Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Analysis (Part 1)

Larry King (KING) : Bishop Robinson, why do you want to be an official in a church that doesn't want you?

BISHOP GENE ROBINSON: Because the Episcopal Church is an amazing institution, because it so much wants to be a vehicle for God's love in the world. We've struggled with lots of issues before and we have come to know of God's expansive love. We've changed our minds about people of color and women and their places in the church. And we are now in a family struggle to express God's love for all of God's children, include God's gay and lesbian children.

Analysis: God does love all of His children. That's not the proper question to ask. The question is whether or not we admit that we are sinners in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. When we confess our sin (ALL sin), repent (turn away from and make every effort not to return to the same sins)and ask Jesus Christ to indwell our hearts through the power of Cross and Resurrection to life eternal, it is then that we become children OF GOD.

This is not a "family struggle" as Robinson claims. It's a pride of sin struggle and either God has possession of our bodies, souls and spirits, or pride of self and this life allows us to die in our own sin. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul?" Indeed.

KING: Canon Anderson, is membership dwindling because of this?

REV. CANON DAVID C. ANDERSON, PRES/CEO AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL: Membership in the Episcopal Church has been dwindling since 1965, progressively at about the rate of 35,000, 36,000 a year and that has continued through the time since Gene Robinson has been a bishop.

Analysis: Why would membership dwindle if all was "right" with this decision? The fact that many Episcopalians want to adhere to Biblical truth on the issue of homosexuality and believe that it is sin to actively engage in homosexual behavior, then there can be no reconciliation between what the Bible says and what Gene Robinson would want them to believe...that his lifestyle is somehow "blessed" by God.

KING: So it hasn't increased?

ANDERSON: Up to the latest figures in 2004. We believe that since 2004, the rate has increased but there aren't hard data yet to examine.

Analysis: The hard numbers of declining membership indicate that many are very displeased with the appointment of an active homosexual as bishop. I have read many articles that indicate a split is brewing (or, in some cases has already occured) because of this volatile issue.

KING: Why did you want to be a bishop, Bishop Robinson?

ROBINSON: Actually, at first, I didn't want to be a bishop. God had to chase me for quite a long time before I would say yes. I knew this would be controversial and yet sometimes God asks us to do things that are hard. And in my prayer life, what I discovered was that God was promising to be faithful to me as God had always been faithful to me in my life and would stand by me during this very difficult time if I would just struggle and strive to listen to and for his voice.

Analysis: Robinson should have listened to that first instinct. It would have negated much of the grief that traditional bishops, priests and laity have endured. Unfortunately, it appears that his ego and pride got the best of him and he decided that God wanted him to do this. Whose "voice" was he really listening to? The Holy Spirit of God does not lead followers to do something that is contrary to Scripture. This appointment was in direct violation of what Scripture teaches about proper sexual relations and/or purity for priests, bishops, etc.

Exodus 19:22 - And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

1 Thessalonians 4:7 - For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

Hebrews 12:10 - For they verily for a few days chastened [us] after their own pleasure; but he for [our] profit, that [we] might be partakers of his holiness

Hebrews 12:12,13 - And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Hbr 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;

Hbr 12:16 Lest there [be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

Hbr 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

KING: Bishop Robinson, were you ever married?

ROBINSON: Yes, I was very happily married and I have two wonderful daughters and two granddaughters.

Analysis: Very happily married? To a woman and had two daughters? So, what was it...selfishness that ended this "happy married" life?

KING: So you lived a lie?

ROBINSON: No. I wouldn't say I lived a lie. I had a wonderful relationship with the woman that I was married to. I had told her within a month of meeting her that I had struggled with this issue before. I had gotten to therapy to try to change. I had done all the things that gay and lesbian people try to do to fit in, to deny who they are and to change themselves, and I had prayed about it. And yet, this is not something that one does. This is something that one is. And that's what's so important for people to understand. God made me this way and declared me good. And that's, that's something that I have laid claim to.

Analysis: Where are the Scriptures that back up any of his claims here? There are none! However, when one confesses, repents and gives his life over to Christ, he becomes a new person inside.

2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

KING: Canon Anderson, since we're told that God loves everyone, that would have to include gay people. What do you have against Bishop Robinson being a bishop in your church?

ANDERSON: Well, God certainly loves Gene Robinson. Gene Robinson is a child of God just as I am and others are. But the fact is that certain aspects of his life, in particular, his being an open homosexual, disqualify him for leadership in the Christian church, not just the Anglican Church, but in the Christian church, and it's that part that disqualifies him from leadership. God would love to see him transformed. God doesn't create a person homosexual. How they become homosexual or feel that inclination is unclear, but certainly people can be transformed back to a heterosexual life.

Analysis: Well said!!

KING: If it's a choice, Canon Anderson, did you choose to be heterosexual and if so, how do you choose it?

ANDERSON: I think the heterosexualists, the standard default setting, if you will, and whether you start with scripture and God's account of how things were created or, in fact, if you start with Charles Darwin and evolution, you come to the same point, that men were meant for women and women were meant for men.

Analysis: Scripture is filled with passages emphasizing that God created them male and female. Jesus, in his own words, reiterated this truth. Here's a segment on truth from the "Day of Truth" website:

"We are on the side of a serious social debate about the effects of the homosexual agenda on our society. Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). In over one hundred passages in the four gospel accounts of Christ’s life, He either begins with the phrase, “I tell you the truth…” or identifies Himself as the source of revealed truth. As Christians, this provides us with the assurance that Christ is the one and only source of Truth of God.

