Deeper Waters Podcast 6/3/2017: Alan Branch

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Our culture is undergoing changes we never would have thought possible growing up and Christians face challenges that would have been unthinkable a couple of decades ago. The homosexual movement especially has risen up and demanded what is called “equality.” Why should this be given? Don’t you know? It’s not a choice. You’re born this way!

Well, are you?

My guest on the show this Saturday says “No. You are not born this way.” He is the author of the book Born This Way? and has looked deeply at the subject of if homosexuality has some sort of genetic origin. We’ll be talking about that this Saturday. His name is J. Alan Branch. So who is he?

Alan Branch got his B.B.A. at Kennesaw State College in 1991. He went on to get a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in December of 1993. He went on to get a Ph.D. from there in 2000 in theology with a focus on ethics. As of now, he is the Professor of Christian ethics at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What is the origin of homosexual attraction? Is it a choice? Are people born this way? If they are not, does that mean that they chose it? Branch’s book is a look at all the theories raised thus far to explain homosexuality and how it comes about. He looks at psychologists of the past as well as medical research done today to see if there is a genetic link of some kind to homosexual attraction.

So we’ll be having a brief history of this kind of study. We’ll be looking at Freud to see what he thought about homosexuality and then, we’ll move on to talk about Kinsey. Kinsey is a figure that needs to be talked about because he’s still highly influential in our culture today, yet not many people really know about all that was done by Kinsey and the kind of person he was.

What about objections raised today? Don’t we see this in the animal kingdom? Isn’t it thought that homosexuality is thus natural in so many animals? If it’s something natural, shouldn’t we have no problems with it today? What are we to say to this?

And of course, there’s the question about reparative therapy. If this is not something that is genetic, does that mean that it can be changed? If it can be changed, it is something that will even work? Many of us have heard the horror stories about what has gone wrong with this therapy and about people who claimed to be cured and yet fell back into the homosexual lifestyle. What are we to do then?

I hope you’ll be listening to the next episode of the Deeper Waters Podcast. We’ll be working on getting it up for you as soon as we can. Please also consider going to ITunes and leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast. It’s always good to hear what you like about the show so I can know what you want to hear.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

Why Christians Should Care About A Snowflake Culture

Do snowflakes indicate that Christians in the West have some concerns? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Much of the news today concerns snowflakes. No. I don’t mean a story about global warming. I mean a story about especially people in high school who can’t seem to stand the thought of anything contrary to their opinion and have to have safe places where they will not be challenged in anything.

I don’t know what to call these people besides snowflakes. I know that chronologically, kids doesn’t fit, but what do you call people who for all intents and purposes are adults and yet need to be in a place where their opinions aren’t challenged and this in college where you SHOULD be having your opinions challenged? What do you say about children who need therapy dogs and coloring books not because of some serious major hardship, but because their candidate lost an election?

Unfortunately, the snowflakes didn’t just come out of nowhere. There came a time in our history when arguments mattered less and less and how one felt about the arguments mattered the most. In this day and age, someone can think they can refute the Old Testament by pointing to a commandment, saying “I don’t like it” and moving on from there. Never mind that you might actually want to attempt to understand the culture and see what was going on, but for many people, that’s not necessary. Being offended is enough to show that it’s wrong.

I have been engaging on Brent Landau’s post that I wrote about last week. It has been amusing to be accused of abuse when as far as I know, the worst crime I have done is telling people they’re spreading nonsense and don’t know what they’re talking about. What kind of nonsense? Oh, Raphael Lataster, David Fitzgerald, and Richard Carrier. Jesus mythicism is alive and well for internet atheists. What it tells me is these are people who care so little about the truth of historical Jesus scholarship, but when they’re called out on it, rather than defend the arguments, they try to take the moral high ground and play the victim. It’s a way to avoid “Okay. I don’t know how to answer this point,” and turn it into “You’re a mean person for arguing with me!” The subject becomes the objector then instead of the data itself.

