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John Shelby Spong – Victory over Biblical Christianity

John Shelby Spong - Victory over Biblical Christianity

John Shelby Spong A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!

By John Shelby Spong (retired Episcopal bishop of Newark) – October 15, 2009

http://secure.agoramedia.com/spong/34674.asp

I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy. I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement. I will no longer temper my understanding of truth in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is “high-sounding, pious rhetoric.” The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me. I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer. The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance. They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn’t. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to “Roll on over or we’ll roll on over you!” Time waits for no one.

I will particularly ignore those members of my own Episcopal Church who seek to break away from this body to form a “new church,” claiming that this new and bigoted instrument alone now represents the Anglican Communion. Such a new ecclesiastical body is designed to allow these pathetic human beings, who are so deeply locked into a world that no longer exists, to form a community in which they can continue to hate gay people, distort gay people with their hopeless rhetoric and to be part of a religious fellowship in which they can continue to feel justified in their homophobic prejudices for the rest of their tortured lives. Church unity can never be a virtue that is preserved by allowing injustice, oppression and psychological tyranny to go unchallenged.

In my personal life, I will no longer listen to televised debates conducted by “fair-minded” channels that seek to give “both sides” of this issue “equal time.” I am aware that these stations no longer give equal time to the advocates of treating women as if they are the property of men or to the advocates of reinstating either segregation or slavery, despite the fact that when these evil institutions were coming to an end the Bible was still being quoted frequently on each of these subjects. It is time for the media to announce that there are no longer two sides to the issue of full humanity for gay and lesbian people. There is no way that justice for homosexual people can be compromised any longer.

I will no longer act as if the Papal office is to be respected if the present occupant of that office is either not willing or not able to inform and educate himself on public issues on which he dares to speak with embarrassing ineptitude. I will no longer be respectful of the leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seems to believe that rude behavior, intolerance and even killing prejudice is somehow acceptable, so long as it comes from third-world religious leaders, who more than anything else reveal in themselves the price that colonial oppression has required of the minds and hearts of so many of our world’s population. I see no way that ignorance and truth can be placed side by side, nor do I believe that evil is somehow less evil if the Bible is quoted to justify it. I will dismiss as unworthy of any more of my attention the wild, false and uninformed opinions of such would-be religious leaders as Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Albert Mohler, and Robert Duncan. My country and my church have both already spent too much time, energy and money trying to accommodate these backward points of view when they are no longer even tolerable.

I make these statements because it is time to move on. The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces. We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum. Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a “mobocracy,” which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite.

I will also no longer act as if I need a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body in order to bless, ordain, recognize and celebrate the lives and gifts of gay and lesbian people in the life of the church. No one should ever again be forced to submit the privilege of citizenship in this nation or membership in the Christian Church to the will of a majority vote.

The battle in both our culture and our church to rid our souls of this dying prejudice is finished. A new consciousness has arisen. A decision has quite clearly been made. Inequality for gay and lesbian people is no longer a debatable issue in either church or state. Therefore, I will from this moment on refuse to dignify the continued public expression of ignorant prejudice by engaging it. I do not tolerate racism or sexism any longer. From this moment on, I will no longer tolerate our culture’s various forms of homophobia. I do not care who it is who articulates these attitudes or who tries to make them sound holy with religious jargon.

I have been part of this debate for years, but things do get settled and this issue is now settled for me. I do not debate any longer with members of the “Flat Earth Society” either. I do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy by casting demons out of the epileptic person; I do not waste time engaging those medical opinions that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection. I do not converse with people who think that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans as punishment for the sin of being the birthplace of Ellen DeGeneres or that the terrorists hit the United Sates on 9/11 because we tolerated homosexual people, abortions, feminism or the American Civil Liberties Union. I am tired of being embarrassed by so much of my church’s participation in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ I serve or the God whose mystery and wonder I appreciate more each day. Indeed I feel the Christian Church should not only apologize, but do public penance for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people.

