commentary: Do You Feel Free?
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 10-Mar-18; 12 minutes
The title of this commentary is, "Do You Feel Free?" It is directly related to the commentary that I gave at the beginning of this month, and it is also related to the theme of a number of sermons that I gave after the Feast of Tabernacles. There is just a principle here that is, I feel, important for us to think on.
Do you feel free to follow a desire of your heart? A fairly prominent name in the news business—specifically political news—you may be unfamiliar with is Guy Benson. Now the reason he is not well known by the public at large is because his news reporting is usually given with a conservative slant. He is a fairly frequent Fox News contributor, and he is also the political editor of Townhall.com, which has a decidedly conservative slant to its contributions to the public looking for a conservative slant that isn't available. Of interest to me was what Mr. Benson stated in a video that appeared the last week of January of this year that was quite interesting because it gives solid evidence of why Christianity is so insipidly weak here in America, and is clearly losing the cultural battle that is going on.
Mr. Benson stated during that video,
I am a Christian, a patriotic American and a free market shrink, the government conservative who also happens to be gay. What I mean by that is that my values define me, while my sexual orientation sometimes feels more like, well, a footnote.
The "footnote" illustration he used to describe an aspect of his character was deliberately chosen by him—he's a wordsmith, you know, so he was careful—to define his sexual orientation as being a quality that had no effect in terms of being one he believes has no negative value. That is his stated opinion. However, three of the things he revealed by that statement is, first, that he believes his sexual orientation means nothing in terms of the doctrial purity—remember, he also claimed to be a Christian—and therefore his representation of God.
Second, it does no damage to the Christian religion. Third, his conduct is an acceptable expression of love. This is coming from a man proclaiming that he is Christian. Is this many saying that what he thinks and how he judges conduct—both his own and others', too—is not in any way impacted by what he actually believes in his heart of hearts and shows by the quality of his own personal conduct? Is he saying that sex with another male is an act of love? Brethren, that is what he is openly saying, while he proclaims himself a Christian.
That statement is actually a defense of his conduct. Mr. Benson gave voice to what I believe is what the overwhelming majority in America seem to believe regarding Christianity and God Himself—that doctrinal purity and conduct do not go hand in hand. Now if that is what he is saying, then we have begun to answer this by asking, Why increase in knowledge [Colossians 1:10]? Why do it? Why increase in understanding and performance in any discipline in life? Because what he is saying is commonly accepted as destroying one's pursuit toward perfection in a discipline. You just throw out what's right and set your own standard.
This is a nationally known person. His statement is clear evidence of what I said almost repeatedly in my previous series of sermons, that humanity pays little attention whatever to what God says. Therefore, mankind has no real relationship with God, despite the fact that one like Mr. Benson openly claims to be a Christian. His claim is an open, bald-faced contradiction of the Bible.
In I Timothy 2:15, we are commanded to be diligent to present ourselves approved unto God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Mr. Benson is most certainly not unintelligent. He may be otherwise very well educated, but I believe that this revelation identifies him as a man who has allowed himself to be defined by a sinful desire that he apparently cannot control because it has enslaved him. Whatever happened to God's clear command that a Christian is to be holy because He is holy? Whatever happened to Jesus' command that we are to deny ourselves in order to be on track in holiness? Whatever happened to Mr. Benson's love and respect for God's commandments?
Listen to this, translated in modern English, from the Old Testament:
From the New Testament, also in modern English:
I Corinthians 6:9-11 Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin or who worship idols or commit adultery or drunkards or are abusive or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that, but you were cleansed, you were made holy, you are right with God, by calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Sirit of our God.
I don't know who is directly responsible for the flawed teaching that Mr. Benson received and accepted, so that he believes as a practicing homosexual it makes no difference—no serious difference—in the quality of the relationship he believes that he has with God. But the way Mr. Benson believes is similar to the way the overwhelming majority of Americans believe: they are free to do—and that's why Christianity is losing the culture war. They're "free."
The most obviously ignored commandment of the Ten is the first commandment. Do you realize that Mr. Benson, in his defiance of God's command regarding homosexuality, has kicked God from His sovereign throne and set himself up as God? He's obeying his commandment, not God's. My concern is that we become lured by our still-resident carnality into the same line of thinking—that we, too, are free to set our personal conduct standards. No we aren't!
Jesus clearly states,
John 8:31-32 . . . "If you abide [that is, if you continue] in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Truth obeyed provides freedom. As a matter of fact, the standards of God's children are higher—much higher—than those for the unconverted. We have to meet the standards of the spirit of the law. So ask yourselves this question, and then answer this to yourselves as well: Is God preparing sons and daughters for the Kingdom of God who, rather than following Christ wherever He goes, they just go off and do their own thing?
God's true children follow Jesus Christ, not their own desires that mixed themselves with worldliness. He is preparing heirs who are just like Him. They are the ones truly holy, and they know, and know that they know, that they are not free to set their own standards of whatever qualities they are to produce true liberty. Now, as a man, Jesus stated, "I always do what the Father says."