Summary: What is the greatest problem facing the church? It is money, politics, morals, or false teaching? In this message, Pastor Steve accesses our greatest need.
For the past two Wednesday evenings we have looked at the subject of unity in the church. Such unity, as I said, can never come at the expense of the truth. Gordan Clark wrote, “Since God is truth, a contempt for the truth is equally a contempt for God.” He’s right! An attack on the truth is an attack on God! Clark’s statement does not suggest that unity or love is unimportant. We must be loving and we must seek unity. We must reflect the long-suffering of God and the meekness of our Savior. But all of that must be built on a foundation of non-negotiable truth.
I have been following a story this week regarding the reaction by the Muslim community to a statement that the Pope made regard jihad (holy war). And as I have been reading various news articles, it struck me that opposing views are not tolerated by Muslims. They can disagree with your conviction but you cannot disagree with their’s. This response reminded me of our culture. You can say just about anything as long as it is not spiritual, moral or ethical. Yet what we hear much of in the media is either against Republicans, President Bush, or Christians but not against Muslims. When I think about this problem, immediately I think about the church. Because the greatest problem facing the church today is its lack of discernment. It lacks the ability to discern between what is right and what is wrong.
John MacArthur, illustrates this in his book, Reckless Faith, when he says that one of the reasons for a “low level of discernment in the church today is the reluctance to take a definitive stand on any issue. Those with any convictions at all are supposed to hold those beliefs with as much slack as possible. Dogmatism is not permitted. To pronounce anything true and call its antithesis error is to challenge society’s only remaining dogma. Refuse to equivocate on any point of principle or doctrine, and you will be labeled too narrow. Zeal for the truth has become politically incorrect.
In the secular world it is often thought uncouth to voice any opinion at all on spiritual, moral, or ethical matters. A plethora of Phil Donahue-style talk shows exist to remind us of this fact, and they do so by parading in front of us the most bizarre and extreme advocates of every radical "alternative lifestyle" imaginable. We are not supposed to condemn these people; the whole point is to broaden our minds and raise our level of tolerance. Anyone who responds negatively is viewed with the same contempt that used to be reserved for bigots and religious hypocrites.
The other day one of these programs broadcast a show featuring bearded lesbians. A petite woman was seated on the stage sporting a thick black beard and full moustache. All her other physical attributes, her voice, and her clothing were fully feminine. She declared that she was proud of the beard and really didn’t care what anyone else thought of it. Besides, her lesbian lover found facial hair attractive. She said she was actually taking hormones to make her beard grow even thicker.