Dear USA Presbyterian Church: Read Your Bible

Years ago, when I was a student at Multnomah University, I had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of Dr. John G. Mitchell. He always used to say, “Don’t you folks ever read your Bibles?” I wish he was still here. He died in 1990 at the age of 97, but I heard him enough to get the message: we need to read and know our Bibles if we’re going to live for Christ in this world.

I am troubled by something I see happening in our churches. Christians, the people who bear the name and image of God, are trending away from the truth of God’s Word and careening toward fear-based living. This generation of Christians is in a full-blown spiritual crisis. We’re listening to everyone but God. We’re not reading our Bibles.

Don’t believe me? Look no further than the USA Presbyterian church (not to be confused with the PCA.) Last week, millions watched as it finally caved into cultural and political peer pressure and fear, turning a blind eye to the Word of God and declaring that God is cool with homosexuality—when His Word, the Bible, clearly states the opposite.  And they’re not alone:  just weeks ago, controversial former pastor Rob Bell flat out told Oprah Winfrey that the church is “moments away from embracing” gay marriage.

Ummmm.  Mr. Bell. Read your Bible. You’re making emotional arguments for spiritual problems. God says this is a sin issue. It’s not up for emotional debate. This is an issue for God alone to decide. And please. Don’t speak for the the Church. (Big “C” here.)

Brother and sisters, read your Bibles! God is not silent on the issues we are facing today.  God’s view on sexual sin, including homosexuality, can be clearly seen in the Bible:  Romans 1:24-27 Lev 20:13, Leviticus 18:22

While we cannot (and should not) expect the world to understand or apply God’s Word to their lives— surely we can and should expect those who claim the name of Jesus Christ to live by God’s standard. The USA Presbyterian church, in sanctioning homosexuality, is in sin. They’re not reading their Bibles.

Romans 8:5-8 tells us that when we live by our flesh, we have our minds on what our flesh desires. Denominations like the USA Presbyterian church are doing nothing short of granting a license to live by the flesh, which is the opposite of living by the Spirit.

We are living in a world that is full of fearful, spiritually immature Christians. Rather than learn to rightly apply God’s word to our lives, have chosen to “go with the flow” of the culture and remain “Christian” in name only. We have bought into religion instead living in right relationship with Jesus. We have allowed sin to run rampant in our churches and have become complacent—an overcorrection from the equally damaging legalism and hyper-judging we’ve engaged in for years.

It’s fear that drives Christian pastors to accept homosexuality and fail to protect the unborn. It’s fear that keeps Christian men and women from speaking the truth in love. Fear drives “Christians” to hold hateful signs on street corners.  Fear says, “God hates homosexuals,” when in fact, He loves them! Fear whispers, “It doesn’t matter. God doesn’t care,” and the fearful Christian leans in to listen, either unaware of the price God paid for His freedom or unwilling to obey the call of the cross. Fear is not from God.

We must return to the Word of God.  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Power. A sound mind—and love. Yes, we can speak the truth in love. The truth and love are not mutually exclusive. In God’s economy, they’re one in the same.

It was love that caused a holy God to send His only son as a ransom for mankind. It was love that drove Jesus to talk that long walk to the cross. What message are we sending to our children when we disregard the truth of God’s Word?  We cheapen the message of the cross when we live in disobedience to the Bible. We mock the One who gave His life for us when we decide to turn a blind eye to sin.

Dear Christian, you have the mind of Christ. You can know His will for your life!

Our lack of Biblical knowledge has made us impotent in the spiritual battle we are facing.  We want the love of God, but not the sacrifice it takes to walk rightly with Him, and the USA Presbyterian Church is a perfect example of this. It’s time to get back to reading—and living out—the Word of God.  And yes. Standing up for what’s right may cost you, but in the end, we answer to a holy God, not people. We need to do a better job of loving people like God loves them. 

Christian parents need to teach their children how to live in the world and not be "of" it.

Christian mom, let me ask you—are you teaching your children about God’s love? About His standard? About sin?

God’s Word should change people, not the other way around.

Read your Bibles, women of God! Let love transform you—and then speak the truth in love.
You can do it. You have the power of Christ in you!
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For more, listen to the podcast on this important topic:

Christians in this generation are facing a full-blown spiritual identity crisis. We must be set apart from the patterns of this world, and we will either choose to follow God's Word or reject it. Join Heidi St. John as she talks about this very important topic.

 

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Resources for today’s podcast:

New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp

Mornings can be tough. Sometimes, a hearty breakfast and strong cup of coffee just aren’t enough. Offering more than a rush of caffeine, best-selling author Paul David Tripp wants to energize you with the most potent encouragement imaginable: the gospel.

Forget “behavior modification” or feel-good aphorisms. Tripp knows that what we really need is an encounter with the living God. Then we’ll be prepared to trust in God’s goodness, rely on his grace, and live for his glory each and every day.

Only God Can Make a Kitten by Rhonda Greene

Only God Can Make A Kitten, written by award-winning author Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by bestselling artist Laura J. Bryant, follows a conversation between a mother and child as the child repeatedly asks “Mama, who made . . . ?” In the end, children learn that God is responsible for everything in creation—including kittens!

Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. by David Platt and Francis Chan

In this new book, David Platt, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, contends that multitudes of people around the world culturally think they are Christians yet biblically are not followers of Christ.

Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel

As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth.

Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors.

By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God’s holiness.

The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living As If He Doesn’t Exist   Craig Groeschel

“The more I looked, the more I found Christian Atheists everywhere.” Former Christian Atheist Craig Groeschel knows his subject all too well. After over a decade of successful ministry, he had to make a painful self admission: although he believed in God, he was leading his church like God didn’t exist. To Christians and non-Christians alike, to the churched and the unchurched, the journey leading up to Groeschel’s admission and the journey that follows—from his family and his upbringing to the lackluster and even diametrically opposed expressions of faith he encountered—will look and sound like the story of their own lives.

 

About Heidi St. John

Heidi has been married to her husband Jay since 1989. Together they have seven children and three grandchildren! The St. Johns homeschooled their kids all the way through high school. Heidi is the the author of seven books, host of the popular podcast "Off the Bench," and the founder of MomStrong International, an online community of women learning God's Word and how to apply it to every day life. She and her husband Jay are also the founders of Firmly Planted Family and the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center, located in Vancouver, Washington.

26 thoughts on “Dear USA Presbyterian Church: Read Your Bible

  1. Thank you for speaking truth in such a matter-of-fact way.
    “While we cannot (and should not) expect the world to understand or apply God’s Word to their lives— surely we can and should expect those who claim the name of Jesus Christ to live by God’s standard.” YES!

  2. Well said Heidi! You tackled a touchy topic very well. A sermon I heard several years ago has stuck with me with regards to Christianity and God’s word being inconvenient. It is hard to read God’s word and then blatantly ignore it so it becomes easier to not read it. People don’t want to be inconvenienced by the challenge of living by the Word. It is easier to just not read it and then bend the rules to suit our life or what is popular. I read several articles last week glorifying transgender teens and my heart broke for my kids’ generation.

    1. There is no doubt that this generation is at risk, Amy, but we’re always at risk when we ignore God’s Word. Keep praying, KEEP TALKING about the truth in love. God will bless you for it!

  3. Well said, and still spoken with love. You will get lots of angry comments about this post, but you are completely in line with God’s word, so stand strong!! I am sharing, sharing, sharing this!!

  4. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. We have entangled and confused this out of fear and worldly pressures. God loves us all. Thank you Heidi, for bringing this to the forefront as a reminder as to why we need to keep with the scriptures.

    1. Exactly, Tracy. We have allowed ourselves to become confused because of fear. Take a stand right where you are … and stand on the Bible. You don’t need anything else. Thank you for reading!

  5. Amen! Thank you for speaking the truth on a subject that many people don’t want to hear the truth about! God’s Word is our authority and does not change, no matter what.

    1. Emily, you can stand on the Word of God. You don’t need to convince anyone … God will do that. You just keep telling the truth in love. Blessings to you!

  6. Thank you for these wise words Heidi! This (drifting from the Word of God) is exactly why our church is in the process of leaving the denomination. It’s been a long process, but God is leading and blessing our church as we walk in obedience and cling to His Truth. Keep seeking, speaking and sharing Truth. It’s appreciated! Blessings!

  7. Amen!!! Just, Amen!! Tears are streaming down my face and I have s determination to breath this into my children’s hearts continuously!! Thank You for such powerful and clear words!!

    1. Keep speaking up for the Word of God, Amy! We don’t have to make up an argument. We just have to stand behind God’s Word. Thanks for reading!

  8. WELL stated, Heidi. You know I’m behind you sister. If you ever need an example of God’s redeeming love, feel free to share my story. For it truly God’s story and I have no fear in sharing it.

  9. Love this Heidi, When I was in the workplace (before kids) a gay guy I worked with came in and said, He hated Bible Thumpers. I said hey don’t be mean…. I’m a Bible Thumper. He said, You are??? Well He says…. What do you and you’re God think about me being gay? I told him that I loved him and didn’t care if he was gay or straight. I went on to explain that God loved him so much that he sent Jesus to die for his sins…. Including his being Gay. And that Jesus died for my sins too and that I was a sinner. It just so happened that my sin isn’t being gay. We had a wonderful conversation that day and open dialog about the Lord and sin. He later told me that he’d never been treated with such love (except for the love and acceptance he felt in the Homosexual Community). He thanked me for telling him the truth, while still being kind. He’s still gay but that day he got the truth in LOVE.

    Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 john 4:20

  10. Well said Heidi! Thank you for speaking up. On such a “hot topic”. In love! May the Lord protect you, strengthen you and further His ministry through your obedience to Him and for sharing His Word. He’s been drawing me back faithfully again to my Bible reading time and I’ve been amazed at how far the enemy has twisted, turned & lied about lots of issues to me. I still always loved the Lord but was in a very sloppy season of no Bible reading time. 🙁 I’m growing closer to the Lord’s heart again. Doing a lot of clean up (repenting & changing) and His Truths really so loud and clear! Yes! Let’s all get back to the Bible!! We need it on all fronts in this spiritual battle!

  11. I’ve tried to explain this to people and have been called every name you can think of. This subject tends to bring out the worst in everybody. Thank you for having the courage to address this!

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