#ImAChristianBut … SMH

by Fr Richard Heilman | September 10, 2015 11:35 AM

I was planning on writing something about this viral video going around, but Matt Walsh beat me to it. And, in Matt Walsh style, he nails it (yet again).

So, I am just putting the first part of this excellent piece here, and I invite you to go read the rest at his blog.

From the incomparable, Matt Walsh …

A lot of people have sent me this video[1] made by BuzzFeed, the same folks who produced such film classics as “What Bros Do Before a Date[2],” “Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone[3]” (apparently they look for it — so weird!) and “What It’s Like To Be A Hairy Girl[4].” It’s about as insightful and deep as you’d expect, considering the source and the title: “I’m a Christian, But I’m Not.”

The viral clip, which spawned thousands of shares and a trending hashtag[5], features six millennials describing their makeshift Build-A-Bear faith. It starts with each person assuring us they’re “Christian” but they don’t think they’re “perfect,” and they’re certainly not “homophobic,” “unaccepting,” “uneducated,” “judgmental,” “ignorant” or “conservative.” If lumping “conservative” in with “uneducated, homophobic and ignorant” didn’t get the passive-aggressive message across aggressively enough, the next part makes it painfully clear: one by one, the carefully selected collection of manicured trendies informs us that although they are allegedly Christian, they’re also ”accepting,” “queer,” “gay,” “feminist,” “feminist,” and in case you missed it, “feminist.”

The video falters badly here, in the first 60 seconds, for the reasons:

1) To say “I’m a Christian, but I know I’m not perfect” is nonsensical. There should be no “but” in that sentence. There are definitely some haughty Christians out there (see: the ones in this video), but a Christian, in principle, is by definition a person who knows they are part of a fallen race and can only be redeemed through the blood of Christ Jesus. The Christian sins like all people sin, and it’s this recognition of his own sin that causes him to cry out, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 7:21). By his Christian faith he knows that it is “God who delivers him through Jesus Christ, our Lord.” The correct way to say it then is, “I am Christian, because I know I am not perfect.”

As Christians, our goal is not to avoid being like the big bad “other Christians,” but to strive to be like Christ Himself. This is one of the advantages to having an Incarnate God. He went around acting and speaking and teaching and generally functioning in our realm, thereby giving us a model to follow. This is the model of a loving and merciful man, and also a man of perfect virtue who fought against the forces of evil, condemned sin, defended his Father in Heaven with sometimes violent force, spoke truth, and eventually laid down His life for those He loved (which would be all of us).

Only Jesus is Lord, so we of course cannot emulate everything He did, and we probably shouldn’t try (like walking on water, etc.). And it’s important to remember that Christ came to open up the gates of heaven and deliver us from evil, not merely to give instructions and set a nice example. He is the lamb of God, not a character on Full House. Still, His example and His instructions aren’t irrelevant to our salvation, nor are they optional. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus tells his disciples over and over again that they must follow Him. ”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Because He is not physically here to be followed in the directional, point A to point B sense of the word, we understand that “following” means, very simply, doing what He did and what He said.

This is what it means to believe in Christ. Not just to believe that He existed, but to believe that Christ is Truth itself, and that everything He said and did was totally and absolutely and irreversibly true forever and always. Many Christians today — not only the ones in the video, but millions alongside them — seem to think we can rightly claim to have “faith” in Jesus or a “relationship” with Him while still categorically denying much of His Word. This is a ridiculous proposition. We can’t declare, in one breath, that Christ is Lord, and in the next suggest that maybe God got it wrong on this or that point. Well, we can make that declaration, but we expose our belief as fraudulent and self-serving. We worship a God we either invented in our heads, which is a false idol, or a God who is fallible, which is a false idol. I’m not saying we can’t be Christians if we fall short of His teachings — I do that all the time, much to my shame — just that we can’t be Christians if we fundamentally deny His teachings.

We might pretend that so long as we believe He is Lord, the rest is more of a buffet that we can digest or reject at our leisure, but on what basis do we believe that He is the Son of God if we don’t believe anything else He said, either vocally or through the authors who wrote the various books of the Bible? How can we believe a guy when he claims to be God Himself, but not when we claims to know a thing or two about the way we’re supposed to conduct ourselves?

Christ: You should do things this way.

Buffet Christians: LIAR!

Christ: I’m the Son of the Living God and I will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

Buffet Christians: OK, well that part I’ll buy.

There appears to be a massive disconnect here, wouldn’t you say?

So, for example, we have to make up our minds when we’re confronted with passages like this: “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Matthew 19:4). The Incarnate God defines marriage as between a man and a woman. He is right or wrong here, and if He’s wrong then He is not God, and we all should become atheist or find another religion entirely (I hear Buddhism is nice this time of year). But if He is right, then we are required as Christians to believe this view and proclaim it from the mountaintops. If we fail in that task, we fail as Christians. This brings us to item 3.

3) The video advertises sin. It’s true, again, that Christians can be gay, as in they can experience same-sex attractions. But they cannot suggest that it’s all right to act upon those sinful temptations, let alone define themselves by them. It’s not stated explicitly, but it seems pretty clear that the homosexuals in the video aren’t advocating that same-sex attracted people reject their urges and live a celibate life. Instead, like so many in the West, they appear to be saying, “I am actively gay – and that’s OK!” No, it isn’t OK, and when you say things like that, the homosexuality is now a secondary concern to the blatant apostasy.

The great danger in our society is not that it is populated by sinful people, but that it’s populated by heretics who campaign to move their favorite sins from the “bad” column to the “good,” as if God is some indecisive bureaucrat whose moral laws can be amended or abolished by popular vote. Many sins — especially any of the sexual variety — have their own PR teams these days, making it all the more necessary for Christians to fight back, as unpleasant and politically incorrect as the fight might be. If the homosexual embraces his temptations (or if anyone, gay or straight, engages in sex outside of marriage), we should not beat down his door and berate him. But if he opens the door of his own volition and proclaims to the world that God approves of what he’s done, then we must respond by saying emphatically, “no.” This is not our judgement, but God’s. And because God has told us His judgement, we are required to relay the information whenever someone attempts to sow confusion into the subject.

All in all, the video is yet another sleek and bright-colored collection of liberal heresies, designed to again reinforce the new, fashionable, contemporary Christianity. That is, the sort of Christianity that has no reason to exist. If you can suffer through the first 90 seconds of hipster Christians congratulating themselves for being “queer” and “feminist,” you’ll make it to the grand finale, where this terribly undiverse crowd explains the one thing “they want people to know” about the Faith.

You can read the rest at Matt’s blog, HERE[6].

 

Endnotes:
  1. this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bWHSpmXEJs
  2. What Bros Do Before a Date: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDC3iR_1VMM
  3. Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBckd2euLuY
  4. What It’s Like To Be A Hairy Girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyin3tIkDHc
  5. trending hashtag: https://twitter.com/search?f=tweets&vertical=default&q=%23imachristianbut&src=typd
  6. HERE: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/if-you-are-a-christian-but-you-reject-christs-teachings-you-are-not-a-christian/

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