Rabbi Rafael G. Grossman, president of the Rabbinical Council of America, recently said, "[A]nti-Semitism is a direct result of the Christian need to convert us. Like spurned lovers, rejection turns love into hate and if you, as I have, spent most of your adult life in the Southern Bible Belt, you would well understand how real this is."1 The rabbi apparently doesn't know that anti-Semitism is an abomination to true Christianity. Jesus himself was a Jew and the Bible clearly identifies the Jews as God's chosen people whom He loves and whom all who know Him are to love and bless.
The fact is that Christians expend far more time and effort attempting to evangelize non-Jews than is spent in evangelizing Jews. Contrary to what many Jews imagine, most Americans, having rejected Christ, are not Christians. Therefore, by the Rabbi's logic, Christians ought to hate non-Jews, as well, and even family members, for rejecting Christ. On the contrary, the person who hates another is not a Christian (1 Jn:2:9,11; 3:15; 4:20).
True Christians share the gospel out of love. If the whole world were dying of a dread disease, would it be hatred for the man who had the one sure cure to try to persuade everyone to avail himself of it? In fact, it would be reprehensible not to offer it to everyone. A Christian truly believes that Jesus Christ is God who came as a man to die (in fulfillment of the Old Testament animal sacrifices) for our sins; and that only through accepting His payment of sin's penalty can we sinners be forgiven. Surely, though he may reject the offer, any Jew or Gentile who understands the sincerity behind it can only respect a Christian for presenting the gospel to him.
Actually, most Christians, afraid to offend, shrink from sharing the gospel with Jews. Some ministries, such as the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), even have a policy of not offering the gospel to Jews. Yet Christ commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles, beginning at Jerusalem (Lk 24:47; Acts:1:8).
At one time there was nearly unanimous agreement among evangelicals that their mission was to preach the gospel everywhere to everyone and to earnestly contend for the faith (Jude 3). That faith was that Christ died for our sins in order to "deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal:1:4) and to make us citizens of heaven (Philippians:3:20). Christians understood clearly that they were "not of the world" but that Christ had called them "out of the world" (Jn:15:19); theirs was a "heavenly calling" (Heb:3:1); indeed, in Christ they were already seated "in heavenly places" (Eph:2:6).
Nowhere does the Bible tell us to reform this world. Those who seemed to be in a position to do so (Joseph as second only to Pharaoh, Esther and Mordacai under Emperor Ahasuerus, and Daniel under several kings) were used of God to preserve His chosen people, but never to reform godless societies. Christ never attempted to reform the evil world of His day, nor did the Apostles or early church engage in marches or demonstrations either for Jesus or against evil. They "turned the world upside down" (Acts:17:6) by preaching the gospel, not by preaching "traditional morals" or protesting the world's evil practices.
The Christian mission, then, for 1,900 years has been to call individuals out of this evil world and into God's "heavenly kingdom" (2 Tim:4:18). Any "reformation" of society has been a byproduct of the transformation of individuals who were born again through faith in Christ and whose lives then became an influence for good. Further, for Christians to join with unbelievers to reform this world was unthinkable. Then it began to happen. An early example was Freemasonry where, astonishingly, Christians joined a pagan "brotherhood." Leading Masonic authorities write,
Masonry... requires merely that you believe in some Deity, give him what name you will...any god will do....2Masonry [is the religion] around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahman [Hindu], the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer....3
How could a true Christian join in prayer at such an altar?! Yet many did and still do. Nor can the "Christian" Mason stand upon the Word of God and proclaim Christ as the only Savior, for that would contradict the ecumenism in which he is ensnared. Masonry's mystical rites are blasphemous. For example, the ritual for Knight of East and West depicts "the end of the world, when all true Masons are to receive their reward by being conducted to a throne at the right hand of the Deity, having first been purified by washing their robes in their own blood [not the "blood of the Lamb" - Rev:7:14]"!4 Even so, large numbers of professing Christians belong to the Masons. How is this justified? Dave Thomas, owner of Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, a professing Christian and 33rd degree Mason, explains:
I'm proud to be a Mason. I believe Freemasonry is the cornerstone of America today. It brings good people together for a common cause—helping others. And I'm proud of the great things Masons accomplish.5
Similar justification (the "great things" accomplished when people come "together for a common cause") is offered by Christians "unequally yoked together with unbelievers" (2 Cor:6:14) in social/political activism. The Great Commission (to "preach the gospel to every creature" - Mk 16:15) has been redefined as the Christian Mission (to morally reform secular society)—a mission that anyone may join who affirms "traditional morals." Kenneth S. Kantzer, a senior editor of Christianity Today (CT) wrote,
With the spread of moral rot that destroys the roots of a free and just society, we evangelicals need to close ranks with our Catholic neighbors. And with Mormons, conservative Jews, and secularists who share our values....6
Of course, one cannot evangelize these non-Christian partners, for that would offend them and break up the coalition.
Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition includes among its members Mormons, Moonies, Roman Catholics, Jews and anyone else with conservative politics and morals. Even J. I. Packer has succumbed to this delusion. Writing in CT, he transmutes Christ's command to proclaim the gospel into a call "to re-Christianize the North American milieu...[and] rebuild the ruins ...[of] North American culture..."!7 Where does the Bible say that? Llewellyn Rockwell writes,
Christianity is now thoroughly politicized. The [Catholic] bishops and [Ralph] Reed have no trouble speaking about the importance of pro-family legislation, or the glories of religious pluralism, but they are shy about such basics as the Christian teaching on salvation. The longer the process of politicization continues, the thinner the faith gets. Political ambition causes people to water down their beliefs for the sake of gaining favor....The first stage of sell-out comes with the exaltation of political pluralism above doctrinal truth, the second stage with the denial of doctrinal truth altogether for achieving political goals.8
Ralph Reed, director of Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition, has said, "An emerging partnership of Catholics and evangelical Protestants is going to be the most powerful force in the electorate beyond the 1990s...[bringing together] people of faith" for the common good of the nation. Apparently any "faith" will do. It was out of such a joining in common cause that "Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium" (ECT) was spawned. As the New York Times reported 3/30/94,
They toiled together in the movements against abortion and pornography, and now leading Catholics and evangelicals are asking their flocks for a remarkable leap of faith: to finally accept each other as Christians.
