Christian Living is Biblical Balance — No Place For Worldly Philosophies
by Ken Pullen
Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
Below my comments readers will find an article titled “‘Social justice’ incompatible with end-times focus?” about the shifting beliefs of millennials versus previous generations. Todays young people are supplanting sound doctrine and inerrant theology with the world’s social justice agenda. Many pastors and ministers are doing a Texas two-step in attempting to woo and maintain their millennial base while trying to be obedient to the Word of God. Such a feat is not possible. They either serve one of two masters but cannot serve both.
I realize in the article below everything they say sounds sold. Makes sense upon first reading. And as one of the cited sources below states, Carl Gallups a Baptist minister, Christian living, true Christian living is a Biblical balance of caring for the sick, the poor, those in need, and for preaching the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ while also knowing and preaching Biblical prophecy. We cannot begin to ever pick and chose where the emphasis should be, or what we believe or do not believe in God’s Word.
The Scriptures are not a menu in a Chinese restaurant. We cannot say we will ignore or discount Biblical prophecy and place emphasis on one aspect or part of the whole Holy Bible.
Nor can we decide to adopt the worldview and abandon the inerrancy of Scripture because the worldview is more popular or appealing. It doesn’t get us into hot water with others. We do not need to take a stand for God, Christ, and the Word if we begin to mingle and adopt world philosophies in with bits and pieces of Scripture.
This is not only a slippery slope and dangerous — it is downright deadly. Deadly to one’s eternity.
Social justice as put forth and defined by man is in opposition to Scripture. Combating racism, economic inequality, pushing forward feminism and equality for all no matter their beliefs is not Biblical.
We are either for God or against God. And we cannot only pick out the love, love, love parts and ignore the rest. There are clear cut judgments for any and all who oppose God, attempt to pervert or corrupt the Word, or who prefer the world and refuse the truth, the whole truth of God’s Word.
Adopting an agenda where the social justice agenda put forth by man supersedes the inerrant Word of God is blasphemous and deadly. And make no mistake. Pushing for and making the social justice agenda of man priority over the whole inerrant Word of God is just more erosion, more breakdown of the truth.
Supplanting sound doctrine to appease the itching ears.
Yes, we are called and instructed to help the poor, the hungry, those in need of food, clothing, shelter. We are instructed that loving our neighbor as ourselves is the greatest commandment. We are to exhibit works by our faith, but not works to attain eternal life. By grace and grace alone, faith alone we are saved. Not by works.
I do things I never tell people. And I never will. We are to do that which we do quietly. No boasting. No bragging. No bringing the light upon ourselves but having the light of the Father shine forth through us. People are to see the Father and glorify Him and the Son, Jesus Christ when they see us. Not what we do, but Christ working in us. No boasting. No marching. No drawing attention to oneself.
When our Lord healed many he instructed them to tell no man. He did not go to places where people gathered and boast or perform His miracles. People came to Him knowing he was Lord. Knowing he was the Christ. And if one reads the Bible most of the miracles and healing Christ performed was done quietly. His acclaim spread because people talked and went out throughout the region exclaiming His power and righteousness. But He did not ever seek acclaim or boast. Ever.
Nor did Christ ever do anything not compatible with the Word of God. He did not live or act to appease the world around Him or adopt its viewpoints and philosophies.
If we are to follow Christ’s example and be true disciples? Then let’s follow Christ’s example and be true disciples. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. We cannot be of the world and follow its viewpoints and also those of God and then expect eternal life.
We serve one master or the other. We can’t serve both.
Jesus did much to heal and help those suffering. He ministered to the dregs of society as well as the common person.
Yet He also instructed us we will always have the poor. We will always have disease and pain and suffering and injustice — because of man’s sin and man turning from God. And contrary to what is being said in all this discussion and debate of what millennials believe versus the generations that preceded them is this — millennials believe inequality, homelessness, poverty, disease, violence and injustice can be removed from the face of the earth. They refuse the whole truth of the Word of God and refuse and ignore for the greater part Biblical prophecy. And, as is discussed in the article below, they in large part are totally lost and misinformed when it comes to Israel and the Jews, replacing the Word of God totally with the current worldview.
