Changing the Face of Christianity Under Attack-Responding to Questions

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A recent press release by Changing the Face of Christianity titled “Christian Non-Profit Fighting to Save Christianity from Self-Destruction” has generated lots of interest on several news and blog sites. In the press release, we talk about why people are leaving the Christian faith, based on sound independent research. We highlight our mission to reverse Christian intolerance, Christian hypocrisy, Christian homophobia, Christian judgmentalism, and other negative Christian stereotypes, by helping Christians to be more like Jesus Christ.

One news site in particular has generated many comments about our organization that we want to address here.

www.ChristianPost.com picked up the press release. Visit the page and read the visitor comments. I welcome your comments here too.

Here are some of the statements that are being made and our response:

  • You are softpeddling and condoning sin, and discouraging Christians from speaking the truth about sin.
    • No where on our site or in our content do we discourage speaking the truth or calling sin what it is…sin.

      No where on our site or in our content do we discourage speaking the truth or calling sin what it is…sin. People misinterpret our suggestion that HOW you speak the truth to those living in sin is just as important as the actual words of truth. Have you ever tried to tell someone the truth, unsolicited? How did that work for you? Failure. It fails because before you can speak truth into someone’s lives, they must believe you care about them. Otherwise, it just goes in one ear and out the other. Wasted breath. The goal is to be in relationship with someone, caring and loving them, until you earn the right to speak into their lives. They will ask YOU what you think…and that’s the time to share the truth. Because only then will it be heard. We aren’t preaching a new age, emergent church, everything is ok mentality. We are preaching DOING WHAT WORKS!
    • We get a lot of heat for speaking out about homophobia. That word is hard to define. But for this comment, let’s just assume it means treating homosexuals as worse sinners than ourselves. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone speaking out against homosexuality as a sin.

      Where we go wrong, is when we become so laser focused on homosexual sin (that we don’t commit ourselves), that it’s as if we are excusing all the other sins WE DO commit. That’s why outsiders see us as hypocrites.

      Where we go wrong, is when we become so laser focused on that one sin (that we don’t commit ourselves), that it’s as if we are excusing all the other sins WE DO commit. That’s why outsiders see us as hypocrites. We say, look at homosexuality…that’s sin (correct). and then we go have an affair, beat our children, envy our neighbor, hold grudges, hold hate in our hearts for another man, ignore God in our life, and wake up the next morning and say “homosexuality is a sin”. Do you see the point I’m making? Focus on all sin, equal time, and make sure we are working on our own sin…instead of solely focusing on someone else’s. The Bible is clear that we should speak the truth about sin. It’s also clear from the Bible that we are to focus on our own sin before blasting someone else for theirs. You want the truth? Look in the mirror…and face it.
  • Your approach is not Biblical.
    • We invite you to read the Bible yourself…
    • John 8:7 (NIV) If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

      John 8:7 (NIV) If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.
    • Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV) 1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (NIV) 9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people–10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
    • James 2:13 (NIV) 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
    • 1 Peter 2:1 (NIV) Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
    • James 2:13 (NIV) 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

      1 Corinthians 3:1-4 “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly–mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”
    • Verses for further study: Psalms 75:7, Isaiah 3:13-14, John 5:22, 1 Corinthians 5:1-3, 1 Corinthians 11:31-32, Acts 11:1-3, Matthew 13:36-43, Matthew 13:47-50, Romans 2:12-16, Romans 14:10-13, Rom 13:9-10, Gal 5:16-17, Gal 5:19-21, John 8:7,11, James 1:20, James 3:10-12, Luke 12:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:22, Matthew 7:3-5, John 8:7-11, Luke 13:15, Matthew 23:24, Job 20:5, Hebrews 6:1, Titus 1:16, James 2:14-24

We are open for input, criticism, and polite dialogue on any and all topics related to Christianity, Christian culture, our mission or methods. Why? Because that is also biblical. God encourages us to be teachable and seek wise Biblical council. We continue to do so, because we are not perfect and just like every Christian out there. We still have a lot to learn, and welcome your input. We also encourage you to open your heart and mind to God’s will, and join us in our mission to reverse negative Christian stereotypes, and yes…continue to speak the truth, in love.

