The Supreme Court Just Gave American Evangelicals a Gift

 

supreme-court-same-sex-marriage

 

Evangelicals are tenacious, persistent, and driven when they want to fight for a cause. The problem is that American evangelicals have been swept up in fighting for the wrong cause for a long time.

When the Supreme Court ruled to make same sex marriage the law of the land, American evangelicals received a gift that many don’t want: official permission to fight for people in need instead of fighting against same sex marriage.

Whatever you believe about same sex marriage, the role of government, and the future of the church in America, disagreeing with same sex marriage on moral grounds does not demand a public campaign to prevent it from becoming legally sanctioned. While I remain committed to creating room for affirming and non-affirming evangelicals who unite under the common banner of saving faith in Christ, evangelicals in America should have never made legalized same sex marriage a central moral issue to fight in the courts.

While I don’t believe Matthew 25 is exhaustive in its presentation of what matters to God, we do get a glimpse of the kinds of people who have internalized and lived out the message of Jesus. They work to alleviate the most pressing needs of others in our world.

That isn’t a call to relativize our sexual standards. Rather, I see Jesus pointing us toward the issues that pertain to the most basic aspects of human dignity: food, shelter, clothing, justice, and sickness:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you invited me in, 

I needed clothes and you clothed me, 

I was sick and you looked after me,

I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

We can disagree all day about same sex marriage. Heck, the majority of evangelicals will most likely continue to disagree about this issue for another 20 years until the millennials take their place in church leadership.

However, there’s no denying that millions of people around the world are suffering significantly, and Jesus wants us to focus our energies on serving them. If there was ever a group of people who should give a damn about children dying of hunger, deeply wounded people suffering in prison, and thousands upon thousands of refugees fleeing unprecedented violence in the Middle East, it should be American evangelicals.

It’s not like these massive global needs are a secret:

Over 49 million Americans and 870 million people overall in the world are going hungry (source).

750 million people worldwide lack access to clean water, leading to diseases that disproportionately kill children under age 5 who are unable to fight bacteria (source 1, source 2)

The U.S. prison system incarcerates over 2.3 million people, including a disproportionate number of African Americans (source).

Over 100 million Christians around the world face severe persecution, including the believers living in refugee camps after fleeing Syria and Iraq (source).

Over 500,000 Americans are homeless (source), but worldwide an estimated 1 billion people are living in housing that is inadequate (source).

If you care about preventing terrible things like human trafficking, rape, forced prostitution, and child soldiers, partnering with groups that empower communities to meet these basic needs will go a long way in keeping potential victims safe, healthy, and in control of their own lives.

Declarations about the collapse of civilization because of same sex marriage ring hollow when we consider that Americans toss 31.1% of our food while allowing millions to go hungry, fail to ask whether our ridiculously high incarceration rates ruin thousands of lives that could have been set right through treatment programs, and Christians in the Middle East have to flee their villages after ISIS invades, steals their women and children, and threatens to kill anyone who refuses to convert.

If God is going to condemn us over anything in America, it’s going to be our indifference and inaction when it comes to feeding people, giving out clean water, offering shelter, visiting the sick, and helping the prisoners, not a Supreme Court ruling.

It boggles the mind that evangelicals in America have long seen this ruling coming, but we have fought tooth and nail in what many suspected to be a losing cause. So many millions of dollars and hours were tossed into legal battles that were a long shot at best.

And yet, we have always had financial resources, competent charities, and passionate workers who are more than willing to travel to the ends of the earth to fulfill the very words of Jesus. If we collectively gave these most basic causes just a fraction of the time and energy that we had devoted to fighting same sex marriage, who knows how many thousands or millions of lives could have been saved.

We have been given a gift: The Supreme Court ruling means we can stop throwing our time and money into fighting same sex marriage and fulfill the words of Matthew 25.

We need not lament, lick our wounds, or bemoan the “terrible” world that our grandchildren will inherit. For millions of people around the world and even in our own neighborhoods, the worst has already happened and will continue to happen.

We need not wave the white flag of surrender on same sex marriage and pray for God’s mercy. If we’re going to take the words of Jesus seriously, know this:

God’s judgment has been upon us long before a single state allowed same sex marriage.

God’s judgment came upon us when we left people hungry, thirsty, sick, unclothed, and alone.

It’s time to stop blaming the court system. If we disagree on same sex marriage, that is our right. That doesn’t change the call of Jesus for his followers, especially American evangelicals at this time. We have our marching orders. We shouldn’t act surprised at who we’re called to serve.

We aren’t called to fight against someone. We aren’t called to litigation.

We are called to fight for everyone—especially those suffering in the most basic ways.

The longer we engage in legal fights against same sex marriage, the more apparent it becomes that we’d rather throw ourselves into any losing cause than obey the most basic commands of Jesus.

Let’s take our tenacity, energy, and resources and throw them into serving the people who are suffering the most in this world.

We may even hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant,” one day.

 

UPDATE: July 1, 2015

Comments will be closing soon on this post, so I wanted to add a quick note that will hopefully address one of the leading concerns among those who have commented thus far:

The majority of the dissenting comments have accused me of overlooking or downplaying the relief work that evangelicals have done around the world.

However…

Some of the most enthusiastic shares, comments, and private notes I’ve received in support of the post have come from missionaries and aid workers around the world who said I put their exact thoughts into words. Not to say all such folks agree with me, but it’s just a general trend.

In addition…

No dissenting comment I have yet seen has made personal mention of being an aid worker who feels overlooked or disparaged. Not to say this won’t happen, but it’s just a general trend.

To be clear, I assumed that it’s common knowledge that American evangelicals are involved in all sorts of relief work and missionary work. I had not intention of downplaying what anyone has done in helping those in need or in preaching the Gospel. My intent was calling attention to the needs that remain in our world and the importance of focusing our energies to meet them. My apologies if this post unintentionally minimized anyone’s generosity or service.

295 thoughts on “The Supreme Court Just Gave American Evangelicals a Gift

  1. Ugh. Are there any real Christians out there? So many are blindly strolling hand-in-hand down the broad road, the easy road…where love and tolerance and social justice are the pillars of the gospel.

    Does no one read their Bible anymore? Or believe it? Jesus said that most who think they are Christians are not. And thanks to those who preach a false gospel, this massive, jovial parade will discover too late that the bridge to their heaven is out and will stand rejected and condemned by Jesus, the very one they thought would save them. Read Matthew 7:13-29

    As important as it is to care for the sick and help all those in need, these righteous deeds are simply the evidence of those who truly love and serve the Lord Jesus.

