus did admonish His followers to minister to the poor and needy, it was a relatively small part of His message. He taught that men whose focus is on Him will act differently toward the needy than those focused on the things of this world. He vividly pointed the wrong mindedness of those who should be spiritual leaders by showing how they abused those in need. Yet, He seemed to teach that there are some things more important than caring for those in need of physical help.

Having said all this, I still think the greatest error promulgated by Bakker and Brown is the idea that the survival of Christianity is somehow dependant upon the actions of puny man. Almighty God has an agenda. It is a supernatural agenda, which cannot be overturned nor curtailed by humankind. Such belief demonstrates the exaltation of man, and the subtle denigration of God by churchmen of this age. We, who believe in the God of Creation, believe also in His sustaining power. All the events of this age are drawing us ever closer to that time when all men everywhere must give account for their actions based on a personal relationship with The Living God.

© 2006 Mike Rasberry

1 comment:

GNH said...

Mike,

G.N. here. I just read this posting and I just wanted say, Amen. I agree, that we as Christians tend to want to take the easy path and not confront those who are spouting non-biblical teaching.