When there is no standard for truth - when truth means different things to different people - the consequences can be tragic. Most people would agree that the commandment from God, “Thou shalt not kill” is truth. But what happens if someone rejects that as truth, and their “truth” allows them to engage in the killing of innocent human beings? We are simply pointing to what our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, recognize: that there are absolute truths, and that such truth comes from our Creator, God."

Even when people like Gene Robinson attempt to share their perceived truth on issues such as homosexuality, there is no doubt that God has expressed His views regarding this issue. They are written down in His Eternal Word, the Bible. All the refutation done (or attempted) by finite man will never change the unchangable, infallible truth of God's Word. This is why the fight continues within the Episcopal, Anglican, Evangelical (or any other kind of Christian denomination) churches because there will always be a faithful remnant who will hold fast to God's Truth through the Person of His Revealed Living Word (Jesus Christ) as well as His Revealed written Word, the Bible.

KING: So what, then, does someone like Bishop Robinson do if he has all of these feelings but he's a good Episcopal priest and he wants to be a bishop and he wants to lead a flock, what does he do?

ANDERSON: He conforms his life to the scriptural standards and lives a chaste and celibate life honoring God and honoring God's commandments.

KING: Bishop Robinson, how would you respond?

ROBINSON: Well, I would say that none of us are able to conform our lives to scriptural standards. In the gospel of Luke, for instance, Jesus said if you want to be a follower of mine you must give up all your possessions. I don't see many of us doing that. We all fall short in one way or another. The miracle, the good news, is that we're not worthy, but we're made worthy by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That's the good news we have to give to the world and God has said to me and to all of God's children what God said to Jesus at his baptism, you are my beloved. In you, I am well pleased. The world is desperate to know a God like that.

Analysis: This is so blatantly unscriptural. Where do I begin?

Let's take it one sentence at a time.

1. ROBINSON: "Well, I would say that none of us are able to conform our lives to scriptural standards."

Analysis: This is true. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 5:6-11 - Christ in Our Place
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

2. ROBINSON: "In the gospel of Luke, for instance, Jesus said if you want to be a follower of mine you must give up all your possessions. I don't see many of us doing that. We all fall short in one way or another. The miracle, the good news, is that we're not worthy, but we're made worthy by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Analysis: What Robinson conveniently leaves out is that once we confess, repent and ask Jesus Christ to indwell our hearts, we become a new creation. Willful sinning is not to be on our radar screen! This is where we get the saying, "God forbid" from. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Not one jot nor tittle shall pass from the law until all is complete. The salvation, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ is not to be used as an excuse to continue sinning!

1Cr 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid.

Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Gal 3:21 [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Rom 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

3. ROBINSON: "That's the good news we have to give to the world and God has said to me and to all of God's children what God said to Jesus at his baptism, you are my beloved. In you, I am well pleased. The world is desperate to know a God like that."

Analysis: Before the Good News of the Gospel can be had, the bad news of sin must be realized by the sinner, confessed, repented of and dealt with through the blood of Jesus Christ at the cross. Is God pleased with willful sinning Christians who would make light of the terrible penalty that Christ paid on the cross for their sin? I think not! A "bishop" who doesn't even acknowledge what God clearly calls sin as sin, is negating one of the sins of man that Jesus died on the cross for! No. God would not be pleased with that.

Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Hebrews 13:8-21

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Do not be carried *about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.

10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. 15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

Prayer Requested

18 Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably. 19 But I especially urge you to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Benediction, Final Exhortation, Farewell

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in *you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

(bold, italics mine)

* more to come*


Darnell said...

Thank you for staying on top of issues like this. I've added you to my blogroll at http://www.independentconservative.com/

Christinewjc said...

Thank you Darnell, for your excellent posts at your Independent Conservative website! I originally found you through La Shawn Barber's Corner and subsequently, through many other excellent Christian blog writers.

I really need to start a blogroll! I now have a lot of Christian blogsites that I would recommend to all.

A while back, I was using Technorati. Unfortunately, some devious people thought it would be funny to link me to porn sites, so I took the link off. After several weeks of email complaints, Technorati eventually eliminated several of them, but one does remain (unfortunately) so I don't feel comfortable re-establishing that portal. A blogroll is safer.

Thanks so much for visiting and adding me to your blogroll! You are most welcome to comment here anytime!

Mark said...

'Bishop' Robinson says "God made me this way and declared me good. And that's, that's something that I have laid claim to."

Robinson saying that really sums up the error of his thinking.
Consider Rom 3:12
'All have turned away from God;
all have gone wrong.
No one does good,
not even one'.

Not one of us is good, he should know that!

Romans 7:18 'For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not'.

The more holy we become, the faster we see the sin that still remains in us. Robinson has willfully set aside the spirit(God's Holy Word) and welcomed his flesh. And now he leads a church into the darkness. very sad.

Scott said...

Hi Darnell,

Thanks for your thoughts. What's unfortunate is that on something like the Larry King show, the central Gospel issue cannot come to the fore. Archbishop Peter Jensen, a staunch evangelical from Sydney, has a lot of good things to say with regard to this whole issue. At the center of the problem are not questions of leadership or church practices but the authority of the Bible, the gospel and the mission of the church. I recommend you take a look at...


...for some good evangelical reading.