    And neglecting these acts of service is NOT—I repeat—NOT the reason for God’s condemnation or coming judgement as this author falsely claims:

    “If God is going to condemn us over anything in America, it’s going to be our indifference and inaction when it comes to feeding people, giving out clean water, offering shelter, visiting the sick, and helping the prisoners, not a Supreme Court ruling.” -ED CYZEWSKI

    “God’s judgment came upon us when we left people hungry, thirsty, sick, unclothed, and alone.” -ED CYZEWSKI

    God’s judgment and righteous condemnation will rightly fall on all who reject Jesus the ONLY means of being right (justified) before God. “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity–the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim 2:5

    Jesus calls us to be his hands and feet and care for and truly love others, but let’s not forget the real reason Jesus came…to call sinners to repentance and holiness. To be reconciled to God the Father. He came to prepare for himself a pure and holy people who are called out of sin and darkness and into His kingdom…to reign with him forever.

    No matter what the Supreme Court does or how many rainbows we post on Facebook, let’s not forget that when Jesus returns, he will not be wearing a rainbow-colored robe. He will be coming in a blood-soaked robe of judgement to destroy all who rejected HIS GIFT of salvation. Rev 19.

    In the end, #LoveWins ONLY for those who belong to the Great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to save them. Titus 2:13

    For the rest, it matters not whether they are draped in rainbows, a judge’s robe, a nurse’s scrubs or a papal hat, if they haven’t repented and been stripped of their pride and clothed in the righteousness of Christ Jesus, then they stand condemned.

    Let’s get God’s story straight.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ed, do you believe Paul’s writings are inspired and canonical? Read 1 Corinthians 5. Paul says Christians should not concern themselves with the world – God will judge. For a Christian to hold a loud vocal opinion on the marriage question is contradictory to Paul’s message. (Many fundamentalists also choose to ignore Paul’s writings about women’s ability to speak in church, and his orders on the wearing of jewelry.)

      Liked by 1 person

        1. This is the best response ever.

          Almost as good as imagining Jesus in a blood-soaked robe coming down from Heaven with his AK-47 to destroy those rainbow-flag-waving non-believers.

          Pew, pew, pew, pew, pew!!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

      1. It is not an ‘either/or’ situation, though. Christians should indeed care for the needy, but if there had been no sin we would not have people who are needy. Suffering is directly or indirectly the product of sin.

        Therefore Christians must resist and speak out against sin, and encourage others to do so, wherever it takes hold. Same sex ‘marriage’ remains sinful and is therefore damaging, even if those who support, create, and take advantage of such legislation do not understand this.

        I think you have taken your Scripture quote out of context, and misapplied it, johnjay60.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

          3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 NIV

          Not all suffering comes from sin.

          Like

        2. Isnt that what Christians do when they throw bible verses around to defend their values? Take verses out of context and use them as a weapon of hate and intollerance?

          Like

    2. The reason why Christian leadership doesn’t emphasize these issues is because they don’t bring in the revenue streams the way that condemning gay marriage does. Organized religion is a business, and in order to stay in business, leadership selects the issues to rile people up about that induce the greatest contributions to the Church. Once churchgoers, never really ones for critical thinking in the first place, decide they care more about social justice and the like, leadership will have no choice but to emphasize those issues instead – some churches are already doing this. It has to be a bottom up process – with a credible threat of people actually leaving the congregation to facilitate change.

      Like

      1. “Never really ones for critical thinking,” I don’t know what churchgoers you are referring Sommerma, but you do not know what you are talking about. Furthermore, most churches are no more focused on “revenue streams” than they have to be to keep their doors open. They have to pay bills just like every other organization and feeding the poor is not free either. Your whole comment is just stereotypes. How about you spend a little time in church before you go making broad generalizations. The nerve!

        Like

    3. AMEN!!! People are so biblically illiterate it is downright frightening! Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am ONE. He certainly didn’t come to ease the temporary physical discomfort of those in the world. There is nothing wrong with helping people and we should do this but the battleground is the GOSPEL. Thanks for your response. You said exactly what I was thinking.

      Like

        1. Thank you Leslie!
          “For the gate is NARROW and the way is HARD that leads to life, and those who find it are FEW.”
          Any church or writer or teacher who proclaims the “broad road” gospel of “ear-tickling” inclusivism is part of the deception. And when Jesus ultimately rejects them– “Depart from Me, I never Knew you”–it won’t be because of their good works or their tolerance or their social justice. They did all the right “stuff.” They even did it in Jesus’ name. They will be judged and rejected because of lawlessness. It’s so simple really. It’s the same message since Genesis 1. Every sin (in thought or action) is punishable by death. Those who recognize their sinfulness and repent and receive the LORD Jesus–God’s ONLY provision for payment–will receive New Life.
          This article extols exactly what Jesus abhors in Luke 18:14. It is not the religious one who does the right deeds who is justified. It is the one who beats his breast and falls guilty at the feet of the merciful Judge. It is he who is made right with God and experiences the only true #LoveWins. Everyone else will stand condemned. Followers of Christ CANNOT be ashamed of this truth. Yes, the True Gospel is offensive because the true Gospel is about Repentance. (Mark 1:15) #TrueLoveWarns
          🙂 Steven

          Like

      1. Prove it. Prove to us all that the Bible was something other than a way to control the sheeple of the world. I highly doubt a God would create a race of people and then deem them evil. That’s behavior of people who want to bend others to their will.

        It’s so obvious it hurts. Whether it came from a government or a hippie uprising it’s purpose is clear. That’s why it was written by his followers. Not an outside party.

        Like

      2. The churches already do all the stuff this author is calling for them to do. And there is the main one that we are commanded to do, ” Spread the GOSPEL to all the world!” And they are doing this too! The church taking this stand is to try to make people see “how far we have fallen”,”To try and save those that are lost!” The body of CHRIST was given gifts, we all have different gifts so that we each can do what we are called to!

        Like

    4. Zfari – have you yourself been deemed the head over who are the REAL Christians? Why don’t you head over to the Matt Walsh blog with the other extremists, so you can feel better about being an a-hole – all in the name of Christ.

