He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. (Titus 1:9-11, ESV)

The Warning Signs Have Been Right There All Along

A year ago Apprising Ministries began covering the growing acceptance within evangelicalism that the deviant and sinful lifestyle of having sexual relations with another of the same sex, i.e homosexuality, is a viable one for the regenerated Christian. It was actually a logical outgrowth of my coverage of the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church—which is now a fullblown cult of neo-liberalism firmly entrenched within the very mainstream of the visible church.

From my studies into what cult expert Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989) called “the Cult of Liberal theology” I could easily recognize that the Emergent Church, which was launched as a seeker sensitive movement by Leadership Network, is a postmodern version of liberalism; not modern theology, but a new form of Progressive Christianity. Remember, the original liberalism was an ill-fated attempt to make a version of Christianity that would be compataible with its time.

This Emergence Christianity, which EC guru Brian McLaren has begun laying out systematically in his book A New Kind of Christianity, is the newer postmodern form of that same pragmatic man-centered idea. And a core doctrine of the EC is corrupt Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), masquerading as so-called Spiritual Formation (SF), as taught by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin and SBC minister Dallas Willard.

And in order for CSM, which is a self-centered refried Roman Catholic mysticism, to florish it has to kick out the proper Christian spirituality of Sola Scriptura. So I knew it was only a matter of time before the EC would introduce the same basic pattern, and spiritual poison, into the mainstream evangelicalism that would mortally wound the mainline denominations. The other day in Jay Bakker Reflects The Sad Condition Of The Visible Church I talked further about what this is all going to mean.

Mainline denominations long ago gave in to the Cult of Liberalism, kicked out Sola Scriptura, and they’re still being ripped apart by the highly divisive homosexual lobby; and one by one, they’ll all fall. Mainstream evangelicalism, this is your wake-up call; prepare for the very same debates within your own halls. It’s going to be a huge surprise, and soon, when evanjellyfish—unity at all costs—leaders find out that most professing Christians don’t actually hold to Sola Scriptura at all. And so what are you then left with; doing what is right in your own eyes ala Judges 17:6. 

This is the background upon which to view what we’re about to run into below via the tweet today by heretical EC progressive/liberal theologian Tony Jones, “theologian at residence” in the EC church of his universalist “pastor” Doug Pagitt:

Please check out the work at @Patheos to get evangelicals talking thoughtfully and respectfully about homosexuality: (Online source)

That link takes us to Rebuilding Bridges: Evangelicals and Gays over at a website dedicated to “balanced views of religion and spirituality” called Patheos where we read:

The Cross Examinations series asks pastors, professors, and writers to explore questions of vital importance to the church in a coherent and constructive manner. We hope that reflecting together will stimulate thought, focus conversation, and ultimately prove more edifying to online readers and to the church… The present installment addresses the question:

Evangelicals are often portrayed as homophobic or hateful toward gays. If you could envision the ideal relationship between evangelical churches and gays, what would that relationship look like? (Online source, emphasis theirs)

Wouldn’t you know it; among these “pastors, professors, and writers” asked to “explore” this question we find Brian McLaren and Tony Jones; for our purposes here, it’s important to note that both McLaren and Jones also happen to be Red Letter Christians as well. Since McLaren, again, essentially says nothing I focus this on Jones as he’s a real part of the problem here. First, we’re told that Jones “is a leader in the Emergent Church movement,” which is what I’ve been saying all along anyway; and in addition, those of us following it know that the EC is far from dead.

As he often does, Jones begins by confusing categories when he speaks of “cultural Evangelicals.” Now he’s introduced the common rabbit trail that immediately takes this discussion off-track. No one would expect someone who makes a mere mental decision to “become” an evangelical Christian apart from regeneration to live out the actual Christian faith. And that’s a huge part of what’s going on here with the behavioral modification preaching passing for genuine Christianity; we have scores of pagans believing they’re Christian.

This is the terrible legacy being etched by the seeker driven preaching of men like Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren for the older crowd and that of EC icon Rob Bell for the younger postmodern set. You need to understand that they both preach the same kind of, make a decision to follow Jesus, behavior modification message; albeit each to different audiences. However, at its core it has the same flaw: An emotional appeal minus repentance for the forgiveness of sins that produces many “converts,” but not necessarily spiritually regenerated believers literally in Christ.

Tony Jones And Those Pushing The Sinful Gay Agenda Are The Divisive Ones

In the piece mentioned above Jones begins by introducing  the concept of “shibboleth,” a favorite word of his, which Jones defines as “a particularly meaningless differentiator of persons.” Then he gives a few examples of apparently “particularly meaningless” issues by which he seems to feel evangelicalism differentiates itself; as if there was some central evangelical magisterium. If only there were; then Protestant evangelicals could hold a council and put those such as Jones, who are as “evangelical” as I am Emergent, out from among them.

