In 2003, when the Episcopal Church consecrated V. Gene Robinson as its first openly gay bishop, he announced in an address immediately thereafter, "God is doing a new thing." He lifted his words in part from Isaiah 43:19, a verse many a church figure has used to introduce new projects and emphases. Led of Christ, I too have used this verse and the one that precedes it as the Scriptural foundation for my announcement of a "new beginning" when I arrived to assume my present pastorate in December of 1996.
When properly interpreted and applied, Isaiah 43:18-19 is an excellent passage the Lord would use to give Scriptural foundation and support to new directions, methods, or activities He has directed for His people. Truly, in context, He commands His people, Israel of a future day not to remember His deliverance of old. For now He will do "a new thing" by making a road and providing rivers in the desert for them as they make their way home to their land and restoration under the Lord Jesus.
Since God is immutable in nature, whatever new things He may do in time and eternity, His attitude toward sin will not change. In His holiness and righteousness, sin will always be sin to Him as He has defined it in His Word. Therefore, He will never change his mind about all sin including the sexual perversion of homosexuality. It will be an abomination and immoral to the Most Holy God forever (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13; Romans 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Revelation 21:1-8, 22-27, 22:12-17)!
To say then, "God is doing a new thing" in now giving endorsement to behavior He has consistently labeled "an abomination" is a lie. So is saying He has changed male and female roles in the home and the churches. Indeed, it is to lie on the Lord to say He has changed any of His instructions or is doing something new concerning anything that violates His written Word (Psalm 18:30)! To lie on God is not new. Satan has been doing it at least since Eden (Genesis 3:1-5) and as the father of all lying and deceit (John 8:44), inspired Judah´s false prophets to lie on God to His people before they went into complete captivity in 586 BC (Jeremiah 14:13-14, 27:9-10).
The Lord and His apostles warned false prophets and teachers lying on God would infiltrate the churches beginning in the 1st century and they have (Matthew 24:11; 2 Peter 2:1-3). Today, they are among the many so-called progressive minded; professed Christian men and women who have been working to dismantle God´s order in the home and churches for over the last 100 years. Rather than progressive, however, God sees them as rebels walking backward and who lead those that follow them into destruction as the people of Judah also discovered about their false prophets.
Someone will say, "Rev. Kelley, that is harsh and unfair since some persons may teach wrong doctrine innocently out of ignorance. Also, you are not leaving room for good people; people who do not interpret the Bible the same as you do, to have an honest difference of opinion with you." In response, I say let the "innocent ignorant" receive the Lord´s correction and repent from their wrong doctrine as the apostle Paul also taught is the purpose of study and canonical Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-4:2). I certainly have had to do so. Otherwise, without repentance, such persons show they have no fear of God (James 3:1)!
As it concerns opinions, people can differ with me all they want to, but not the Word! Preachers, teachers and prophets are called not to proclaim their personal beliefs, thoughts or opinions, but the uncompromised Word of God! This in fear of God, I seek to do. No truly born again, faithful Christian is going to long interpret and apply the plain teaching of God´s Word to make sin acceptable, evil, good or a lie, true. The Holy Spirit will eventually put every earnestly seeking, faithful child of God on His same page (Romans 12:1-2; Ephesians 4:17-24; Philippians 3:12-16; Titus 2:11-3:8).
The reality of biblical history is that the "innocent ignorant" or the earnestly seeking, but mistaken are not the main corrupters of God´s people with lies and deceitful doctrines. It has been evil persons, impostors, religious rebels and apostates that have willfully come among the people of God with the satanic purpose to corrupt them, which is predominant. How does this happen?
The false prophets and priests of ancient Judah thrived in a culture of rebellion against God (Jeremiah 5:20-31). Though the people professed to know God with an outward veneer of religiosity, they practiced lying and deceit (Jeremiah 9:1-6). In short, the people invited and welcomed their corrupters by self-corruption. There is no mystery here. Without steadfast faith in, love for and help from God, the sin controlled human heart defaults to its base, carnal and wicked ways (Jeremiah 17:9).
Thus, while the apostle Paul valiantly opposed the false teachers of his day, he foresaw a time through the Holy Spirit when professed Christians would no longer endure sound doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 2:16-18, 4:3-4). From his time until the modern era, faithful churches have engaged every stripe of false teacher as the Lord also commends while loving Him first (Revelation 2:1-7)!
However, in this 21st century, post-modern era of tolerance, the churches and media are filled with personalities espousing all kinds of wrong emphases, lies on God and false doctrines. Many professed Christians even seek out and flock to them as their teachers.
To Be Continued Next Issue