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The New Scooby-Doo Argument Against the Gospel
The Gospel According to Jesus: What Is Authentic Faith?
Who is a Christian?
“My glasses, I can’t see without my glasses” was one of the popular catch phrases from Velma in the old Scooby Doo cartoons. Sometimes I think we Christians can be a bit like that when we get caught up in popular opinion and forget about filtering things more appropriately through a Biblical world view.
I recently read an article in the Huffington Post that a friend of mine shared with me. She had another friend send it to her. This is how these things go in the age of social media.
Some of the problem is that anyone who is searching for anything remotely resembling a fair representation of what the Bible truly says, or an explanation of true Biblical orthodox Christian theology, should not be looking for that in the Huffington Post.
Another part of the problem is that unfortunately there is a seriously dangerous and damaging deception that the author (Micah J. Murray), and a host of other Americans, have bought into. And this goes way beyond the topic of homosexuality; which was the focus of this article. Some of these self-professed theologians have forgotten to put on their Biblical world view glasses; and are led astray.
I want to dissect the article for what I can glean from it that was good; true; or accurate. And also I want to refute the deception; point-by-point.
Let’s be fair and start with the good, shall we?
Murray says that “Even that word "them" makes me cringe as I speak it, as if my brothers and sisters are somehow other, different from me.…We'll agree to love them…but we reserve the right to see them as different.”
In Scripture we see the Holy Spirit speak through the Apostle Paul and others to give us the proper mindset towards all repentant brothers and sisters in Christ; who have true faith and have accepted the Lordship of Jesus and the authoritative truth of His word.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Colossians 3:9-10 – “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
1 Corinthians 12:13 – “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”
Galatians 3:26-28 – “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Now the last two verses, in context, do not mean that anyone who has been baptized is a true Christian. We have all heard of false converts, and the Bible speaks of them too.
However, what is does show is that in Christ Jesus, we are all one. The only “us and them” is between unbelievers and believers; servants of the cross or enemies of the cross; kingdom of light or the kingdom of darkness; the seed of Christ or the seed of Satan.
Jesus Christ; the Holy Spirit; the Father that has made us all His children if we believe in the name of the only Son of God; and His word all have an incredibly unifying effect on those who believe. And so it grieves me; much as I am convinced it grieves the Holy Spirit; when we do not view other Christians as our brothers and sisters.
God's Not Dead (2014 movie)
Repent and believe the Gospel
All have sinned
Murray then goes on to say in his article; when talking about Christ’s eating and drinking with prostitutes and tax collectors (with some measure of error in that portion that we’ll get to later): “They were his friends. People with names. Defined as beloved children of the Creator, not defined by their sins. Icons of God's image. His brothers and sisters.”
Murray is right in a sense. And I would even more strongly state that Jesus saw; and clearly stated that all who loved Him and obeyed His commands were his friends; His beloved children; had a new identity in Him; image-bearers of God; and brothers and sisters, co-heirs to the throne even!
And also amongst the truthful and good things that Murray had to say was an admission that “I am a sinner.” And he said in the same thought: “But before I was a sinner, I was created in the image of God. While sin has twisted and smudged that image …But it doesn't define me any longer. I am a new creation…Because of Jesus, "sinner" is not how God sees me. It's not how I see myself. And it shouldn't be how I see my brothers and sisters in the church. There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus.”
Assuming that Murray is exactly what he says that he is: a repentant, born-again, Christ-following; God-fearing and God-loving; Spirit-filled Christian – then he would be correct. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God!
We are all sinners. We were born into sin. We have all sinned. In fact, God lets us know that we were DEAD in our sins and trespasses.
We were created in the image of God. Sin does not define us any longer; because as children of God we are no longer slaves to sin. We are a new creation. We have Christ’s identity in the eyes of the Father. We should see ourselves this way; but more importantly we should look at any other true brother and sister that way too.
Furthermore, we should be so confident in that, that we are not worried about what someone calls us or says about us; because we are completely focused on how we can further advance His kingdom here on this earth and encourage others to do so as well.
So far I have listed what was good in the article. However, there was a whole lot of error.