      Like

      1. Why thank you for labeling me an extremist, Tamara. 🙂
        I’m certainly not the head of anything. Jesus Christ is the ONLY head and we are all equally subject to Him alone (Col 1:18). Those who stand for the authority of God’s Word and boldly proclaim the true gospel are indeed extremists. Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate that leads to life and FEW find it.” Now that is extreme!
        #TrueLoveWARNS.
        “We are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20
        🙂
        Steven

        Like

        1. Steven – I would give anything to know about your secret sin life. Care to share freely, all for Christ’s sake? The extremists like you are typically the worst offenders in our society and hide behind the bible and your Jesus.

          Like

        2. Love that response Tamara!
          You would love to know about my secret sin life? Awesome.
          It reveals that you are a part of a world system that seeks to exalt or condemn based on human achievement. Nothing new there. All world religions do the same thing.
          Yes, I sin in thought and deed. I break God’s law, but because “it is not I who live but Christ who lives within me” (Gal 2:20), it breaks my heart when I do. I am a New Creation and I am no longer a SLAVE to sin and its passions. It is not about Perfection, but Direction. I desire to please Him because He redeemed me. He Bought me. He Rescued me. I delight in His law because it reveals my sin, but I cherish His grace because EVERY sin I commit IS forgiven and will NOT be held against me on the Day of the Lord.
          I find it ironic that non-Christians complain that Christians are “Self- Righteous.” The truth is that the exact opposite is true. Nonchristians believe and proclaim and even parade that they are “right” with God based on their own merits. THAT is the definition of Self-Rigteousness. True Christians by definition are the ONLY ones on the planet who are NOT self-righteous. They have repented and now bear the righteousness of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21
          TRUTH: You CANNOT be a Christian and be self-righteous.
          #TrueLoveWARNS
          Steven

          Liked by 2 people

    5. …”to call sinners to repentance and holiness. To be reconciled to God the Father. He came to prepare for himself a pure and holy people who are called out of sin and darkness” Does that include sinners like Billy Graham’s grandson who recently admitted to an affair? Does that include the droves of men in your own church secretly addicted to pornography? Does that include those in the church who molest children? The people who “claim” we need to call others to repentance and holiness can’t even get their own acts together and are drowning in sin. Yet – they stand on their pedestals and decide for all evangelicals that this horrible “Gay issue” should be our number one focus and obsession in the church. “We’re no longer a moral nation!” Hell – very few in your church are. You have no idea what is going on in their personal lives and what they are hiding. As for me – I will support (notice I said support – not worship) the person who lays down his own life to truly help the disadvantaged and hurting. Not the ones in their expensive clothes and lying tongues who seek to control others by cherry-picking scriptures and using it for political gain. Since when did becoming a Christian require becoming political? Ya – that was Jesus’ message, wasn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see your point, Tamara, but perhaps I wasn’t clear in mine. God makes the rules and we have ALL broken them. We are ALL guilty before him whether we wear a rainbow flag, a papal hat or the name of Billy Graham. Our good deeds do not earn us a right standing with a Holy Judge. And our sins CANNOT separate US from His love. ALL our sins are completely forgiven. The Million Dollar, Eternal Question is: Who is US? The ONLY ones whose sins are forgiven are those who have Repented and Believed on Jesus the Son of God. Acts 4:12 says “there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved.”
        EVERYONE else must pay for their sins themselves. The broad road is filled with those who feel they are right with God but they aren’t. I’m compelled to warn them out of love.
        Seems like you’re focusing all your attention on works. Good or bad.

        Like

        1. Zfari – it seems your consumed with “words” vs real, life humans. You talk and talk and yet never get down to the nitty-gritty of real people. I’m gay – can I come and worship alongside you in your church? Can I watch your children in the nursery? Can my partner and I attend your marriage conference? Can I be in charge of a ministry? Can I come to your home and eat dinner with you and your family? What would you tell your children about me and my family? Can I disagree with you in your church and still attend? Now what about Billy Graham’s grandson? Can he come to your church? Could he be involved in all of the above? Is he a “real” Christian? Can I become a supposed “real” Christian and stay married to my wife? What about our two children? Would you recommend that we divorce and adopt out our kids in order to be “real” enough for your God? You talk and talk, but I very much doubt you have one ounce of experience with gay people. You’re merely talking at people and I can guarantee you that in 20 years time with these amazing and young children in America – your words will mean very little. You’re obsessed with one sin and as long as the “Good ol’ boys” in your church say the same words, no matter if they’re addicted to child pornography or not, they are in good standing with you. Good luck with that!

          Like

      2. Tamara,

        I can hear the pain in your voice and my heart goes out to you. I wish that I could invite you and your family to our house for dinner and talk about some of your questions in person.

        I will only say now that Jesus loves you personally, and died for you and wants a relationship with you. If you will consider having a relationship with Him, He is more than able to satisfy all your heart questions, heal the wounds you have, and lift the burdens you carry. Through Him we can have peace with God. That’s the greatest gift we could ever have.

        Liked by 2 people

    6. So true, zfari.

      I don’t deny our responsibility to the poor, outcast, etc.. and I do actually think that now that the ruling is done, we need to move on. There is no point in beating this horse. The masses have spoken. But that doesn’t mean throwing out the Bible or changing the gospel to better suit this new “reality”. It means that times are going to get tougher and we need to hold even more strongly to the Word.

      Liked by 2 people

    7. I agree with Ed. It is likely that God will condemn us for our lack of reaching out to the poor and hungry just as He did with Sodom. Ezekial 16: 49 states “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Also, read the story of the sheep and goats in the NT-their separation depended on who cared for the least of these.

      Like

    8. Well said. There should be no disagreement among Christians over gay marriage. To think God can look with favor on it is blasphemous. No group on earth does more to help the poor and hungry than Christians. More can and should be done but people are fooling themselves if you think that is why the wrath of God is coming. The reason evangelicals should be rejoicing is over persecution that is coming to those who stand firmly on the Word of God. Maybe it will wake us up to speak out more, pray more and love others more and count the cost as many will lose their livelihoods and freedoms. Blessed are those who are persecuted for His sake. That comes when you live righteously and obey God rather than men.

