Apostle Dr. Idell Cheaver Way

The Christian Lifestyle Paradox

posted in: Apologetics, Culture, Spiritual | 0

In the 42 years of my life as a devout Christian, I have never heard a message preached from the pulpit on the dangers of the hypocritical lifestyle.

Yet pastors over the past few decades have very comfortably thrown stones at LGBTQ people as someone to love while the sin of the ‘lifestyle’ must be condemned. This is constant, and recurring, even heard this week from Joyce Meyer, who looked visibly baffled, as she put it, by the whole ‘gay’ thing.

After hearing her lecture, it’s understandable why her church members may not want to come to her for counsel on the topic. They likely just sit back and suck it up; after all, she claims to have ‘the anointing’ and no sensible Christian would want to take that on. Yet, in reality, all who believe have the anointing as far as teaching and learning go: “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him…” 1 John 2:27.

Some of this negligence may be understandable, as Meyer no doubt has her hands full with sinners of divorce among her followers. They’re likely holding onto Jesus’ comments in Mark 10 looking for partner infidelity as a way out, and likely being taught that is a valid reason, but that’s not what Jesus says. His contention is that if one divorces other than for fornication or sexual impropriety, it causes the individual to be available for porneia, or sexual impropriety, when partner sexual impropriety has already occurred. It’s not permission. He brings in Moses to verify that divorce was permitted because of their hardened hearts. But God never changed: “For I hate divorce…” Malachi 2:16a. Of course forgiveness is available, as with any sin, but rushing into another marriage is rather presumptuous.

So what’s going on with her bafflement on the ‘gay’ thing?

People have been the same across the centuries, there is nothing new about human nature under the sun. What did Jesus say about the ‘gay lifestyle’ while he was here?

* crickets *

Apart from Jesus telling people caught up in sexual intercourse outside of a marriage bond to stop doing so, the closest we can get to Jesus addressing ‘homosexuality’ is the emasculating tribal ritual of Sodom that its leaders put upon visitors to the Godforsaken place. Oddly enough, Jesus claims that Sodom would be justified compared to those who reject the kingdom of God and will suffer greater judgment (Luke 10:12). This is astonishing. Never preached.

So one argument may be that gay people were not an issue in the time of Jesus, culturally. Which is absurd. Jesus had 12 men he called to follow him and the idea that they were all straight in their sexual orientation is kinda pie in the sky. John, for one, highly questionable. Yet that seems to be the preferred status for people in rapt denial.

Back to lifestyle. Jesus had a lot to say about one lifestyle that he witnessed that was so disgusting to him that he condemned it, page after page. It was a ‘hypocritical’ lifestyle adopted by religious leaders of the day. A wide assortment of scriptures testify to Jesus publicly calling out this abomination and his frustration with its adherents.

Okay, so, whatever happened to the ‘hypocritical lifestyle’ since Jesus was here and condemned it? Did it disappear when he did? No, it continued to flourish and grow, and we can witness it today in virtually every pulpit.

While it’s no mystery why pastors like Joyce Meyer don’t dedicate their time and energy to condemning the hypocritical lifestyle when it’s so much easier to get audience support on condemning LGBTQ, who is more likely to be committing this sin that Jesus railed about continually, and who are these hypocrites who contributed intimately to his [requisite] death, overall, his place on the cross? Religious leaders caught up in their hypocritical lifestyle.

Christianity Today published their fascinating article on pastors and porn a while back. Less than 1% of pastors would let their congregation know they are caught up in porn. That’s more than 99% of today’s ‘Christian’ spiritual leaders surveyed in the study living a hypocritical lifestyle. Yet they have the gaul to condemn others for their lifestyle, when they are consumed and debased by their own lusts, but in secret. And don’t think for a moment that these pastors caught up in porn aren’t ever looking at gay porn. Fat chance. Their clueless spouses all walking around, proud, pushing the kids in their strollers with their ice cream cones while at Doodlebug Park.

The Apostle Paul wasn’t silent on the matter. While Roman 1 condemns the reprobate lifestyle of the idolator, Romans 2 condemns the envious reprobate hypocrite pointing the finger at the idolator in Romans 1. Paul wraps up this duality of the human condition in Romans 3, where all have sinned and are found guilty before God, in need of his provided redemption.

But we can go back to Jesus again and the Prodigal in Luke 15, who lived a debauched lifestyle before coming to his senses. The story doesn’t end with him coming home and God falling onto his neck in unconditional love. The older brother, the hypocrite who did not do what his younger brother did, and called him out in critical judgement, actually did what his younger brother had done; not in behavior, but in his jealous heart. Yet he didn’t own up to the hypocrisy in his lifestyle. Just like today’s pastors in the pulpit won’t confront their hypocritical lifestyles.

The next time a religious figure condemns gay people for their ‘lifestyle’ just look at them and ask yourself, do they have a hypocritical lifestyle problem? Chances are, you know the answer. But, whatever you do, don’t hate them.

Hate their sin.

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