[Fire Away! Podcast] Episode 025 – Real Christian Love For Homosexuals

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  • On today’s show Landon discusses accepting an invitation to be a contributor to Pulpit & Pen, Protestant Christian’s fascination with Lent, a creepy article about Jesus wanting to spend time with us, and what real Christian love for homosexuals looks like.

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The Art of Social Media Escape: Jefferson Bethke Endorses God-Hating Macklemore

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Titus 2:11–14 [ESV]  For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

Leaders and celebrity Christians in American Evangelicalism have found themselves in quite a quandary.  While they realize the need to actively participate in the social media world to reach their followers, in doing so they open themselves up to widespread commentary from those that may not agree with them.  So what is an overseer to do?

Enter the “block” button (aka the “banhammer“).

Yesterday, a faithful sister in Christ responded to the following tweet posted by celebrity Christian Jefferson Bethke:

by asking a simple question:

She went on later that afternoon to respond to another Tweet from Mr. Bethke that mentioned he and his wife’s upcoming podcast:

If you were thinking Mrs. Lam would receive an answer to this very simple question for a Christian leader, you would be wrong.  Instead, she experienced first-hand how many celebrity pastors and Christians respond to sincere, Bible-based questions regarding things they have posted on social media:

That’s right, Mrs. Lam was immediately blocked by Jefferson Bethke upon her asking him if he shared the Gospel with someone who openly mocks Christians and is hostile to the Word of God.  So much for being above reproach.

Some of you might be saying, “But Landon, it’s not like Mr. Bethke is a pastor or something.  The qualifications for an overseer (1 Timothy 3) don’t apply to him!”  My dear friends, if this is what you’re thinking, you are dead wrong.  Ever since rising to Christian fame through his spoken word YouTube video, Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus, and subsequent book, Jesus > Religion, Mr. Bethke has been an influential teacher in modern-day Christianity; specifically influential amongst Millennials.  The simple truth is that Mr. Bethke has positioned himself as a teacher of Christianity, someone who has authority and ability to teach the Word of God.  As someone in that position, one would do well to be conscious of the Biblical requirements thereby added to their account.

Further, as Paul made clear to Titus (Titus 2:11-12), the Grace of God has appeared, in part, to train “us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions”.  As someone who on his “About” page claims he is “…quite the avid grace lover,” should he not then make it a point to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions?  And with that truth firmly established, should not Mr. Bethke then make it a point to renounce and warn about Macklemore and his promotion of ungodliness, worldly passions, and hostility toward the Word of God?

The obvious answer to those questions are yes, Jefferson Bethke should not only end his endorsement of Macklemore, he should make it a point to publicly renounce those previous endorsements and warn Christians to stay away from his music.

If you are unfamiliar with Macklemore, I will briefly explain why this man is not someone with whom Christians should associate.  Macklemore is an American rapper whose real name is Ben Haggerty.  Without diving into his complete discography, suffice to say that Mr. Haggerty has been a popular and influential musician in America since roughly the year 2012.

On his October 2012 album, The Heist, Macklemore voiced his support of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage in the song “Same Love”, which also condemns homophobia in mainstream hip-hop, society, and mass media.1  On January 26, 2014, Macklemore performed Same Love at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, where Queen Latifah read marriage vows for 33 couples (both gay and straight) who lined the aisles. “This is a love song, not for some of us but for all of us,” she said, followed by an appearance from Madonna singing “Open Your Heart”.2  Further, Macklemore was criticized for a performance he gave at Seattle’s Experience Music Project in May 2014 where he was dressed as a stereotypical Jew.3

Despite claims to the contrary, even from the man himself, Macklemore is a religious person and, as illustrated in the previous paragraph, does seek to convey his version of religion through his music.  Have a look at some of his lyrics:

Playing God, aw nah here we go:
America the brave still fears what we don’t know.
And “God loves all his children” is somehow forgotten,
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago.