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Comments

  1. says

    Bravo!! “The goal is to be in relationship with someone, caring and loving them, until you earn the right to speak into their lives. They will ask YOU what you think…and that’s the time to share the truth. Because only then will it be heard.” That is precisely our error as Christians. We are impatient. We feel time is short so we must “save” this person now before it’s too late. Oh, how we’ve missed it. May we stop putting so much power on ourselves and start allowing Jesus Christ to work His power through us. I, personally, don’t believe homosexuality is a sin. However, your point about focusing on one particular sin and ignoring the rest is precisely why we Christians have lost credibility. My prayer is that the message of Love will be magnified to a greater degree than the negative messages being heard in the public arena. That we, as Christians, will have the strength to rebuke the hypocricy publicly displayed in the media, while at the same time showing those around us that we love them unconditionally. May God give us the strength to also forgive our fellow Christians and bring healing to our body. Because right now, the Christian body is broken. Blessings, Janet

  2. says

    Homosexuality is definitely a sin, assuming you are looking at it from a Biblical perspective. Here are a few verses to study: Old Testament • Leviticus 20:13 (NIV) 13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” • Deuteronomy 22:5 (NIV) 5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this. New Testament • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Where we as Christians must do soul searching on is our tendency to pay attention to some verses and completely ignore others. No one follows all of them or none of them. So, how do we rationalize picking some over others? One could argue that the old testament laws have been nullified by the new testament, and so we should follow new testament commands period. But we mustn’t overlook the principles and lessons to be learned from the old testament. They are also God’s words and we would be in error to simply ignore their value. And our point in this ministry is we can’t look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, see the one word about homosexuality, and somehow be oblivious to the part about idolaters (we all do this), adulterers (many do, and lusting with our eyes is considered adultery by Jesus…guilty), greedy (guilty at times), drunkerds, swindlers, and slanders (gossip anyone?). Let’s be real and call it all what it is…sinful.

  3. says

    Leviticus 20:13 (NIV) 13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable.” It is my understanding that this verse in the Old Testament addresses the practice of pagan religions, in that when you brought a sacrifice to their temple, you had to have sex with a temple worker. If an opposite sex temple attendant wasn’t available right then, you still had to have sex with whatever temple attendant was free at the moment – male or female – whether you were male or female. That’s ONE reference and the abomination God was speaking of was making worshippers violate themselves in order to bring praise to the god they were worshipping. Why is it that we find same sex partners, committed to one another for 10, 15, 20 years, (married in other countries) leading a monogamous lifestyle {who also may happen to consider themselves born-again in an active and fulfilling relationship with Jesus Christ} sinful? The sinful part of same sex relationships (and opposite sex relationships) is the LUST part. Honest and pure love between two people who are committed is not sinful. Why is divorce considered okay all of a sudden within the church? (I’m on my 3rd marriage and we are embraced by our Evangelical church as members). 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV) 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. “homosexual offenders” – It is my understanding that homosexual offenders were those who used same sex relations for the purpose of lustful acts or a violation of another person against their will. Homosexual acts were committed to humiliate and degrade another individual. May I pose a question to you? What if someone interpreted the bible to say that you were prohibited from having sex with someone you were attracted to because that was sin. Even if you married that person, it was considered sinful for the pure fact that you were attracted to that person. So, you are ordered to remain celebate for the rest of your life. You can never have sex. As a straight person myself, that is a torturous thought. Ask any homosexual if this was something they chose. 99% of all homosexuals and lesbians will tell you that they would never chose this for themselves. Many have been raised within the Christian church hiding their feelings in anguish, and yes, many committing suicide because of the torturous mandates imposed on them because of man’s theocracy about those verses you so eloquently pulled out of your back pocket. No desprespect to you whatsoever. God Bless you in this cause, which I support 100%. I don’t anticipate this will change your position. So, my prayer is that healthy dialogue will take place here. A dialogue that will not perpetuate more gay teen suicides. A dialogue that will accept, not rebuke, those who have same sex attractions, even if you may disagree. Blessings, Janet

