Three Low-Priority Causes Christians Should Avoid

Title: Three Low-Priority Causes Christians Should Avoid
Text: Malachi 2:16, Micah 6:8, Revelation 7:9
Time: May 17th, 2015

I’m amazed at how evangelical Christians these days seem incapable of thinking biblical and Christianly about how determine what is and what isn’t important today. Are there no priorities anymore in the Christian church? Is every cause of equal importance? From the looks of things that appears to be the case. If you look, for example, on the campus of the typical Christian college, you’ll find all kinds of causes and movements that seemingly have no relationship to any hierarchy of priorities based on biblical teachings. It’s the same in evangelical churches too. Look inside the typical church and you’ll find a hodge-podge of causes and movements that vary from church to church in seemingly no discernable pattern. I’ve been arguing for years and years that the cause against abortion must rank if not at the top, somewhere near the top in priority. Yet in many churches abortion isn’t even mentioned, ever, from the pulpit or in announcements or Christian education classes or small groups. It’s as if it didn’t exist. But in many of these same churches you’ll hear all kinds of messages about the environment, recycling, and other secular causes, as if these were most important. We live in a nation where the blood of millions of unborn babies cry out from the grave and in many evangelical churches you’ll never hear anything about it. It’s as if the pro-life cause wasn’t very important, or that millions of babies killed though abortion each year, as far as the church is concerned, is a non-issue. Yet, like I said before, other, lesser, causes are promoted with great zeal, giving the impression that these are “do or die” issues, when a real “do or die” issue is neglected or ignored. What’s the problem? There’s a massive lack of discernment involved as Christians and church neglect the true priority causes while at the same time investing large quantities of time, money and energy in essentially false or marginal causes. Many of these lesser causes are to a degree perhaps important, but compared to the really important causes, as biblically determined, they hardly bear mention. So this morning I’d like to talk about a few causes that seem to be taking the evangelical world by storm, but when looked upon in light of the really priority causes that exist – for example, opposition to the attempted redefinition of marriage by the secular world and the need to defend biblical marriage – they are trivial and petty. As Christians we need to let God set our agenda through his Word, not the world set our agenda. I’m afraid too often we are letting the sinful world set our agenda, and we need to repent of it. So here are a few causes that need to be seen for what they are – low priority.

First, there’s the low priority cause of opposition to sex trafficking. Malachi 2:16, “’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel, ‘and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,’ says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.” I bring up this verse to make the point that in the Bible there are different descriptions given to describe God’s reactions against certain sins. The worst sins, the Bible describes as “detestable” in the sight of God, such as, for example, the prohibition against homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22, “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” The word “detestable” is used whenever God wants to communicate strong hatred. But elsewhere in the Bible it simply uses the word “hate” – such as in Malachi 2:16 to describe God’s attitude for grave offenses. Then, of course, there are lesser words that are used to describe God’s different reactions to different degrees of sin. My point is that there is a ranking or order from most severe to least severe. Now all sin is bad and can potentially damn the soul if not taken to the cross of Christ for forgiveness and salvation, but not all sins, wrongs and evils are equal. We need to remember this when we go about responding to the sins, wrongs and evils in the world. Now one of the most popular causes circulating in society today is the fight against so-called sex trafficking. The cause started picking up speed in the secular world and now Christians and churches are jumping on the bandwagon and trumpeting the need to address this issue. My question is, “Why all of a sudden do Christians and Christian churches see the urgency of trumpeting the cause of the sex-trafficking issue? Granted, we’re taught in the Bible to address evils and right wrongs, but why this cause, why now? It sounds all too suspicious. To be honest, it looks like just another attempt by evangelicals to join a popular secular cause and thereby win brownie points with the culture in terms of social respectability and popularity. In light of all the other causes that surely must rank higher in terms of Christian values and priorities, like the opposing the murder of abortion that I mentioned before, or the cause of defending the basic definition of the institution of marriage as man and woman, I’m having a hard time in justifying time, energy and effort investing heavily in opposing sex trafficking. Again, not that it doesn’t need to be addressed, it’s just why us, why now? Aren’t there government agencies around the world dealing with this problem, throwing millions of tax-payer money working on the problem? If so, why is it such an evangelical Christian priority, in light of all the other causes that are crying for attention? Let’s be careful we aren’t getting merely caught up in the “cause of the day” or in other words, the fashionable cause. Let’s make sure we are following biblical priorities, not worldly ones.