Life moves on. As the poet James Russell Lowell once put it more than a century ago: “New occasions teach new duties, Time makes ancient good uncouth.” I am ready now to claim the victory. I will from now on assume it and live into it. I am unwilling to argue about it or to discuss it as if there are two equally valid, competing positions any longer. The day for that mentality has simply gone forever.

This is my manifesto and my creed. I proclaim it today. I invite others to join me in this public declaration. I believe that such a public outpouring will help cleanse both the church and this nation of its own distorting past. It will restore integrity and honor to both church and state. It will signal that a new day has dawned and we are ready not just to embrace it, but also to rejoice in it and to celebrate it.

– John Shelby Spong
 
*~*~*~*
Well I am sorry to tell you John Shelby, but nothing you can say can change what God says on the matter. You can tear all the verses out of the bible that you don’t like out, you can close your eyes, you can stick your fingers in your ears but the fact remains. Nothing you can say or do can change the Word of God.   “Awww there, there, don’t cry”  I know it’s hard to believe now, but one day you will believe when you meet God and HE SAYS TO YOU :  ‘I TOLD YOU SO, over here, and over here, and then there was Sodom and Gomorrah, and here, and here”
Good news is you still have time to repent and say sorry to God and accept His Son Jesus Christ as your personal saviour and you will be forgiven.  This has got nothing to do with fundermentalism and I for one certainly don’t believe the earth is flat.  I do believe that when God says homosexuality is a sin, then I am going to agree with Him and not you.
So you can proclaim your little manifesto from sunrise to sunset, all it does is show the world that you are an anti-Christian, and against Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Last question John:  Are you homosexual?
——————
Well this is indeed a sign of the times.

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36 comments to John Shelby Spong – Victory over Biblical Christianity

  • (Picture of Obelix tapping his head)

    This Spong guy is crazy!

    Obviously, the best tactic for him now is just to bulldoze his way through this argument – calling everyone else with a different point of view ‘pathetic’.

  • Discerning the World

    Ryan

    This Spong guy is rather revered in the Emergent movement. I am sure by coming out of the manifesto closet he has set off a whole chain reaction of others who will do the same.

    It’s actually not about different view points. It’s about genuine Christianity being suppressed. The net will be thrown wide over everyone (all views) in order to catch and persecute genuine Christians.

    Also remember there are many false Christian movements that don’t agree with homosexuality being of God, but it does not mean they are really Christian. I could be mistaken but Mormons, 7th Day Adventists and Jehovah’s witnesses see this as wrong as well. However based on the fact that they are based on serious occult teaching, their views on this subject might have changed. Either way, they are still not Christian.

    Can you use your email address associated to your normal gravatar. Looks better than the default one.

    Note, I am allowing you to comment again, but it does not mean that my parrot is not watching you closely.

  • Karin

    What can I say? The arrogance of the human race is astounding!
    I was homosexual for 17 years and believed myself to be a Christian. So I know all the arguments, all the rationalisations, but fact of the matter is, if you really study scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, there is NO WAY you can continue living a homosexual lifestyle.
    Amanda, keep up the good work!

  • Discerning the World

    Wow Karen, now the greatest testimony. Thank Jesus everyday for what He has done for you and hold onto Him tight :)

    Ah you have just made my day

  • That’s awesome Karin! I heard a similar testimony this last weekend as well – it’s awesome to hear such things. God has something so much better and so much more wonderful for people who struggle with homosexuality – abundant life!

    DTW, laughed when I got this picture in my mind of your parrot watching me closely :D

  • Discerning the World

    Ryan

    >> God has something so much better and so much more wonderful for people who struggle with homosexuality – abundant life!

    Do you think that if someone is struggling with homosexuality and has not been set free (due to not wanting to really remove the sin in their life and not wanting to obey God on the issue) that if they were to pass away they would receive abundant life?

    As Karen said, “if you really study scripture and allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, there is NO WAY you can continue living a homosexual lifestyle” In other words there is no way you can be genuinely saved and continue living a homosexual lifestyle.

  • Hey DTW

    “In other words there is no way you can be genuinely saved and continue living a homosexual lifestyle.”

    Obviously, living a homosexual lifestyle by willful choice (making a practice of sinning as 1 John puts it) puts a huge question mark over someone’s actual ‘salvation’.

