One of the most difficult things to do as a Christian living in our unbelievably connected and communications-laden world is to remember our nature has been fundamentally changed by conversion to Christ.
We are no longer citizens of a manmade kingdom, but rather an eternal one.
We are no longer bound by the redundant heresies and rehashed philosophies of man, but have been imbued with an imagination that sees our world through the lens of its Creator.
We are no longer slaves to a tired tribalism but are free to express that the politics of man will always fall short when it promises perfection and any meaningful deliverance from mankind's condition.
We no longer think and speak the fork-tongued prevarications and propaganda of men, we speak truth, seasoned and salty, into the blandness of a world without hope.
And just as I need to be reminded of all that on a regular basis, as my involvement in the affairs of man often draws me into the kind of exchanges that accomplish little more than evangelize the evangelized and further alienate the aliens, I'm extending that courtesy to progressive preacher and race activist Carlos A. Rodríguez.
Taking to the great platform of loveless clanging cymbals that we call Twitter, Rodríguez made this random observation.
That all depends, doesn't it, on how you define homophobia? Is homophobia hatred of people who consider themselves gay? Then yes, that is anti-Christ. Is homophobia hatred of the act of homosexual romantic and sexual coupling? Then no, it certainly isn't anti-Christ.
At least not the Christ that reveals Himself through the Old Testament pages He affirmed – the ones that collectively pointed to His coming and testified to His character. And not the Christ that defines Himself through the New Testament pages that record not only His teachings, but also His subsequent revelations of truth via the pens of His hand-picked, Spirit-inspired Apostles.
What Rodríguez has done here is extraordinarily unfortunate from the perspective of one who wants to clarify the voice of the church in a gospel-starved world. He has adopted worldly language in what appears to be a vain effort to show solidarity with a worldly cause in order to gain worldly applause. To what end?
His statement led to precisely the kind of dog-piling you would expect. Other commenters threw in their own cause-of-the-moment, declaring, for instance, "transphobia is anti-Christ." But what really caught my eye was when one discerning Christian waded into Rodríguez's morass of worldly tongue-wagging to offer a morsel of truth, writing that believers will always "love people," but we do not love sin.
The immediate response to that thoroughly biblical truth revealed the kind of foolishness Rodríguez's worldly pandering has unfortunately fostered amongst his following:
"That hate the sin love the sinner thing can be really difficult in practice. Best to leave the judging to God and practice the two most important commandments – love God, love others."
On the one hand, this is sophistry.
If we affirm, tolerate, or otherwise celebrate as holy that which God has declared sinful, we are not loving God or others. We aren't loving another when we encourage them to embrace that which will destroy them. And we aren't loving God when we pretend our wisdom and insight bests His own, thus making us feel comfortable in contradicting His explicit commands.
But in my estimation, there's a bigger issue than the confusion of a handful of wayward souls, ignorant of the full counsel of Scripture, commenting on social media. The greater danger is the growing number of Christian leaders using the language and platitudes of the world either to gain a following for themselves, build a ministry empire by scratching those itching ears the Apostle Paul talked about, or to pridefully differentiate themselves in the eye of pop culture from "other" Christians they regard as less loving and "Christlike."
If Carlos Rodriguez is looking for it, that behavior is as anti-Christ as it gets.
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