Maryland Church Washed Away by Watered–Down Theology

Twinbrook Baptist Church in Rockville, MD recently had a going–out–of–business–sale. The church had been spiritually bankrupt for decades, but the members finally had enough and decided to sell the physical plant, too.

The Twinbrook Baptist started out on solid Christian footing. Founded in 1956, the church was notable for following the Apostle Paul’s doctrine in Galatians 3:27 – 29 “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”

This meant that while many Southern Baptist Churches — to their enduring shame — supported segregation, Twinbrook made it a point to welcome blacks. It was a courageous stance at that time and worthy of praise.

Paul’s theology is a strong brew. In 1987 Twinbrook decided Paul was no longer its cup of tea and joined the Alliance of Baptists, a group that split from the Southern Baptist Convention when the SBC decided it was time to take Paul and the rest of the Bible seriously.

Twinbrook’s entire theology changed. It went from going against the culture and embracing blacks in the congregation, to slavishly following the culture and feverishly jettisoning any Christian doctrine that made sinners feel uncomfortable. When a church dumps doctrine that makes sinners guilty — which is the point of following Christ — it’s no longer a church. Instead it’s a social club that collects dues every week.

Naturally, Twinbrook was “welcoming” church. This meant any heretic or consonant crusader was automatically a valued member of the congregation. As the WoePost put it, “Twinbrook and its pastor have been on the front lines of local and national LGBTQ advocacy …helping to form the outreach group Montgomery County Pride Center and joining an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to rule that federal law prohibits job discrimination against gay and transgender employees.”

And the church didn’t confine itself to fighting for more variety in sex and sexual partners. No “marginalized” sparrow’s fall was too small to escape the notice of these social justice warriors. “Students with lunch money debt” had a friend in their secularized Jesus.

In spite of Twinbrook’s efforts to soften the hearts of lunch ladies, the congregation was down to about 50 members when it gave up the ghost. Their excuses sounded like those of mainline Protestant churches that trod the path to irrelevancy before them.

Once social justice crowded out the Cross, Twinbrook’s theology had scant appeal for Christians, which further limited any possibility for growth. Even the congregation wasn’t that sold on their message. Rather than downsize to fit the eroding congregation and continue the ministry, Twinbrook signed a congregational Do Not Resuscitate pledge and sold out.

“Two years ago, church leaders said, Twinbrook’s congregation realized its numbers were falling and its days as a full-time ministry were probably limited. People were moving out of the area, and older members were dying, making it hard to afford the maintenance on the decades-old church building.”

That makes it sound like Rockville, MD is about to suffer the same fate as Dogpatch, AR. That’s misleading. Rockville is Maryland’s fourth largest city and population has increased 10 percent in the last ten years.

Unfortunately for these Baptists the alphabet apostates and their supporters just weren’t that into them. One can be card–carrying consonant crusader and social justice warrior par excellence by putting a rainbow flag on your Twitter profile and going to the polls just once a year.

Why bother with getting up early on Sunday and being potentially embarrassed when the usher hands you the collection plate? There were plenty of other SJW organizations volunteers could join. And none require a prayer before going for the coffee and donuts.

Proceeds from the sale of the building will be used to contribute over $1 million to local organizations that “share its values.”

The favored groups include “medical clinics, school lunch programs, hospice care, emergency housing funds, Habitat for Humanity builds, LGBTQ youth programs and other community support services.” The only Christian organization in that group is Habitat for Humanity. One of the larger grants will go to Community Ministries of Rockville, which is a nonsectarian religious healthcare organization.

What’s telling about the list of published donations is not a single dime is going to religious organizations working to protect the unborn.

This is remarkable. Our nation has confronted two great moral questions in its history. Twinbrook was on the right side of slavery and segregation when it still believed in the Bible. Today it’s watered–down Christianity has washed away most of the congregation and reduced the remnant to pacifism on the question of life for the unborn.

Methodists Decide to Believe the Bible

Recently the United Methodist Church held a denomination meeting in St. Louis and the outcome for Christians was almost as momentous as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683. The threat to Christendom at Vienna was external. An Islamic army of Ottoman Turks was knocking on the door to Central Europe until the attack was broken by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I.