    But I must add that ‘salvation’ (scripturally speaking, now) has three different tenses – justification, sanctification and glorification.

    The ‘abundant life’ I was referring to had more to do with the abundant life Jesus gives us now, as justified already (saved) and being sanctified (being saved) people.

    As to ‘glorification’ or our ‘final’ salvation, we are probably going to differ on this and I certainly don’t want to argue (and am always open to learning) but after some years of study in this topic, at least, (not being good at many other topics) I’m quite convinced that while someone can lose something of their ‘glorification’ (their reward) and this loss is eternal, and they can lose something of their ‘sanctification’ due to how they live their lives now, they can never lose their ‘justification’ as that is by grace and givdn freely to God as a gift.

    If someone must ‘work’ (do something or not do something) to keep their justification then the justification is not freely given nor is it by grace alone – work is required to keep it. It is not then a gift given through unconditional favour / merit of God (grace) but rather something earned through the work of man.

    So in this sense a person willfully choosing to live a homosexual lifestyle will lose a great deal in and for eternity – but will not go to hell, as they have been justified already.

    However, what they lose is certainly a big deal and is by no means something to be taken lightly. They can lose their glorification and never hear ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ from their King – ever. In the light of eternity such bad choices will have dire consequences. While others may live in ‘mansions’ (I’m using picture language in this sense) others may live only on the street corner.

    (See 1 Cor 3 – they will be saved but as ‘if through fire’ as their works are tested but they built with straw, not gold).

    So our justification is not earned by works but our glorification is dependant a great deal on how responsible we have been (or how we have worked) with our sanctification. Hope that makes sense?

  • Typo above – “and givdn freely to God as a gift” was supposed to be “and given freely BY/FROM God as a gift”

  • Oh I must also add what people lose in their sanctification. Like the Israelites in Hebrews 6, God may come to a point where he will no longer speak to that person wilfully living in a sin.

    In other words, they will no longer hear God’s voice and will ‘wander in the wilderness’, so to speak.

    Incidentally, the bigger picture there is that God never took the Israelites back to Egypt – but he never took them to the promised land either. Likewise, people who willfully continue sinning in this way will never go back to Egypt – be ‘unsaved’ or ‘unborn’ from being born again – but they will never reach the promised land – their glorification either.

    Furthermore, God may eventually leave them alone and not speak to them or guide them or be with them in this life as he has had enough of their sin – but this is when enough is truly enough.

  • Discerning the World

    Ryan

    1) Do you believe in Pergatory

    2) 1 Cor 3-13,14

    10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.
    11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
    12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,
    13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.
    14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.
    15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
    16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
    17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
    18 Let no man deceive himself If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

    2 Corinthians 5:10
    indicated that the wood, hay, and straw are worthless things that don’t stand the test of judgement fire

    precious stones; The quality of the materials represents dedicated, spiritual, service to build the church.
    wood, hay, straw; Inferior materials implying shallow activity with no eternal value (these do not refer to activities of evil)

    The Day; refers to the time of the Judgement Seat of Christ.
    Reveleaved with fire; The fire of God;s discerning judgement

    Remains: All that which has been accomplished in His power and for his glory will survive
    Reward; This is not judgement for sin, Christ has paid that price, so that no believer will ever be judged for sin. This only to determin eternal reward.

  • Discerning the World

    Ryan

    like this verse: 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

    The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  • Hey DTW

    1) Do you believe in Pergatory
    No.

    2… wood, hay, straw; Inferior materials implying shallow activity with no eternal value (these do not refer to activities of evil)

    Surely shallow activity with no eternal value are sinful by implication.

    For instance, say you have lots of money and you live only for yourself – as a miser. Yet you go to church and believe in Jesus, but you just have this one weakness – you don’t like to give.

    Before your heart on this matter changes, you die as a result of a heart attack (due to you living so unhealthily with all your money).

    At heart, you still loved money. Loving money is a sin. By implication, your shallow activity in giving was a result of a sinful heart condition which still needed to be sanctified.

