No pooch likes being firmly or scoldingly spoken to with the words, “Bad Doggie.” Dogs, like humans, much prefer being soothed with, “Good Doggie,” even though Rover here has chewed a hole in the rug, and knocked over and smashed a table vase that was a keepsake from grandma. I mean what dog wouldn’t prefer the luxury of being “Good Doggied” rather than being “Bad Doggied,” when in fact he has been a very naughty dog indeed. The caricature here of Rover the mischievous canine really says it all.
Then the question must be asked, “Are we doing Rover a favor by not enabling him to see his “Bad Doggie” nature and behavior, and simply saying to him, “Rover, you must not do that again, you precious pooch you.” We appreciate his “Thank You” and his licking our faces, but are we always to be concerned that we don’t offend Rover by not making him realize who he is and what he has done – “Bad Doggie?” Is it wise not to offend him when in fact he has become an offense? Of course, there are different schools of thought on how to go about this, even as there is with the discipline of children.
I remember those times of rebuke and punishment not only with our dog Rags, but with our children Mark, Mary, Jackie, and Brad, and how they looked at me as a mean monster and as a hateful and hurtful person when I had to apply the hand to their backsides. It was not very successful at the time telling them that I loved them, and that this hurt me more than it hurt them. Not only that, but telling them that if I didn’t scold and punish them it would show that my love for them was not genuine. I would point to the text in Ecclesiastes 9:1 KJV,
“…no man knoweth either love or hatred by all that is before him.”
I tried to assure them that the hand of their father may apply the rod, and yet his heart be overflowing with love. That proved to be far too much advanced psychology which I could tell they were not buying. Of course, neither did I as a kid when I was in their shoes.
THE ARGUMENT FROM SILENCE
It is astonishing what you meet these days, not only in the kennel world but in the church world! At least it is to a 71 year old preacher like me. I was fellowshipping with a pastor the other day who is not that much younger than me, being in his early sixties. Somehow the discussion moved on to marriage counseling, and he suddenly made this statement, “I don’t want to talk about what’s wrong with these troubled spouses, but rather, I only want to talk to them about what is right about them.” Then he added the presumptive comment, “They already know what’s wrong about them, what they need to see is the positive side of each other.” Do they really?
You see, we meet this coming and going now, particularly the assumption that folks already know how bad they are, and that they surely don’t have to be made to feel worse than they already do by telling them that they are sinners and calling attention to their sinfulness and sins.This no-offense and non-confrontational philosophy now has become dominant not only in counseling but in preaching and evangelism as well across the modern church.
Of course, that puts the Holy Spirit in the unemployment ranks, for He has just lost His job. Why? Because we read in John 16:8 about the blessed Holy Spirit,
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and
righteousness and judgment.”
You see, the Holy Spirit is a very confrontational and an in-your-face Person, which is why He is likened in the Bible to wind and fire both of which are very in your face. That is why a lot of theological types would rather do a paper on the Holy Spirit than have the Holy Spirit come and do a number on them.
Which all only enforces the truth that:
“WE CAN HAVE WHAT WE THINK IS A WELL-WORKED-OUT THEOLOGY ABOUT
THE HOLY SPIRIT , AND HAVE IT STILL BE A VERY BAD THEOLOGY.”
Hang on now to your theological seats, because this issue of “The Religion of No Offense” becomes much more non-OFFENDING than all of this, though it is part and parcel of it. And that is, we are now being told across the church and seminary landscapes that we should never tell anyone to their faces that they are a fornicator, adulterer, homosexual, prostitute, murderer, liar, thief etc., etc. If you will, we should never call a spade a spade to the face of him who is digging himself into a deep hole with it. Why? Because the proponents of this very cushy, non-offending religion submit that Jesus in His earthly ministry didn’t call anyone to his or her face any of the above and therefore neither should nor may we. If you will:
“WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS AN ARGUMENT FROM SILENCE, WHICH
IN THESE DAYS IS REALLY QUITE CRAFTY, IN THAT NOW WE
ARE FINDING MODERN THEOLOGIANS AND PREACHERS,
BASING THEIR THEOLOGY MORE ON WHAT JESUS
DIDN’T SAY ON A FEW OCCASIONS, RATHER
THAN ON WHAT HE DID SAY, AND ON
WHAT THE BIBLE IN ITS ENTIRETY
How far this then goes and will go can be heard from a pastor recently behind the pulpit on a Sunday morning who said, “I will never call anyone of you a sinner to your face because Jesus didn’t in His earthly ministry.” He may have gotten that from Robert Schuller who has been pushing and preaching like this for years. The preacher said it with great conviction, and one got the feeling that to call anybody in his church a sinner, would be historically like calling someone from Ukraine a Russian, or calling someone from Friesland, Netherlands a Groningenite. Not if you want to go on living. (Sorry, a Dutch insider joke)
TO IMPRESS OR TO CONFESS
All of this explained why also I am not hearing words like adulterer, fornicator, homosexual, abortionist etc. from the modern pulpits very much any more either. Taken all the way, sin and sinners have in today’s religion become comfortably neutered, without having to confront their true identity, that is, their specific sins and sinnerness. Rather, what I am hearing is a replacement religion with the themes of self-worth and self-esteem and self-fulfillment etc. etc. This is what is happening:
“THE DO-NOT-OFFEND CHURCH IS TRYING TO IMPRESS PEOPLE WITH
THEIR GREAT WORTH, RATHER THAN BRINGING THEM TO
CONFESS THEIR TOTAL UNWORTHINESS BEFORE GOD.”
Incredibly huge issue! It has already changed and is changing the entire ecclesiastical landscape, and the entire process of becoming a Christian has become shallow and trite. For you see as a result of all of this:
“FORGIVENESS NOW IS NOT ONLY FREE, IT IS HAS
BECOME FREE AND EASY AND PAINLESS.”
Today, forgiveness from God is a relatively simple and easy procedure in the ecclesiastical world. No breaking of the heart, no crying out for mercy anymore. Rather it is a hop, skip, and a jump and a simple forgiveness settlement with God, and then you are home free. Kind of like Brooks Hatlen when summarizing the rather easy job of the librarian in the film Shawshank Redemption, he said to Andy,
“EASY PEASEY, JAPANEEZEE.”
One can now pass as a Christian without having to believe or experience all that stuff about rotten sinnerness, repentance, conversion, and being born again. Just show up at church when it is convenient. You are now in!!!
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul would have loved this modern non-offending, non-sinner convicting religion. Before Paul became a Christian, you may recall that in his pre-regenerate state, he tried to impress himself and every other person in his world that he could with his matchless worthiness and rampant righteousness. He reflects upon his haughty, Pharisaical days in Philippians 3:6,
“…as to the righteousness of the law, found blameless.”
By the way, that is what a bloody murderer in his pre-saved state of mind thought about himself. He didn’t have a clue as to how rotten he was. Hear that, and I repeat,
“SAUL THE RELIGIOUS FANATICAL MURDERER DID NOT HAVE THE
THE SLIGHTEST NOTION OF HOW ROTTEN HE WAS, BUT WAS
FILLED WITH THE HIGH CONVICTIONS OF HOW
RIGHTEOUS HE WAS.”
It was only after Saul-Paul was knocked off from his feet and blinded on the Damascus Road by the Light of the World – Jesus Christ Himself, did he see his utter dark and sinister nature and come to realize that he was the chief of sinners which he called himself to his dying day. (I Timothy 1:16) Not just sinner, but the head of his sinner class. Paul would never have gloried in the good news and utter grace of the Cross, had he not been brought to writhe and wrench in the bad news and utter disgrace of himself.
“THE LORD JESUS CHRIST DID NOT COME TO BUILD MONUMENTS TO HUMAN
VIRTUE, BUT HE DID COME TO CLEAN UP A WORLD LITTERED
WITH PILES OF HUMAN WRECKAGE.”
As a result of the current flowering and minimizing of all of this, what follows here is exactly what is emerging today, and has already gained strong standing transdenominationally, namely:
“THE REPLACEMENT RELIGION OF NO OFFENSE, THAT IS, THE RELIGION
THAT IS CAREFUL TO OFFEND NO ONE AND PATRONIZE EVERYONE.”
Call it SEEKER FRIENDLINESS, which couplet, though it is right on, has already been warn down to the nub. Call it what you want, we absolutely must confront this counterfeit Christianity head on! It is turning true Christianity and the true Gospel into a tragic and shallow joke, neutralizing sin, diluting the blood of Jesus, shrinking the cross, and calling people saved who really have no idea how sinful they are, and what they are really being saved from – themselves. More on that later!
THE HISTORIC CHRIST AND THE BIBLE
We live in a most dangerous and deceptive day when apostate theologians and preachers who are promulgating a false replacement religion, are trying to separate the historic Jesus from the totality of the Word of God. Do you get that? Do you see that? It is the isolating of the Lord of the Word from the entire Word of the Lord. Isogesis of the worst and most corrupting kind!
How and in what way? For example, and listen now carefully, modern apostates isolate the historic Jesus from the totality of Scripture, i.e. the Gospels from the entire of inspired Bible revelation, and that in such a way that for example, because Jesus Christ did not call homosexuals homosexuals directly to their faces in His earthly ministry, therefore neither may we.
By the way, homosexuals just love this do-not-offend anyone – replacement religion, for it allows them to walk in society and go to church with an upbeat, self-approving, bouncy step. However:
“GOOD GRADES PASSED OUT BY THE APOSTATE CHURCH MEAN
NOTHING WITHOUT THE GOOD LIFE DEFINED BY THE BIBLE.”
Hear this, Alger Hiss made good grades. Benedict Arnold and Lenin were very bright. But don’t ever forget:
“THE HONOR STUDENT MEANS NOTHING UNLESS HE IS A
STUDENT OF HONOR.”
Modern apostate religionists take it a step further, and that is, because Jesus in His earthly ministry never called homosexuality a sin, nor did He call a homosexual a sinner, nor did He call a homosexual a homosexual to his face, therefore neither may we call homosexuality a sin, or the homosexual a sinner either to his face or to another. The homosexual community loves the theologians and preachers of the apostate church.
The truth be known, what is really at the bottom of all of this is the acceptance of homosexuality as a valid alternative life-style, for the same people who tell us that we may not call homosexuality sinful BECAUSE JESUS DIDN’T, deep down no longer view it as a sin but rather an acceptable variation from the norm. They are not only separating the historic Jesus from the totality of the Word of God, but they are rewriting the Word of God right under our very noses. Listen:
“MODERN CHURCH THEOLOGY IS WHAT MODERN THEOLOGIANS
ARE INSERTING BETWEEN THE LINES, AND WHAT
THEY ARE UP TO BEHIND THE SCENES.”
“CHRISTIANITY HAS BECOME SPIRITUALLY AND MORALLY SICK AND INFIRMED,
BECAUSE THE ENTIRE WORD OF GOD NO LONGER HAS THE ONLY WORD,
AND NO LONGER HAS THE LAST WORD.”
Or again, the modern apostate professors and preachers tell us that because Jesus did not call the woman at the well in John 4 an adulteress to her face, neither may we call adulterers adulterers, and adulteresses adulteresses, either to their faces or from our pulpits. Simply because Jesus did not call the woman at the well an adulteress on a certain occasion, therefore we should never confront sinners with who they really are either by name. Do you see where this is going?
Then of course, by the same token, we should not call a communist a communist to his face, a Marxist a Marxist to his face, a terrorist a terrorist to his face, a rapist a rapist to his face, a pornographer a pornographer to his face, and on and on it goes, because Jesus didn’t. This same tricky argument from silence again by the modern liberal theological tricksters.
By the way, listen to this, what Jesus did do and did say in His dialogue with the woman at the well in John 4 was to describe in vivid succinctness and in detail her serially adulterous life. That dialogue is as follows in John 4:16-18,
“He said to her, ‘Go, call your husband and come here.’”
“The woman answered and said, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her,
‘You have well said, I have no husband.’
‘for you have five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not
your husband; this you have said truly.’”
Dear Jesus, did you have to be that graphic and blunt and descriptive to her face, and expose her on-a-roll adultery so forcefully to her face? Apparently yes, for He did just that! Jesus, did you have to do the MATHEMATICS OF ADULTERY as if this adulterous Annie Oakley couldn’t count the number of notches on her adulterous gun? I mean, after a while, who’s counting? Apparently Jesus is!
Yes, Jesus thought it was absolutely mandatory to do here what He did! It was the only way that He could snap her out of sin’s swoon and fog that had settled over her life for many years, and bring her to the nasty and ugly truth about herself. What truth? The truth about herself that she was an adulterating sexual binger with the Samaritan male womanizers of her day who too late realized that they themselves had been wantonly manized by this fetching manizer.
Now let’s get to the point here! Let the Word of God here shake us awake too. Jesus isn’t only called “The Word” in John 1, but He is called “The Word of God” as we read in Revelation 19:13,
“…and His name is called The Word of God.”
Jesus is called the “The Word of God” because He is the whole Word of Truth, The Word of God in its entirety, and therefore you may not and cannot separate Jesus “The Word” from the entire flow of Jesus “The Word of God.” And throughout “The Word of God,” Jesus “The Word of God” calls a sin a sin, a sinner a sinner, a spade a spade and not an agricultural implement.
As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ, the ascended and exalted Word of God, through the Apostle Paul, reminds the Corinthian Christians of what they used to be before they were redeemed by Jesus Christ. In their faces He reminds them mind you in I Corinthians 6:9-11 of what they had been – that they had been fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, homosexuals, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, and swindlers.
Now let’s get this straight:
“JESUS THE WORD OF GOD DID NOT REMIND THEM OF WHAT THEY
HAD DONE, BUT RATHER, HE REMINDS THEM OF WHAT AND
WHO THEY HAD BEEN.”
Praise the Lord that He then is able to add in I Corinthians 6:11
“And such were some of you, but you are washed, but you are sanctified,
but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
and in the Spirit of our God.”
Come now, if The Word of God – Jesus Christ Himself, calls to their faces the Christians in Corinth ex-adulterers, ex-fornicators, ex-homosexuals, ex-robbers, ex-drunkards etc, do you think at the right time and circumstance He would not call current adulterers, fornicators, and homosexuals the very same to their faces. If Jesus reminds Christians to their faces what they used to be, do you think that He would buy into this drivel of not reminding sinners to their faces of who and what they are? (Come now, we are far more spiritually savvy than that and much more Biblically informed than that. Not only is this stuff an insult to The Word of God, but it is an insult to our intelligence.)
I have again and again in my dealing with lost sinners called them in love to their faces, these very names, and I told them to call themselves what they really are. Then I asked them to read this same II Corinthians 6 passage with me and tell me what they think it meant for them. Then I asked them confess to God what they in fact by name were, and ask Jesus for forgiveness and deliverance. I have by God’s grace and mercy seen homosexuals, adulterers, adulteresses, pornographers etc. born again, cleansed, and set free before my very eyes and become new creatures in Christ. Hallelujahs many times over!!!
The Word of God says about all of these explicitly confronted sinners in I Corinthians 6:9,
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit
the Kingdom of God?”
Here again HE CALLS THEM THE UNRIGHTEOUS, and does not mince words. He does not tell them that they did unrighteous deeds. He rudely in some people’s estimate these days calls them THE UNRIGHTEOUS. “UN” is not a very comforting or complement prefix, as in the unfit, the unclean; for when The Word of God starts “UNNING” people, they are UNDONE.
Then what He says is most ominous! Eternally horrible! Sinners of all sorts from rapists to robbers to rabble-rousers are going in the everlastingly wrong direction on a one-way street away from the Kingdom of God to Hell. With every rape and robbery and riotous death, they are putting greater distance between themselves and God. Sin is not only wrong, it is fatal! It shuts the gate to the Kingdom of God, and opens the gate to the eternal kingdom of darkness.
THE TERRIBLE RESULTS OF ANONYMOUS SIN AND SINNERS
FIRST, let us get this into our heads and our hearts:
“THE WORST WAY TO GO INTO HELL IS TO DO SO NOT KNOWING
THE HORROR OF WHO WE ARE AND THEREFORE
WHAT WE HAVE DONE.”
And not confronting the truth about ourselves smooths the sinner’s descent into outer darkness and Hell’s eternal fires where unsaved adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, liars, drunkards, and thieves forever gnash their teeth in agony forever. Here me:
“I WOULD FAR RATHER HAVE THEM GASHED TEMPORALLY THAN TO
HAVE THEM GNASHING ETERNALLY.”
I mean, it is one thing to be convicted of murder, it is quite another to be called and come to the realization of being a murderer. There it is:
“REPENTANCE IS NOT A NICE LITTLE CHRISTIAN AMENITY IN WHICH
WE APOLOGIZE FOR A RASH ON OUR SKIN.”
“REPENTANCE IS FAR ROUGHER THAN THAT, FOR IT IS TURNING OUR BACKS
IN SHAME ON WHO AND WHAT WE HAD BECOME, TO JESUS CHRIST TO
MAKE US WHAT IN HIM WE CAN NOW BECOME.”
There it is, the heart of it all:
“FOR ULTIMATE SALVATION IS NOT JUST BEING SAVED FROM
WHAT WE DID, BUT FROM WHO WE ARE.”
I have seen the enemy and the enemy is me. Never forget the cry of the breast-beating man in the temple as he cried out to God for mercy. He did not say:
“GOD HAVE MERCY ON THE SINS THAT I HAVE COMMITTED.”
What he did say was:
“GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER.”
Let’s get this strong and clear:
“WE MUST NOT ALLOW THIS MODERN DECEPTION TO SEPARATE
THE SIN FROM THE SINNER. THE HIT-AND-RUN SIN CANNOT
STAND APART FROM THE HIT-AND-RUN SINNER, FOR
THAT IS WHO HE IS AND THEREFORE THAT
IS WHAT HE DID.”
i cannot help but repeat what I have said before, and that is that we must also understand that there is no real pardon without real repentance, and that repentance is not a routine admission or confession. True repentance at its essence is not simply embarrassment that we got drunk on a Saturday night, but rather, that we are out and out drunkards in need of forgiveness, deliverance, and a brand new nature with holy thirsts and appetites. It is one thing to say I drink, and quite another to admit that I am a drunkard. God me merciful to me a drunkard!
