What do YOU Believe: Part 4, my view
I want to get back to my series on the SBC choice to support a mosque being built in a New Jersey town. The first post in this series explained the story. The second post gave the reasoning behind the support. The third post gave reasoning or those who don’t support. In this final post I want to give you my view.
Before I go forward, I want you to know that I have friends on both sides of the argument. The fact that someone disagrees with me will not change how I see them. To me, this is not a salvation issue. I understand the argument that people make that says it is, but it simply is not. And to say that religious liberty is at stake is very true, but that is also not Scriptural.
That said, I do NOT believe that supporting the building of the mosque is the appropriate thing to do.
I believe that Russell Moore and the SBC made a mistake in supporting it.
First, religious liberty is never promised in the Bible. Christians are not to focus on religious liberty, we are to focus on Christ alone. Political messages are only to be shared that will lead people to Christ. We should not be entering a political arena other than to spread the good news of the Gospel.
Whenever we heard about Christians in the first century, we heard about the persecution. Early persecution happened between Jews and Christians. Jews were scared of Christianity. They saw this religion spreading quickly and felt it needed to be ended as quickly. Beginning in AD 64, Rome joined in the persecution when Nero blamed the Christians for a large fire that engulfed the city of Rome.
When we hear the word “freedom” in the Bible, we hear about how we are set free through the truth (John 8:32), that we are to use our freedom to love one another through serving each other (Galatians 5:13), and that we are not to use our freedom to cover up evil but to live as a servant of God (1 Peter 2:16).
It is that last verse that gets me.
If we combine that with the 10 Commandments, then we realize that it is evil to have another god before God. If that is evil, then it stands to reason that it would be evil to support another god.
I am not talking about baking cookies for a gay wedding or joining with other religious organizations to stop a strip club from coming to town. I am talking about an outright watering down of the Gospel through claiming that all religions should be seen as equal.
We serve a jealous God.
He desires us.
I am talking about doing similar to what Israel did in Judges 2, which is support other religions.
This happened in Israel for a multitude of reasons. First, they kept trying to live in the past, before they had the blessings of the Lord.
Next, they kept forgetting God’s Word. How many times do we get angry before we study the Word when we hear something? Rather than acting out, it is important to understand God’s Word first.
Next, Israel kept following new trends. Israel was watching the religious ceremonies of their enemies and they found them exciting. They started incorporating them into their worship. How about us today? I believe that the SBC has fallen prey to a world’s definition of tolerance. Tolerance in the Bible is very different than tolerance in the world. We can’t just accept everybody’s beliefs as our own. We do need to accept that others will believe differently, and we cannot force them to believe our way of life, but we cannot allow their views to infiltrate our beliefs. We are to remain holy, or set apart.
Fourth, the Israelites got too busy. They allowed their success and personal lives take precedence over their worship.
Finally, they refused to drive evil out of their land. As Christians in America, we have no “land” per se. But we do have our churches and denominations. If we allow evil to live inside those holy walls then we will find that we will lose our status of being holy.
So, it is very easy to mask politics as Christianity.
They are not one and the same.
If we don’t take a lesson from the first century Christians and the early Jews, then we will lose our ability to truly be a church of the risen Christ.