      Like

    9. zfari – I believe true repentance and God’s call to justice are not only compatible but are inseparable. Isaiah 58 is clear (especially v.6-7):

      3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
      ‘and you have not seen it?
      Why have we humbled ourselves,
      and you have not noticed?’
      “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
      and exploit all your workers.
      4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
      and in striking each other with wicked fists.
      You cannot fast as you do today
      and expect your voice to be heard on high.
      5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
      only a day for people to humble themselves?
      Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
      and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
      Is that what you call a fast,
      a day acceptable to the Lord?
      6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
      to loose the chains of injustice
      and untie the cords of the yoke,
      to set the oppressed free
      and break every yoke?
      7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
      and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
      when you see the naked, to clothe them,
      and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
      8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
      and your healing will quickly appear;
      then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
      and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

      Like

    10. This reply is mostly in response to zfari (the above post and the one below a few). First, God destroyed Sodom because she was “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned”, not because of her sexual sins which were many (Ezekial 16:49). Second, in several posts down you state that Jesus will say ” Depart from me” because of lawlessness. However, if you read Matthew 25 (where your quote came from), you are wrong. That statement was part of the parable of the sheep and goats which were separated based on who gave food/water/clothing to the least of these. Both of these Scriptures directly contradict what you claim and support Ed’s original point.

      Like

  2. Ed, if in fact you have spent much time feeding the hungry and clothing the stranger in our cities and around the world, surely you know how deeply intertwined poverty and brokenness are with sex. If you care about poverty, you have to care about sex. My parents have worked for decades in the inner city and in Kwazulu-Natal, the area with the highest infection rate of HIV in the world. They have seen first hand how inter-generational poverty is a corollary of unchastened sexual practice. And here in the US, out of wedlock birth is one of the single greatest predictors of poverty. It would be foolishness if the Christians who for so many generations have been on the front lines of serving the poor never paused to consider: What are the causes of this perpetual poverty? Perhaps we should also address that too. Regarding same-sex marriage, it is less obvious what the consequences will be of more and more children lacking either a father or mother, but one can be sure it will not be an isolated thing, an island unto itself. There will be social consequences. Christians must carry on the unenviable task of being sexually counter-cultural, because we have every evidence that the biblical sexual ethic is good for personal and societal well-being. And, as we go, we must remember the poor, who are in so many cases the victims of cultures that haven’t provided the tools to choose wisely.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I think you have your cause and effect backwards… Perhaps poverty is the single greatest indicator of out of wedlock pregnancy.
      If you are poor, you can’t afford contraceptives… Or marriage.
      Maybe conservative Christians should stop fighting against people’s needs for contraception as a basic part of healthcare coverage.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi Ryan. You’re right that it’s worth being cautious here about fallaciously reversing the causal direction, but I don’t think I have done so. There is nothing inherent to poverty that leads to promiscuity (except, perhaps, idleness), but you’re right that cultures of poverty are a primary cause of successive generations struggling with the same choices. This is why it is truly a cycle, the effect also being in part the cause of the next cycle. As for contraception, Christian (and especially Catholic) ambivalence about contraception is not the problem. In KwaZulu-Natal, which I mentioned, there has been a years-long ticker-tape parade of free condoms. The number of free condoms distributed there boggles the mind, far outpacing the population of the whole country. It has had no discernible positive impact in combatting HIV. Here in the U.S., the increasing availability of free condoms and many other forms of contraception has paralleled the exponential increase in out-of-wedlock pregnancies since the sixties. I’m not opposed in the least to access to contraception, but there is no lack of access, and access makes little difference. It’s culture, not condoms, that can break the cycle of poverty.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. What about no-fault divorce? Its a legal redefinition of marriage just like same sex marriage, and has left many children without a stable home.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Yes, there is a correlation between poverty and out-of-wedlock births. And unplanned and a unwanted births and high birthrates. Our culture is capable of providing the tools to choose wisely. I recommend donating money to Planned Parenthood.

      Like

  3. Jesus said He was worth the cost of expensive oil poured on Him before His crucifixion, part of our act of belief and worship. Christians get criticized any way possible. Christians do obey by feeding, clothing and comforting the poor. We must stand up for God given standards, no matter the cost.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You almost got it right Ed, Jesus does want us to meet the needs of the poor and hungry. By the way, the evangelicals you choose to judge and mock are the biggest contributors of those needs on the planet. But Jesus asked us to make disciples of the nations, priority one for a dying world. Your lengthy rant left that out.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I recommend that you read the book “Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism” by Arthur C. Brooks. You will find ample proof there. Also, as I pointed out in my own comment on this thread, evangelicals give far more to humanitarian relief organizations than to social advocacy charities. I looked up the IRS Form 990 information for World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, and Prison Fellowship. Last year, just those four humanitarian relief groups received $2.5 billion in donations. By contrast, the four social advocacy groups of Alliance Defending Freedom, American Center for Law and Justice, Family Research Council, and National Right to Life only received $75 million in donations. I think each of these two sets of four organizations is representative of their categories, so you can see for yourself where evangelicals are donating the bulk of their resources.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. That’s not a fair comparison at all. A lot of non-evangelicals and non-Christians donate to World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse and Compassion International. For obvious reasons, they would not donate to the social advocacy causes you listed. Unless you have specifically limited your research to a fixed quantity of Evangelical donors and tracked their donations to both types of organizations, this is a comparison that is useless at best and deliberately misleading at worst.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Jenna, please read the book, especially the chapter on Faith and Charity. The author has done meticulous research to show that it is in fact primarily churchgoers who give to charity, and not just to their local churches, but to the very types of humanitarian relief agencies I’ve listed. Therefore, I stand by my statement. It is an entirely fair comparison and an accurate one. It is not in the least bit useless or misleading.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. But I’m not faulting the book. I haven’t read it and can’t comment on it. I’m only asking about the IRS form information that you said you looked up. That information would not have given you a breakdown of the donor demographics, it would have only told you the volume of donations each organization received – right? With that information alone, we can’t assume that all or most of those donations to humanitarian causes came from evangelicals. I’m not saying I don’t believe Christians/Evangelicals give more heavily to humanitarian causes than to social advocacy, and I’m definitely interested in reading the book you mentioned. I just think these tax form numbers are not indisputable unless you have donor demographics. I have many non-Christian friends who have donated to/sponsored children through WV and Compassion International.

          Like

    1. Surely you know your church history and how the Gospel spread through Ancient Rome by leaps and bounds because the Christians cared for the poor, even during a plague. Preaching the Gospel is not mutually exclusive from meetings the needs of the sick and the poor. Just because I did not lay out my rationale for sharing the gospel or discipleship in a single blog post, that does not mean I don’t have one.

