When One of Your Own Breaks Rank

Nothing should break your heart more than when you see someone struggling with something and then just giving up. As a believer in Christ, and His power over not only life but death itself, I have my own struggles, sometimes they overtake me, sometimes I simply give in, but I am always drawn back to the cross, where Christ made a mockery of sin’s power, by not only suffering the wrath of God for my sins in the past, but for all of them, by conquering through death on the cross, once, for all.

If you follow internet trends, if you follow some of the people I follow, just so that I can stay informed about what is going on in the world, then most certainly you have heard of Pastor Danny Cortez, a Southern Baptist pastor from California, who in a recent YouTube video, “changed his mind about homosexuality.” (I tried to link the video here, but I was experiencing problems with the link, but it can be found by searching “Why I changed my mind about homosexuality”, but here is a link to a response to the video by Dr. James White, which is very gracious.)

My initial response to the video, which I was unable to watch because of where I knew it was going, was visceral: I wanted to grab the man by his collar and slap him around. But as it has been a few days, and I have had time to reflect and go to the scriptures myself, I have finally decided what I would say to Pastor Cortez, given the opportunity, but that is not what this post is about.

This post is about about the coming onslaught against the “traditional teachings of Christianity”. While taking my devotional this morning, this passage from 2 Peter, chapter 2 caught my attention:

1 But false prophets arose among the people (referring to the time of Israel and Judah’s disobedience), just as there will be false teachers among you. These false teachers will infiltrate your midst with destructive heresies, even to the point of denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring swift destruction on themselves.
2 And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. Because of these false teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.
3 And in their greed (this isn’t necessarily for money)they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation pronounced long ago is not sitting idly by; their destruction is not asleep.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell and locked them up in chains in utter darkness, to be kept until the judgment,
5 and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, when God brought a flood on an ungodly world,
6 and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly,
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless men,
8 (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)
9 – if so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment at the day of judgment,
10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires and who despise authority. Brazen and insolent, they are not afraid to insult the glorious ones,
11 yet even angels, who are much more powerful, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord. (NET)

It is very easy to be condemning of Pastor Cortez, terribly easy, and that is wrong. The believer’s prayer ought to be that he come back, not to the “traditional teachings” but to the truth of God’s revealed Word, that he would put away his sentimentality and put on the genuine compassion that calls for repentance and faith, that he would reject the lies of those who reject the authority and power of God and trust more fully in it.


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