BARNES on the Bay
By D. Bruce Barnes
BARNES on the BayApr 11, 2023
The Church's Response to Progressivism's Moral Revolution, Keeping the Faith
PROGRESSIVISM’S MORAL REVOLUTION AND ITS APPROACH
Over the last seven decades, a growing topic of discussion has been sexuality and its place in modern society. But now, the conversation reveals itself through a new, progressive moral revolution unlike anything before it. In particular, there is a push for greater acceptance and inclusion of a wider range of sexual orientations and identities within society, and that push is also to influence changes within religious communities, specifically the church.
PROGRESSIVISM’S MORAL REVOLUTION CONCERNING MARRIAGE
These progressive ideas about societal relationships certainly have an effect on the meaning of marriage. This has been going on for some time. An argument currently being dominated by cultural progressives is that marriage is not restricted to a union between one man and one woman. Of course, with this premise accepted, all levels of intermingled relationships develop.
PROGRESSIVISM’S MORAL REVOLUTION OF INCLUSION
There is a new nuance developing along these lines that is also affecting the church. It concerns the church’s response to new sexual identities being promoted in our culture. Progressives take offense at the church for not being inclusive to the choices of sincere individuals. Progressives reason that the church needs to change, becoming more inclusive of those with differing views about sexuality.
PROGRESSIVISM’S MORAL REVOLUTION OF ACTIVISM
A final distinction expressed in progressive thinking is an intensive activism that demeans Christianity, God’s people, and the church. Such is characterized by calling us discriminatory, prejudicial, bigoted, and intolerant. The tactic here is a form of logical fallacy.
The commitment of God’s people is to defend the faith handed down to us. Diversity, inclusion, and equality are all to be found in Christ, but not outside of him. We must boldly and without apology actively teach and preach redemption and salvation for it is such that bring people together in one body, one Spirit, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all (Ephesians 4:4-6).
Being Like Jesus, A Life of Holiness to Pursue
We still have a responsibility to live worthy of Him who has redeemed us. To disregard righteous behavior is to be indifferent to the place of God in one’s life. But how does holiness show itself, and what responsibility do we have in pursuing it?Holiness reveals itself through repentance (2 Timothy 2:9). Holiness is a matter of conforming (Romans 8:29). Holiness is one's everyday lifestyle (1 Peter 1:15-16).
Living a holy life requires discipline, commitment, and perseverance, but the reward is a closer relationship with God, a life of purpose and meaning, and the assurance of eternal life with Him. Let us, therefore, heed the call of “Being Like Jesus” and live our lives as a testimony to God’s grace and goodness.
Being Like Jesus, A Christian Service to Render
Being like Jesus is also following Him, and such should be considered a privilege because it is a living expression of gratitude for His goodness. And such is our “reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). It is also a life of emulating His character through service to others. So, when it comes to following and being like Jesus, we must also render faithful Christian service.Service in Humility Service in Duty
In a spirit of humility and devoted service, we can truly testify of “Being Like Jesus.” Christ sums it up for us this way, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).
Being Like Jesus, A Longsuffering Spirit to Share
Jesus is our example of righteousness through the most difficult of challenges. We are to adopt His nature by kindly and gently tolerating others, even with the ultimate goal of forgiving them for some wrongdoing directed at us. Like Jesus, we must have a longsuffering spirit.A Longsuffering Spirit through Forgiveness A Longsuffering Spirit through Endurance A Longsuffering Spirit through Self-Sacrifice
This spirit of longsuffering is not just about having a forgiving heart but about being like Jesus!
Being Like Jesus, A Spiritual Yoke to Wear
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). This devotion considers the importance of being yoked to Christ especially as it concerns being more like Him.
Abortion and the Battle of Worldviews
Abortion has been a hotly contested topic for some time, and the end is nowhere in sight. This episode considers recent events that reveal the the battle is about worldviews.The Subject Matter of the Debate Abortion and the Secular Worldview Abortion and the Biblical Worldview What's Disturbing even Further Concluding Matters
Resource materials for this article:https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx https://wordandway.org/2023/01/19/clergy-sue-to-challenge-missouri-abortion-ban/
Holiness, Is it Practical or Even Possible
We often assume that holiness is something quite impossible. But really, the opposite is true. A life of holiness can be and is possible and practical.