      Like

  5. Yes. Yes. YES! This is exactly what we need to hear. I’ve made this point to many in my congregation. Somehow, we skim over God’s great concern for the weakest in society. Just a few passages: God called Israel a sinful nation for abandoning concern for the poor, fatherless & widows. (Isaiah 1)
    James tells us that pure religion isn’t taking control of the world, but to look after widows & orphans & to refrain from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27) The implication there is that showing no concern for the weakest in society IS being polluted by the world.
    Jesus said people would know we are his followers, not if we stop gays from marrying but if we show love. (John 13:35)

    Furthermore, I believe it is wrong for us Christians to attempt to use the law to stop gays from marrying. Read Jesus’ parable of the wheat & the weeds in Matthew 13. It is NOT our jobs to stamp out “evil.” Attempting to eliminate evil can cause harm to the world. If you disagree with me, go on and read the text for yourself. It IS our job to nurture goodness in this world.
    So let’s turn this “loss” in the world into a win. By using this & every opportunity to do good for those in need.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is not a very well thought out piece. It’s maddening really. It’s completely ridiculous to say that the Supreme Court gave American evangelicals a gift, the gift of being able to focus on the poor because the issue of same-sex marriage has already been decided so evangelicals don’t have to focus on that anymore. As if one cannot focus on both. At any rate— Here’s something I would like to know—if the Supreme Court prohibited SSM instead, would the author still say that the Court gave Evangelicals the gift of now being able to focus on helping the poor? Something tells me that he would not.

    Interestingly, it was Judas who said that the money bag was wasted on anointing Jesus when it could have been given to the poor. It seems to me the author’s doing something similar. Who said that those who will suffer as a consequence of the legalization of SSM, suffer because what they thought would make them happy ultimately didn’t, are not poor? Who said that the children who will lack a mother or father because of SSM are not poor? Poverty can be spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional, and moral, in addition to material. The author of this blog post seems oblivious to this, and to the existence of the spiritual works of mercy.

    Another thing… this ruling will lead to individuals attempting to file lawsuits against conscientious Christians and Christian churches. The ruling could also get in the way of some Christian groups and organizations of helping the poor. Gift? Hardly.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Churches weren’t required to marry people last week. That won’t change today. There’s lots of justices of the peace that can perform the ceremony and sign off on it.

      Like

      1. What about the wedding photographers, bakers and doctors who, because of religious comvictions, objected but have been sued? The people who brought the lawsuits against them had ‘lots’ of other options as to what businesses that thy could go to, but didn’t.

        Like

        1. You’re telling me a gay couple doesn’t know someone with a dang camera or an oven that shares the same views as them? Good grief, people, stop with this nonsensical way of thinking.
          Also, what does a doctor have to do with same sex marriage?

          Like

    2. Very good point, supergs. A reminder of our tendency to see things from our flawed perspective rather than God’s. I too would have bemoaned the “waste” of the oil..

      Liked by 1 person

  7. “When the Supreme Court ruled to make same sex marriage the law of the land, American evangelicals received a gift that many don’t want: official permission to fight for people in need instead of fighting against same sex marriage.” American Evangelicals will have to spend time and money defending their right not to be forced to perform same sex weddings or provide services for them. They will have to fight for their right to hot have to be forced to hire homosexuals in their churches, Christian schools, non-profits because those institutions believe marriage is defined as one man, one woman. These are the types of things they will be spending time and money on. They will continue to do their best for the poor and disenfranchised. There are many of us who are on the front lines caring for the poor. Evangelicals “ignoring the poor” is far from the only reason the poor or not being served well. Corruption, greed, selfishness, etc. I agree with Nate Jacobson’s post above: “surely you know how deeply intertwined poverty and brokenness are with sex. If you care about poverty, you have to care about sex.” Exactly!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The idea that churches will have to perform weddings agains their will is simply wrong. Churches, Synagogues and Mosques already deny people the right to marry in their congregations for a whole host of reasons. That is their religious freedom in action. This court decision is about secular marriage not religious marriage. Historically they were often one and the same but secular marriage offers a host of legal rights that most married people take for granted: inheriting property, access to medical facilities etc. I had two Christian friends who were refused their ceremony in her church because he was divorced. They simply chose a new church. Gay couples marrying will do the same. As for being a florist or baker, that is an act of commerce and at that point you are bound by the laws of the state. So you can hold your nose, pray for them, whatever, but you still have to do business with groups of people you might not choose. I have lived for years in a state that allows same sex marriage. Churches have not been sued, they have not closed, and my husband and I are as committed to each other as we were 20 years ago. The sky is not falling.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. What about the companies that boycotted Indiana? Were they forced to do business with a group of people they might not choose? It’s a double standard. If I follow your logic, an African American who owns a print shop would have to print materials for Ku Klux Klan…its ridiculous so suggest that so why have different standards for Christians who object to same sex marriage?

        Like

    2. All the supreme court decision says is that same sex marriages are legal. That means you can get married at a courthouse. If you’re not aware you need a marriage license from the government even in a religious wedding. So same sex marriages aren’t going to ask a church for anything unless their current church supports the issue. Nor do they have to.

      Like

  8. I’m deeply saddened to see so many negative replies. We just continue to miss the point and this piece just proves that! Just act out of love and let God do the judging!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just wanted to say “thank you.” I wrote a post yesterday that’s getting a lot of attention for me and I started to get nervous about it, but then my husband saw this post and shared it with me and just…. Yes. Thank you for understanding and loving.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reblogged this on amp-see ideas and commented:
    I shared this on Facebook, but wanted to share it as a follow-up post to the blog I posted Saturday evening.

    This is the sermon that I hope all American evangelical Christians meditate on today….

    “Let’s take our tenacity, energy, and resources and throw them into serving the people who are suffering the most in this world.”

    If you’re looking for somewhere to focus your time and energy now, I know some amazing nonprofits who have been focusing on such people.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent blog. Excellent post. It very similar (although toned down a bit) to a blog I wrote yesterday titles “Take Me To Church – Same Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court” and linked in perfectly with yours of Evangelicals needing to “refocus”. Sadly, it won’t happen. I believe at times they thrive on drama and yelling and telling certain groups they are the ones damned to hell. Must be an Evangelical hobby. Maybe they should take up Yo-Yoing, Fishing, or Mountain Climbing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. We can yell all we want about “God establishing marriage between one man and one woman”, but the Christian church seems to get really quiet when the issue of divorce comes up. Most Christians choose to ignore what the scripture says about divorce – it is “hated by God” and it is clear throughout the Bible that, except for a few rare cases, divorce and remarriage leads to continued sin – adultery…

    Luke 16:18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    The Old Testament, Jesus, and the other writers of the New Testament were all clear on the sin of divorce, yet my church and every church I have been associated with is full of divorced / remarried people, many who probably sit in judgement of same-sex marriage. Why doesn’t the church condemn them for openly living in sin?

