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Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
IS ABSURDITY THE NEW NORMAL?
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, two stories out of The Daily Wire that I wanted to cover today and I can only describe them as jaw-dropping, mind-boggling, and bizarre. The first story, out of the Netherlands, doctors approve euthanizing a 29-year-old mentally ill woman. Now, this woman was mentally ill, not mentally retarded. She died recently after she basically begged doctors to do away with her life because she just said she heard voices in her head, she wanted to mutilate herself and she had attempted suicide several times. She asked for help in euthanizing herself and the doctors obliged.
DR. REEDER: Years ago, Tom, what we would have done is we would have taken the time to talk with her about the issues, would have checked to see, “Is there a chemical issue? Let’s treat it medically. Is there a spiritual issue? Let’s treat it spiritually. Emotional issue?” But now a deranged woman with a deranged request is put to death by our culture and by the power of the state.
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, the second story deals with trangenderism. We’ve talked a lot about the transgender ideology. The headline, “Pedophile charged with abusing three girls says he is a 9-year-old trapped inside a man’s 38-year-old body.” In other words, he’s bringing up a new claim of “transagism.”
DR. REEDER: Right. In other words, he self-identifies as a 9-year-old and so what he did was the “childish explorations” that kids do at such an age — this really wasn’t molestation.
NEW STANDARDS BREED CHAOS
Well, what basis can you tell him that he does not identify as a 9-year-old? You tell people who are biologically men that they can identify as women and go into a woman’s bathroom and you tell women that they can identify as men and we’re going to act like that’s sanity.
On what basis can you say to him, “This is insane — this is wrong”? How can you do that? He’s got the same ideology at work. Someone please explain to me the difference.
WHERE IS THE CHURCH IN ALL THIS?
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, as we deal with these issues — transgender issue, euthanasia issue, the pro-life issue — the more these issues are in the news and the more opinions we have about these issues, more and more we’re seeing the church give an empathetic, sympathetic ear to some of the bizarre nature of these stories.
DR. REEDER: And these sympathetic and empathetic is said to be, “Well, we’re just trying to be understanding of their difficulties. Historically, the church with a Gospel message has been empathetic to the effects of sin and the reality of sin, but never to sin itself.
That is, we haven’t accommodated sin in order to reach out and minister to those who are experiencing the devastating effects of sin and to those who are perpetrating the effects of sin. We have historically understood that you don’t have to accept sinful behavior to minister to sinners, but that’s not the case anymore. You’ve now got a nation like Ireland, that’s historically been in lock-step with the Roman Catholic Church, and now the nation of Ireland — they’ve already approved same-sex marriage, they already have an avowed homosexual prime minister — now they’re about to take a vote to do away with the laws against the taking of the unborn life, which has been embedded in the society, both informally and formally, since the 1980s. That’s where they are and that’s what they’re doing and the “Church” has lost its voice.
CHURCH IS BEING TOLD TO BE MORE FLEXIBLE AND RELEVANT
Now, on the other side of this, Tom, are numerous opinion writers that are telling the church, “You are losing your voice. You have got to become a lot more flexible on your issues. You have to quit living in the past, whereby you believe that sex belongs within marriage — the sanctity of sexuality. You’ve got to abandon the notion that there is a divine order of family that begins with the divine order of marriage — one man, one woman, committed to one life. You’ve got to abandon the notion that God has made humans male and female. You live in a culture of plurality, where people accept what were aberrations and considered destructive in the past — we now declare that those things are acceptable and you’ve got to make the change if you want a voice in the culture.”
NO, CHURCH MUST HAVE STRONG VOICE OF CONSISTENT GOSPEL MESSAGE
God did not call us to have a voice in the culture; God called us to bring his voice to the culture. We are not to put our finger in the air to find out what the culture accepts and adjust our message. We are to raise our voice in courageous yet compassionate declaration of what God has revealed. We do not walk with the culture that says, “What is the current morality? We will make that the ethic of life.” We go to the Word of God, which tells us the ethic of life from which we speak to the morality of the culture.
Any church that decides, “We want to have a voice and we want to be accepted,” any church that decides, “We will engage in cultural isolation. That is, we’ll just become a little commune over here, living our way,” or cultural accommodation, “We will become another piece of the furniture of the culture,” that church will not be under the judgment of the culture — it will be under the judgment of God, Himself.
We are called to raise up the voice of the Word of God to the culture. We do not have a message framed by the culture that we accommodate to; we have a message to speak to the culture, beginning with the glorious message that there is only one way to salvation.
I know the culture says there can be many ways to salvation, but we say to them, “No, there’s only one: that way is God’s Son. Any man that does not come to the Son cannot be right with God. You’re either for Him or you’re against Him. Know this: He is for you. He went to the cross so that your sins would not be counted against you, but counted against him, and He provides a righteousness that can be counted for you so you can be forgiven and accepted.”
Our message to the culture is that God has revealed in His Word and in creation the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of sexuality, the sanctity of life, the sanctity of gender, so we do not move off of those — we will remain consistent and we will remain true to the truth of God’s Word.
Seek and save the lost with the only message that can save them, the message of the Gospel that calls them to repentance of sin and offers them forgiveness from the penalty and shame and guilt of sin and the power to walk away from sin personally and to live unto the Lord so that, “Whether you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, you can do to the glory of God.” That’s our message and that’s our mission.
CULTURE INFLUENCE IS STRONG, BUT CHURCH CAN DECIDE TO BE FAITHFUL TO CHRIST
Here’s what the culture does: “Something that’s unthinkable, we’re going to make it thinkable.” Usually, the way you make it thinkable is make movies about it, write books about it, write opinion pieces and, by the way, put a few sitcoms in there so that sin is laughable and it becomes harmless. Once something is no longer unthinkable but thinkable, then it can become doable; and once it becomes doable, then it will become acceptable; and once it becomes acceptable, you will be required to propagate it, celebrate it, perpetuate it and participate in it.
You want to see this in its full display? Just go to the Book of Genesis, read of Sodom and Gomorrah, and you will see the pervasive movement of sexual anarchy within those cities so that even the offer of sexual promiscuity with the daughters of Lot would not satisfy the rebellion against God and sexual anarchy and there was the demand for the “men” — that were actually angels appearing as men — there was the demand for them and Lot was demanded to participate. That is exactly what sin does when it reigns in society: It tells those who would raise a banner of truth, “You cannot do that. You must capitulate, and you must participate, and celebrate and perpetuate in our sin.”
Now the church is going to have to make a decision: Do we want a voice at all cost or do we want to be faithful to Christ at all cost? Then I would say this: “Church of Christ, have done with lesser things. Give your heart and your soul to Christ. He’s the King of kings.”
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.