The signers of ECT say, "We have far more in common with conservative Roman Catholics than we do with liberal Protestants." Paul could have said the same about the Judaizers. They believed the true gospel, but simply added that one must also keep the law to be saved. Yet instead of joining the Judaizers in cleaning up the morals of society and improving the empire, Paul cursed them. Why? Because they preached "another gospel" that would damn all who believed it. Rome has added far more to the gospel than the Judaizers ever dreamed of adding.
Evangelicals who are leading the fight against immorality in society rarely oppose false doctrine in the church. Yet Christ and His apostles gave no time to crusading against the evils outside the church, but concentrated upon correction of error within.
Ironically, the one culprit which has been the major cause of the rapid and deep slide into immorality in the last forty years is generally promoted rather than opposed by those leading the crusade against immorality. That culprit is psychology.
Psychology's redefining of sin as sickness has excused immorality and thus encouraged it. Instead of being held accountable and called upon to repent, the sinner is diagnosed as in need of "therapy." Everything from disobedience to murder is excused these days as some kind of syndrome or addiction. Adulterers are now "sex addicts" whose insurance covers lengthy "treatment" at Christian psychiatric hospitals. Christ's command to "Go and sin no more" (Jn:8:11) is "too simplistic" these days.
The explosion of crime, rebellion and immorality has coincided with the exponential growth of psychology since the early 1950s, a growth which is still accelerating. There was a 43 percent increase in the number of Americans in the 10-19 age bracket committed to psychiatric hospitals from 1980 to 1987, while the number of private psychiatric beds per 100,000 persons more than doubled in the five years from 1983 to 1988. What a growth industry! Psychology has been rightly called the only profession that "creates the diseases which it claims to cure."
The firm discipline which children need and the Bible commends (Prov:13:24; 22:15; Heb:12:6, etc.) is now called "child abuse," and children have even been taken by government agencies from Christian parents who lovingly "applied the rod." What once was recognized as laziness, disinterest, stubbornness or rebellion is now excused as some new "syndrome." The number of children diagnosed as having "learning disabilities" nearly tripled from 1977 to 1992! Difficult children are placed on Ritalin after they and their parents have been convinced by some therapist of their abnormality, a stigma (and excuse) which will probably be with them for life. In spite of its addictive nature, disputable evidence of its helpfulness, and many reported incidents of violence and suicide brought on by withdrawal from it, Ritalin is currently being given to about 1 million American children. Whatever did we do without it?!
Inventing new kinds of "mental illness" has increased the power of psychiatrists and psychologists over society. Americans now suffer by the millions from alleged maladies that were unknown a few years ago. These are defined in the "bible of mental illness," the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). When first published in 1952 it listed 112 mental disorders, compared with a half dozen 100 years earlier. DSM-II in 1968 listed 163. There were 224 in DSM-III, published in 1980. DSM-IV came out in 1994 and the list of disorders had grown to 374! Whence this raging epidemic of new mental illnesses--or are we being duped?! One newspaper editor wrote sarcastically,
Does your 10-year-old dislike doing her math homework? Better get her to the nearest couch because she's got No. 315.4, Developmental Arithmetic Disorder. Maybe you're a teenager who argues with his parents. Uh-oh. Better get some medication pronto because you've got No. 313.8, Oppositional Defiant Disorder....I am not making these things up. (That would be Fictitious Disorder Syndrome)....I know there are some cynics out there who...wouldn't be caught dead on a psychiatrist's couch....[Y]our unwillingness to seek professional help is itself a symptom of a serious mental problem. It's right here in the book: 15.81, Noncompliance with Treatment Disorder."9
These newly defined "disabilities" are creating a host of new "rights." George Will points out, "You have a right to be a colossally obnoxious jerk on the job. If you are just slightly offensive, your right will not kick in. But if you are seriously insufferable to colleagues at work, you have a right not to be fired, and you are entitled to have your employer make reasonable accommodations for your 'disability.'" In a word, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) encourages irresponsible and obnoxious behavior. The authority behind ADA is DSM-IV's nearly 900 pages of folly. Will continues:
Consider the DSM's definition of "oppositional defiant disorder" [ODD] as a pattern of "negativistic, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures...often loses temper ...is often touchy...or spiteful or vindictive."The DSM's list of "personality disorders" includes "anti-social personality disorder" [ADD] ("a pervasive pattern of disregard for...the rights of others....); "histrionic personality disorder" [HPD] ("excessive emotionality and attention-seeking...inappropriately sexually provocative or seductive"); "narcissistic personality disorder" [NPD] ("grandiosity, need for admiration ...boastful and pretentious...may assume they do not have to wait in line"), etc., etc.10
Selfish and sinful behavior is no longer wrong but simply a sign that one is "special" and even entitled to "rights" denied to the rest of us! Is it because so many of those Christians leading the crusade against immorality in society are committed to "Christian" psychology that they fail to sound the alarm that psychology itself is the major contributor to today's growing immorality? The gospel is the power of God unto salvation, not only from the penalty of sin but from its power in our lives. The church has lost confidence in God and His Word to meet our needs. The Christian mission—yes, Christianity itself—has been redefined. Let us return to the Lord and to His Word in obedience to our mission! TBC