Sadly, we Christians aren’t innocent in this. Why? Because we have bought into gentle Jesus meek and mild. Make no mistake about it that when it came to sinners seeking forgiveness and coming to Jesus in hope, he was meek and mild. Look at the Pharisees by contrast. Jesus was not meek and mild towards them. A meek and mild Jesus does not make a whip in the temple and clean it up. Jesus had a problem with these people and took them to task because their behavior and the claims they were making were hurting the people who were wanting to enter the Kingdom. Jesus was also sarcastic with them believe it or not. Consider when His disciples were picking grain on the sabbath. When confronted, Jesus said, “Have you not read about…..” We could get into the whole discussion of if Abiathar was the high priest at the time, but notice that Jesus went to the scholars of the Old Testament in His day and said, “Have you not read this?” It was a great insult. “Hey, guys. You’re supposed to know this stuff. Have you ever even read this passage?”

It’s been in more recent times that we’ve started to think contrarily. Now don’t get me wrong on this. There’s no need to unnecessarily offend someone. There are times where it will be necessary. In fact, if you give the Gospel, you will have to offend people. Seriously. You think people like being told they’re sinners living in rebellion against the King and that they will be judged if they don’t change? That’s a great insult to them, but it’s also true. My policy is if stepping on someone’s toes is the only way to get someone to move towards Christ, then watch out because I plan to stomp hard!

If people say they want to go the more peaceful route, I just like to ask them how that has worked for the homosexual crowd. We thought we could just have peace and give an inch. Now what has happened? The shoe is on the other foot and tolerance is no longer the big deal it was. When the homosexuals did not have the majority opinion behind them, they shouted out for tolerance. When they did have it, Memories Pizzeria was targeted and received death threats and had to have a GoFundMe in order to survive. Florists now lose their livelihood just because they’re trying to live by their Christian principles. How did that work out?

Now does that mean we should have been absolute jerks to the homosexual community? No. It does mean that sentiment is not always the best way. Love is sometimes tough and it is tough because it seeks the best for the other person. Love is not giving that alcoholic an extra drink even though he’s crying on the couch begging for one to end the pain. If you love someone, you will often see them go through hardships and hold back on giving them what they want.

With the snowflake culture now, it is harder and harder to get contrary thought into the minds of others. After all, who are you to dare to suggest that someone is wrong? If politically we can’t even get a conservative speaker to show up on campuses, how much harder will it be to get a minister of the Gospel to show up on these campuses?

I wish I knew a good solution to this, but many might be too far into it. The best I can think of is to teach our own children now not to be snowed by these arguments. Remember that the data is primary. Look at an argument. Ask what the claims are. What are the reasons for believing those claims? How good is the data for them? Does the conclusion follow? Teach them how to do good research.

Remember, walking like Jesus does mean being delicate to those who are sinners and are seeking a place of forgiveness and grace. It also means guarding them with a rod and protecting them from those who wish them harm. If you have only a hammer, everything does look like a nail, but if you have only a hug, everything looks like a kitten, even if it’s really a destructive tiger. A good shepherd knows how to use a rod to deal with wolves and a staff to lead the sheep both.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Book Plunge: Openness Unhindered. Further Thoughts Of An Unlikely Convert On Sexual Identity And Union With Christ

What do I think of Rosaria Butterfield’s book published by Crown & Covenant Publications? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all know the story. A person lives their life struggling with sin and then, they come to Christ. They pour out their heart in repentance to Him and God forgives them and frees them from the shame of the past. No more are they hindered by the chains that kept them bound. They walk in newness of life free from the past temptations entirely.

Or…..maybe not.

In fact, a lot of people would wish that was the case. Sometimes some will be thinking that God betrayed them or lied to them. If we have become new creatures in Christ, why is it that the past is still an issue? Why do we not experience deliverance from all the struggles of the past? How can I be a new creature in Christ and still struggle mightily with a sin?

Rosaria Butterfield knows about this quite well. She had been a professor living in a lesbian relationship when a pastor gently responded to an article she wrote about the Promise Keepers. This pastor was a pushback to her, but also was not in her face. She, in fact, notes that the first time she visited him and his wife, they did not give her the Gospel or invite her to church. In fact, she appreciated that greatly.

She began studying the Bible on her own and in fact studying it as a postmodern. Romans 1 was quite a difficult passage for her, but one she could not escape. What if instead of gay pride, she was just really having pride? What if what she took pride in was in fact really a form of rebellion? The questions came at her fast and furious.