Further, in this track released in 2009, Macklemore trades verses with fellow rapper Geological about the church and its lack of spiritual connection:

The word of our God is manipulated and twisted by the same system
That has infiltrated and falsely interpreted Jesus.
One life, one love, one God, it’s us, treated your neighbor how you would want to be treated.
The universal laws of God, don’t look too far, it’s right here, us human beings.
The spirit’s right here and I don’t have to see it.
Now every time I want to connect with God I put my headphones on. . . .
All right see, I be going to Sunday school every week
In the back trying to read, but see that something was off.
Maybe it was cause I was trying to huddle in the yard.
Preacher didn’t connect when he would mumble the Psalms.

Tyler Day of ChristianCentury.org summed this up well when he asked how we could categorize Macklemore’s theology.  Ethical humanism with a tinge of anthropomorphic universalism?

Maybe it’s best we don’t. At one point he calls rap “an accurate representation of who people are as individuals and the environment that they grew up in.” The same may be true of Macklemore’s theology: it’s an accurate representation of a culture of seekers, the spiritual but not religious, the label repellent. They use traditional language to speak of new forms and subjective reality. They prefer a bar to a church. Because as Macklemore says in “Neon Cathedral,” “Round here they sing broken hymns. /Their prayers flow better when they’re soaked in gin.”4  In other words, this man is a postmodern to the core.

Should any Christian be endorsing this guy?  Absolutely not!  Why, then, is Jefferson Bethke not only endorsing Macklemore and his assault on the Christ Mr. Bethke claims to profess, but subsequently blocking anyone who dare ask that very question?  The problem lies within the theology of what made Mr. Bethke a Christian celebrity in the first place and what Andy Stanley has recently decided to adopt; this idea that church is bad and Jesus is good.  It’s the theology that the church is preventing people from “making decisions for Jesus” and thus inherently denies the sovereignty of God.

In a Twitter post back in February of 2013, Mr. Bethke was asked what he thought of Macklemore:

He looks up to a man who hates God and mocks Christians all in the name of “tolerance”?  Really?  When then confronted about how Macklemore’s music in any way glorifies God he responded:

As Mr. Huntrods correctly went on to point out, Paul is addressing non-believers, not Christians.  He’s also presenting the Gospel, not making general statements – context is important.  Why should Christians buy the next Macklemore album to hear about their hypocrisy and failure when God gave us His inerrant, infallible, and thoroughly sufficient Word?

Please understand I am in no way making a judgment regarding Mr. Bethke’s eternal salvation and whether or not he is a brother in Christ, that is not my place.  But as a high-profile professing believer, it distresses me greatly that he would not answer a simple Biblical question and instead opt to run away from the concern.

Unfortunately, this is the new norm when it comes to high-profile Christian leaders; they publicly post and/or present something anti-Biblical, ecumenical, or theologically incorrect and when their public teaching is challenged publicly, they either run away (block the person) or turn and launch an aggressive reputation-smearing campaign and incorrectly label the challenger a hypocrite and a Pharisee.  Sure doesn’t seem very “loving”, does it?

Thus, it is reasonable to ask why, as a Christian leader, Mr. Bethke continues to endorse an unregenerate man and his anti-biblical, God-hating music to Christians.

With the evidence presented, Christians would do well to personally ask Jefferson Bethke why he gets his inspiration from someone who hates God and beg of him to repent and turn from such filth.

Just don’t be surprised when you you are ignored and bear the brunt of the banhammer.

BanHammer

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Landon

Landon

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Founder of the site, writer, and host of the Fire Away! podcast. He is a Reformed Baptist that professes the Bible to be the infallible, inerrant, and thoroughly sufficient Word of God.


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The Daily Discovery (March 2, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching – “Despite the many books on preaching, bad homiletical models of expository preaching still exist. They come from various sources and are influenced by a variety of factors. Often it is not the model itself that is at fault, but the use made of it. They include…”

Pastoring Women in Complementarian Contexts – “Complementarians celebrate that men and women are not interchangeable, that while we are created equal in value and dignity as image-bearers and co-rulers of creation, we are distinct from one another in good and mutually beneficial ways. Unless your church is a statistical outlier, more than half of its seats are filled each week by women, which means that a majority of your congregation is not like you in some fairly significant ways. Studies show that women form moral judgments differently than men do, that they have different communication styles and different relational needs.”