For the Methodists, the threat was internal. A coalition of alphabet–apostates thought they were on the cusp of overturning thousands of years of instruction regarding homosexuality. The goal was to have the United Methodist Church endorse homosexual marriage and practicing homosexual pastors.

Delegates voted on three options. The ‘Simple Plan’ was essentially let it all hang out. Any language in the Methodist Book of Discipline that reflected the Bible’s clear instruction on homosexuality (the Washington Post reporter called it “exclusionary language”) was to be removed and let the good times roll!

The “One Church Plan” was endorsed by craven Methodist denominational ‘leadership’ and a grab–bag of therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of theology. This hypocritical approach let church leaders continue to ignore congregations violating the Book of Discipline. As long as the money keeps flowing into HQ, the ‘leadership’ was fine with these hotbeds of heresy.

The last option was the ‘Traditional Plan.’ That choice would return the Methodists to faithfully following Jesus and Scripture as regards homosexuality.

It looked as bad for the Methodists as it did for the Viennese.

In a supreme irony, the alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates used a message to persuade delegates that was biblically based. They asked the same question that the serpent used in the Garden of Eden, namely “Did God really say that?”

The Methodist delegates answered, “yes.”

There are a number of ways the media could report on this surprising development. One would to follow the headline of this column: “In an upset, the United Methodist Church Decides to Believe the Bible.” That covers the element of surprise and the Methodist’s return to their foundational belief regarding homosexuality.

Or the reporter could have focused on demographics and how African churches provided the votes to carry the Traditional Plan and what this means for the direction of the denomination in the future.

Instead the Washington Post choose ‘Christian bullies pick on innocent homosexuals.’ Only one person was interviewed who wasn’t part of the alphabet army and he was asked about statistics. Other interviewees were ‘victims of intolerance.’

That’s false because Christians aren’t singling out the consonant crusaders with ‘hate’ and rejection. How can one explain the vote to the irreligious chroniclers of ‘what’s happen’n’ now at the WoePost?

How about this? WoePost owner Jeff Bezos decides to go to church. He has three options, two of which would meet with disapproval.

If lover boy shows up at the sanctuary with his adulterous squeeze instead of his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. If Bezos shows up with the squeeze and his wife, he’s not going to be welcome. But if Jeff appears with only his wife, the congregation will assume they’re working on the marriage and accept them both.

Christian churches don’t encourage anyone who demonstrates an open rebellion against God while in the pew.

This entire effort on the part of the alternate–lifestyle, alternate–Bible cabal was entirely political and not religious. As Kermit Rainman explains, “…homosexual activists and their allies know that the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic found in the Bible is the last bastion of defense holding back the widespread embrace of homosexuality throughout the culture. They understand that if Bible-believing Christians and Jews can be convinced that homosexual behavior is no longer sinful in God’s eyes, then the battle to fully implement their political and social goals will be won.”

Rewriting the Bible is a project of the left and it is purely secular and wholly selfish. St. Louis Heretics were easy to spot with their rainbow bandanas, Black Lives Matter t–shirts, “Justice for All” buttons, feminist slogans and their raised fists when the vote didn’t go their way.

Fortunately, Methodist delegates voted to return to following Christ and stop following the culture.

A Heretic Offers Surrender Terms to Christians

Julie Rodgers, described by the Washington Post as “a writer, speaker and advocate for LGBTQ people in faith communities”, has offered a “compromise” proposal to Christians designed to end the cultural war between believers and alphabet soup alternate lifestyle advocates.

It rivals Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s surrender terms at Fort Donaldson in its lack of generosity and sweeping demands.

In 1862 the commander of Fort Donaldson asked Gen. Grant for terms. Grant replied, “no terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted. I propose to move immediately upon your works.”

Christians haven’t asked for surrender terms from lifestyle heretics even though the church has been under ceaseless attack from leftists who would outlaw all religion, joined by therapeutic Christians who place feelings ahead of biblical doctrine.