Dr. Brown's Policy Lecture at the FRC on Can You Be Gay and Christian?
Homosexuality & the Bible. Or. Truth & Love Not enemies but Friends
Repentance in the Gospel
And I would like to offer some Biblical correction in a gentle, humble and loving spirit. All of us as brothers and sisters in the faith of Christ Jesus need to help one another keep the mind of Christ about us; the belt of truth securely fastened; the breastplate of righteousness firmly attached; the shield of faith before us; feet fitted with the sandals of the Gospel of peace; and capably and confidently using the sword of the Spirit – that is the word of God.
Let’s look at some of the error and dissect that as well:
Murray states: “I'm done. I can't look my gay brother in the eye anymore and say ‘I love the sinner but hate the sin.’”
The problem here is that he is doing just what he said that he shouldn’t do. He is defining a Christian (assuming they are a brother/sister) by their sin. Homosexuality is clearly defined as a sin. Look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Look at Romans chapter 1. Look at the book of Jude. And there are several other passages as well.
The bigger problem is that we should not be identifying those who are still sinners, and NOT Christians, as brothers and sisters in Christ. Let me explain. I’ll use the words of Jesus here to clarify.
John 3:18-21 - “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
John 14:15-17; 21; 23-24 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you…He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.”
Let’s also take a look at what God has said through His Apostles on the subject:
1 John 1:5-10 - “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - “Or do you not know that the unrighteouswill not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Here is how it breaks down Biblically. Has this person who has been drawn or attracted sexually towards people of their own sex/gender, person who has practiced homosexuality (or any other form of immorality) – have they admitted that they are a sinner, that their sexual immorality is a sin regardless of how long they’ve had that attraction (born into sin), asked God for forgiveness; truly put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ; confessed Him Lord of their life; and asked Him to save them? And have they done everything in their power to leave that life of sin; fight against it (even if they occasionally fail); and seek to live a life pleasing to God?
If that person has done this, they are a Christian. They are a brother or sister and should be identified as such. If they have not done this – especially if they are hostile to this idea – they are unrepentant and are NOT one of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And it would be wrong to name them as such.
Can You Be Gay and Christian?: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality
Breaking Gray: Jesus and Homosexuality
Unrepentant Christian: an oxymoron
So the term “gay Christian” is an oxymoron. You cannot be unrepentantly gay, homosexual, lesbian, sodomite, etc. and be a Christian. You must be repentant; a new creation; leaving the old immoral ‘identity’ behind. You must leave your identity as a sinner behind.
The proper application of love here is to realize who we are dealing with and treat them and speak to them accordingly. If they are still a sinner we need to have compassion on them and witness Christ to them.
If they have repented of their former lifestyle and their lusts, whatever they may be; then we can have fellowship with them, friendship, and view them as brethren.
The next thing that Murray states in error is that “…even if I was able to fully live up to that "ideal," I'd still be wrong. I'd still be viewing him as something other,
something different. Not human. Not friend. Not Christian. Not brother. Sinner.”
This is just flat out untrue brothers and sisters. And I implore you to understand how important it is that we do not allow ourselves to get tangled up in this kind of deception; and moral/theological confusion.
What Murray is wrong about is a couple of things here. For starters, all sinners are human. So this is a bunch of dramatic hyperbole. And it is a caricature that wrongly states that Christians see sinners as not even human. This is a farce.
He should not be seeing the unrepentant sinner as a Christian or a brother. They’re not. They’re unrepentant – refusing to honor and obey the Lord. In fact it is generally a refusal to even admit that what God has said about their sin is true. We cannot call that person a Christian brother and have fellowship with them. And it is the same for the unrepentant adulterer, fornicator, glutton, thief, etc.
Finally, we need to understand that if God calls something sin – it is sin. And it is good for us to recognize it as such. In fact it is healthy.
And if God has called us sinners – we are sinners, all of us. And it is good for us to see that is what we were prior to being born again in Christ. And it is good for us to know that those who haven’t bowed the knee to Christ as Lord in this life, are still defined as sinners.