  4. says

    Catherine Kroeger in “The Apostle Paul and the Greco-Roman cults Of Women” found in the Journal of the Evangelical Society details how these cults were often marked by gruesome sex exchanges. Hence, it was a choice for the male priests to exchange their natural sexual orientation, to become a “women”. The term “natural” also speaks of being natural for us to worship God who created us and this world (Rom 1:20), and conversely unnatural for us to worship idols made by our own hands as if they were gods (Rom 1:23). Hence, the same sex acts in Rom 1:26,27 was motivated by the unrighteousness of idol worship even under the law rather than homosexuality. In 1 Cor 6:9, and 1 Tim 1:10, Paul was preaching about being unrighteous and not inheriting the kingdom of heaven. The setting in the city of Corinth known for its mass orgies in the worship of Aphrodite with a thousand female slaves would have given us a strong hint. However, the unrighteousness was again blamed on the gay men with the word “Malakos” being mis- translated as “Homosexuals” (NKJV), and “Effiminate” (KJV) even though Aristotle denotes it as unrestrained indulgence in bodily pleasures. The Greek Word “Arsenokoites” was also mis-translated as “Sodomites” (NKJV), and “Homosexual Offenders” (NIV) even though there was no such usage in Greek literature. The term appears to have been created by Paul from the Septuagint’s Greek translation of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Leviticus 18:22 – “kai meta arsenos ou koimethese koiten gynaikos” Leviticus 20:13 – “kai hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gynaikos” With this reference to Leviticus relating to idol worship, it becomes clear that 1 Cor 6:9 was emphasizing the unrighteousness of those who worship other gods having no part in the kingdom of God rather than about homosexuality. “Arsenokoites” was referring to the temple priests rather than gays. We also begin to understand 1 Tim 1:9 and 10, talking about the laws being implemented for the unrighteous, were actually refering to the laws in Leviticus which again were motivated by idol worship rather than homosexuality. Without the six clobber passages condemning gays now effectively referring to abominations and unrighteous acts in worshipping idols, we begin to see a clearer picture that the heart of God is for the gay community, the natural Eunuchs in Mat 19:12. and that Isaiah had prophesised in 56:4-5 where the gay Eunuchs which were hitherto rejected by the community will now have a special place in the kingdom of God, in the body of Christ. The prophecy of Isaiah is now coming to pass in our life time, the declaration of good tidings to the meek, to the gay community which has been the most despised in the community. When we see that all the condemnation about homosexuality was based on our fear and mis-interpretation, we begin to see that the good news message has a special place for the GLBT community and God is calling out for us to come back in the last days to be His special people of Faith.

  5. DanN says

    I personally don’t agree with explaining away the verses on homosexuality as being misinterpreted. Even if I granted that they were, where in the Bible are the examples of homosexual marriage/relationships? If you read 1 Corinthians 7, it is very plain that Paul gives several options for living life. He speaks of men taking a wife and women taking a husband. The other option seems to be remaining single and focusing on the Lord. The argument that “God made me this way” just seems irrelevant as people are born with many different inclinations which we would all agree are immoral or unacceptable. We don’t use the fact that they may have been born with this condition as meaning they have approval from God to act on those inclinations. According to Paul, living the life of a single person devoted to the Lord is an honorable life. I for one will never assume that I know more than the Bible, the word of God, and tell someone that it is okay for them to be live a homosexual lifestyle. I don’t want the responsibility of having led someone to hell. What we must focus on as Christians is loving homosexuals as we love any other sinner. All of us are sinners and each have our own burdens to bear. I have to acknowledge mine and strive to live as God commands me, bringing glory to Him. Homosexuality is a difficult, and for many painful subject but that alone does not mean that we can compromise the word of God. I look forward to seeing this website evolve and hope that it helps others to address Christianity in a manner that acknowledges we are all sinners, imperfect in the eyes of God, but once coming to faith in Him strive to live a life as Jesus commands us.

  6. says

    The problem comes with the absence of love in the Christian reaction to practicing homosexuals. Jesus gave us clear instructions for dealing with sin in the church. (Matthew 18:15-17) One Christian is to confront the offending sinner. If he or she doesn’t heed that confrontation, that same Christian is to take one or two others with them and confront the sinner again. If they still do not listen, then the church officially confronts them in their sin. And if they do not heed that confrontation (i.e., change their behavior), then the church is to have nothing to do with them. They are to be case out of the fellowship of the church. So the thing is that Christians in general and churches in particular fail miserably in this process. We don’t have a core competency in executing this mandate from Jesus. In fact, more often than not, we just gossip about the sin that we see — and put up with it in the church. We don’t know how to execute this mandate, so we as a church or Christian community tend to tolerate. Take, for example, the possibility that a practicing homosexual, wife-beater, child abuser, gambling king pin, pornography dealer, or other form of common criminal would come to our church. They accept Christ as their Savior, fill out the comment card, etc. The typical American church today would welcome them freely into the fellowship. If they were big donors the church would especially go out of its way to make them feel welcome. And we would do nothing about the lack of effort to change those sin patterns in their life. It’s much easier, then, to practice “homophobia” or respond to practicing homosexuals in unloving ways when they are outside the fellowship of the church (as most are). We somehow don’t seem to feel the need to act in a loving way toward them.

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