M.P. raises a heartfelt objection based on something she heard on our podcast:
Regarding your message that addressed those who support sodomy and the right to kill a baby: You stated that they could be saved. I agree they can be saved, but not while they consciously support such atrocities. If I understood you correctly on your program, you said these individuals could simultaneously be saved and supporters of sodomy and murder. You know this is not correct. Read the Bible. You’re hurting those who listen to you and want to be accepted by God but not follow His Word. Ecumenicalism is a blight upon Christianity, and in fact, ecumenicalism is not a quality of Christianity.
I appreciate her concern.
I am not ecumenical. That word refers to promoting unity among the various Christian denominations and groups. You can’t promote unity among these groups while saying that most people within them–including Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and cults—lack everlasting life because they have not believed in Jesus for the gift of God. That is my view.
Anyone who believes in Jesus for the gift of everlasting life receives that gift. Anyone. One’s church background is not a condition of the new birth. Neither is one’s lifestyle.
M.P. seems to confuse being in fellowship with God and being born again. A person who believes in Jesus for everlasting life has that life even if he is walking in the darkness.
Carried to its logical conclusion, M.P. herself could not be saved unless she were sinless. Why does she list only two sins that keep one from being born again? Wouldn’t premarital sex be sin, too? Adultery? Lying? Cheating? Envy? Jealousy? Outbursts of wrath?
I believe this is the way M. P. thinks:
Major premise: Ecumenicals say that homosexuality is not sin.
Minor premise: Grace in Focus says homosexuals can be saved just as they are.
Conclusion: Grace in Focus is ecumenical.
But that is a flawed syllogism. To say that homosexuals can be saved without cleaning up their lives first is not the same as saying that homosexuality is not a sin. We say that homosexuality is a sin. But sinners can be saved just as they are. No one needs to clean up his life in order to become qualified for the new birth. The shed blood of Christ qualifies everyone for the new birth (John 1:29; 3:16; 1 John 2:2).
Pride is the greatest sin. Should we tell people that they must shed their pride before they can be born again? If so, how do they do that?
Once we abandon the message of life that Jesus gave us (e.g., John 3:16), we end up with a man-made message that makes sense to us. But if our message is not His message, then we are proclaiming a false gospel, no matter how well-intentioned we are.