Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Church double standard

Bonheoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship discusses cheap grace – grace that is thrown around without regard for the cost of that grace.  It seems that cheap grace is being offered abundantly.

In an article published in Melbourne’s The Age, and on the pastors own blog post, a Baptist pastor proposes voting yes in the same sex marriage postal vote.  His support includes this statement:

“Asking them [homosexuals] to be other than who they are as sexual beings
would be asking them to deny their very selves".

Now, there are a few problems with that statement.  Prime among them is that the Christian life is one of denial.  A Christian must first come to a point of denying that they are king (John 3:3) so that they may accept Jesus as King.  A Christian must then continue to deny self each day instead taking up the cross of Christ (John 16:24).  So, presumably the pastor has established a twin standard:

  • Heterosexual Christians are to deny themselves daily,
    paired with
  • Homosexuals need not deny their sexuality yet may still have life to the fill in Christ.  That is, there identity is not in Christ alone but in their sexuality and in Christ.
It is an insidious twinning.  It creates a lower standard for homosexuals than it does heterosexuals.  It gives homosexuals a wide road and wide gate entry to the kingdom (Matthew 7:13-14).  It is insulting to heterosexuals.  It risks a revolt of mainstream church-goers.  It is cheap grace cast to the prevailing wind. 
As sad as the show of double standard from the Melbourne pastor is, I’ve seen it before.  In a devastating blow, at a North Shore Anglican Diocese of Sydney church, I also observed double standard.  In that instance, the listener was to accept the lower standard for homosexuals as they were ‘born that way’ (teaching that I hold contra to the relevant Diocesan doctrinal statement).  In responding to a question about lust from Matthew 5:27-30, the speaker granted that churchfolk need to acknowledge homosexuals their lust if the church is to welcome them.  So, I cannot cast a lustful eye on my neighbour’s wife yet two homosexuals can be as lustful as they like – I don’t think so!

And then, another North Shore Anglican Diocese of Sydney church welcomes a theatre company to perform a play into their church hall that presents the homosexual lifestyle.

Cheap grace cheapens the gospel.  It cheapens the gospel because it adds to the gospel.  Christ paid dearly to achieve the grace.  The church should not ever forget that.


Note: all links good as at 22 August 2017

Note: I did try to address my concerns of false teaching at that North Shore Anglican Diocese of Sydney church yet I was met only with curt email responses.  No-one ever cared to address the matter through dialogue.  A Senior Minister of another Anglican Diocese of Sydney church did discuss the message with me. He left me with the awareness that ‘despite its best attempt to keep up appearances, the Anglican Diocese of Sydney is not monochrome at all on homosexuality’.

No comments:

Post a Comment