    Our call is to Love God and Love others – leave the judging to Him…

    Like

    1. This is something I just really don’t understand. Why is it okay for the churches to be filled with divorced people? What is it about a marriage between two consenting adults who love each other that is so terrifying? I really just don’t understand why we have this double standard?

      Like

    2. Actually you will find that divorce is permitted as a last resort for a variety of reasons in the Old Testament or Tanach as I prefer to call it. Suggest you check through Deuteronomy (I think it is what you would number as Chapter 24 but there are other mentions). Jesus was preaching based on the teachings of one limited Rabbinical School (School of Shammai iirc) who did not agree with the whole business of the bill of divorce or Get as I prefer to call it. It has never been a Jewish ideal but rather a last stop necessity in the case of irrevocable marital breakdown. If you are going to preach the Tanach to people at least please get your facts right!

      Like

  13. This post and the following comments are the perfect example of the root problem in and outside of the Church (pride). We choose one scripture passages “that we believe in as the whole truth” and condemn anyone who does not champion it the way we do. The Bible has a lot more to say about caring for the poor, sex, money, life, etc. than just a handful of verses. There is a thread that runs through the whole book on all of these topics and more with examples of what happens when people live by faith or not. The New Testiment doesn’t make sense unless you understand the covenant requirements of the Old Testiment. And none of it can be understood or applied correctly without the help of the Holy Spirit, but few people will take the time to humbly ask for His help.

    Like

  14. Thank you, Ed, for bravely writing this post, full well knowing the rain of hate and garbage that would follow. Social justice is not hippy dippy bullshit. It’s the heart of Christ. If I risk being condemned for my love and acceptance of homosexuals when I am standing before god and the throne, I’m certain I don’t want any part of that “kingdom” anyhow.

    Like

  15. Ed,
    Empowered by grace, I have fed Him when He was hungry, sheltered Him when He was homeless, given Him something to drink when He was thirsty, clothed Him when He was naked, cared for Him when He was sick, visited Him in prison. In doing so I have learned that so few of the homeless have parents who honored their marriage vows, nor honored their marriage vows and love their children in practical ways. Asserting Divine plans for marriage across the board is a fundamental way to ease suffering that can be done while doing the rest of the remedial work needing to be done in our sin sick world..

    Like

  16. Happy Monday, folks. I took most of the weekend away from this here blog, and apparently things kind of exploded while I was gone. I’ve never had a comment moderation policy because it’s never been necessary. From what I hear, I’m going to need one. So I’ll be going through the comments later today, and I wanted to give everyone a heads up on what’s going to happen:

    1. I welcome dissenting opinions. I have many close friend who disagree with me on this topic, and we can get on with our lives just fine. So I’m not worried about disagreements here. I am, however, concerned with civility so that all views feel welcome.

    2. I see this blog as a kind of front porch conversation that I’m hosting. So if anyone starts attacking anyone else verbally, makes unfair accusations, insults anyone by calling them a fool, idiot, etc., or does anything else that may make other commenters from voicing their opinions, those comments will be deleted. If you have written a particularly long comment that you feel perfectly captures your views like nothing else in all of the internets but you also resorted to insulting people or created a particularly hostile commenting environment, please copy and paste it somewhere else because I will most certainly delete it later today when I stop by to moderate things.

    3. Comment moderation is not a science. It’s far more important to me that I create a space where civil discourse can happen rather than giving room for people to bully, accuse, judge, etc. The Internet is a big, wild place with lots of diversity. It may be that this particular blog just isn’t your cup of tea.

    4. It’s been my ongoing policy to close comments after a post has been live for two weeks in order to minimize spam. That policy will remain for this post as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re a good man Ed! Clearly you have opinions which don’t tickle the ears but rather challenge thinking and popular opinions which more often than not are simply fear mongering rants about causes which escape the real message and true heart of a Loving and Merciful G*d. Keep it up brother man. I typically write sarcastic messages designed to attack that which fails to promote Love, albeit it in a poignantly sarcastic way. But you clearly have a gift to be measured and honest in a way I’ve not been blessed with in my writing. I don’t think I need to tell you how much crude the world will throw at you for keeping the faith in the faithful way you do but please do not allow such to deter you from this gift and calling. It is so nice to see. Baruch haba b’shem Adonai!

      Like

  17. The link between ingrained poverty and the culture of sexual anarchy is undeniable. The”freedom” our elite class celebrates is devastating to the poor as it absolutely guts the social resources they used to rely on. Want to help children? Feed them, yes, but help to restore the place of the traditional family if you want to have the greatest impact.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I wrote a piece on this scripture a short while back, from the perspective of a religion-loving atheist. (I’ve tried, but I can’t believe, though I was tempted to lie about it, just to not get frozen out of my family and church. )

    I published my piece to several atheist’s group pages, newsletters, etc; I was surprised that it was well-received; most online atheists don’t like it when I write anything positive about any religion.

    My point in the piece was simply this: if atheists can take any part of the Bible as a promise, let us select Matthew 25, which promises us that with or without belief, moral acts count. It states that if we live morally because we believe in walking our ethics, we are the ones who end up getting invited to the eternal wedding party, because those who were supposed to come had spiritual egos the size of camels & couldn’t get through the needle on heaven’s gate! They thought faith without works would save them, and they all got kicked out! Because if you say you are a fig tree, but don’t sport any real figs, oh! Jesus is going to curse you! That’s the essence of Jesus’ teaching, in a mustard seed shell.

    I have always and will always say that righteousness is its own reward. But if it turns out I get to join a banquet of good people with a dude who can water into wine — who just sent all the judgmental, boundary-crossing, holier-than-thou, bully bible bangers to a hell of their own creating, I’m totally down for the party.

    It is against my religion to sup with hypocrites. But I’ll party for eternity with those whose deeds matched their belief in righteousness, from any & all walks of life, if eternity is ever granted me by surprise. According to Matthew 25, it doesn’t seem that Jesus was expecting many of those who were actually converted, so we don’t have to worry about what a drag it would be to have to spend eternity with them.

    Anyway — I just thought I’d drop a line to say that, You, Ed, are alright by this reluctant atheist.

    * By righteousness I mean the same thing Buddhists mean when they say “right action”.