Second, there’s the low priority cause of opposition to bullying. Micah 6:8, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Here in this verse the Lord God speaks through the prophet Micah in a very familiar and famous verse that commands us to “act justly” and “love mercy.” As Christians we are to first and foremost preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ in order that men and women might be saved from their sins and enjoy an eternal relationship with God. But we are also commanded to do other things as well, and one of the things we are told to do repeatedly in the Bible is to work for justice and righteousness in society. For example, Psalm 89:14 teaches, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.” As Christians we are to work towards a righteous and justice society. In contrast to our secular counterparts, we don’t just strive for justice; we also work for righteousness. That’s what our faith teaches. So Christians should be involved in seeking a just society at all levels, as well as a righteous society too. Being against bullying is an expression of Christ’s command, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a matter of simple justice. But I’m afraid that Christians have allowed themselves to get caught up in the secular world’s anti-bullying campaign that actually has more to it than simple justice for the weaker more vulnerable school children. It’s actually been hi-jacked by the gay rights activists and now functions as a tool of homosexual propaganda. A very strange thing happened a few years ago. All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, gay activists founded the modern anti-bullying movement. It sounded innocent and common sense at first, since most people had long been familiar with bullying in school of weaker classmates by stronger ones – and most people opposed that kind of behavior. So it was normal and natural to lend support for any movement that opposed injustice in the schools. But unfortunately, Christians and others are now caught up in a movement that is practically and essentially unnecessary, if what we are talking about is normal schoolyard bullying. School systems, administrators and teachers were already addressing the issue and doing a pretty good job dealing with it in most cases. But with the gay activist infiltration it’s now this big deal with Christians and Christian schools involved, and so on and so forth. Now don’t get me wrong. Schools should deal with bullying. But not make it into this national campaign that gay activists have created for their own purposes. As Christians, in all honesty, we must not see this as a very high priority cause, especially in respect to life and death issues of abortion and the destruction of marriage through its redefinition.

Third, there’s the low priority cause of the promotion of diversity. Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked and there before me was great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Here’s a heavenly scene that shows the diversity of believers standing before the throne of God. The Christian church already is diverse; it doesn’t have to try to be so. If you were to name the most international and diverse organization in history you’d probably have to name the Christian church. It’s certainly the most diverse of all major world religions. The Roman Catholic church is probably the most diverse and international ecclesiastical body in Christendom, although there are many other organizations and denominations that have diverse presences in most nations of the earth. So on one level, the Christian church can teach the world a thing or two about diversity. But on the other hand, we can all benefit from learning and relearning the Lord’s intent and will for his people, and that includes recognizing that all people are made in God’s own image, the famous Imago Dei of Genesis 1. But what I see today is again a secular movement of diversity that carries with it a lot of harmful non-biblical assumptions that actually work against true biblical diversity. Yet this secular diversity agenda is being pushed in society at all levels, including the federal, state and local governments. It’s promoted in education, business, law, entertainment, and nearly every other area of society. Now, also, it’s being pushed in Christian churches, colleges and seminaries. It’s also an influence in Christian publishing companies and media outlets. My own alma matar has been pushing “diversity” for the last few years as if tracking the secular trends of the wider culture. I began to ask myself why? Did Wheaton College find in the Bible through prayer and reflection that it was lacking in this area? Or did the secular world’s diversity agenda intimidate it and pressure it into talking the language of diversity in order to maintain its accreditation statues? I found my answer in the Wheaton Alumni magazine that reported the college had been under review by an Accreditation board that eventually did renew its accreditation statues, but only after it found the college was “making progress” in becoming a more diverse academic institution. What? Making progress? Says who? By whose standards? Now I understood the push for diversity at Wheaton I was hearing about. Yes, indeed, they had been pressured and intimidated by the threat of losing their right to award accredited degrees. That’s sad.

In all truth, in all probability, there was nothing wrong with Wheaton College in respect to diversity. But according to the modern, secular definition of diversity, not only must there be racial and ethnic representation; there must also be sexual diversity, as in LGBT acceptance. There it is again, the gay activist lobby. This is an example why I see the most recent diversity push and promotion in the general society as a fake cause that Christians shouldn’t buy into at all. It isn’t really any sane and balanced approach to diversity, it’s a radical agenda for social change led by radicals who are the same people who brought us abortion on demand, gay marriage and now – the latest expression of the decline of morality in society – the transgender movement. These same people and organizations are now pushing for diversity that really has nothing to do with legitimate Christian biblical diversity. As Christians we shouldn’t join the modern diversity movement because it’s aims and goals are not compatible with our Christian faith. The radical diversity movement now promoted in society wants to promote the idea that all religions are just as good as any one religion, or that all religions are basically the same, more or less true in a general way. That kind of diversity is not compatible with biblical Christianity, where Jesus is seen as “the way, the truth, the life,” where “nobody comes to the Father except through” Christ. The whole “co-exist” movement is an attempt to bring all world religions together to work and live in harmony. The modern diversity movement doesn’t care what religions believe or do just as long as they all fall in line with the political and ideological goals of the progressives, found in secular organizations such as the United Nations. The amazing thing is that so many evangelical Christians simply go along with the radical diversity agenda because they hear only bits and pieces of the master plan and think it sounds pretty good. But the devil is in the details. I predict that Christian churches and Christians organizations and Christian educational institutions will increasingly come under pressure to conform to the mandates of big government and large international organizations that push for diversity. Unless we buy into the whole thing we risk having our tax-exempt status removed or driven into bankruptcy. That’s why we need to resist the radical diversity cause now and begin to learn how to operate on our own agenda while we still have time to prepare. Yes, as Christians we need to constantly review ourselves to see if we are living out the biblical teachings on justice and righteousness, but we don’t need the secular world leading us. We’ve got the Lord to guide and direct us; we don’t need big government agencies to pressure and intimidate. This is not a cause we need to be promoting at this time.

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