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Sunday, February 23, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

During the past couple of weeks, Pete Buttigieg has been explicitly clear in saying he doesn’t think any true Christian can support the Republican Party.

During recent CNN town hall meetings, Mr. Buttigieg said the following: “If you belong to a faith tradition that tells you that so much depends on how we make ourselves useful to those who are marginalized … I can’t imagine that requires you to be anywhere near this president or what the Republican Party has become … I’m not going to tell other Christians how to be Christian, but I will say [that] I cannot find any compatibility between the way this president conducts himself and anything that I find in Scripture.”


In that candidate Buttigieg just opened the door, via curative admissibility, to the idea that the Bible is the only measure of true Christianity, we can logically assume that he is interested in considering what the entire counsel of Scripture actually says about the matter. After all, it would seem that even Mayor Pete just admitted that it doesn’t matter what you or I think, or even what he thinks. What matters is what Scripture says. Right?

Well, with the Bible as our guide, one thing seems irrefutably clear. No one can claim to be a Christian who hasn’t “died to self,” become a “new creation in Christ” and fully submitted to the teachings of the Bible.

It is simply a theological and ontological fact that you can’t claim Christianity if your default position always runs contrary to the admonitions of Jesus and those of his chosen apostles.

For example, all the earliest instructions from the likes of Peter, Paul, John, James and Jude, indicate that a true follower of Christ cannot continue to imbibe his passions and peccadilloes. The church fathers made this crystal clear. Christians, by definition, are required to confess their sins, not affirm them. Christianity is not hyphenated. Christians find their identity in Christ, not their inclinations, sexual or otherwise. Christians are “born again,” they are not “born that way.”

Here is just a sampling of what the saints told the first Christians in Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Galatia and Jerusalem regarding their Christian identity and their corresponding moral obligations.

“For this is the will of God … that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body …”

“[Do not be like those who are] futile in their thinking, [those whose] hearts are darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools … God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves. Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie … God gave them up to a debased mind …”

“For if God did not spare the ancient world … [and] if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, … then the Lord knows how to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority.”

“There will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”

“They promise freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity — for people are slaves to whatever has mastered them …”

“Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed.”

“You were taught … to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self …”

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here …”

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine … he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has … a depraved mind and is deprived of the truth.”

You see, at the end of the day, there is nothing in the Bible that tells us that the Democratic solution to serving the “marginalized” is somehow superior to the Republican solution. In fact, there is much in Scripture to the contrary. Both progressives and conservatives can claim membership in the body of Christ when it comes to employing different methods in reaching out to those in need of help. We have the same goals but just differ a bit on how to accomplish them.

But there is everything in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, that makes it very clear that those who refuse to comply with God’s oft-repeated sexual standards and, instead, celebrate and flaunt their defiance are not in Christ.

God does not beat around the bush. No one who has a “debased mind;” one who “scoffs” at the truth; who is “corrupted by deceitful desires;” and who defines himself by his libido rather than his Lord, is a Christian.

After all, it is Jesus, himself, who makes this abundantly clear when he concludes the very Scriptures to which Mr. Buttigieg just appealed: “Outside are the dogs … those who practice sexual immorality … and deception.” (Revelation 22)

Welcome to the Bible, Mayor Pete. I’m glad you brought it up.

• Everett Piper, former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, is a columnist for The Washington Times and author of “Not A Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery 2017).


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