    ** A needle is a one-person door in a much larger gate. A camel has to shuffle in on its knees with no rider to get through a gate.

    Like

  19. Powerful is the final verse of the chapter: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Where I feel the battle lies according to this text is not in the “here and now”, but the “there in eternity”. Benevolent acts fail without this scope of understanding.

    Remembering that “they are neither married nor given to marriage” in heaven, we must step outside of time to identify with what’s most precious to God: souls.

    Our goal with the LGBT community is loving them fiercely, holding fast our confession, and sharing with them the Gospel of Christ.

    Like

  20. This is irrelevant. Supreme Court rulings are about our laws and Constitution, not the Bible and Christianity. EVERYONE should be concerned about this abuse of judicial power! And not the least reason being that it opens the door to making the practice of Christianity illegal in many circumstances!

    Like

    1. I’d be curious to understand what parts of Christianity would be made illegal because of this ruling? With all due respect, your post feels like fear mongering, rather than reality. If I’m missing something, I’d love to understand.

      Like

  21. The message in our service I heard yesterday was how non-believers are pressed up against the glass of Christianity and watching to see how our lives and who we believe in will actually ‘work’ for them. Sadly to say, the comments on all Christian blogs and Social Media posts alike weighing in on same sex topics are validation of why they stay away from Christianity as a whole. I’m included as well but until we can show how we love and can forgive each other, there’s no room and hope for them. They already know we judge them, so why would they ‘join’ our faith. (Not siding with ANY views here for fear of getting pounced on). Come on everyone, can’t we just have grace for each other?

    Like

  22. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

    Like

  23. This is so sad to my soul. What these 5 Justices did was slap God in the face and tell him we do not need you, we do not believe in you and we are going to do what we want. We have told him we no longer fear him, respect him or want him in our lives. They have taken the hand of protection on our nation away. They removed our blessings as a nation. They told God he is not going to define what marriage is or he can tell us what the purpose of man or women is. This is so much bigger than gay rights or marriage. 5 Justices have told our nation that we are no longer “one nation under God or in God we trust”. Read the Bible. He destroyed nations for less than this. They have made our nation a target. Drought, fires, earthquakes, diseases, famine and hurricains are not the act of Mother Nature as everyone wants to belive……they only happen because Father God approves or wants it. Sin is sin. Abomination is not good thing. These 5 Justices just cursed our land.

    Like

    1. America is not a theocracy. It is a democratic plutocracy. That’s a really important point many seem to forget or just not understand at all. The Bible never says Christians are to be in control of the laws of the land.
      If you really want to live in a theocracy, go try one out. Iran is the first one that comes to my mind.

      Like

    2. Pretty sure the slave trade, colonialism (just ask the Philippines), and the genocide of Native Americans were all pretty big in the abomination, sin, and judgment-worthy categories. To say that this is the point that will bring down God’s judgment on our land means a lot of oppression didn’t really catch God’s attention.

      Like

  24. Thank you for writing this. It does a great job of explaining why I’ve been so annoyed by this whole blasted circus! I love it when another person puts my thoughts into words, when I am struggling to do so myself. 🙂

    Like

  25. It may be awhile before anyone reads this reply, but nevertheless I agree with this blog. The truth is that the Holy Spirit convicts each human being of sin once they are in a position where they are able to listen. Whenever there is fighting, screaming, hurting, hunger, nakedness and shame, there is a broken heart that needs help. We must not be the ones inflicting pain, but we are called to be the ones who heal.

    If we are followers of the one true God and His Son, then we know, deep within, that we are not worthy to throw stones at anyone else. We are all sinners. We are all in need of mercy.

    So reach out your hand, filled with bread, to feed the hungry. Take off your extra coat and give it to someone who has none. Place shoes on the barefooted. Make sure there is clean water to share. We are all fellow travelers on this compromised earth. Let’s get on with survival and then we can all thrive!

    Like

  26. No disrespect intended sir, but please do not speak for the rest of us Christians!! Your article is moot and based on zero evidence, that is unless you can read every Christian’s mind. Just because you call yourself a Christian doesn’t mean you know the minds of all who are. From what I see Christians do more for humanity than all the rest of humanity, the ones you should be talking to. You may see us publicly, and with much passion, share the truth of the Gospel and a better way than the way the majority are living today, which we do out of love, but you do not see what is done behind closed doors which we choose to keep between God and us. We do not do our charitable works to be seen by man as Jesus tells us not to.

    Matthew 6:1New King James Version (NKJV)
    Do Good to Please God
    6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

    There’s always much more than meets the eye!

    Like

  27. Sounds like a lot of “in-fighting” among the “brethren”. Our effectiveness as a body of believers in Christ is only weakened when we fail to unite solely for one purpose….spreading God’s Word.

    Like

  28. Where was all this righteous Christian indignation when police officers were gunning down and taking the lives of and violating the rights of and abusing a disproportionate number of poor African Americans? Where is all the righteous Christian indignation at the persistent racism in housing, employment education, finances, law enforcement that African Americans and people of color suffer that make it difficult to have stable families even to this day? Oddly, some of the same people who talk about adhering to God’s word about homosexuality as a sin, claiming it will cause the breakdown of marriage and family in American society, constantly blame amoral and lazy African Americans for the breakdown in ours, without any mention or regard for the systemic racism that has been a part of this country since its inception. It’s as if racial hatred and oppression aren’t sins that God is concerned with at all.

    In fact, where was all this righteous Christian indignation when Christians ran their marriages into the ground, married for the wrong reasons, married without preparation, lived together outside of marriage, had sex outside of marriage, had children outside of marriage, had abortions, had affairs – especially pastors and church leaders, abused children, committed crimes, and divorced in droves?

    Is homosexuality right? Of course not. There has just been so much that the body of Christ has allowed to be wrong inside our own family that we are no authorities on morality to condemn anyone else with. We haven’t taken care of our own family – the body of Christ – and that, according to the Bible, makes us worse than the enemies of God.

    Like

  29. And by the way, the very same Supreme Court ruling that made gay marriage legal – NOT MORAL – in every state also re-affirmed the right of religious people and organizations to disagree and express their faith without interference from the state. Because the Constitution that so many Christians love to claim is being rewritten actually guarantees religious freedom under the 1st Amendment to it.

    Like

  30. Interesting read… But you present a false binary either/or premise that by a third of the way into your blog post seems mostly ideologically driven and thereby makes your overall exegesis of Mark 25 seem more shallow than not.

