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Title: The Friction of Faith
Source: Grace to You
URL Source: https://www.gty.org/connect/johns-desk
Published: Oct 20, 2015
Author: John MacArthur
Post Date: 2015-10-20 00:29:50 by redleghunter
Ping List: *Bible Study Ping*     Subscribe to *Bible Study Ping*
Keywords: None
Views: 1099
Comments: 14

Several months ago, in an introductory sermon to the book of Acts, I made some observations about the culture in which early Christians lived: It was brutal, totally pagan, and openly anti-Christian. There was no affirmation of morality or any sort of cultural Christianity. Early believers were aliens to everything in society.

What’s more, Christians had no governmental advocacy or special protections, and so unrestrained persecution was happening all over the place. Proclaimers of the gospel essentially became martyrs. To embrace Christ often meant signing one’s own death warrant.

What was the church doing that caused such resentment, hostile treatment, and persecution? Christians preached the words of Jesus—about God becoming incarnate, the Bread of Heaven coming down. Their message was simple and clear: If you don’t repent and believe in Him, you are going to hell forever. They were confronting sin, and calling people to deny themselves and become lifelong slaves to a crucified Jew. It was a hard sell. They were preaching a gospel that was deeply offensive both to Jews and Gentiles.

As I described the situation facing the early church, I couldn’t help but think of how much our own culture has changed in recent decades, and how rapidly it is becoming Acts chapter 1. (And for that matter, Romans chapter 1.)

Perhaps, like me, you grew up in America when there was widespread cultural Christianity—a kind of Christian consensus. To some degree, people understood the church, the Bible, and the gospel. They accepted the Judeo-Christian ethic. While most people weren’t genuine Christians, there was still superficial acceptance—or, at least, tolerance—of a cultural Christianity in politics, business, education, and public life.

But where are we today? Where is the general acceptance of biblical tenets and Christian values? Where is the influence of the religious Right and the Moral Majority? Gone. No more. There is no more cultural Christianity; there is no collective Christian consensus wielding any significant power in this country. In fact, the more that Christians speak and live biblically, the more they are being labeled as extremists, homophobic, intolerant, and guilty of hate crimes. We are now aliens. And I think we can all foresee a day when being faithful Christians will cost us or our children dearly, and in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a decade ago. I think we’re closer than ever to living in conditions like the people did in the book of Acts.

“So is there any good news?” you may be asking. Actually, I believe the current situation is good news. For years I’ve been concerned about the church’s pursuit of cultural change through political and social activities. Large swaths of Christians have placed enormous time, energy, money, and hope in the wrong places. Hand in glove with that thinking, a superficial, cultural Christianity has blurred the clear lines between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of this world and has softened the hard demands of the gospel, making professing Christ easy and without cost. As a result, churches have been filled with highly religious, superficially moral, self-righteous people who don’t understand the gospel and are self-deceived about their true spiritual state.

But now, with the façade of cultural Christianity crumbling, true Christianity is starting to stand out in a way it hasn’t in our lifetime. Scripture teaches and church history confirms that the Body of Christ is most potent and most effective when it simply speaks and lives the gospel without equivocation or apology. With the mask of superficial Christianity gone, I believe the best days for the spread of the true gospel are ahead of us.

The gospel advances by personal testimony to Christ, one soul at a time. When the church acts like the church; when shepherds preach Scripture and confront error with clarity and boldness; when believers are sanctified, built up, and equipped in truth; people are saved. And that’s when the culture truly changes—nothing transforms the culture like genuine conversion.

The commitment of Grace to You is to bring God’s Word and the gospel to unbelievers and see many, many people saved. We also are committed to ministering God’s Word to God’s people. As men and women come to know, understand, and love biblical truth, they grow in sanctification. They grow in their boldness. They grow in their usefulness in ministry. Our confidence is in Christ and His perfect, powerful Word. Nothing brings us greater joy than seeing that confidence spread in and through God’s people, to His glory and honor.

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#1. To: redleghunter (#0) (Edited)

What’s more, Christians had no governmental advocacy or special protections,

Uhuh.

 


"... who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men , have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time;
 
...
 
 that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. "
 
"I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD ETERNAL HOSTILITY TO EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN"
--The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom
--Thomas Jefferson, 1786
 

VxH  posted on  2015-10-20   4:25:26 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: VxH (#1)

Welcome back.

You realize MacArthur was referring to the Roman Empire.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-20   11:54:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: redleghunter (#2)

You realize MacArthur was referring to the Roman Empire.

Same ol' state-established Ba'al shyte, different municipal toilet.

VxH  posted on  2015-10-22   12:00:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: VxH (#3)

Yeah expected that answer.

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-22   12:21:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: tomder55, CZ82, liberator, GarySpFc (#0)

PING

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-26   17:04:40 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: redleghunter (#4) (Edited)

Yeah, expected you'd still be impotent to refute the Truth.

VxH  posted on  2015-10-29   10:49:46 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: VxH (#6)

Make your point coherently and I will respond.

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-29   16:32:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: redleghunter (#7)

...and Infidel of every denomination.

VxH  posted on  2015-10-29   20:29:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: VxH, ALL (#3)

You realize MacArthur was referring to the Roman Empire.

Same ol' state-established Ba'al shyte, different municipal toilet.

Oh, so you want the insanity of the Enlightenment, where reason said, "Off with their heads." Additionally, reason gave us Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other kind citizens of depravity.

"A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is... A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-10-29   21:02:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: VxH (#8)

How so? Your of the Mason persuasion right?

"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."---Romans 5:6

redleghunter  posted on  2015-10-30   0:45:39 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: GarySpFC (#9) (Edited)

Nope. I just want the FREEDOM to search for the truth without state- established coercion.

"TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS"

YMMV.

VxH  posted on  2015-10-30   11:39:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: redleghunter (#10) (Edited)

>>How so?

"Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read, "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.   "
--- Thomas Jefferson


http://www.google.c om/? gws_rd=ssl#q=Infidel+of+every+denomination%2C+jefferson

>>Your of the Mason persuasion right?

No.  Although I have been persuaded from time to time by notions that were evidently preserved by them, erroneously and otherwise.

Erroneously, such as in the Hollywood depiction staring Chuck Heston, called "The 10 commandments" that depicts Moses as a protomason -- which now appears to be contradicted by archaeological evidence of who it evidently was that was ruling "Egypt" in the Middle Kingdom years.

Its seems the demise of whatever culture that was is just another example of the natural cyclical consequences described in Romans 1:25+... when fools pretend to be wise and worship themselves atop their STEM dejoure.

VxH  posted on  2015-10-30   11:52:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: GarySpFC (#9)

What would CS Lewis have to say about the poison of state-established subjectivity, hmmm?

VxH  posted on  2015-10-30   12:12:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: GarySpFC (#9) (Edited)

reason gave us Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and other kind citizens of depravity.

Reason?

Only in so far as the Jesuit manipulative perversion of it can be called "reason".

VxH  posted on  2015-10-30   12:23:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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