Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The video about welcoming from Believe Out Loud-a false picture

This is not the post I promised- I am still writing on Philippians and the future of the orthodox in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). But this posting is not unrelated. The future for those of us who are orthodox, reformed and evangelical with be underlined with such perverse thoughts as found in the videos former PCUSA moderator, Bruce Reyes-Chow, has written about on his blog. His posting is My Mixed Reaction to the New Believe Out Loud Video.

The video from “Believe Out Loud” is here:

Reyes-Chow is objecting to the video because it makes the pastor more welcoming than the congregation. But my point and problem has nothing to do with that. Those of us who have family and friends who are LGBT and love and care about them as Christians know this is not a true picture at all. While we believe the practice of same gender sex is sin, we would gladly welcome them to church, and we would never put a book down beside us to keep any one from sitting beside us. The video is a false statement about Christians who do not believe that same gender sex is biblical.

But in other videos that Reyes-Chow posted, and likes, everyone who is Evangelical and conservative is simply mixed together with hate groups, as though all of our thoughts and attitudes are the same. They are not.

So this is part of the future for the orthodox members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Earlier in recent postings I wrote of Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians as they struggled against the culture of their day. Like our day that church in at least their region was afflicted with those (many) whose god was their belly (koilia, used of sexual organs as in 1Cor. 6:13, Bruce)[1] and who, because of this, were enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18-19)

The videos do speak of grace. However, it is cheap grace. God, instead, calls the church to costly grace. The grace that is given because of Jesus’ death on the cross is grace bought with blood. Such grace cost Jesus suffering and death. Christ calls us into the fellowship of his suffering.

We are called in Christ to care about, love, pray for, and proclaim the gift of forgiveness to the unrepentant sinner in our midst. We are called to proclaim that God changes and transforms. We are called as Paul puts it to “stand firm,” remembering that although we enter into the sufferings of Christ we also are given his presence and the promise that at his return we will be totally conformed to be like him (Philippians 3:20-21).

Those called to stay in the PCUSA must wear armor. Its description can be found in Eph. 6:10-18.

A good article that really clarifies how one can be loving to such a child as is in the video, one with same sex parents, can be found at Touchstone archives. The article is Distant Neighbors.

[1] See Ralph P. Martin, Philippians, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries)


Presbyman said...


I appreciate your post about true grace versus cheap grace.

When my Presbytery debated 10-A last month, I tried to lift up the idea of God's love and grace being evidenced in the sanctification of believers.

It didn't change the result of the voting (the Commissioner sitting next to me marked his ballot paper before anyone spoke, pro or con), but I hope these words planted a seed. And I hope yours will, too.

I think in the time ahead many of us in the PC(USA) will have the opportunity to reflect upon God's costly grace as we try to witness to a majority sentiment that clearly is not our own. This will be especially important if and when the voting majority exerts influence to expand the acceptability of homosexuality as as something that is actually good and should be affirmed at all levels of church governnance.

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Presbyman said...


And if some people really believe (or claim to believe) that being evangelical and non-affirming of homosexuality is somehow extreme or hateful, well, I think that's their problem, and not ours.

Only God knows the human heart.

May we hold to our convictions with firmness before men but with humility before God.

John Erthein
DeFuniak Springs, FL

Viola Larson said...

Sorry I haven't responded sooner. Today was my Monday which means busy. Yes, I think we will understand more clearly what costly grace means.