• Ryan

    Owen, are you at all concerned at all with reaching the lost? Here is what I really think you are doing: You and your conservative friends focus on the “culture wars” because it is easy. Is your heart with the Republican party or with God? Be honest! If you were a Christian your focus might be on more difficult and perhaps even expensive tasks like caring for the poor, standing up to true injustice, and, most importantly, reaching the lost. Instead, you go on and on about “culture wars.” If you have an answer, please respond!

    • http://scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

      @Ryan Are you doing these things you advocate he should do or are you just pointing out how you think Believers should act? Christianity is not just a social or heart issue, there are intellectual (head) issues that make faith what it is, there are objective truths, which are important to understand, and there are theological issues in Christianity which require study and learning by the Believers. These issues are not brought up just to take zings at “culture war” issues, they are important theological issues pertaining to the Truths of Christianity.

      I wrote about this extensively as well at http://scottfillmer.com/2012/07/27/moral-obligation-to-eat-chick-fil-a-mayor-rahm-emanuel/ but these topics need to be addressed, just the same as we need to focus on social issues like helping the poor and needy. You can’t have one without the other.

      I agree with you, Christians should follow what Scripture teaches, far more than we do, but they should also be doing the work to learn what it means theologically to be a Christian as well.

  • http://scottsholar.wordpress.com Scott Sholar

    Thank you for sharing, and God bless you. I wrote a piece on this subject yesterday.

  • Ryan

    Scott–I actually lead college and high school Bible studies which are both geared toward reaching the lost. We are located in a major city where young people are distracted and tempted by many things. One thing that we must do is rely on the word of God, constant prayer, and fellowship to create communities that seek the lost without backing down when it comes to the centrality of the gospel and the importance of righteous living for believers. That said, one thing we don’t want to do is make our job harder! One of the things that we constantly run into is high school and college age non-believers who have so many barriers to Christianity because they hear about politicized Christianity a lot more than they hear about the Christianity that deals with salvation. When a 19 year old non-believer hears about Christians who are worried about Chick Filet (Sp?) they see a Christianity that is petty and, frankly, not very intellectually powerful. They long for something deeper but many Christians offer them fear, conflict, and anger. I am deeply saddened that so many Christians worry about changing the actions of non-believers when it is to the detriment of reaching out to those non-believers! Your choices have consequences. The Christian Right’s fight against gay marriage and the “culture wars” will be a losing political battle. However, the real loss is the millions of wasted opportunities to reach the lost. How can you actually back this up? I didn’t see much in your article that helped me understand where you are coming from. Some scripture perhaps?

    • http://scottfillmer.com Scott Fillmer

      Ryan, I better understand your position now, and I think it is basically our different perspectives in what we do each day in our walk. God places us in different areas depending on our gifts, where we can best influence others using our gifts.

      I can understand from your perspective you see “barriers” to Christianity for these kids, but from my perspective (from within the Church body), I see an attempt to water down Christianity to make it more “palatable” for those trying to “get in,” and God’s message doesn’t need watering down. Our churches today are filled with luke-warm believers, something Jesus sternly warned against to the Church in Laodicea (Rev 3:14-22).

      It’s a different discipleship message for sure, but where you may deal with culture war individuals one on one, I often deal more with those who need to be presented an apologetic message of Christianity. Our culture has done plenty to water down Christianity to a luke-warm message, one that is easily digestible. It’s not our job as Believers to “convert” these seekers, but to disciple them.

      As for the verses that pertain to gay marriage, I think you are probably well familiar with those out of Corinthians and Romans, and the many verses that speak about marriage. I will also agree with you, gay marriage as a political message has already been lost for the church. Without the church being unified in this message, it has been lost to the culture.

      You ask how can I support fighting against gay marriage, I often wonder how other believers can support or fight for people’s right to live in sin, to fight for sin is to fight against God. If there is a grey area I would rather fall to the side of God than the side of man every time, and the homosexuality debate is a debate for man to want to do it man’s ways and be justified.

