PC (USA) leaders encourage those who are disaffected by the recent decisions of their General Assembly to stay with the denomination and try to effect change from within the system. But the system itself has become a forum for political debate instead of spiritual awakening. One of the several points seemingly up for debate is how to obtain salvation. Really? If that isn’t enough there are others – Israeli divestment issues, abortion, same sex marriage, and so much more. To stay inside this PC (USA) under these circumstances communicates to the world that we are okay with creative non answers to basic questions of salvation that cater more to the culture than to Scripture. They would have us to believe that pretty much anything “loving” is acceptable. How sad! Just an anything goes attitude is very definitely not acceptable. Not just to some of us, but in the eyes of God. Consider these verses, try different translations, or go back to the source material. The implication that just about anything goes cannot be found here.
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God”. John 3:19-21
We need to be careful not to “conform to the pattern of this world” so that we may find “His good pleasing and perfect will”. Romans 12:2.
People have always sinned. Some ask for forgiveness out of repentant hearts, receive it and continue in grace. Others look for excuses and choose to spin the Truth seeking justification for their acts done in the darkness. But there is only ONE justification for our sins:
“He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification”. (Romans 4:25)
“Through Him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses”. (Acts 13:39)
There is no justification without Jesus, who said,
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well”. John 13:6-7a
And of course there is John 3:16 which is so crystal clear: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him might be saved”. Try something here, read it this way: “For God so loved (insert your name) that He gave His only Son that (your name) might be saved”. Pause now and take a moment to realize in your heart that He would have done this for you even if you were the only human on earth to rescue.
When you have been rescued and forgiven, God places a desire deep within you to serve God, to study His Word, pray, fellowship and serve with other believers.
Some would instead encourage us into useless debate. Are you aware of a 2010 report published by the PC (USA) entitled “Religious and Demographic Profile of Presbyterians” which revealed that “less than half (of Presbyterians in the PC (USA))…believe Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation”? Less than half? Only 35% of pastors and 45% percent of elders agree that Jesus is the only way to salvation. This is an incredible report. is this acceptable to you? And do the rest of the people think they have just joined some kind of social club? What’s the point without the saving grace found only through Jesus Christ? Why would God sacrifice His only Son if there was any other way to save us? If there was another truth?
Additionally PC (USA) leaders have been asked for the Biblical justification for one of their recent decisions. Their answer was a non-answer. They referred to a couple of books written by non-seminarians with agendas to forward. There was no Light and no Truth, therefore, there is no Way that they gave an acceptable answer. Maybe they were doing their best to satisfy the requirements of their jobs. Call me naive but when you have found the Way, the Truth and the Life why would you willingly turn away? When you have been forgiven and freed from the guilt of your sins why would you want to throw that away in order to return to the deeds done in the darkness?
They point out that we can stay and continue our missions wherever we feel led and the decisions of the General Assembly should not be an undue burden to us. But friends, one can only share the salvation story and introduce people to Jesus and His grace when the effort is soaked in the love of God and carried out under God’s direction. I fear if we abandon sound Biblical teaching in favor of that which “itches the ears” perhaps God’s voice and leadership will not be heard among us at all.
“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations”. 2 Timothy 4:3-5a
Further, we are asked to stay because they need conservative voices to contribute to the conversation. Clearly The PC (USA) does not really want to hear or heed conservative voices. Read today’s news to see that the world desperately needs to experience the Truth in action, not just in words. We need to carry the truth to the world and to the neighbors in our back yard far more than the PC (USA) needs us to stay and debate. How is it that God’s truth is debatable anyway? But Thanks Be to God! There is forgiveness – consider again the Sacred Scripture references previously mentioned, open your Bible, you will find forgiveness and so much more. The Way, the Truth and the Life waits. Don’t let it wait too long.