There is nothing hateful or cruel about it. It’s the truth. It’s like saying that I have brown hair; that I’m balding; that I have a daughter; or that I’m overweight. These are just facts about me.
Murray also errantly states that “We don't use that phrase (sinner) for everybody else. Only them. Only "the gays."’
This is just flat out false. The Bible clearly labels all who are unrepentant; all who are without faith; all who do not put their trust in the Lord as sinners. Every single one of us is rightfully called a sinner.
And we Christians I have found label ourselves that way prior to our conversion and leaving our life of willful and unrepentant sin. So that is just a lie.
Murray says that it is a bad thing to look at those who are still unrepentantly in that lifestyle as “the ultimate conquest for the church to tame and colonize and save.”
The REAL reason God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah
The Scooby-Doo Argument
Well, Jesus gave us a Great Commission to evangelize to all. He evangelized to sinners, and said so.
Matthew 9:11-13 - “And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus clearly calls the unregenerate sinners. And He ate with them. And His mission was to declare the kingdom of heaven to them. Some would be saved and some would not.
And we Christians look at all the unsaved in that way, not just those who have that particular brand of sexual immorality. We see converts from Islam that way. We see those who were drunkards and have come to Christ that way. We see those who were liars or fornicators that way.
And those of us who don’t are either in sin ourselves; or are hardened. Many Christians that I know seem like the father of the Prodigal Son when they get to witness a sinner repent and put their faith in Christ!
Murray again goes on with his erroneous narrative about gays being half-heartedly accepted and branded with a “rainbow-colored scarlet letter”. This is very poetic, but also very deceptive. It’s just not true. And we shouldn’t humor it.
Murray seems to want to legitimize the sin of sodomy or homosexuality. He seems to want to abolish the word sin or sinner. And he seems to want to redefine what a Christian is. As the Scripture says, do not be deceived!
Murray actually makes the statement “we turn our backs on all the gay brothers and sisters already in our church, already following Jesus.”
As we have already read, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”
Nobody who unrepentantly continues to engage in this, or any other sin, is following Jesus. And if they’re not following Jesus, they are not our brothers and sisters.
Murray says that we leave “little space for those who didn't choose to be gay, but did choose to follow Jesus.”
Murray seems to forget that none of us chose to be born into sin. None of us chose to be born. And none of us can choose to follow Jesus, if we haven’t already chosen to repent of whatever sin we were born into. Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”. And Romans 3:10-11 ensures that we all know that “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
Murray forgets that we can and should use “gay” and “sinner” interchangeably; just the same as we should use “liar” and “sinner” or “glutton” and “sinner” or “fornicator” and “sinner” interchangeably. If we don’t want to be identified by our sin, then we need to find our identity in Christ and obedience/conformity to His commands. He’s more than our friend, He is our Lord!
Murray goes on to deny not only the Gospel narratives that we’ve already covered, but many others where Jesus Himself clearly calls people sinners, prostitutes, murderers, liars, tax collectors, etc. He attempts to say that these are just the labels of the disapproving religious onlookers. The Bible says otherwise.
Murray also goes on to deny Jesus’ evangelical mission; his declaration of the kingdom of God; and the message of repentance. These are clear Gospel themes that are unavoidable.
He goes on to attempt to link Christ-denying; hypocritical; blasphemous; lying; and murderous unbelievers from the Gospels such as the Pharisees – to us as Christians if we don’t adopt this warped and Gospel-denying narrative that has been created. It’s a deception. Please do not be deceived!
Finally, to bring this full circle, the narrative that Mr. Murray has developed is a bit like the end of an old Scooby-Doo cartoon from the 70s. The bad guy was unmasked and always ends up saying “and I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”
This is kind of like that. It’s the logic that somehow those who practice homosexuality or who have lust for their own gender/sex would not be sinners and would get into heaven being unrepentant…“if only if wasn’t for you pesky Christians and your Gospel of Jesus Christ too!”
Romans 2:5-8 - “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,”
Ephesians 5:6-14 - “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
We must be the light that Christ has called us to be, and expose the deeds of darkness as sin. And when we shed that light on those who practice them, we need to remember to give the Gospel and call all to repentance.
Think about it, and be blessed!