    • Tommy

      “Christian Right”?

      Oh, boy. I didn’t realize there will be politics in heaven.

      “because they hear about politicized Christianity”

      And you actually only serve to fuel this politicized mentality by using terms like “Christian right”. Christ is not divided in His own mind, so there is only “Christian” – like Christ.

      One might also say Christ wasted precious time in His short ministry by speaking with Pharisees. Multiple times. I mean, He could have been reaching the lost at those times, instead of squabbling over Scripture. What a fundy.

      There’s no point reaching the lost if you’re fumbling the ball on God’s Word. Because they WILL ask those questions, and we need to answer those fastballs. To not have those answers is to almost certainly lose whatever credability you have with them. One verse comes to mind that helps in this: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35.

      Contrary to what you’re saying, Christ taught the exact opposite. We actually proclaim Him when we love one another as brothers in Christ. I would imagine supporting Dan Cathy, and the slander that surrounds him, is included in that. Maybe you should temper your words toward Owen on that note as well.

      • Ryan

        I for one am glad that Paul did not “temper” his words when he saw other Christians messing up so badly. If my brothers in Christ are hindering the Gospel I have no choice but to get up to stand in their way. Its not something that I want to do but the Christian right, including Mr. Cathy, has done an immense amount of damage to the efforts of those who seek the lost. It cannot continue.

  • http://twitter.com/michaeljkimpan michael j. kimpan (@michaeljkimpan)

    i wrote about the muppet madness last week, and updated with a few suggested posts i the comments section – one of which points out the concern with the money given to FRC. take a look http://www.mjkimpan.com/muppet-madness/

  • Tommy

    Ryan – for some reason it wouldn’t let me reply to your last post. A major point you’re missing when comparing your acts to Paul’s is that those Christians were living in very evident sin. To you have the proper evidence that this is the case for Owen?

    Again, how would you respond to witnessing Jesus Christ spending time clarifying Scripture instead of actively reaching the lost at that time? It is vitally important to defend Scripture, and not let culture dictate how it should be interpreted. That’s what’s being done here, and it’s sad that it offends you so.

    Also, you’re banned from complaining about “politicizing Christianity”. You’re the only one in this thread that I’ve seen do it. You can have your “Christian Left”. I’ll enjoy me the unity of the church in Christ. He’s not a polygamist my brother.

  • Ryan

    My response:
    1. It is a sin to waste your time on something that simply doesn’t matter and brings shame to the name of Christ. The right’s petty attacks on non-Christians has done an immense amount of harm to those who attempt to spread the Gospel. That said, if you don’t want to call it sin then we can call it incredibly poor strategy. I’d say this is worth addressing.

    2. Jesus clarified scripture. I agree with this and my posts are, in part, an effort to clarify scripture. Here is my essential question that has little to do with outreach and a lot to do with scripture: How do you justify Christians’ attempts to shape secular culture and secular government and how do you justify Christians’ attempts to limit the actions or non-believers? Can you use scripture to make your argument?

    See 1 cor. 5. It seems clear that we are to focus on correcting other Christians and leave non-believers out of it. It is only when they become Christians that we should attempt to change their action. Would you rely on the US government or the Holy Spirit to do this work?

    3. I’m banned? I’m not sure what you mean by this. Christianity is politicized by attempts to shape culture through political means. I’d say the Christian right has done this. I will stop when they stop.

    4. Your reference to the “Christian Left” makes me wonder if you are reading my posts carefully. I said nothing about the Christian Left and nothing to indicate that I am a part of it. Perhaps you are politicizing Christianity by assuming that it is dichotomous and that if I am not with the right I must be with the left. My understanding of the Bible, based on a literal interpretation and a faith that it is the word of God, leads me to be apolitical on these matters. Not really something you would hear from the left, right?