Lack of interest didn’t prevent Rodgers from offering to “bridge this divide.”  Peace will reign if Christians agree to submit to any and all “affirming” demands from the Legions of License. This submission includes every realm of life outside the church; and Rodgers gives the impression there are plans for the future there, too.

Once Christians toe the line, Julie and her allies won’t move immediately on churches’ tax–exempt status.

Frankly, I’m not ready to sell my Christian birthright for a mess of tax breaks, even if Rodgers could be trusted to keep her end of the bargain.

Julie’s dishonesty is evident only 66 words into her manifesto. She refers to believers who adhere to biblical doctrine with a 2,000 year old pedigree as “conservative Christians.” Her intent is to marginalize the great majority of believers and characterize them as out of the mainstream and possibly Republican.

The correct term for congregations who believe God opposes sexual deviancy and considers the bond of marriage to be limited to one man and one woman, is ‘Christian.’

The accurate term for those who hold opposing beliefs is ‘heretic.’

In Rodgers eyes Christians are doubly guilty because of what they believe and their attempt to live their faith — which hurts the feelings of the heretics.  This means I have bad news for Julie. God doesn’t care about your sexual orientation celebration. He cares about your soul’s ultimate salvation.

Julie has written that the Bible needs to keep up with the times. “Both sides are sincere Christians and view the Bible as authoritative––they just differ on how the Bible, which was written in a patriarchal context in the 1st century, should apply to empowered women in the 21st century.” Translated, this means Jesus would approve of alphabet lifestyles in the church and homosexual marriage if He just had access to all the facts, like Julie does.

The heretics want to divide the Body of Christ by using the pejorative term ‘conservative’ for mainstream believers, while at the same time dividing the Apostles by making Paul a TEA Party Republican. That way it’s easier to ignore his obvious instruction on marriage and homosexual practice.

Julie, who’ll be marrying another woman any day now, is confused by Christian reluctance to jettison orthodox biblical belief on her sayso, “It became hard for me to understand what exactly was driving traditional teaching on marriage if it was not fear of change––a very particular kind of fear that’s often expressed through homophobia.”

But which side is the aggressor here? Are Baptists suing florists who provide centerpieces for same–sex weddings? How about bakers who put two men on the top of the wedding cake? Or photographers who memorialize the ceremony?

The question answers itself. The alphabet–apostates are not demanding to be left alone so they may live their lives as they wish. They are demanding Christians live their lives according to the demands of those in rebellion against God’s word.

Rodger’s writes, “It’s not hard to understand why LGBTQ people don’t trust conservative Christians enough to work toward a compromise.” But what Julie offers isn’t a compromise, it’s a demand for submission.

Christian churches don’t single out the consonant crusaders. Churches are opposed to obvious and flagrant adulterers, incest practitioners, polygamists and couples shacking up, assuming the churches are aware of the transgressions.

Julie’s allies make it a point to be flagrant and then object to the predictable consequences. Her disingenuous ‘peace’ proposal is a demand Christians stop following Christ and start following the culture.

Rodgers assures us becoming party to her apostasy will be painless, “The most conservative Christians can joyfully provide services to people they think are sinful without violating the spirit of Scripture.”

Which is true. I cheerfully provide personal services to a sinner when I brush my teeth at night. What I believe Christians won’t provide, joyfully or otherwise, is validation and celebration of practices that purposely insult the God we worship and the faith we practice.

Conservative Pacifists in the Culture War Part 2

The Obama Inauguration Committee features a new "Heretics Only" water fountain policy.

The Obama Inauguration Committee features a new “Heretics Only” water fountain policy.

Christ was no doubt on to something when He limited His public ministry to three years. Any longer and a mere human may forget what he said before or, even worse, lose enthusiasm for an earlier message as the culture changes.

Which is evidently what happened to the Rev. Louie Giglio. Until recently he was scheduled to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration. Giglio — founder of the “Passion Conferences” that are marketed to college–age Christians — had lately been in the news for his work against human trafficking and had said grace, so to speak, over the Easter Prayer Breakfast in the White House.

But then an aggressively homosexual lobbying group dug up a sermon Giglio delivered in the mid–90’s and accused him of being an orthodox Christian that believes in the Bible. Well, that was that and Giglio lost no time beating a hasty retreat from the inauguration.

