“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”ISAIAH 5:20
One of the problems seen in some churches today is the movement by progressives to redefine and, in some cases, rewrite Scripture to fit the morality of man instead of God. In other words, some view God’s word as being out of step with the times and in need of an upgrade; The Bible 2.0 if you will. It is what philosophers refer to as Moral Relativism, whereby people act and choose according to their own moral compass, or as the Bible states, “Every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6)
This shift in societal ideology did not come about in the past few years or even decades. Instead, it was a slow but persistent attack against society’s social norms rooted in God’s word. This movement or process targets its audience through the most influential medium in the world, television. For example, the commercial “Love Has No Labels,” sponsored by the Diversity & Inclusion Ad Council, promotes unity, harmony, and love. However, in an almost subliminal fashion, it promotes a form of love that is not of God but of the world. Check out the video below.
Under the guise of “Love Has No Labels,” the video shows same-sex couples kissing and hugging with an applauding crowd cheering them on. It all seems so warm, inviting, and innocent and yet, very impressionable on the unsuspecting. That is how cultural change occurs, the slow but persistent push of new ideologies to alter the people’s existing beliefs. However, in this case, the mantra “Love is Love” or “Love Has No Labels” is wrong! Why? Because the Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Since God is love, that which goes against God’s word is not godly love, but instead, it is worldly love. That form of love, the lust of the flesh, is defined by the one whom Jesus referred to as the present ruler of this world, the one who is the devil himself, Satan (John 14:30). Jesus knew Satan had no power over Him, and, as author William Hull put it, by going to the cross, “the world would come to know a kind of love for the Father that evil could never overcome” (p. 337)1.
Now, let me be clear that this is not an attack on people who choose to live a lifestyle that is not congruent with Scripture. Since God is a respecter of free will, so we ought to be as followers of Jesus Christ. Let us always keep in mind the old saying, “Despise the sin, love the sinner as “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). However, that is not to say we are to compromise God’s authoritative word, such as what appears to be taking place in the ranks of the United Methodist Church.2
The progressive secular push has effectively removed God from the public eye on federal property, removed Him from public schools, and inspired legislation that opposes God’s authority. Two of the most prominent examples are abortion and same-sex marriage. Now, the movement is visible in the church. Sometime in 2021, the United Methodist Church is expected to split over the disagreement of LGBT marriage and the ordination of gay and lesbian so-called clergy. How can this be? The Bible is clear in regards to the gay and lesbian lifestyle. Apostle Paul wrote:
“For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.”ROMANS 1:26-27
How can progressives within the UMC circumvent or disregard God’s position on the gay and lesbian lifestyle? It’s simple! Redefine or rewrite Scripture to fit the moral relativism of today’s secular culture, i.e., for each person to do what is right in their own eyes. If so, the Bible then becomes just another book written by man, fallible, contradictory, and unjust.
So what can we do about it? How do we combat progressive moral relativism? How do we preserve that which God has entrusted to us for future generations to come? As with all things, let prayer be our first line of defense, not a last resort. Let God hear our plea and the world hear His voice through us, the church. Let us boldly proclaim the gospel to the world and uphold the truth of God’s word, and above all, let us love our neighbor as we love ourselves–as God so loves us, those who are called by His name.
1 Hull, W. E. (1970). John. C. J. Allen (Ed.). The Broadman Bible Commentary (Vol. 9). (pp. 189-209). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.
2. Steele, J. (2020, January 3). Methodists Agree on Compromise to Split Denomination. Christianity Today. Retrieved from https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2020/january/united-methodist-church-umc-plan-protocol-split-plan.html.