How to Memorize the Biblical Narrative (Part 1) – “Christ can only be truly and properly known through the revelation presented in the entirety of God’s Word. The British theologian Alister McGrath notes that Scripture is regarded as a channel through which God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ is encountered. Faith accepts Scripture as a testimony to Christ, and submits to Christ as the one of whom Scripture speaks.”

Who? – “The heavens are not pure in thy sight, and thou chargest thine angels with folly, who then of mortal mould shall dwell with thee, thou dread consuming fire? A sense of the glory of the Lord and of the holiness which becomes his house, his service, and his attendants, excites the humble mind to ask the solemn question before us.”

Equipping Eve: Sad Church Visits – “I haven’t been church shopping, but I have been visiting other churches to observe their style of worship. In this episode, I’ll share what almost brought me to tears during one of these excursions. Bring your Bibles, ladies, as we hold this church’s teaching up to the light of God’s Word.”

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Post Debate Thoughts

LandonChristianity1 Comment

tripping

This article was originally published at Pulpit & Pen.


Pastor Hall reached out and asked that I thank everyone that prayed for the debate and prayed that we might obtain the audio of said debate released in full.  He’s very appreciative of all of you.  He also wanted me to say one thing very clearly, and that is grace and peace and goodwill to everyone involved.

As Pastor Hall said previously, he will release his post-debate thoughts, after taking time to be with his family and is in the midst of a few weeks vacation, beginning with the 2015 Shepherd’s Conference. As of the moment, he, his wife and four small children are on an epic road-trip on the way to LA.

That said, I’d like to comment on some observations I’ve made the past few days.

I’d like to begin by saying I pray, as Christian men and women, we would continue to pray for a spirit of charity and brotherly love – even among those on different sides of certain doctrinal aisles. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, “…those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Are we doing that, brothers?

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The Daily Discovery (February 28-March 1, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Political Bullying and Intimidation Over Evolution – “The topic of evolution, especially regarding how politicians have responded when asked if they believe in evolution or not, has been in the news lately. The very liberal Huffington Post published an article on the topic stating the following…”

Beware the “Gospel In A Bottle” – “It is beautiful.  It is captivating.  It boasts an inspiring, powerful message presented in the most stirring of words  – language more than capable of making eyes weep and chins quiver with emotion.”

Conditional Faithfulness – “The Bible continually discusses God’s faithfulness and the need for us to have complete faith in Him. But what exactly does the Bible say about the faith we are to have in God? And what about God’s faithfulness? Does His faithfulness extend to all people? All believers unconditionally? Or is God’s faithfulness conditional at times based on our behaviors?”

Announcement: We’ll be Blogging through Shepherd’s Conference 2015 Inerrancy Summit Next Week! – “We’re trying to wrap our blog series on the Christian worldview, film and Comics soon because next week all three bloggers from Veritas Domain would reunite at The Shepherd’s Conference. This year’s theme is on Inerrancy and is the biggest ever. They have called it The Inerrancy Summit and have brought many different speakers that normally don’t come out but they are for this occasion such as Kevin DeYoung and Carl Trueman.”

The Word-less “Church” – “Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?”

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The Daily Discovery (February 27, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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Getting Specific With Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp – “It dawned on me this past week while listening to a sermon by Alistair Begg on the Second Commandment that both Sarah Young and Ann Voskamp trample on the Second Commandment in their books, Jesus Calling and One Thousand Gifts. Both books have been widely popular among women and the men of the church have been dreadfully absent in offering any correction or critique.”

