Category Archives: PC(USA)

Is the PC (USA) looking for the Way, the Truth and the Life?

 

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.

 

 

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So What do We have to lose? Part 2 of 2

(Continued from yesterday)
As you know if you’ve read previous posts I am not happy with the PC (USA) right now. My church has embarked on a course of action that cannot end well. This has saddened me, but also galvanized me to speak out in a way I never have before. I am much more comfortable sitting on the pew telling myself that someone with more knowledge than I will come forward and fix all that is broken. I can’t do that anymore. I am moving way out of my comfort zone in sharing my thoughts and convictions with you and I know not everyone agrees with what I have said and what I will say. It is not my intention to stir up controversy, but with God’s help to be ready with answers when called upon to account for my position. I am willing to enter into productive conversation on the topic that helps me explore my positions and helps you explore yours.

Onward.

The General Assembly of the PC (USA) would ask us how staying affiliated with them hurts our mission and ministry. The PC (USA) left us choosing instead to participate with the culture instead of offering the culture a better choice. This hampers our mission by distorting our message! It forces us to be associated with ideas and politics that are not in line with Biblical teaching. It makes the world look at us and identify us with questionable endorsements – and divestments.

I have some better questions.

Does the PC (USA) project an image to the world that makes us proud of its recent and not so recent decisions? Does it represent me (and many others) or my views on the world, the culture, politics and now finally and most glaring of all – in living out my faith? Is this an organization that we would want to welcome others to join?

Consider parents who want to find a church home in which to raise their children. Will they be drawn to a church that gives so much attention to political and cultural themes instead of Scriptural integrity? Or will they be drawn to a family of believers more concerned with teaching and maintaining sound Biblical principles if and when that stand is in opposition to the world around them? Would people with or without children be drawn to a family of believers that loves and supports each other and stands ready even with little notice to respond to a crisis?

I don’t want to be different for the sake of being different, but my friends we are called by God to be different! The debt of love we owe to God for His undying unconditional love and the sacrifice of His only Son for us can never be repaid no matter how good we try to be. The least we can do is to live out our redeemed lives in love
and obedience to Him! That may be the least we can do, but it is also enough. With God’s help, we can be the light that shines into the dark world around us and leads others through the deceptions of this world into the light and love of God.

That kind of witness is what we have to lose.

What are you looking for?