It is neither new news, nor fake news, that the church has always had to live in a culture while resisting being infected by that culture. It has not been easy to be near the mud puddle without being splashed with mud to one extent or another. Generally the church, through the ages, has not been gloriously successful in this endeavor. Unfortunately, these days are proving not to be any different.
Calvary Baptist Church in Washington DC has recently announced that they have called a married lesbian couple to be their co-pastors. One has a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and the other has a Masters in Theology from Emory University. The church is apparently happy with the academic status of their new pastors, but they are especially delighted in the vision these two women have for Calvary Baptist; a vision of being a church where those who find themselves “disregarded and maligned” (particularly in sexual orientation) will be warmly accepted. The church is to be a place where “justice and compassion” reign, according to the press release.
So what are we to make of such matters? First, our response is neither shock nor disbelief. We know that once the standard is no longer what God has revealed in His Word, then the standard will be set by the culture. And, it should be noted, that the standards of culture have never been nor ever will be better or more beneficial than the ones God has given to mankind. Second, Jesus, the Lord of the Church, has not over the years become disinterested in how church’s live and behave. It is true that He is so very loving and patient, but He is never tolerant of the willful disregard of “you are to be holy because I am holy”. (He made this clear to the Church in the incident with Ananias and Sapphira, in Acts 5). While there might be rejoicing in DC over this great “progress”, there is no such mood in heaven where day and night the angels declare the holiness of God (Rev. 4). Third, because He is the one and only Lord of the church, all of us are accountable to Him. As Hebrews 10:31 warns even believers: “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the Living God”. Our task as bondservants of Christ is to faithfully, tenaciously hold on to the Word of God, and proclaim it, even if that means we are labeled “intolerant”, “unloving”, “insensitive” and other pejorative terms. We are to be like Jesus who was “full of grace and truth”. He never compromised one in favor of the other. Let us walk in His steps as we navigate near the mud puddle.