Jones seems to feel that because evangelicals “are particularly fond of shibboleths,” and since they haven’t had their way with the issue of abortion, they are now entering into the particularly meaningless differentiation of the issues surrounding “gay marriage.” But as Jones begins he actually commits the faulty causation fallacy of oversimplification and exaggeration when he says:

the correlations are clear: replace the oversized placards of aborted fetuses with Westboro Baptist’s “God Hates Fags” signs at military funerals;… (Online source)

Westboro Baptist Church is no more evangelical than Jones himself is; no one who is truly evangelical is arguing that we should hate homosexuals. The Christian mandate is clear: Love your neighbor as yourself [1] because, but for the grace of God, I would not be who I am [2]; and even so, I remain a sinner saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. I have no righteousness by which I can then look down upon any other human being period; be they in Christ, as I am, or in need of having the Gospel first preached to them.

In fact, this kind of argumentation by Jones, and he’s hardly alone in that mischaracterization, is not helpful in this discussion at all; rather, it’s highly inflammatory and divisive. Sadly for someone who’s a doctoral fellow at Princeton, which was once a bastion for proper Christian theology, Jones would benefit from brushing up on his logic skills. He next commits the fallacy of the false analogy:

I’m just saying that Evangelicals held similar positions on slavery and divorce in the past, and the consensus opinion on those two topics has softened significantly as time has passed. (Online source)

First of all, the unrepentant practice of sin is a salvation issue (apples) where slavery is not, it is a moral issue (oranges); and while both involve sin (fruit), they are not the same in category. And divorce is never held up in Scripture as a proper standard; but rather, fidelity sets the standard. Jesus does permit divorce e.g. for marital unfaithfulness; however, as I showed in Jesus Defines Marriage For Red Letter Christians, sexual relations with a member of the same sex will always be outside of the marriage covenant of our Creator. Therefore, it remains the sin of sexual immorality.

The problem is, these Red Letter Christians don’t really believe the Scriptures; so what Dr. Martin said years ago about the subject of homosexuality still rings true today: What really is there to discuss, if, you believe what the Bible says. That the practice of homosexuality is sin is just about as clear as it gets in Scripture. And yet men like Tony Jones are now sowing the same division within evangelicalism today that his liberal forebears such as John Shelby Spong once did within the mainline denominations. But at least Spong was honest enough to admit the Bible condemns gay sex. [3]

Jones then concludes:

There are many complex reasons why opposition to same sex marriage has become the latest bugaboo for Evangelicals, not least of which is their interpretation of the seven passages in the Bible that mention homosexuality (that’s .02% of the Bible). And we do, indeed, need to have a serious and thoroughgoing debate about the meaning of these passages for our day. In fact, some of us are having such a debate. (Online source)

No, the reasons aren’t complex at all; “same sex marriage has become the latest bugaboo for Evangelicals” largely because of the growing influence of progressive/liberals like Tony Jones within the younger sectors of mainstream evangelicalism. These are the ones who, while kicking out the authority of the Bible, claim to be orthodox; when in reality, their beliefs are far more in line with liberal theology than with that of historic evangelicalism. In other words, while tearing down what evangelical Christians believe, such as these still make the claim to be evangelical.

Yet again we see Jones committing a logical fallacy in appealing to numbers as he implies that because the majority of the Bible doesn’t mention homosexuality, and only allegedly two percent of Scripture clearly speak to homosexuality, somehow those seven verses can be called into question. Apparently God felt that He didn’t stutter when He said — You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22, ESV). And the Jews, to whom He first gave this text, most certainly had no trouble understanding what God meant.

And no, historic biblical Protestant evangelicalism needs no debate about what those verses mean because it’s all recently been hashed out within the mainline denominations. The original cult of liberal theology has already come along and questioned all of the very same texts to which Jones referring to above; and orthodox Christian apologists such as Walter Martin revealed these arguments to be erroneous, and the position of the historic orthodox Christian church stands. The tragic truth is, the only reason Jones et al are even trying to have “such a debate” is in order to follow their own evil lusts:

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self. (2 Timothy 3:2, ESV)


1. e.g. Leviticus 19:18; Mathew 19:19.
2. 1 Corinthians 15:10.
3. John Shelby Spong Admits Homosexuality Is Condemned In Scriputre, accessed 4/29/10.

See also: