Author’s Archive: Nathan Cherry
I have a friend that moved his family to Belize for the purpose of sharing the Gospel with the people there. One of the reasons he felt called to be there was that the people did not have a Bible in their native language. My friend wanted to go and help translate a Bible and use it to share the Gospel. People often comment about how incredible it is that my friend would make this decision.
But is it really a good thing?
R.C. Sproul is one of the world’s leading theologians, pastors, apologists, and evangelical authors. His podcast is listened to daily by people across the globe. His books are in house all over the world. He is a respected Christian that ahs dedicated his life to addressing the tough questions we often ask. Recently I was listening to one of his podcasts in which he was addressing the question of whether innocent people that have never heard the Gospel go to hell. Sproul says the question is loaded with presumptions, but the answer is very simple:
The lost world often takes Scripture out of context in order to make it mean what they want it to mean. Verses are twisted and little to no exegesis is ever used in the effort to justify sin. This is completely understandable, as lost people do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them in understanding the Bible.
What about Christians that seem to do the same thing? How do we make sense of a professing Christian that holds to an unbiblical view or takes verses out of context? That’s a big conversation reserved for another day. For today, let’s focus on some of the most abused verses in the Bible and see if we can gain some clarity on their proper, contextual and biblical meaning.
Here’s a short list of some of the most misused, abused, and taken out of context verses in the Bible.
The preacher would end his sermon by saying “every head bowed and every eye closed.” I knew that the next few minutes would be spent listening to the pianist play “Just As I Am” on the piano while the preacher encouraged people to come down front and pray. At some point the preacher would inevitably say “if you want to be saved, repeat this simple prayer after me,” after which he would recite the “sinners prayer” from memory. Then, with every head bowed and every eye closed, the preacher would ask if anyone said that prayer. He would ask people that said the prayer to raise their hand while assuring them that “no one will see and no one will approach you.”
That might be a familiar routine to you. You also might be wondering what it is and why some churches do it.
First, let’s talk about the history of the altar call and how it came to be a sacred ritual in many churches today. An article at Christianity Today shares some of the history of the altar call:
Even though abortion is still technically illegal in Britain, the law has not been enforced for quite some time. This effort to decriminalize abortion has little to do with the law and more to do with creating a culture of abortion in Britain. If abortion were no longer illegal, providers such as BPAS (British Pregnancy Advisory Service) and Planned Parenthood would have free access to market their services. This would lead to abortion services being marketed to schools, women’s groups, and other public services.
The author of the article cited above said that perhaps some of the blame lies with doctors that oppose legalizing abortion but have remained silent. He also said “the church has also been largely silent.”
Perhaps British Christians should learn from our mistakes as it is currently reported that 29% of American evangelicals say abortion should be legal.
My first thought was, “how can Christians think biblically about this issue?”
As I conversed with Christians about this topic it was clear that many are in the same boat I am. We want to be biblical, we want to prioritize the Gospel, and we want to be loving to foreigners coming to America. But, we also want to protect our families and the lives of those around us from people that would seek to do harm.
Let’s establish some basic thoughts and then we can discuss the issue and hopefully come to some conclusions.
In a recent podcast I heard the speaker reference “the gospel of acceptance” and explain that some people are simply seeking a gospel in which they feel accepted. With so much division in our culture it’s easy to see how people could long for acceptance and place acceptance so high on their priority list that it becomes, essentially, a gospel.
As I listened to this podcast I realized that not only does every person alive live under some sort of religious ideology, but everyone is a champion for their own brand of gospel.
Though our plans and discussions may have been similar, the outcome has been very different for people. While many families adapt and re-discuss and re-plan. Others choose to abort their child and continue with their original plan. That difference has led to a “shocking” new study with a “shocking” conclusion: pro-life families have more children than pro-abortion families.
The study says that not only are pro-life families larger, they are producing a generation that is “markedly more pro-life”:
One element to this story (and others like it) that continues to intrigue me is that the customers could have gone to any other cake shop to get their cake. Do they really want to force someone to make a cake for their event under threat of government penalty? Will we next begin forcing artists to paint? Or forcing musicians to sing? What would be the difference between forcing a musician to write and sing a song for your same-sex wedding and forcing a baker to bake a cake? If one can be done, can’t the other?
Canada has ruled that sexual acts with animals are legal providing there is no penetration involved. This ruling was handed down by the Canadian Supreme Court after a convicted sexual predator, found guilty of assaulting his stepdaughters, appealed the charge and conviction of bestiality.
Lets be clear. No amount of feelings will change your biological gender. You can really want to be the opposite sex all you want, but there is nothing you can do about it. The surgeries are like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound. It doesn’t really change what’s going on inside.