Is the apostate church in our time the scarlet woman? – “When my dad died in 2010 I inherited my grandfather’s Bible. My grandfather was a remarkable man. He was born in 1877 and became a preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in the 1890’s in Indian Territory, which is now Oklahoma. My grandfather preached from this Bible well into the 1950’s. It is full of notes and his own cross-references. However, there is one thing in the bible that no one, apparently, knew was there. It is a letter written to him from one of his sisters, Lucy. It had to have been written to him either in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s since she died around that time. Below is a quote from it that I found especially fitting in light of the present condition of the visible church.”

Moore vs. Moore – “Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, of Ten Commandments fame, is back in the news this month after a US District Court Judge declared Alabama’s ban on Same Sex Marriage unconstitutional. Judge Moore believes the district court has no bearing on Alabama law and ordered the lower courts to not comply with the ruling.”

A Critique of Dr. Peter Enns’ Book The Bible Tells Me So – “What we know of Jesus Christ’s love and grace comes to us through the reliable testimony of God’s Word. That simple and beautiful biblical truth, summed up in the familiar phrase ‘The Bible tells me so’ from the hymn ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ introduces many children to the love of Jesus. This sweet refrain also reminds adults that God’s revelation to us in His Word is the foundation for faith and the ultimate source of truth. A new book capitalizing on the familiar song—The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It by Dr. Peter Enns—is a collection of compromises, written for the layman.”

Contending and Defending – “How do you, and how do we, share the truth about what’s been happening in the modern church in a way that glorifies God? It’s a fine line we all need to walk every day. Today we’re going to talk about the discernment landscape out there, and share our philosophy about why we contend for the faith, and why anyone would want to call themselves a watchman on the wall these days.”

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The Daily Discovery (February 26, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
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Two Father Babies Could Become A Reality – “Researchers from Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have shown for the first time that human egg and sperm cells can be made from stem cells in the skin of two adults. It raises the possibility a baby could be ‘manufactured’ in a dish, The Sunday Times reported.”

VWR Launches Free iOS App! – “Pulpit & Pen is pleased to announce the Voice in the Wilderness Radio iOS application is now available in the App Store.  Similar to the Android application and live streaming on the web, the iOS application brings 24/7 streaming of solid expository preaching from faithful preachers in unassuming locations.”

Believe and You’ll Be Saved – “Paul and Silas went to Philippi to preach the gospel. Luke, the author of Acts (and also of the gospel of the same name), was among the missionary brethren that accompanied them. One of the first persons they converted was a woman named Lydia who was then baptized along with her whole household. Some scholars believe it was in Lydia’s home that the Philippian church began. When Paul wrote Philippians, that letter would have been read aloud to the gathering of believers meeting in Lydia’s house.”

Preparing Your Heart for Worship – “It is very important that we take time to prepare our hearts to worship God before we set foot in the sanctuary on Sunday morning. God made this clear amid the awesome circumstances of the giving of the law in Exodus 19. God called the people to prepare to come into His presence, or near His presence, but not actually onto the mountain where He would speak to Moses. ‘Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.'”

When I Glory in My Shame – “There is nothing my dog won’t do for food. There is no command she won’t obey when we are looking, and no rule she won’t break when we are looking away, if only she can get a bit of food in her belly. I guess it is hard to fault her since, as a Lab, every gene in her body drives her to gorge herself. It’s like Paul was writing about her and her breed when he said,’ Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things’ (Philippians 3:19). Food is her idol, her god, the thing that will motivate her to do anything or everything.”

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The Daily Discovery (February 25, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Homosexuality and the Great Falling Away – “Is this the time of a great falling away as warned about so long ago? Christians will know what I am referring to here. The word apostasy has to do with falling away, and the New Testament often warns us about this. And it also speaks about some hard core rebellion and apostasy occurring before the Lord comes again.”

Joint Statement of Unity and Forgiveness: Joel McDurmon and Jordan D. Hall – “With thankfulness we announce that we have spoken as brethren dwelling together in unity and have reached a mutual accord regarding our current dispute. We regret that the spirit and tone of the current discord we have caused has been unworthy of the body of Christ. We seek above all to restore His glory in our relations and to demonstrate the purity and peace of His church.”