What is happening today in the apostate church, and in this very dark world, is that sin is being reduced to a “Doggie’s No-No.” As a matter of fact, so many of the Divine prohibitions in the Old and New Testaments are being reduced to ancient and primitive taboos that have no relevance to the modern world.
Also what is happening on top of this is even far worse, for to take away the sinner’s conviction of who he is by name, and the sin that he is committing by name, takes away his desperate need of a Savior by name. Mark my word, what this will do over time is inevitable:
“TO ERASE SINNERS AND SIN BY NAME WILL BE TO ERASE
THE SAVIOR BY NAME.”
SECOND, and this is the greatest disgrace of it all, for what is happening in this devilish deception of protecting and not offending the sinner, is that we live now in a totally humanistic, man-centered world and church. And in that humanistic world and church:
“WE ARE BECOMING MORE CONCERNED WITH NOT OFFENDING THE
SINNER THAN WE ARE WITH OFFENDING THE HOLY GOD.”
It now has become the offender that we must protect and NOT GOD THE OFFENDED ONE. We no longer dance to a different drummer than the world does, and we no longer play to an audience of ONE, but rather we play to and accommodate an audience of many. Satan has got us all messed up, turned around, and completely upside down in our divine and eternal priorities.
THIRD, and it can be put in many ways:
“WHEN WE NO LONGER SEE THE UTTER UGLINESS OF WHO WE ARE, WE
WILL NOT AND CANNOT SEE THE UTTER BEAUTY OF WHO JESUS IS.”
“WHEN WE ARE NOT BROUGHT TO SEE THE UTTERLY AMAZING DISGRACE OF
WHO WE ARE, WE WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT TO SEE THE UTTERLY
MORE AMAZING GRACE OF GOD IN JESUS CHRIST.”
Are we there? Yes we are there! There are many religious types who will no longer sing the hymn “Amazing Grace,” or certainly will not sing it the way it was written. Not only is the Bible being rewritten, but the hymnology of the Christian Church is being rewritten too. People refuse to confess in word or song the WRETCHEDNESS and WORMINESS of themselves anymore, and as a result:
“REPENTANCE IS AN EASY FIX, FORGIVENESS IS AN EASY SETTLEMENT, AND
THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOTHING MORE THAN EASING ON DOWN
THE ROAD OF LIFE – EASY IS AS EASY DOES.”
FOURTH, when sinnerness and sinfulness are downplayed and diminished, what happens as a result is this:
“THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THOSE INSIDE THE CHURCH AND THOSE
OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH IS LOST.”
If you will:
“THE HUGE GAP BETWEEN AN UNSAVED SINNER AND A SAVED SAINT
IS NARROWED NOT ONLY, BUT ERASED.”
“IF WE DO NOT REALIZE THE DESPERATELY IMPURE STATE THAT WE HAVE
BEEN SAVED FROM, THE NEW STATE THAT WE ARE SAVED FOR
WILL NOT BE THAT PURELY DEFINED OR DIFFERENT.”
Jesus one said in Mark 10:18,
“No one is good except God alone.”
What our Lord means there is not that we do bad things, but that by nature we are all bad people. If you will:
“WE ARE NOT GOOD PEOPLE WHO NOW AND THEN DO
“LEFT TO OURSELVES, WE ARE BAD PEOPLE WHO WILL
CONSTANTLY DO BAD THINGS.”
If you will:
“WE ARE NOT GOOD PEOPLE WITH A LITTLE BAD BLOOD
“WE ARE ALL BAD PEOPLE WHO DESPERATELY NEED THE
BLOOD OF JESUS IN US AND ALL OVER US.”
“JESUS CHRIST NOT ONLY SAVES US FROM SINS, BUT HE
PRIMARILY SAVES US FROM OURSELVES.”
So then, let’s stop this damnable replacement religion of trying to fool ourselves and others about ourselves and themselves, less none of us truly get saved from ourselves or from our sins whatsoever. And that is exactly what is happening and will continue to happen if we allow the apostate liberals to hijack that thoroughly Biblical “Old Time Religion” and that “Old, Old Story Of Jesus And His Love.” What Love? This love:
“THAT JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR SINNERS, AMONG WHOM I AM
THE WORST SINNER OF ALL.” Amen!