One day, she just reached her breaking point. She wound up admitting that God was God and becoming a Christian. From then on, she knew things had to change. Much of her book is about dealing with this. Indeed she did change. She is now the wife of a reformed pastor in North Carolina, but she has a heart for those who are struggling with many issues.

One of Butterfield’s key themes is identity. Our identity when we come to Christ and even before is not to be based on our sexual orientation, as the term is used. Our identity is greater than the people we are attracted to or share a bed with. One of her main points she wants to have raised is we should not use terms like “gay Christian” even when we speak of Christians who agree that homosexual activity is wrong and want to live a celibate life. Why take an adjective that describes a condition that the Bible refers to as sin and making it part of your identity just like Christian is in your identity? Taking it as an identity is in some way clinging to it and holding on to it, as if it’s something central to who you are.

She does realize that some Christians disagree with this and in fact, she has an example of that in the book. She talks about her friend Rebecca who still struggles with same-sex attraction. Butterfield makes an important point that for some people, sanctification does not necessarily mean being delivered from the sinful temptations. Heterosexuality is not the goal of sanctification, but holiness is and you can just as much be a sinner as a heterosexual as you can a homosexual. For some people, the sign of their sanctification could be living with these sinful desires and NOT giving in.

To the rest of us, she says part of the danger we have could be what she calls the gag reflex to homosexuality. We can describe homosexual acts as if to get the response of “ewww. Yucky.” What we end up doing can be saying “I’m so thankful I don’t do that!” or for those Christians who are struggling with same-sex attraction, putting thoughts in their heads. We can end up having a sort of superiority complex to the homosexuals who do this “shameful behavior.” Now I do believe the Bible describes it as shameful, but that is not because of something being gross. Our problems with a behavior should be with the moral status of the behavior and not the personal taste status of the behavior.

For an analogy, imagine a pastor at a church describing the evil of an affair. Rather than state that a sexual affair is an evil thing, he goes into great detail of a man meeting a woman at a hotel room and describing what goes on behind closed doors. Is he really helping anyone? No. We all know what goes on behind closed doors. If anything, most men in the audience are now suddenly having to deal with a temptation as they are having a fantasy play out in their minds.

Butterfield also stresses that for a Christian, life should be a life of repentance. We should be watching ourselves to see where we are falling short. Butterfield does write with the heart of a counselor. At times, sometimes the reformed aspect can shine through a bit brighter so if, like me, you don’t hold to a Calvinistic position, that can be difficult, but either way, those of us who don’t still do agree with repentance and we do still see God as sovereign even if we don’t understand how that works out.

She also stresses the importance of community. Community should be a way we come together and pray for one another and if anyone does struggle with unwanted attractions, they can find comfort in having people who will hear them. They might not be able to do anything beyond that, besides pray of course, but they can be listeners.

Butterfield’s book is a good one. If there was one area I would change, it’s that there is talk about dealing with unwanted sexual attractions and such, but at the same time, I always want to see that there is a positive message about sexuality. A true sexuality is something God gives us to enjoy and celebrate. It would have been good to have heard Butterfield’s thoughts on that.

Still, this is a book that will leave you thinking and hopefully get you more in tune with thinking about holiness. Repentance is a word much more on my mind since reading this. I also wouldn’t mind seeing more community as described by Butterfield and will definitely be watching to check for the gag reflex approach to homosexuality.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Making Gay Okay

What do I think of Robert Reilly’s book published by Ignatius Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Reilly has written a book on how America is taking part in rationalizing on homosexual behavior and the affect it’s having on our society. He takes a unique approach as he is not arguing from Scripture but more from just the natural law tradition, despite his having a deep Catholic faith of his own. The book is very well-researched and goes into the history of what happened and what is going on in the world today as a result.

For Reilly, the problem started with the contraception movement. I can’t say I agree for sure because there had to be something else in the background. People can still use birth control and think that sex has an end and just know that it would not be good to have children at the time or perhaps in some cases, physically harmful to a mother. Do some people wrongly use this in order to justify whatever it is that they want to do sexually? Yes. They do. That is not the fault of the tool but of the people so we have to ask “What changed in the people?” I wish I had a clear answer to that, but I don’t.