Giglio might have made a better decision if he’d listened to his own sermon before deciding to run up the white flag.

In it the reverend is addressing the homosexual onslaught that traditional culture was just beginning to experience. Giglio wisely pointed out, “We must lovingly but firmly respond to the aggressive agenda of not all, but many in the homosexual community. Underneath this issue is a very powerful and aggressive movement. That movement is not a benevolent movement, it is a movement to seize by any means necessary the feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society and is given full standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to the family.”

That was not only wise, it was prophetic. Then Giglio mentions what both the Old and New Testament have to say regarding homosexual practices and concludes, “…homosexuality is not an alternative lifestyle…homosexuality is not just a sexual preference, homosexuality is not gay, but homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes of God, and it is sin according to the world of God…That’s God’s voice. If you want to hear God’s voice, that is his voice to the issue of homosexuality. It is not ambiguous and unclear. It is very clear.”

Again, there is nothing that a plain reading of Scripture does not tell one. Giglio was not embellishing and he was certainly not personally condemning homosexuals. He just stated the obvious at it applies to the Bible and observant Christians.

Homosexual practices are not a lifestyle. The practice is a rebellion against God at the most fundamental level. God created woman for man and blessed the union. Any other arrangement is a perversion of God’s plan and God’s intent. And it remains a perversion in spite of the fact the only perversions elite culture recognizes today are smoking, obesity and magazines with a capacity larger than 10 rounds.

Giglio also said, “We must not sit quietly by and stick our heads in the sand and let whatever happens happen in our country. We’ve got to respond to the world we live in. That is the mandate that comes to us as people of God. And this issue is coming more and more to the forefront every day.”

Unfortunately, that is exactly what Giglio did not do. Instead he issued a weak statement that reads, “Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15 to 20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer that I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration.

“Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past 15 years. Instead, my aim is meant to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.”

This reads like it was written by the same people covering up the massacre at our consulate in Libya. And “ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ” means exactly what?

Christ is significant with or without Giglio’s help. What He needs are teachers who will engage the culture. My fellow conservatives are off the mark when they view this incident as another instance of a politically correct culture that hostile to Christianity.

The culture has always been hostile to Christianity. Good grief, Herod murdered all the male children in Bethlehem aged two or under in an effort to end Christ’s ministry before it began. You can’t get much more hostile than that.

What Giglio has done is acquiesce in the disparagement of the truth of the Bible. What kind of message does this send to the young Christians that Giglio is supposed to be leading? Does Giglio hope the culture will be at least as accepting of him as it is of tobacco executives?

Does it mean Christianity has some vaguely disreputable beliefs that we only share privately with our friends, but the philosophy is not something we want to identify with in public?

How, exactly, does that differ from a meeting of the Klan?

We are losing the culture war because Christians are lead by pacifists, as I wrote about earlier. Giglio has “evolved” from confronting the culture to surfing cultural waves. His current cause is “human trafficking,” which has a number of advantages for a timid Christian. One, all the right organizations are against human trafficking. Two, you get to hobnob with celebrities. And three the chances of offending someone in the congregation are infinitesimal.

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, asked the Washington Post: “Are all Orthodox clergy now to be banished from civic life if they openly affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage and sexual ethics?” “Are only clergy from declining liberal denominations now acceptable according to hyper–political correctness? Will the same standard also apply to Muslims and members of other faiths who don’t subscribe to the views of Western secular elites?”

Giglio evidently thinks refusing to confront the administration’s “Heretics Only” drinking fountain policy is being polite. But the message it sends the flock is one of weakness and vacillation when it comes to the plain language of the tougher parts of the New and Old Testament.

And it really compares poorly with the Catholic bishop who is preparing to go to jail rather than comply with the Obamacare abortion mandate.

Lou Giglio is building a ministry designed to attract the young in Atlanta. Up until now the name was “Passion City.” In light of his failure to affirm his own message, I suggest Giglio might want to consider changing the name to “Mildly Enthusiastic (But Not to the Point Where We Would Offend Anyone) City.”