The pastor's divisive calling...
God has ordained the Sacraments to divide men...
(Tim) From The Huffington Post, here's some commentary on the congregational applause that greeted Senator McCain's statement at the Rick Warren pow-wow, that life begins at conception:
These are church people. What they say and what they do often doesn't match.... As loudly as they may have applauded McCain's straight talk about abortion, a lot of women in that audience have had abortions. A lot of their mothers, their sisters and their daughters have too.
How do I know?
I know because evangelicals who've studied each other have shown again and again that evangelical behavior differs very little from that of the rest of the country.
The writer is correct to say the church is filled with women who have murdered their babies. Even if you don't believe the pollsters, do the simple math and you'll see that the over two-thirds of Americans who claim to be Christians have to account for the murder of millions of the babies murdered since 1973's Roe v. Wade. And although the writer doesn't mention it, the church is also filled with the men who fathered those children and demanded or acceded to their murder.
Acknowledging this, we need to keep some things in mind.
First, regardless of how they identify themselves spiritually or theologically here on earth (membership in the PCA, for instance), like unrepentant adulterers and thieves, murderers who refuse to confess their blood-guilt and ask for God's mercy will not be in heaven. As the Apostle Paul puts it so bluntly:
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1Corinthians 6:9,10)
Second, as a minister of the Word and Sacrament, the essence of Pastor Warren's calling is to be as constant and explicit in making this dogmatic pronouncement as the Apostle Paul in the Word of God. He cannot fail to discipline those who, while murdering their unborn children, attend his church and take the Lord's Supper there.
God has ordained the Sacraments to divide men physically, distinguishing between those who do and those who do not belong to Him--and in a way that all will see. Preaching also has been ordained by God to make this radical distinction between life and death and to warn those on the highway to Hell that God is not mocked, that whatever a man sowed is the very thing he shall reap.
Our gay culture despises distinctions, but they're the heart of biblical faith and the ministry of the Church. Two ways, two roads, death and life, Heaven and Hell, broad and narrow, unbelief and faith, washed and unwashed, communing and not communing.
The deception at the heart of American civic religion is the abuse of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ as a cover for those who deny every form of distinction that dares to expose that amorphous globule of sentimentality known as "getting along with one another" which has become our only surviving civil compact.
When Pastor Warren hosted a new kind of forum aimed at restoring "civility" to our national discourse, he did so as a minister of the Gospel, a pastor, a shepherd of God's flock, a watchman appointed to guard the souls under his care. And the heart of his duty is to testify to life and death, to Heaven and Hell.
The streets are running with the blood of over fifty million--that's 50,000,000 babies. In such a time as this, should a Minister of the Gospel be able to gain a good reputation for measured words, a calm demeanor, an avuncular manner, a pleasing equanimity, a bipartisan posture as he hosts a national forum through which two candidates vie for his nation's presidency, one of whom opposes and the other defends that bloodshed?
Every one of us who is a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ will have an infinite weight of guilt to answer for when we stand before the Judgment Seat. Blood-guilt for the murder of our own precious children will be common among us on That Day. Augustine is not the only one who needs to make his confessions.
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1Corinthians 6:11)
So what are we doing to prepare ourselves and those God has placed under our charge? Are we trying to lower the decibels of our national political debate to a more civilized level? Or are we proclaiming the hatred of Almighty God for bloodshed and calling all men and women to repent of this great wickedness, warning those who refuse to hear and continue advocating this bloodshed that unless they repent, they shall perish?
If we want to know what this would look like, we have only to think back to John the Baptist and all the prophets who went before Him. Or Jesus. Then it all becomes clear.
Pastor Warren had the ear of our nation and its future president that night. The river of blood dividing our land was front and center. But the goals chosen by the Minister of the Word and Sacrament presiding over the evening intentionally precluded him from following in the footsteps of the prophets of old. Not surprisingly, then, he did not share in their end.
John the Baptist is dead. He was killed by the ruler and his wife who despised him for publicly humiliating them by calling them to repent of their sexual immorality. His prophetic word could not have been more specific.
This is precisely the path Pastor Warren studiously avoided. And he had the audacity of proclaiming that his betrayal of his calling was actually a matter of principle--you know, a "civilized" forum and all that.
Thus Pastor Warren's forum is likely to be remembered as his finest moment among evangelicals across this perverse nation. And this while we lay garlands on the tombs of Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Athanasius, Peter Waldo, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, William Lloyd Garrison, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.