Saturday, June 7, 2014

Is Your Church a "Third Way Church?"

If you have not heard this phrase yet, it has become the new nomenclature for "churches" that have refused to be either gay affirming nor gay denying, but instead have discovered a third way in which neither of these positions is adopted.   If that sounds problematic from the beginning, you are thinking rationally.  Only by embracing multiple instances of double speak can one walk away after hearing this position thinking it is anything but completely absurd.  This is yet another sign that both post-modernism and the "new tolerance"have made a mockery of rationality and Christian ethics.  Recently Ken Wilson of the Ann Arbor Vineyard has embraced this ludicrous model in his blog found here.  The problem with this position, other the the clear Biblical calls to repentance and holiness, is that it is intellectually dishonest.  Which is the nice way of saying that pastors who embrace this position are liars and are seeking to make merchandise of the sheep.  They are the ones who Paul warned us about in Acts 20:29-30 "...after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them."
The fact of the matter is that there cannot be a third way.  It defies all logic.  The basic claim borrows on a principle that if carried to it's end would deny it's existence. It says that "we don't have to be gay affirming(so that we don't offend real Christians), nor do we have to be gay denying(so that we don't offend the world)."  It seeks to create an atmosphere of radical non-confrontational non-judgmentalism. Yet, ironically, in doing so it is judging the two other positions as being incorrect, which violates it's own principle. If it were sane in any possible world to embrace a third-way philosophy, then it would also be sane to embrace a fourth-way philosophy which would claim that it is "...neither gay denying(way 1) nor gay affirming(way 2) nor is it gay denying nor gay affirming(way 3), BUT instead it is a church that is gay denying and gay affirming." But then of course there could be the fifth way which adopts the archaic "don't ask don't tell" policy that was dumped by the military.  Or for that matter the 6th way where gender is completely denied as an ontological reality.
It is sad that such an argument against third way even has to be made.  Any non-judgemental stance towards sin is an endorsement and acceptance of the sin.  This is unavoidable.  When Eli of old tried to embrace a third-way with his two sons Hophni and Phinehas, God dismantled his family (cf. 1 Samuel 2:27ff).  This type of theology is the epitome of man-centered absurdity.  Even the radical liberal Tony Jones who is wrong on probably 95% of his theology agrees that no third way is possible.
My wish is this, that churches(and by that I mean the small hand full of men that are on the leadership team) would simply show their cards.  If they are going to embrace the culture's deviant lifestyle as a viable path to holiness, then let them be men and do so.  They who walk the fence on this issue are cowards.  If you are under a leadership team that is unwilling to declare their position because they are in "process,"you can be certain that they are just waiting for the wind of culture to show them the way they should go.  Those type of men are not leaders, nor are they interested in the glory of God; they are  are pawns of Satan, and are deceiving others in order to pad their bank account.
"If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain." 1 Tim. 6:3-5

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