What you’re against or what you’re for?
An elder, in the assembly I am a part
of, recently made the point that we ought to be more known by what we
are for than what we are against. I agree.
determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him
crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Jesus is our
only hope. Our purpose in life is not about being against things. Our
purpose is to trust and obey the real Jesus in terms of the Biblical
In fact there are dangers in being obsessed with what you are against. This is a form of idolatry. There is a tendency for many, I believe, to develop their doctrine by what they are against rather than from the Bible.
example, if one is against relativism when it comes to truth. I believe
that is a good thing to be against. Consider that society is greatly
being influenced to “dialogue” and negotiate “truth”. And consider then
that influence in “small group” Bible studies where people are
encouraged to discuss what the passage “means to them”. Each person is
encouraged to subjectively state how they “feel” about the verses and
then by the group dialoguing about it, they can arrive at some
negotiated “truth”. The person that is against such dialoguing might
rather advocate, “teaching the Bible with authority”. If they are driven
by what they are against, rather than by the Bible itself, they may
develop a conviction against any small group of people discussing God’s
word because it looks to them like dialoguing and negotiating truth.
Because of what they are against they may end up advocating a “Man of
God” teaching the laity from on high “with authority”. They may end up
advocating the hierarchical leader as the standard of truth rather then
remembering that it is the Bible that is the standard of truth. They may
be deceived into thinking it is wrong for the brethren to gather
together in informal fellowship to discuss the Bible as equals. They
have been deceived by what they are against. They have added to
scripture. They have made a law that is not found in scripture.
movement” is another example of an entire belief system created by what
people are against rather than by deriving truth from the Bible. What
unites prolifers? It certainly is not the sound doctrine of scripture,
the Jesus of the Bible, or the Gospel of the Bible. Rather, being united
by being against abortion, they have developed their own apologetic
using proof texts from the Bible to create a world view that minimizes
the true Gospel and enables Evangelicals to unite in religious vision
and zealotry with Catholics, Mormons, Masons, Muslims, and Moonies! Of
course the murder of children, born and unborn, is evil! But a false
gospel that leads to eternal hell is worse!
“Conservatives” against? Whatever Rush Limbaugh and talk radio tells
them to be against! A right winger (or a left winger) devotes his life
to what their ideology tells them to be against. On the right:
homosexuality and taxes. On the left: intolerance and world hunger.
Remember in the
1980’s when many were against rainbows because they were against the New
Age Movement? It is true that one should be skeptical of popular symbols
that are representing folk paganism. But we professing Christians can
also appear foolish when we lose a sense of priorities from the Bible.
When I first
became a follower of Jesus, a relative of mine asked me rhetorically,
“Why are Christians against everything?” At the time, I did not have a
very good answer for her. Now I would have to tell her that, to a great
degree, it is because professing Christians are deceived by many of the
world’s agendas to be against this list or that list.
In addition to corrupt reasons for being against things, there are Biblical reasons for being against things.
What are the
facts… according to the Bible?
If you are true
to the Lord Jesus and His word, how might you appear to the people in
the world when you take a stand: for Jesus and against the “world, the
flesh, and the devil”?
Will you not be
accused by the world and even religious people of being “against
everything”? Will you not be accused of being known by what you are
“If the world
hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of
the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the
world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world
hateth you.” John 15:18-19
“Love not the
world, neither the things that are in the world . If any man love the
world , the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of
life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15-16
Germany in the 1930’s. What a "glorious vision" of national pride the
people were being given. There was such an atmosphere of hope for a
positive future. What if someone was NOT raising their hand in
stiff-armed salute and shouting, "Sieg heil!"? What if they were not at
all happy with the trends all around them? Would they be accused of
being a bummer? Would they be accused of always being against
everything? What if a follower of Jesus tried to preach Jesus Christ and
Him crucified? And what if the church-goer sitting in the pew next them
replied, “Oh, yes of course! Jesus, yes, Christianity, yes, positive
Christianity… that is what our Fuehrer is all about!” So are you going
to leave it there? Are you going to let your friend go on thinking that
his Fuehrer, his guru, and our Lord Jesus are compatible?
If you love
your friend you will warn your friend!
Even at the
risk of being “negative”. Even at the risk of being accused of always
being against every thing and every guru-celebrity! You will warn them
Brothers and Sisters, we are surrounded by paganism. We are surrounded by a pseudo-evangelicalism that is pagan at its roots; worshipping created things rather than the Creator. We must preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified in such a way that people can clearly see the contrast between our Lord Jesus and His Gospel versus the false christs and false gospels of this world system.
hasn't understood Biblical Truth in such a way that they separate
themselves from the false christs and false gospels of this world, then
they haven't understood!
Look at the New
Testament! Look at the very words of Jesus! They are written in the
format of 1) This is what the world says, 2) This is what God says, 3)
Reject what the world says and return to a pure devotion to Jesus
We are immersed
in a political system in rebellion against God; an economic system in
rebellion against God; a religious system in rebellion against God.
If we are truly and clearly standing for the real Jesus in terms of the real Gospel… we stand against everything this world system stands for.