Reilly’s book is certainly hard hitting as he goes through homosexual behavior and the affects it has on people and why arguments for it and for redefining marriage fail. If there is a common argument you hear in favor, you will likely see it responded to in this book. Those interested in a history of how we got to where we got will also be pleased to see it.

The version I read did include a statement about the 2015 Supreme Court decision. If that is rationalizing, one wonders what he would say about the transgender movement today. Reilly does say the viewpoint cannot really last and I agree, but what will be the cost of it for going against reality?

Reilly gives a history of what happened in the world of psychology as well that led to homosexuality not being included as a mental disorder. He then shows the effect this is having elsewhere such as what has happened with the Boy Scouts and what has happened with the military as people seek to remove all barriers whatsoever and treat male-male and female-female relationships as equal in every way to male-female relationships. We have now reached the point where homosexual applause is something that we are exporting to the rest of the world.

Reilly’s book is hard hitting. I do wish he had said more about no-fault divorce as I think that was the largest hit to the nature of marriage and sadly, it was one Christians allowed to happen easily enough. There are times I do realize divorce could be a necessity, but it should always be seen as a sad one. If you want an argument besides “The Bible says” this book is right up your alley and worth reading.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Homosexuality and the Bible — Two Views

What do I think of this book published by Augsburg Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Dan Via and Robert Gagnon come together in this book to discuss the view of the Bible on homosexuality. Via I have not known of prior to this, but I did know of Gagnon and I have to say that in this area, Gagnon is a force to be reckoned with. There is a reason people like Matthew Vines do not want to debate Robert Gagnon. Thus, when I saw that he was involved in a book debate on the topic of homosexuality and since I’m doing a research project on that in Romans 1 now, I thought this would be an excellent one to go through.

Unfortunately, if there’s a criticism I have of this, it’s that it is way too short. The book could be read in a few hours which I found troublesome. This is a serious topic and it deserves more time in the press than something this short. In fact, Gagnon had to restrict a lot of what he wrote because it was too long and so throughout his essay, he links to notes on his web site where readers can go to find a fuller treatment. I would have recommended that while Gagnon could have written something too long that Via would be asked to give a more engaging essay of greater length rather than just have Gagnon cut his. There are plenty of things that could have been said.

Much of Via’s arguments are exactly what you would expect along the lines of what was going on in Sodom and matters of that sort. Gagnon’s responses thoroughly show the weaknesses, though not at times as much as one would like in the book format and again, this is because Gagnon has a fuller treatment on the issue on his web site. Perhaps it would have also helped to have had other readers who were commentators on this debate. It might have even been better to have Via and Gagnon discuss separately the major Biblical passages on the topic in separate chapters.

This is also an issue the church needs to pay attention to as it has become the shibboleth of the day. Increasingly for Christians, it will become a major issue as many of our young people who are deciding what truth is more based on their feelings and experience than reason and Scripture are being thoroughly confused on all matters relating to sexuality. Sadly, few of them will pick up a massive tome like Gagnon’s and go through it and unfortunately, few of them will probably go to his web site to look at the in-depth research that he has done. It’s sad to think that we live in the information age but people today want all the information catered to them and are not interested in doing any work.

While short, I must say that it is good to see Gagnon demolish the opposition in this one. Those who are wanting to see a debate on the topic in book form can start here and hopefully more will follow and as this increasingly becomes more of an issue, I am sure that more will follow. I am also thankful that we have as astute a scholar as Gagnon on our side in this.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What More Can We Do?

What options do Christians have to make sure their liberties are defended? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last night, I was discussing the court’s decision Friday with my men’s group as we tried to decide what we could do. The first option that came up was vote. Vote for leaders that align with our beliefs and get them to do the work they’re supposed to do. Now I have no problem with this in principle. That’s how we all vote after all. My problem is that we often do this as if the solution is the government and we have to start at the top. We are in essence in many ways saying we want government to be our savior. It cannot be. Government is in many ways a necessary evil. We have to have government just because men are evil and there needs to be a visible representation that we are not a law unto ourselves.

But what can we do otherwise? Last time I said we can be the church. We are still to do that. The Roman Empire got turned upside down by a group that was a definite minority at the start. This group did not have the internet or CNN or any multimedia to spread their message. They did write documents, but they relied a lot on word of mouth. Somehow, they did it. Somehow, they overcame. They overcame so much that at this moment, there are billions all over the world who are ready to lay down their lives for Jesus Christ right now.