    Like

  31. I read with awestruck wonder this article.. blog. While I agree that we should be doing our Fathers business, I find it hard to believe that one would not morn the glorification to a lifestyle that is being taught to our children as natural through the current school system and government systems. If this is a gift from God I certainly do not want to get any more like it. All good gifts come from the Father! This is not good.

    I haven’t read everyone’s response, and I don’t care really what people may think when it steps outside the boundaries of what God has plainly spoken to us in His word. He is the one who has already judged! We have no say so except that as U.S. Citizens we have a right to declare what we think is good and right for our society in order for it to receive the real blessing of God.

    It’s amazing to me that we put such little authority on what the Word says. We cherry pick what we want to believe. I think lots of that is due to the fact that we have messy consciences for not bringing up our children the way we should have… or been active enough with them so as to sway them from the perversion of a lifestyle of homosexuality. Yes… perversion. Playing church does that to them when they see behind the scenes that Jesus is not real to us. Sunday for a couple of grueling hours and then some afternoon baseball!

    Lots of ignorance in the Body Of Christ. One person wrote that “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality”. I beg to differ. The Holy Spirit wrote the entire Bible. The breaking of bread, the word, is of the highest importance. There is no fellowship with darkness or with those that want to call darkness light. The only way to the Father is through repentance from dead works (habitual living in sin) and turning to the cross and the blood of Christ. And when we walk in the Spirit… those perversions will not have rule over us.

    Th Body Of Christ needs to get a bit deeper than ankle high. Might start with a little personal talk with the Lord and study… letting the word speak instead of twisting it into what we want it to say.

    My 2 cents.

    Like

  32. What EVERYONE is forgetting is our jobs as Christians, Catholic (I’m assuming) Baptists(even southern Baptists, not the crazy f@$!tards either) our jobs is to accept the laws of man. But he who hands u the life and happiness, if you seek it, will be the judge. As long as we live our lives like our father in heaven asks of us. Let those who twist his laws, to live their distorted lives, be the ones delt in his own ways. We accept, forgive, try not to stumble along the way(we are human after all) provide for our families and bgo to church. ..if u don’t like my words keep scrolling.

    Like

  33. A lot of people use “Matthew 25” as the basis for our need to help the needy and poor. It is one of the verses that the religious left uses to base their theology on. First let me say that God clearly tells all Christians that it is our duty to help orphans, widows, and the poor. The scriptural order of priorities should be God, spouse, children, parents, extended family, brothers and sisters in Christ, and then the rest of the world but the goal should be to not ignore any of our relationships. Proverbs 14:31;19:17 says: “whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. The Good Samaritan story is an excellent example of helping someone in need but in “Matthew 25” Jesus is talking about our Brothers in Christ. Jesus tells us that many will lose everything for following him. Jesus says: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). Throughout the world Christians are often persecuted and/or killed for their witnessing and it is our duty thru tithing, praying, and giving that we help them.

    In Matthew 25 verse 40 we need to look at “least of these My brethren”. Paul says: For I am the least of the apostles. Ephesians says: “This grace was given to me—the least of all the saints” Jesus said: “no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Most of the time when Jesus used the word Brother or Brethren he was referring to his follower. In Matthew 12:48-49 Jesus says “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers!” Hebrews 2:11 says: “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” The goats are the people who claim to be Christians that do not try to help and pray for other Christians that are suffering and being persecuted. His “brothers” are his followers, and whatever anyone does to the least of his followers is also done to Christ himself.

    ……………………………………………….

    Understanding “the least of these my brothers” in Matthew 25:40
    http://theologicallyspeaking.com/…/understanding-the…/

    ……………………………………………….
    The copy below is from John MacArthur

    “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, you have done it unto Me.” What a statement. Who are His brethren? Well, Hebrews 2:11 and 12 says He’s not ashamed to call us who believe His brethren. I believe He’s referring to the redeemed people. I believe He is simply saying this, whatever you do to meet the need of a fellow Christian, you do to Me. Is that not right? Because he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:17. Nevertheless I live yet Christ lives in me, Galatians 2:20. Paul celebrates that again and again, we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Christ is in His people. What is done to me as a Christian is done to Him. He is so intimately identified with me. Back in Matthew 18 He says, “When you receive one such little child,” Matthew 18, I think it’s 4 and 5 there, “When you receive one such little child in My name, you receive Me.” And He means there not a physical child but a spiritual child. When you receive another believer and you open your arms and you meet their need and you embrace them and you take them in and you strengthen them and you encourage or you help them or whatever, you accept them, you do it to Christ. Whatever you do to another believer, you do to Christ. That’s the bottom line. That’s the simple yet profound truth that the Lord is endeavoring to communicate. Whatever you do to a fellow believer, you do to Christ. It’s that simple. And that is a truth that is oft indicated in the texts of Scripture. ““He that receiveth you, Matthew 10:40 says, receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me.” Boy, that’s another dimension. When you open your arms to a fellow believer, you’re receiving Christ. And when you’re receiving Christ, you’re receiving the Father whom Christ resen…represents. It’s a tremendous thought. What you do to another believer is what you do to
    Christ.And so He says to these who are gathered on His right hand, who are the chosen of the Father, your choice, your sovereign grace, your election, your redemption and your imputed righteousness has caused you to demonstrate the love of God to the people of God. And I see that. And that’s the external mark of your genuineness and I take you into My Kingdom.

    Like

    1. Ha! Point taken. Yes, if we’re smart, we should get the younger generations involved in leadership now. I’m thinking of the big megachurches, multisite churches, and such.

      Like

  34. I have no idea what the Evangelicals are up to. I’ll let them speak for themselves. But my Church hasn’t stopped serving or lost focus on the beatitudes.

    The SCOTUS decision in Obergefell reminds me that ultimately Caesar doesn’t define marriage. Even my own marriage probably wasn’t valid in the eyes of God. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t last – we never made room for God in it.

    The greater challenge may be yet to come – will Caesar punish the Church, diminishing its charitable works, it’s schools, hospitals, etc. for exercising its right to religious and moral conscience by declining to perform or provide coverage for abortions? Will it lose its tax exemption for declining to redefine the sacrament of holy matrimony to satisfy whatever Caesar’s whim wants?

    The Church has not experienced oppression up until now in this country I pray it doesn’t in the future, but that it remains true to Jesus and the mission of loving God and our fellow man.

    Like

Comments are closed.