I do not keep up with trends – by saying that, I mean that I do not industriously, attentively, devote my concentration and thoughts to what is popular in either the world or the church. To further expand on that, I do not scour the landscape of the news and social media to determine what is considered to be “new” and so, all too often, “better.”
Now, when I say the above, some will, no doubt, dub me a poor judge to say what is meant by socializing the gospel, since I do not assiduously follow all the latest fads; notice, however, I said I do not follow them, not that I was unaware of them. For instance, I am aware of the dearth of good preaching among the greater Christian Church (and I use that name for convenience sake, not to actually say that the greater part of the church is Christian), and how that dearth of good preaching has led to shallow, superficial understandings of the great doctrines of Christianity.
For instance, a god of love is set forth – a god who loves all without the condition that sin must be dealt with – and so the churches who promote such a god, rather than knowing the Triune God of the Scriptures, build a god in their own image, exactly turning backwards the order of creation. In this, the creatures become the Creator, and the Creator becomes subservient to what they perceive they need from this caricature of the true God. The setting forth of a god who matches the perceived needs and desires of people as they are entirely misses the problem – the underlying condition which all people have who have not been saved – of being born as depraved sinners, dead in their sins. Instead, forming such a god, who resembles the created creatures, caters to those things which are the symptoms of their sin, and articulates a policy of acceptance of that sin, or those sins, which they particularly favor, or want to be accepted according too.
A clear example of this is the “many genders” teaching which even some evangelical churches have embraced. To say that this militates against Scriptural teaching, and so reality, is a roaring understatement, at best, and a horrid teaching of the enemy, at worst – actually, it is both, and more. It is the result of the error of what man determines is right and wrong, rather than accepting that which the Creator of man has said is right and wrong.
Only one passage in the New Testament is necessary to show that such a teaching has no place in the revelation of our God and Lord, and in fact, goes against that very teaching, where our Lord speaks to the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3-6.
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
It is plain that “from the beginning [God] made them male and female,” and “what therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” One can choose any good English translation (or if another language is what they read in, a good translation in that language) and the language, and the meaning of the language, simply does not change. God made man male and female, and in marriage, they are considered to be joined in the marriage bond as one flesh. There is absolutely no room to seek to wiggle in additional genders here – our Lord Jesus Christ’s words are far too plain for such self-serving maneuvers. Despite all the “I can’t believe that God would not honor love between two people, no matter their gender,” such statements simply do not fly in the face of these words of the Son of God. Two men cannot become one flesh; two women cannot become one flesh, and such “joinings” are only to serve the desires of the creature which come from their unregenerate sin nature, not through any teaching of the Word of God. God IS love (1 John 1:8), but the context of that verse is in the midst of warnings to not adapt to the world, and additionally, the verse is not to be taken in isolation from the rest of Scripture, where God is also called jealous, considering worship of idols (Exodus 1:4-6), and he is also called a consuming fire for those who are among actual or alleged Christian congregations yet fail to follow His gracious prescriptions for worship in reverence and fear (Hebrews 12:29).
These descriptors of the attributes of our Triune God barely scratch the surface of what He has made known to us of His uncreated, unchanging, infinite, eternal Self, as far as our finite minds are able to comprehend Him. It is when we go beyond His descriptors of Himself via His revelation of Himself and His revelation of ourselves to us that we fall into trouble, and a very real danger.
Since this is a form of socializing the gospel – that is, making the Gospel of God conform to human societies morals, which change with the wind – we gave it that title of caution about doing just such a thing, for societies wants and desires do not dictate God’s commands and the decreed order He, as Creator over all things, has established firmly.
To know God as He is, we must read and study and think on the Scriptures. For this to happen, we must be members of a good, Bible-believing, gospel preaching church of believers. While God providentially makes allowance for those whom He providentially hinders from being able to make regular meetings of His church in a local congregation as already described, that is not the norm, and for most of us, it is only our sin which keeps us from such participation in a healthy body of believers in a local church.
One last word – the Pharisees were looking for a way to circumvent the Law of Moses regarding divorce, and when they asked the Lord Jesus Christ, after His masterful response to them, why Moses allowed a certificate of divorce , He answered that it was because of the hardness of their hearts. In other words, God had not commanded that a man put away his wife in divorce from the beginning of creation, but in His changeless decree, had made allowance for the hardness of the Israelites, under Moses at that time when they were first becoming a people and a nation, to do so, not as a justified practice, but as a proof that they misunderstood the very nature of what marriage, as it was from the beginning of creation, to be. They imagined God would allow them that which their calloused hearts desired – Jesus tells them God’s allowing divorce was rather a proof of their insensitive, uncaring hearts.
Modern society changing the True God into a god who is imagined after the designs of the creature He alone created has no such caveat. There is no allowance for adding to the design God gave mankind for marriage, including two members of the same gender co-habiting together. Although all sin is “because of the hardness of our hearts,” this does not mean God either overlooks or condones the sin, and here, concerning that which He created from the very beginning for man, there are no side exits or back doors. Those who suppose and propose such a god who is no god at all are playing with their eternal souls.