We are not in a minority, but the homosexual movement started out that way, and they got their work done. We Christians didn’t do as good a job. Consider Chick-Fil-A Day. We were tired of what the homosexual movement was doing to businesses like Chick-Fil-A, so we had so many of us go to Chick-Fil-A that day and their sales were greater than they had ever been before. We can consider that a great victory. When we had this great victory then, we went and…..did absolutely nothing. We sat back down as if our work was done. Yes. We will stand up for a chicken sandwich, but we will not stand up for marriage.

And then A&E went after Duck Dynasty. We were angry again and a Facebook page was set up immediately demanding that Duck Dynasty be restored to its original status. When Cracker Barrel started to join in saying they were pulling Duck Commander material, we protested immediately and Cracker Barrel retracted immediately. Eventually, A&E did as well. We had our victory. We took this great momentum and with that momentum we went and did….absolutely nothing. So it looks like for Christians, it was more important to get our television shows the way we want them, but it wasn’t important to stand up for marriage.

No more then.

If we want to change things, we have to be willing to do the work ourselves. We can’t depend on our leaders to do all the work. Even in the Christian community, we can’t count on the big name defenders of marriage to do all the work. It will take the work of those of us who are laymen to get the job done. I recommend doing what I’ve done. I’ve already formed a group here in Knoxville for those of us who are like-minded to start meeting together and equipping one another. We will also be praying for our nation together and making sure we’re humbling ourselves and repenting for any wrongs we’ve done. Let’s be clear. We can think the homosexual community has done wrong to marriage, but the heterosexual community did it first.

This might seem small, but that’s how these start off. We start from the bottom and go up, just like the early church did. The early church did not start by trying to change the government and making a march on Rome. They just spoke to the people around them and got them to see the importance of being a Christian. We can do the same thing.

If you really think there is a problem here, then do something about it, just like the homosexual activists did. If you think there’s a problem and you do nothing about it, you’re really being a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

When Christian action is not action

Are you really making a difference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many times, Christians get offended over something that happens in the media. I’m not complaining about this per se. It can happen. Sometimes, the offense is justifiable. What’s the response often? “I won’t buy this product,” or “I’m going to cancel my service,” or “I won’t shop there,” or “I won’t watch their TV shows, their movies, or listen to their music.” In doing so, many Christians think that they are taking a stand.

Let’s use Amazon as an example. Some Christians don’t shop there because Amazon supports practices they don’t believe in. What does the Christian often do then? “I will just shop somewhere else. That will show them!”

Really? Let’s think about that a little bit.

It would be hard to guess how many customers Amazon has but they are one of the largest companies in the world no doubt. Numerous people shop there, including me. My in-laws usually get me Amazon gift cards for my birthday and Christmas and anyone who doesn’t know what to get me and wants to get me a gift knows that they can just go and get a gift card and that will be enough for me.

So all of those customers all over the world, which probably number in the billions….

And you are going to stop shopping there to take a stand.

I am just sure Amazon is really feeling the heat.

The sad part also is that a Christian can really feel like they’re doing something when in fact, they’re not really doing anything. Now keep in mind this is different from someone who acts out of a personal moral stance. If you think it would be immoral for you to buy from Amazon, then don’t buy from Amazon. That is not the problem. I am not telling you to buy or not to buy. I am just saying that the idea of refusing to shop there on your own is not going to make a difference. Amazon will not notice you.

Wal-Mart is another example of a company like this. When I used to work there, we often had a joke up front when we met customers who decided to get angry and say “I am never going to shop here again!” We wanted to have them go and stand in front of a wall and hold a sign saying something like “Never coming back again.” Then we’d use a Polaroid instant camera and take a picture and post it on the wall and just watch and see. Of course, no one ever did that, but the joke was funny because it really wasn’t a threat. Considering the attitude of some customers, many people in retail would be glad to see some people never come back again.

Now if you think you’re doing a service for God by refusing to shop somewhere, then you can think you’ve taken a Christian stand when in reality, your stand is not affecting anyone whatsoever. Pick whatever major company you want. You are not making a difference.

Are there some exceptions to this? Yes. What makes them exceptions shows what we’re lacking in the Christian world today.

