Which Jesus Do You Follow?

I’ve read several articles in the last few days talking about David Gushee, a liberal Baptist theologian. I’ve read several of his articles concerning homosexuality being a sin. But now, from what I’ve read he has decided that he has “evolved” that great cover word that says you know longer stand on principle.

Gushee has now written what I find to be an indisputable truth. There is no common ground between those who believe homosexuality is a sin and those who don’t.

“I now believe that incommensurable differences in understanding the very meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the interpretation of the Bible, and the sources and methods of moral discernment, separate many of us from our former brethren — and that it is best to name these differences clearly and without acrimony, on the way out the door.

Of course he’s right in that we shouldn’t hate each other, or fight a war, etc. We should be respectful even in this disagreement. Andrew Walker, who serves as Director of Policy Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, states,

Gushee is gambling with high stakes; unreasonably high stakes in my opinion. He’s asking the church — and by extension, the global church — to repent of two thousand years of biblical teaching. He’s asking us to journey with him accepting that the churches entire witness, including the words of Jesus himself, have been misunderstood or wrong for the entirety of church history. He’s asking us to trust him on his journey and those like him — highly educated and predominantly Western social progressives — to speak univocally for the entire church.

Gushee claims he’s leaving evangelicalism. But that’s not exactly true. He’s leaving Christianity itself, despite trying to claim otherwise with a book titled Still Christian. In fact after all I’ve read concerning him, I wouldn’t be surprised it he comes out and honestly admits he’s leaving the faith, not just evangelicalism. There really isn’t any other way.

First, he accepted that homosexuality was a sin. Then he evolved on that position and tried to find common ground. Now he’s decided there isn’t any such place as long as he remains an evangelical. It has to happen because to accept marriage is between more than one man and one woman is to embrace homosexuality, and reject the teachings of Jesus himself and his apostles.

According to Erik Erikson, who knows Gushee personally, Gushee and those that hold his position are on the opposite side of 2000 years of Christendom. If the try to convince people that 2000 years of orthodoxy is wrong, and their novel interpretations of scripture are right, they’ll just declare themselves Episcopalian and call it a day. Gushess is leaving evangelicalism, but also leaving Anglicanism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and all other branches of Christianity.

Few churches that still claim to be Christian while embracing homosexuality are all dying out. A recent study declares that the last Episcopalian has already been born. Gushee’s breed of self-proclaimed Christian is becoming an endangered species headed toward extinction according to these new findings.

For these people, Jesus will become a moral teacher, not God. He’ll eventually be a morality tale and not real. Biblical teachings will move from inerrancy to helpful guidelines to ancient wisdoms worth considering. While one can claim to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and therefore we cannot judge them, there are plenty who claim to be Christian and reject the trinity.

Rejection of the trinity is rejection of Christianity itself. Likewise some who claim to be Christian reject the idea of a physical resurrection of Jesus. These people are no more Christian than a muslim is a Christian.

The question isn’t whether you believe in Jesus or not, but in which Jesus do you believe? These’s the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus who find certain passages of the Bible inconvenient. Anyone can believe in Jesus. Even Muslims believe in Jesus. It’s just not everyone believes in the real Jesus.

The real Jesus is the Logos who spoke creation into existence. He’s the second part of the Godhead who divinely created the world. The Hebrew Bible uses the verb “bara”which only applies to God himself. When men create, they do not bara — Only God does. And God divinely created humanity as male and female. That means we can’t create other than male and female and it means we can’t swap between the two. A belief in the biblical Jesus necessitates a rejection of transgenderism.

Likewise, God created marriage and made it between man and woman. A belief in the biblical Jesus necessitates a rejection of gay marriage. To believe otherwise is to travel down a rabbit hole, twisting words, and conjuring whole new meanings for words and phrases interpreted consistently over 2000 years.

“Because I want it to be this way” doesn’t make it your way and no one has yet made a convincing case that 2000 years of orthodox Biblical interpretation is wrong. They just want it to be.

So let’s stop pretending that when one rejects the Biblical world view on sexual sin their only rejecting evangelicalism. No, their rejecting Christendom itself.

It doesn’t make them a worse sinner than you or me. They’re created in the image of God and we should be in prayer for them, and willing to have civic community with them. But that doesn’t mean we should surrender honesty for pleasantry or sit at a communion table with them. Gushee has left Christianity behind for a god of his own creation and that never ends well.

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