Let’s stop trying to coddle, baby, and permit the unsound worldly doctrine the millennials are attempting to supplant sound doctrine and Biblical prophecy with and let’s be strong and bold in instructing them in sound doctrine and the complete inerrant Word of God. The core problem with millennials is they have been coddled, babied, pampered, never told no, never had to suffer, and been given everything they threw tantrums over in the stores their parents took them to as children. They are attempting to instruct and teach believing they are the enlightened ones when in truth they need to be enlightened in the complete inerrant Word of God. Not permitting them to further erode the truth of Scripture.
I experienced working with millennials firsthand. A young woman, in her early thirties, contacted me a few years back and began an email correspondence with me. She subscribed to A Crooked Path. And I was in touch with her for a few months. She even asked if I would be willing, “as an older, wiser Christian take time to help a group of young Christians?”
And I inquired as to what she was hoping for, and she informed me there was a small group of young professed Christians who would like me to “minister” to them, or help them in their walk with Christ.
I ended up going out and buying a computer video camera and opening up a Skype account and working out the logistics to work with this group on a regular basis.
I only had two Skype meetings with them. Most of them didn’t want me returning after our first experience. And when the young woman continued to email me, and she was adamant that what she wanted to pursue meant everything to her, and she could not accept the will of God in her life? That perhaps her life was not to go as she demanded? As she had come to expect it should? And I told her God’s will and God’s plan for her life could be totally different and she needed to pray, to turn to God, to seek the Holy Spirit to work in her life, to turn to the Bible for help and instruction? And to not put everything on the one worldly dream she had? She ceased to continue communications with me. She ended her subscription to A Crooked Path, and her and everyone in her group severed all communications with me.
Every person in that small group was under 35 years of age.
One of the group, a young man in his 20’s could only relate everything in the Bible to comic books he knew and movies and super heroes’ and villain’s he knew. And he refused to accept and take the Bible, the people, the events, the history for what it was and is, and insisted on renaming, replacing everything and everyone in the Bible with some worldly fictional character he knew better than any part of the Bible.
All those in this group thought his doing this was wonderful and fine.
When I stated and showed how this was not the path to take they did not like hearing that. They rebelled.
No matter the age, no matter the generation, no matter the times? God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the complete inerrant Word of God do not change. Ever. The same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
It is not for any man or woman to adapt the Word of God to their standards, the world’s standards and philosophies and viewpoints, but for every man and woman to yield to and adopt the inerrant Word of God into their daily lives — if they truly want to be called Christian and see eternal life in heaven with God and Christ.
That’s just how it is.
And any modern-day minister, pastor, preacher, church, or professed Christian writer who is more concerned with appeasing millennials, or any person of any age over being of true service to them in instructing them in the truth, the whole truth of God’s inerrant Word is doing a grave injustice if they bow to the modern-day worldly based social justice agenda over God’s Word.
Is social justice incompatible with end times focus? No, not when that social justice is 100% Scripture based, taking all context into account. But if even one piece of worldly philosophy enters in? Any false or unsound doctrine enters in? And the worlds views, the worlds interpretations trump the inerrant Word of God? That is an abomination. A sin. And we must not take that pathway. Ever.
Stop concerning ourselves so greatly with appeasing people, young people, and let us concern ourselves with instructing in the purity, the complete truth of the inerrant Word of God.
Following Christ and God is not to be comfortable or compatible with the world. And one of the great false teachings brought in, one of the great erosions brought in to the church in these end times of the great falling away and the increasing apostasy is we can adopt the worldview over God’s Word and still count ourselves Christian and doing God’s work.
How wrong that is. And it is not wrong to declare what is right, and what is wrong. To judge and test all things. So we know if we’re on sound, solid ground or if we’ve gone off the straight and narrow and taken the wrong off ramp leading to destruction and great pain when our Lord does return.
If you think I’m being unjust and harsh on millennials, or singling them out, please know they have only come to the beliefs they carry due to the abundance of older false teachers and those espousing unsound, unbiblical doctrine in today’s churches, and in what passes for todays Christian writing.
They only know what they have been fed.
By wolves in sheep’s clothing.
We live in the last of the last days. The majority heed and follow unsound false teachings. The majority heed and follow the worlds views perverting and corrupting the Word of God. We cannot blame the millennials for following the worldview over Scripture since this is what is predominately preached and taught in what passes for Christian churches by Christian teachers in our times.