First off, how about the reverse instead? Shop at companies that support what you support and are Christian businesses and let them know Take the time to thank them for good service and for holding to the position that they hold. They need to be told this. This also puts more money in the hands of someone who is going to hopefully do some actual good for the Kingdom.

Second, organization. This is the problem majorly with boycotts. We do not have organization. Let’s start with one reverse example that worked great. Chick-Fil-A Day.

Let’s suppose that Chick-Fil-A Day had not been planned but that one morning, some Christians got up and decided to post on Facebook and say “Let’s all go to Chick-Fil-A today and stand up for traditional marriage.” Think that would have made the evening news?

It would be amazing if it even made local news.

What made Chick-Fil-A day a success was it was planned out. Christians knew in advance. We had a time. We had numerous places. We had the reason. We all agreed and discussed this as well using social media. Christians came together and did something. Whether someone thinks it was right or wrong, they did something. What we did that day was show that we can take action and we sent Chick-Fil-A’s sales soaring through the roof.

Let’s use another example that was a boycott. Duck Dynasty. When the events with Phil Robertson took place, Christians started immediately organizing on Facebook and calling A&E and cancelling their cable subscriptions. When Cracker Barrel started joining in with A&E, Christians immediately made a concentrated effort. In both cases, the companies relented. Christians won the battle.

Notice in both cases what was needed. Organization. It was not one person doing something. It was Christians gathered together who had a unified cause, a reason to fight, and a clear goal in mind.

You know what the real great tragedy of this is? That in all these cases when Christians came together and did something, as soon as they were done with their mission, they went right back to their ordinary lives. “Yes. I do realize that the homosexual agenda is often going after our freedoms and I do think that marriage is something sacred and should be honored, but frankly, we got Duck Dynasty restored to where it was. Isn’t that enough?”

Looks like a TV show was more important to most Americans than marriage itself.

Christians seem to be a group that wins a major battle and then retreats back to their safety bubbles instead of going forward. Those who are our intellectual enemies are not doing such a thing and if we ever plan to win the culture war, we have got to learn to move forward. No one ever wins a war just by fighting on the defensive. At some point in time, you have to take the battle straight to the enemy and challenge them directly.

Another case where a boycott could also work would be in a small community. Suppose a new business shows up like say a new Mom and Pop grocery store. Then it becomes apparent to the community that this store is anti-Christian. Since this is a local community and the store doesn’t have a global market, the community can band together and say “We will not shop there” and the store is going to have to make some drastic changes then.

The trouble as has been said is that Christians need to do something in the culture war, but what they are doing is something that will not make a difference but sadly convince them that they are making a difference. If you want to do something like this, then get organized, and it will take more than you and your immediate family and friends. It will take a concentrated global effort. Honestly, if more Christians were willing to come and work together and get over some of our petty secondary issues (Age of the Earth, style of worship, end times beliefs, etc.) we could do something. When we came together on Chick-Fil-A day and to restore Duck Dynasty, no one was worrying about that. That should prove we can all work together. We can discuss those issues, but let us not spend so much time fighting each other with friendly fire that we miss the real enemies coming into our camps.

Please do take action Christians. We must. We will all pay the price if we do not. When you do something that you think is taking a stand, check and see if it really is. If it’s not really making a change for the Kingdom of God, then find something else that is.

My Fear With Houston

Is there a reason the church isn’t having an impact in America? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of us know about the story in Houston where pastors have been told to send in their sermons on homosexuality by the mayor. Thankfully, there has been a pushback to this and not just pastors in Houston, but pastors all over the world, even as far as Australia. It’s good to see members of the church sticking up for themselves finally, but I have a great fear about what’s going on.

What is that? Well back at the time of Chick-Fil-A Day, we had several people line up at Chick-Fil-A’s all across the country. That included me and my family. We all wanted to take our part. Chick-Fil-A set record sales that day and we sent a message to the people that many of us do believe still in traditional marriage or at least Chick-Fil-A’s freedom to hold the beliefs that they hold.

After this great victory, the church showed its further determination in the battle by….

Okay. They didn’t. The church went home the next day and did absolutely nothing with the momentum that they had just created. They went out and bought themselves chicken sandwiches. That was their duty at the time and with that done, they can finally get back to their comfortable lifestyles. The battle had been won after all.