Situational Hitting: A Personal Perspective on Apologetic Method – “If I didn’t believe that the gospel was true, I would have no incentive whatsoever to make a defense of it. Since I do believe that the gospel is true, I do have an incentive, upon which I act, to defend it. Thus, whenever I engage in apologetic activity, I do so presupposing that the gospel is true. I would not say, however, that this makes me a presuppositional apologist. In fact, I would not say that my apologetic activity is grounded in any specifically identified apologetic method; it is grounded in scripture.”

The Marketing and Branding of the Post-Modern Church – “Why do so many evangelicals appear to be chasing hollow and deceptive philosophies, practically begging to be taken captive? Have they fallen prey to slick marketing campaigns, packaged, big-box sermonettes and feel-good pep-talks that have replaced timeless, eternal, doctrinal truths? Thankfully no; there is still a remnant hanging on tight to the Word of God as sufficient inerrant and authoritative.”

God’s Will and the Christian Genocide – “Today on Stand Up For The Truth we are asking for your thoughts and Scripture verses as we look at a topic many Christians struggle with: How does one discern God’s will, and then follow it? We’re going to share Part 1 and Part 2 of an excellent series by one of our authors, Marsha West, titled, ‘Finding God’s Will is No Deep Dark Secret.'”

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The Daily Discovery (February 24, 2015)

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ARTICLES I LIKE FROM AROUND THE WEB:
(Click title to go to full article)

Busyness Is Not GODliness – “Are you so busy that you wear yourself to exhaustion? I mean literal exhaustion. Are you so tired it takes massive amounts of caffeine just to make it through the morning? Perhaps you are so worn out that trudging through the day takes all you have. Have you spread yourself so thin with your commitments that by the time you tuck the kids in you pass out on top of them?”

Sufficient Fire conference audio and video are available – “In case you missed the announcement Friday, Copperfield Bible Church, and the volunteers who worked on the conference, have now made available the audio and video from the Sufficient Fire conference sessions, both the talks and the panels.”

Instructions to the Dying – “Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) is most famous for (1) his ontological argument for the existence of God and (2) the satisfaction theory of the atonement.  But today, I’d like to share my favorite quote from Anselm. It is found in his “Exhortation to a Dying Man,” in which he consoles those who are about to face death by asking them a series of questions.”

Facts > Feelings = Positive Faith – “As part of my passion to communicate the ideas in The Happy Christian, I asked the designer, Eric Chimenti, to produce some graphics that would encapsulate the message of the whole book (see yesterday’s post), and the essence of each chapter. I loved what he produced and also his explanation of the thinking process behind each image.”

How Memorization Feeds Your Imagination – “While I’ve never found myself in solitary confinement, I have experienced a close substitute. While waiting to leave for Marine Corps boot camp, I spent a summer working in a factory in Moberly, Missouri making parking brakes. For eight hours a day my sole duty was to sit in front of a metal grinder and smooth the rough edges off the parts to be assembled. The mindless task freed me to be alone with my thoughts for about 2,400 minutes a week. But it took only about 24 minutes before I realized the material in my head was as dull and dreary as the factory around me.”

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Andy Stanley: Even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God, you will have a better life by following his teachings

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Remember the old days where churches had steeples and stained glass windows? Remember when there were pews and a choir that sang edifying hymns to our Lord? Remember those days when people wore suits and ties and ladies wore dresses and heels trying to present their best to our God? Remember those days when children used to go to Sunday School classes and learn the Bible and families went to service and the pastor preached a sermon? “Well,” says Andy Stanley, “the greatest thing about all of this, is we don’t have to do that anymore,” he proclaims in his latest sermon series, “Brand New.”

Hot on the heels of seemingly preparing to endorse homosexual sin, Stanley is making it abundantly clear that he has no qualms about changes that are being made in today’s churches, and he’s proud of it.

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