If we want millennials to live true, whole balanced Christian lives? To be saved and increase in their faith and prepare themselves for what is in this world and what is coming? Then it is our responsibility to guide them in the truth. The inerrant Word of God. Omitting nothing. Adding nothing. Not replacing the will of God with the desires of man.
And then it is up to the millennials, when taught sound doctrine and Biblical truths to not rebel and refuse to obey God and His Word, refuse to obey Christ.
We each must turn to God and Christ and the inerrant Word of God and become stronger, more learned, wiser, more faithful, more true disciples of Christ the Lord daily. For the enemy wages and rages the great spiritual war which never ends and only intensifies until our Lord returns.
And to replace Biblical prophecy, end times truths with the ways and philosophies of man will only lead to death for all who take that path.
Appeasement only leads to bereavement.
Allowing only one small false seed in is enough to destroy in time the entire garden. In the past 50 years or so the church, pastors, ministers, professed Christians have allowed the seeds of destruction, the seeds of unsound and false doctrine to fall into and be planted in the church. Taking root. Their deadly darkness life-sucking weeds to overcome the fruit of the garden. Allowing more erosion, allowing more bad seeds of doctrine in will not save anyone — quite the opposite. The time now is at hand to do the heavy lifting and for the true believers to stand firm in the faith, casting seeds of sound doctrine onto fertile soil and removing or identifying any weeds that may crop up.
No one said it was going to be easy. We either love the world or we love and obey God.
We can’t have it both ways.
Decide. Now. Because today is all we’re given.
‘Social justice’ incompatible with end-times focus?
January 14, 2017
Displayed with permission from WND
Many young evangelicals in the millennial generation are shifting from their parents’ theological emphasis on biblical prophecy to a focus on issues of social justice in this world, such as combating homelessness, economic inequality, racism and violence, the website Religion & Politics reports.
Michael Onifer, director of the Bethlehem Project and author of the book “God, Israel, and You: The Scandalous Story of a Faithful God,” said the trend has positive implications.
“I’m very excited to see a generation that’s looking to effect change in real-time as opposed to invest time and energy in the speculation of future events; and I think the church will be better by investing more time in engaging the world than we will in trying to understand end time prophecy,” Onifer told WND.
Onifer clarified that he believes Christians should prepare for the afterlife, but he thinks they can’t prepare without helping to make the world a better place in the process.
“If we’re going to say sanctification is synonymous with preparing for the afterlife, then no one can really do that in a biblical sense without benefiting their immediate temporal surroundings,” he said.
“So I would say to focus on the afterlife without benefiting your temporal, immediate existence is not biblical. I would say that would be some type of religious invention, but that’s not biblical Christianity.”
Onifer, who works in Israel and the West Bank regularly to develop Jewish-Christian relations, said he believes the social-justice focus is a reflection of God’s heart. But he also acknowledged the possibility of the emphasis becoming “misguided and perverted.”
For one thing, he said, Christians must understand justice from a biblical perspective.
“If we’re going to engage in justice, it needs to be a biblical justice, not a modern, humanist sense of justice,” Onifer warned. “It has to be a biblical understanding and implementation of justice, so that’s got to be the context for social justice in the Christian world.”
Shifting view of Israel
Onifer’s other concern is that young evangelicals may not fully understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Surveys have shown American millennials overall are less likely to support Israel and more likely to support the Palestinians than previous generations. Likewise, millennial evangelicals tend to look at the conflict in a more nuanced way than previous generations.
Religion & Politics observed that young evangelicals’ “concern for all parties in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict represents a dramatic departure from the worldview that characterized the previous generation of evangelicals, who saw unstinting American support for Israel as essential to fulfilling biblical prophecies about the Apocalypse and Jesus’ subsequent return to earth.”
This approach could be a good thing, but it is also fraught with perils, in Onifer’s view.
“There’s a lot of misinformation,” he cautioned. “There are competing narratives, and so I’m glad Christians are considering the Palestinians in a way that they haven’t before, but I’m concerned about the lack of historical context and the lack of information.”
Onifer hopes young evangelicals, regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict, will recognize the Jews are God’s chosen people, with a unique purpose they must fulfill.