Then we had the Phil Robertson situation. When Phil Robertson was suspended from Duck Dynasty, Christians immediately started cancelling their accounts with A&E and disconnecting their Cable. A Facebook page was set up instantly and it had a million likes on it quite quickly. Christians refused to back down and when the battle was won, Christians followed this up by….

Well, they did nothing again. They had their favorite TV show back and that was enough.

Of course, let’s not forget Suntrust. When Suntrust was found to have cancelled an account of two Christians who were opposed to homosexual behavior, Christians immediately went to their Facebook page to protest and started saying they were going to transfer their accounts over. Suntrust relented and the church continued in the battle by….

What a shock. Again, the church did nothing.

Now we’ll sit back and watch the news and see what is going on in our country and wonder “How did we get to this position?”

Brace yourselves. I have a suggestion.

Could it be we got where we are because the church has been more interested in its own comfort and what Christianity can do for them than it is for spreading the Kingdom of God? Biblically, we’re supposed to be the bride of Christ, yet what would we think of a bride who expected their husband to wait on them hand and foot, to do everything for them, and didn’t give anything in return.

And yet, what kind of bride are we here in America to Christ?

You see church, while we’ve been sitting around discussing how we feel about certain passages in the Bible and having concerts and pizza parties for our youth, the world has been changing all around us. While we’ve been having classes on how to be good parents (And there’s nothing wrong with that), many parents have been killing their own children in the womb. While we’ve been having classes on marriage enrichment (And there is nothing wrong with that), the culture of divorce has sprung upon us and pre-marital sex has become the norm. While we’ve been having classes offered at churches on self-defense (And there is nothing wrong with that), we’ve been neglecting spiritual and intellectual self-defense and our youth have gone off to college and apostasized.

The church can win battles. The problem is the church just doesn’t show up.

The other problem is that when we win a battle, we do nothing. Imagine a general in a war who spends all his time trying to win a spot on the battlefield that the enemy has taken. When he is successful and has the enemy on the run, he has his army sit back and do nothing more. Such a general would soon find himself replaced.

We’re in a culture war. There’s a little tip here that should be obvious. The only way you win wars is by fighting in them. Too many of us have taken the attitude as if we are to be gentle Jesus meek and mild. I’m not sure what NT these people are reading, but it’s not the one I read. Meek and mild people do not get crucified. They are not threats to anyone. At best, they are annoyances that the establishment will walk over.

Which is kind of the way the church is viewed today. You can do whatever you want to them. They won’t stand up. They won’t do anything about it. These same people would not dare try anything like this in a Muslim country. They know that Muslims would not sit back and take it. Now I’m certainly not advocating we use violent means like I think Muslims too often would to protest against what’s going on, but I am asking that we at least have the spine to stand up for ourselves.

Would you enter into a battle if you did not think you had at least a good chance of winning? Of course not. You want to be able to live or at least be healthy. So the question we have to ask is why are there so many people in this country who are willing to take on Christianity and the church and fight against them?

Answer: They’re sure they can win the battle.

Sad reality: They’re right.

They don’t have to be. Christians have shown they can win battles. The problem is we’re just not going out and fighting. We too often have the escapist mentality going on and think that this world just doesn’t really matter. It’s not our home. It’s just passing through. All that matters is my individual comfort. Don’t make me risk myself for the cause of Christ.

Well Christianity is not about just you.

Christ did not die for your personal comfort.

You are called to be a slave of Christ. He is your absolute master. You are to do what He says and part of what He said is the Great Commission. That will not make you feel comfortable a lot of times when you do it. Tough.

We often talk about how much Jesus means to us and how He is worth everything to us, but when push comes to shove, we don’t show it. How do I know that? Look at the way America is today. It got that way because Christians sat back and did nothing. If we continue to sit back and do nothing, we can expect the trend will continue. If we actually get up and stand up for ourselves, we can expect a reversal.

I’ve been hoping for a long time the church will wake up and realize what is going on. So far, my expectations have not been realized. May that soon change. My fear is not that we will lose the battle. (In fact, losing the battle with the case of Houston could spur us to fight even harder.) My fear is that we will win the battle and then do nothing.

In Christ,

Nick Peters