AND DANGERS IN CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORES
January 13, 2011 (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article)
Philip Yancy, one of the most popular evangelical writers, illustrates the spiritual dangers in the typical Christian bookstore today.
Yancy promotes the Catholic contemplative movement in his book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? (2006, updated 2010). He quotes the Buddhist-Catholic monk Thomas Merton, goddess worshiper Sue Monk Kidd, pantheist Meister Eckhart, David Steindl-Rast (who denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ), and Richard Rohr (who worships as New Age “cosmic” Christ). Yancy also quotes Catholic “saint” Teresa of Avila and the heretical Catholic contemplative text The Cloud of Unknowing, which promotes a mindless communion with “God.” (For documentation see our books Contemplative Mysticism and The New Age Tower of Babel, available from Way of Life Literature in print and electronic formats.)
Yancy also promotes the non-judgmental attitude toward homosexuality. In a 2004 interview with Candace Chellew-Hodge for Whosoever, a homosexual publication, Yancy said,
“When it gets to particular matters of policy, like ordaining gay and lesbian ministers, I’m confused, like a lot of people (“Amazed by Grace,” Whosoever online magazine).
If one stands on the Bible alone, there is nothing to be confused about. The problem is that Yancy is not standing strictly on Scripture, and this is typical of popular evangelical writers today. As Gary Gilley observes:
“Yancy has a fundamental flaw that runs throughout all of his writings. He doesn’t always draw his thoughts and principles form Scripture. His sources are more likely to be great saints from the past (occasionally from the present), his own reasoning, and experience. He surely quotes C.S. Lewis as often as the Apostle Paul or Jesus. ... This serious flaw of not basing his concepts squarely upon the Scriptures eventually leads Yancy astray. Yancy does not know the difference between tolerance and arrogance, between grace and license (a study of 1 Cor. 5 would be helpful to him), between boldness and harshness. By Yancey’s definitions John the Baptist and Elijah would be men of ‘ungrace,’ but God did not seem to think so. Yancy also does not know the difference between ministering to sinners and condoning sinful lifestyles. Certainly Jesus loved and spent time with prostitutes, but he did so to call them to repentance, not to accept their way of living. Yancy’s method of dealing with a homosexual, who is also a church leader, may seem like grace to him, it may seem like what Jesus might do, but it is clearly out of sync with the teachings and examples of Scripture” (Gilley, Review of Yancy’s “What Is So Amazing about Grace,” Southern View Chapel, resources, n.d.).
Yancy promotes his confused view of homosexuality in his bestselling book What’s So Amazing about Grace. Yancy describes his close non-judgmental relationship with Mel White, who left his wife, breaking his solemn marriage vows, to pursue a homosexual lifestyle. Yancy has more to say about alleged “Christian hate” toward homosexuality than he does about the sin of homosexuality itself. Yancy even accompanied White on a “gay pride” parade in Washington D.C. in March 1987. While he was shocked by the behavior of Christians who were protesting the event, Yancy commended the response by the “gay Christians” who proclaimed, “Jesus loves us.”
Yancy is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Gay Christian Network’s annual Mountain Top Experience in January 2011. The other main speaker is “Rev.” Ann Phillips who “has been married for four years to her soulmate, Heather Wayne.” Obviously Yancy will not be condemning their unrepentant sin.
Bible believers don’t have to “wrestle” over the issue of homosexuality, because God has already settled the matter in His Word. To take this dogmatic position is not a matter of pride or hate. It is not a phobia; it is a matter of obedience to the Almighty, of fearing God more than man, of building one’s worldview on biblical truth rather than cultural whims, of living by faith rather than feeling.
Homosexuality is described in Romans 1:24-28 in the plainest manner. It is called “dishonour” (1:24), “vile affections” (v. 26), “unseemly” (v. 27), and “a reprobate mind” (v. 28).
Those who are born again are taught to repent of and put away such things (1 Cor. 6:9-11). In this passage we see that some of the members of the church at Corinth had been guilty of this particular sin as well as many other sins, but they had been converted.
According to the Bible, the only legitimate place for the sexual relationship is holy matrimony (Hebrews 13:4). Anything else is condemned as fornication, which is a grave sin. And nowhere in Scripture is marriage defined as anything other than the union of one man and one woman in holy covenant before God and man.
The blood of Christ is sufficient to save any sinner, regardless of what sin he is guilty of, but God demands acknowledgment of and repentance from sin and faith in Christ’s cross work. Jesus twice warned, “except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13;3, 5).
Homosexuals are as welcome to attend our churches to hear the Word of God preached as any other sinners, but they cannot be church members or serve in the ministry unless they repent and give evidence thereof. The same is true for adulterers and thieves.
This is not a complicated issue. It has only become complicated by the attempt of some to justify their sin and by the deep spiritual compromise of “evangelicalism” in our day.
Evangelicalism has been corrupted by its non-judgmental philosophy and its 60-year-old “repudiation of separatism” (to use the words of Harold Ockenga).
Distributed by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR. This material is sent only to those who personally subscribe to the list. If somehow you have subscribed unintentionally, following are the instructions for removal. The Fundamental Baptist Information Service mailing list is automated. To SUBSCRIBE, go to http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/subscribe.html . TO UNSUBSCRIBE OR CHANGE ADDRESSES, go to the very bottom of any email received from us and click "Manage My Subscription." If you have any trouble with this, please let us know. We take up a quarterly offering to fund this ministry, and those who use the materials are expected to participate (Galatians 6:6) if they can. Some of the articles are from O Timothy magazine, which is in its 27th year of publication. Way of Life publishes many helpful books. The catalog is located at the web site: http://www.wayoflife.org/publications/index.html. Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061. 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org. We do not solicit funds from those who do not agree with our preaching and who are not helped by these publications, but only from those who are. OFFERINGS can be made at http://www.wayoflife.org/wayoflife/makeanoffering.html. PAYPAL offerings can be made to https://www.paypal.com/xclick/business=dcloud%40wayoflife.org
WAY OF LIFE LITERATURE SHARING POLICY: Much of our material is available for free, such as the hundreds of articles at the Way of Life web site. Other items we sell to help fund our very expensive literature, video, and foreign church planting ministry. Way of Life’s content falls into two categories: sharable and non-sharable. Things that we encourage you to share include the audio sermons, video presentations, O Timothy magazine, and FBIS articles. You are free to make copies of these at your own expense and share them with friends and family. You are also welcome to use excerpts from the articles. All we ask is that you give proper credit. Things we do not want copied and distributed freely are items like the Fundamental Baptist Digital Library, print edition of our books, PDFs of the books, etc. These items have taken years to produce at enormous expense in time and money, and we need the income from the sale of these to help fund the ministry. We trust that your Christian honesty will preserve the integrity of this policy.