“Within God’s redemptive plan, the Jewish people have a unique presence in that plan that is not interchangeable with Gentile believers,” Onifer insisted. “It would be the same as for me to think because my wife and I are equal as redeemed children of God, that I’m going to start bearing children. I can’t take that purpose that God gave her. And so the Jewish people have a purpose that is distinctly theirs.”
End-times, justice not at odds
Joel Richardson, an internationally recognized expert on biblical prophecy and the Middle East, said it is wrong to assume focusing on the end times and striving for justice in the world are at odds.
“The fact of the matter is that in everything we as believers say or do, we are to bear witness concerning the nature, the character, the spirit of the coming kingdom,” Richardson told WND. “We are to demonstrate it here and now, as we eagerly await its reality.
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“Thus, we fight for justice now, as we proclaim the coming kingdom of justice. We help to care for the needy now, because in the age to come, the needy who are in Christ will all be fully cared for. We fight to deliver those trapped in human trafficking now, not because we truly believe that we can eradicate human trafficking fully now, but as a sign pointing to the day when all the captives who are in Christ will be set free.”
Richardson, whose latest book is “Mystery Babylon: Unlocking the Bible’s Greatest Prophetic Mystery,” said it is essential for the older generation of Christians to understand justice is central to God’s heart and His purposes.
But he said it’s equally important for the younger generation to understand Jesus will restore the Davidic kingdom of Israel when He returns.
“The fact of the matter is that at the very heart of the biblical end-time narrative is the return of Jesus to execute justice on the Day of the Lord,” Richardson said. “According to Isaiah the prophet, the kingdom that Jesus will establish here on the earth has foundations of ‘justice and righteousness’ (Isaiah 9:7). Everyone can rejoice at the good news that this represents.
“It is not acceptable, however, to emphasize the portion of this prophecy that speaks of justice without acknowledging that this kingdom will not be established until Jesus restores the Davidic throne and kingdom in Jerusalem. After all, what does the full verse state? ‘There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. (Isaiah 9:7)”
Therefore, Richardson warned young evangelicals not to forget about Israel’s special place in the coming kingdom of God.
“As Gentiles, we are grafted into this coming kingdom, but the belief that we Gentiles have replaced or displaced Israel, robbing them of the future grace that the Lord has promised to corporate Israel has produced some of the most horrific failures of the Church in all of Church history,” he said.
“If only the younger generation understood that the ideas which they believe to be far superior to the beliefs of their fathers were precisely the ideas that caused the vast majority of the church to either endorse or sit idly by as 6 million of their Jewish neighbors were massacred.”
Quarter of Bible is prophecy
Carl Gallups, a nationally known Baptist pastor and radio host, shares the concern of Onifer and Richardson that a purely social justice-based approach to Christianity could be dangerous if it is not carried out in the proper context.
Gallups noted “a good one-quarter” of God’s Word deals with prophecy, and a large amount of that prophetic material deals with the end times.
Therefore, according to the pastor, end-times prophecy must be an important part of a Christian’s life.
“The balance, I believe, is this: We must live each day as faithful ambassadors of God’s Kingdom,” Gallups told WND.
“That heavenly assignment involves not only proclaiming the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ but also the understanding that we are to be the salt and light to the rest of the world along our journey. And, being the salt and light means we must be ever-mindful of the needs of the lost and any others who have desperate day-to-day needs.”
Gallups, author of “When The Lion Roars: Understanding the Implications of Ancient Prophecies For Our Time,” pointed out Jesus Himself modeled the proper balance of life and ministry while He was on Earth.
Jesus preached salvation and pointed to the prophetic developments of His day, but at the same time he ministered to the needs of the poor, the sick and those afflicted with demons.
“So, Christian living is not just about service,” Gallups said. “Nor is it solely about discerning the prophetic times in which we are living. Neither is Christian living only about impacting our culture with the truth about ‘right and wrong,’ or taking sides with Israel, or expressing sympathy with the Palestinian people.
“And, believe it or not, it is not only about preaching the message of salvation – although this certainly needs to be our central focus – for it is the only focus that results in the eternal destiny of humanity.
“But, in reality, Christian living is about all of these things – in biblical balance – and brought forth to the world in which we live and administered in love and with purity of heart. This is the kind of Christian living that Yahweh honors; this is the kind of Christian living that truly impacts the world for the Kingdom’s sake.”