Tim Tebow and FBC Dallas

It was story built for the front page “backup quarterback speaks at a traditional Baptist church”. Wait… that wasn’t the headline. At least that’s what the headline should have stated if Gregg Doyel had been straight forward on His CBS blog. Instead his headline  read something like Tim Tebow, the Quarterback we have been waiting to fail, is scheduled to speak at an anti Mormon, anti Jewish, anti Homosexual and anti everything church. Oh yes, and somewhere in the article both Tebow and Pastor Jeffress are accused of hating puppies, stealing kindergartners lunch money and being related to Adolf Hitler. In this article First Baptist Church of Dallas was made to look like Westboro Baptist Church.

Let’s get the facts down. First Baptist is neither anti Jewish nor anti Homosexual. It’s primary mission is not to spew hate towards groups that it doesn’t agree with. Just a guess but there are probably many Jewish Christians that are members of FBC Dallas. First Baptist Church exists to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to the community Dallas and the world. In this it has specific distinctives that are common to many churches. It believes that one cannot be saved by birth, nationality, works or anything other than the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  FBC Dallas believes that sin, falling short of the glory of God, will lead to the judgment of God. It is a church driven by grace, the understanding that we all sin and are whole heartedly dependent on God’s mercy. FBC Dallas is no different from any church that holds to the historic beliefs, practices, and faith which have been held since Christ came to this earth.

Here is what Pastor Jeffress is accused of saying in an articlewritten by Gregg Doyel:
  1. Judiaism leads people to an eternity of separation from God.
  2.  Catholics, Hindus, Buddhists and Mormons are members of cults.
  3.  Homosexuality is a sin that brings the judgment of God.

Pastor Jeffers responded to what has been said about him
  1. Regarding the accusation that those outside of Christ being a cult: “no one goes to hell in a group.” and  I’m not the one who decides who goes to heaven and hell. God does that. God has already given us the criteria for what it takes to go to heaven when you die. Jesus said in John 14:6, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the father except through me.’  When I quote that verse I like to remind people that Jesus who said that was not a Southern Baptist evangelist but a Jewish rabbi. Yet as a Jewish rabbi he said there is one way to heaven, and that is through faith in me.” 
  2.  In regards to homosexuality:  I never single out homosexuality as the only sin or the unpardonable sin. I think homosexuality, just like adultery, can be forgiven if we ask God for forgiveness.

Pastor Jeffress is straightforward with sin. He is a bit more political than I would be. That said, what was said about Jeffress can be said about any church that holds to the 2000 year old beliefs of orthodox Christianity. What happened this weekend is that Christian beliefs and language became hate speech in the public square.
Friends, if we stand for the simple tenants of the Christian faith we will face backlash. Here is what the gospel is 1. We are ALL sinners deserving of judgment. Sin is not defined by our culture, but instead by the unchanging word of God. 2. Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again to justify us by His blood. 3. He calls us to trust Him by faith. Anything that does not hold to the certainty of sin, and exclusivity of the cross is false.
We have a decision, either to believe in gospel as God has defined it and gladly  proclaim it, or to reject God and his gospel and accept what our culture tells us. As christians we are called to light. Light shines brightest when it sits in darkness. 
John 15:20-21 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
2 Corinthians 4:1-6 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.  But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 

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