Thursday, June 01, 2017

"Evangelical" Church Hosting Heresy--Be Informed

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A prominent church that identifies itself as "evangelical," has sponsored an event for its 20,000+ members titled "Elevating the Dialogue on LGBTQ Inclusion and Understanding of the Church."

The pastor says the "church has not changed its beliefs on homosexuality," but he wanted to help the church better understand the "Christian homosexual point of view."

The event was led by Matthew Vines' organization "The Reformation Project" which is focused on teaching churches to rethink Scripture regarding homosexual behavior.

The Founder of Liberty Counsel---the largest Christian law firm in the country--Matt Staver, says, "The pastor has fallen into a trap."

Be Informed. Beware. These folks are touring the nation's churches.

Many churches have more guest speakers, concerts, seminars, etc., during the summer months in an attempt to keep the members focused and attract visitors to become acquainted with the church and its local ministry.

"The Reformation Project", founded by Matthew Vines, author of the bestselling book, "God and the Gay Christian," was founded for the expressed purpose of "reforming" the church in regard to biblical beliefs about homosexual behavior.

Northland Community Church in Orlando, FL. identifies itself as an evangelical church. Pastor Joel Hunter told the Orlando Sentinel, "The weekend after the Pulse night club shooting...he stood before his congregation and confessed that he was shaken---not because he had so many gay friends, but because he had so few."

Hunter then contacted several local pastors of "gay churches" and began the planning for this event.

The Sentinel says, "He opened his mind, his heart---and now his church---to consider how conservative churches can include and support people regardless of their sexual orientation."

Herein is the trap.

Even a casual reader of the Bible, comes to understand that God loves everybody. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Here's the Truth that "The Reformation Project" seeks to cloud, dismiss or revise:

The biblical church of Jesus Christ is called to share the redeeming, restoring message of the gospel that "delivers from" not "affirms" sin. Nor does it seek to better understand it, accept in the light of counseling.

Matt Staver told Charisma News:

Matthew Vines thinks it is OK to keep sinning and convince yourself it's not a big deal. Vines says the Bible only condemns lust, not same-sex committed relationships. He believes Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality, and other passages in the New Testament do not mean what they say. In other words, being LGBTQ is okay and the Bible says nothing contrary. Human sexuality is not to be taken lightly or compromised. The message of the Reformation Project and this event are wrong and an affront to Jesus and the Bible. The church needs to live in the resurrection power of Jesus and stop compromising to be just like the sinful culture we are called to redeem.

Pastor Hunter says everybody is misunderstanding his intent. "We invited Matthew because his organization helps churches, including churches that do not agree with him, have a conversation to increase understanding between the two normally adversarial groups. It does us no good, and is a poor representation of Christ, to treat each other with disrespect and ignorance."

Who but God knows Joel Hunter's heart and motive? In the best case, this was an enormous lapse in judgment on his part---in the worst case, this pastor purposefully advanced heresy in the name of the Lord.

Staver says, "The Reformation Project is designed to change the church to affirm an LGBTQ lifestyle as normative, and it appears Pastor Joel Hunter has fallen into a trap."

This is the same trap created by Vine's book in the minds of biblically uninformed youth.

He says, "While we all are sinners and are all welcome at the foot of the cross, Jesus told the adulteress to 'go and sin no more'. He did not affirm people in their continued sin. He saves us from our sin. That doesn't mean we do not falter, but we cannot distort His grace as a license to continue to sin."

The Sentinel explains, "Although The Reformation Project's ultimate goal is to persuade churches to fully embrace gay people, pastors and marriage, the purpose of meetings like the one Thursday is simply to get both sides to listen to each other with respect."

Therein is the fracture in the plan.

Those who work to advance the homosexual agenda, vigorously deny that anyone can actually "love the sinner, and hate the sin." In the case of homosexual behavior, the behavior, or "sin" is the identity of the person.

To hate the sin, is to hate the person in the mind of the activist. The concept of deliverance or restoration is not even considered by the activist. The goal is always seeking affirmation from those who reject the lifestyle.

The Sentinel says in their article, "The short documentary 'Love The Sinner', which explores the evangelical roots of homophobia in the context of the pulse shooting, also will be shown," suggesting that the short documentary will nix the notion that anyone is---Christian or otherwise--capable of hating the sin and loving the sinner.

There is a substantial push back from members of the church, for the same reasons we've discussed here.

I encourage you to be vigilant.

There seems to be an intensified effort this summer by activist organizations such as Mathew Vine's Reformation Project and Jim Wallis' far Left Sojourners social justice groups to reach out to churches and their youth to have a "conversation."

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful.