Tuesday, June 16, 2015

June 17, 2015

“I may speak in different language of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a noisy bell or a crashing cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love. I Corinthians 13:1-3

How did we get to the place where people can “self-identify” as someone totally different from who they really are and a large segment of our culture defends it or even expresses admiration for them?

Not that long ago, such outrageous claims would have been mocked and ridiculed while those making them would have been considered foolish.

Over the last few weeks we have endured the story of a former Olympic Decathlon Gold Medal winner who “self-identified” as a woman and now wants to be called by a woman’s name. That is a very strange thing for a 65-year old man to do.

More recently we have been following the story of a young white woman who has been posing as a black woman all her adult life and served as the president of the NAACP Chapter in Eastern Washington State. Though she resigned soon after her fraud was uncovered, she has received massive amounts of sympathy and support in the media across the nation.

As I reflected back over the last several decades in an effort to identify when this decline and deconstruction of our culture may have begun I had this thought, “Could the rapid disintegration of our culture have begun in the 1960’s when it became popular to “self-identify” as a Christian? By “self-identifying” Christian I refer to those who simply uttered a simple brief prayer, or joined a church or had parents who were Christians but there was no repentance or any noticeable change in behavior and attitude. This “easy believeism” has certainly weakened the Church and the Faith. When the Church and the Faith lose power and influence in our culture the powers of evil and darkness gain strength. The Apostle Paul addressed this very point when he reminded the Corinthian Christians that without God’s love what you say has no lasting impact, what you do has no lasting impact and what you give makes no lasting impact.

Saying that you are another gender doesn’t make it so.

Saying that you are another race doesn’t make it so.

Saying that you are a Christian doesn’t make it so.

The love we are learning about during this Summer at FredWes (God’s “Perfect Love”, “Agape Love”, the “More Excellent Way”) is what distinguishes Biblical Faith from “easy believeism”. There is nothing easy about having this Godly love. You can’t gain it by “self-identifying” it can only be given by “self-crucifying”. God’s perfect love is a gift of His grace that He gives to those who surrender their will to the will of God. And when His love is operating in your life, what you say has transforming power and what you do has transforming power and what you give has transforming power.

Are you a “self-identified” Christian are a “self-crucified” Christian?

It makes a world of difference.