‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Are Christians being persecuted for their beliefs? - Ekklesia again

We have two 'gay' stories in the press at the moment. A Christian couple in Cornwall have been fined for refusing a gay couple a double room. Perhaps they really did break the law as it now stands, but I don't see how these cases against ordinary hard working people benefit the gay community in the long run because it looks vindictive and mean spirited. And it doesn't address persecution from those who are really antagonistic towards gay people. Christians are easy targets.

Another story concerns Mrs Lesley Pilkington, a respected long standing psychotherapist who has offered to counsel people to be healed of their sexual orientation. The British Association of Psychology and Counselling is holding a hearing after an undercover reporter recorded her comments. Ekklesia, with quotes from the Bristish Humanist Association, are getting hot-under-the-collar and reporting this as 'objectionable' and 'wrong.' See Biblically inspired gay conversion ‘therapy’ is objectionable and wrong

I do wonder about Ekklesia. The word is Greek and used for 'church' as the congregation of Israel in the LXX version of the Old Testament. The 'Think Tank' Ekklesia though spend much of their effort attacking a large section of the Christian Church. Are they a cause of division?

There is a division in the church between those who hold to a liberal, perhaps socialist or humanistic agenda and those who are more conservative and traditionalist in their outlook. But there are others who seek spiritual revival and the outworking of God's grace in the present time while remaining committed to traditional beliefs. But many liberal Christians seem to have little comprehension of the concept of 'grace' and believe instead in human centred social progress. This is where the real clash of ideas lies, between those who hold to a theo-centric faith directed by God's grace and those who seek an anthropocentric faith driven by a belief in human progress.

The gay question is complex and I don't have time to discuss it here, but there are many young people confused by popular messages in the media about their sexuality. It isn't good enough to say to such confused people that they were born a certain way because it may lead to a disjunction between confused mental thoughts and deep seated emotional needs to relate to the opposite sex. Christians should have the freedom to counsel young people in this area and offer healing to those who are confused and so bring harmony to thoughts and emotions. There may be others who are genuinely disinterested in the opposite sex, and people should have the freedom to choose their lifestyle, but we shouldn't pretend that all are mentally at ease with the confusing messages they receive via the media. I believe there is divine grace to heal through the dynamis (power) of the Holy Spirit.


Anonymous said...

You noted that there are different outlooks in Christianity the liberal or what you also call a socialist or humanist outlook,and the conservative/traditional, and a third one: there are others who seek spiritual revival and the outworking of God's grace in the present time while remaining committed to traditional beliefs, which I assume is where you place yourself. Though I do not necessarily disagree with you that a humanist Christianity falls short, but I find it interesting that Jesus calls us to clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, love our enemies, etc., should Christianity be theo-centric or christo-centric, and if we are Christians, I will assume that we are at least meant to be christo-centric more than we are.

I am of the persuasion that Christianity at least centred around Christ should be inclusive and that does include secularists, the LGBTQ community and even radical Islamic terrorists within reason of course in the spirit of the Good Samaritan if anything (in so far as that means not causing harm in anyway) if need be, because at the end of the day we are in the reconciliation business.

I think it is fair to say that modern Christianity is Pharisaic, hypocritical, we hinder people from accepting Christ's invitation and we play a false role publicly, don't get me started on the priests whether catholic or protestant.

SO who did Jesus hang around with, eat with? Every day commoners, prostitutes tax collectors, and terrorists, right?

God's grace and our justification is very much tied in with other as can be seen in the Disciple's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and As James writes, "Faith without works is dead."

Don't get me wrong we are saved by grace, but we are judged by our deeds.

Ekklesia mantioned in a few placs in the NT (Matt 16:18), was a political forum in the Greco-roman world, the word church comes from the Greek kuriakos, which means the Lord's place, which maybe a later development because as far as the Early Christians were concerned they saw themselves as resident aliens (both at home and foreign simultaneously).

Dissenters said...

But the work of Christ through the Holy Spirit involves justification and sanctification. Christ fulfilled the Law and imputes righteousness to us - so we are now saved apart from the Law, but now He writes the Law on our hearts so we have a desire to fulfill the Law. Good deeds, that God has prepared in advance for us to do, are done through grace.

But Christianity is not antinomian.