    Now you stand before the great white throne of judgement and Jesus is going to judge you. Will he judge you for your lack of giving? Certainly so, for your activity was shallow. You built with straw.

    Sin is defined as evil deeds, which means that sins are evil works. Our works will be judged on that Day. I don’t see how one would be able to separate works and sin very clearly.

    Rev 22:12 “‘I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every person according to what he has done‘ (Rev.22:12).

    Reward; This is not judgement for sin, Christ has paid that price, so that no believer will ever be judged for sin. This only to determin eternal reward

    We are talking about unrepentant, unconfessed sin here though – not confessed and repentant sin.

    Otherwise this wouldn’t make sense in light of our discussion. People living in a homosexual lifestyle will certainly be judged for this sin if they do not repent, right? Or is their sin covered regardless?

    No believer will certainly be judged for repentant and confessed sin. But unrepentant sin will certainly effect the very quality of their work, and their work will certainly be judged.

    Sanctification is clearly a process. If I die before sanctification is complete, so there was still sin in my life that I was dealing with, or even ignorant of, will I go to hell?

  • Hey DTW, about my gravatar – I keep forgetting which email address it’s linked to. So I’m just commenting here to see if this is the right one, as it appears I used the wrong one in previous comments…

  • Discerning the World

    Ryan

    Sorry I would give a longer answer but I have a headache so this is my short and sweet version:

    >> Sanctification is clearly a process. If I die before sanctification is complete, so there was still sin in my life that I was dealing with, or even ignorant of, will I go to hell?

    Sanctification is definitely a process, but not a life time process either. Genuine repentance of sin with a genuine heart, a heart that wants to change it’s way at all costs will be delivered instantaneously. Sanctification will also never be complete on this earth – if it were so we could be gods on earth. We will only be made whole when we are with Jesus Christ is the afterlife.

    The Bible says that no amount works, no amount of good works can get us further than just believing that Jesus Christ died for our sin and repenting of our sin (evil deeds and thoughts).

    The other day I was doing some shopping and a boy with down syndrome sat in his wheelchair behind me in the que at the tills. I looked at him and smiled and he said to me, ‘Jesus loves you and me’. I nearly burst out crying. It was the most heartwarming, genuinely loving message I’d ever heard come from a person. This boy could not walk, could not move for that matter, head titled to the side, but two big twinkling eyes.

    >> For instance, say you have lots of money and you live only for yourself – as a miser. Yet you go to church and believe in Jesus, but you just have this one weakness – you don’t like to give. Before your heart on this matter changes, you die as a result of a heart attack (due to you living so unhealthily with all your money).

    Can’t answer this question, we will never know if this person really did love Jesus Christ even though they went to church OR was this person was saved. As for this weakness – man will never be perfect on earth. Is this weakness purely stinginess? What’s really doing on in their heart that causes them to hold onto their money? Does this person ask God during their life for forgiveness and slowly but surely over time have been giving ? How did they acquire this money? Hard work or through theft and dodgy dealings? Do they give their money, but because it never looks like it we judge them as ‘not giving’. Is there is point system on giving? Is giving to unsaved people who will never change their ways considered a good thing or bad thing? Are we supposed to give everything we own to prove to Jesus that we are following Him? Or do we give to prove to others that we are following Jesus? Just a few questions. Do we give to people who themselves go to church and sit there with open hands just waiting for your money because they are theives – most of this has got nothing to do with your question, but something to think about.

    We sin, we deny Jesus, we feel bitter remorse, we beg for forgiveness, Jesus Forgives us, we will still suffer the consequences of the sin. At the end of the day, only Jesus KNOWS PEOPLE’S HEARTS and if they sin because they want to and love too.

    John 21:15-17
    15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
    “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
    Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
    16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
    He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
    Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
    17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
    Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

    Yes, we know that Peter, though he denied Jesus three times and wept bitterly, received grace when forgiven by Jesus and permitted to fulfil his role as an apostle. If we have been guilty of letting Jesus Christ down, look to Him for the grace to repent and grow, change your ways, learn your lessons and know that you are forgiven because you were really sorry!

  • Michael Anthony

    DTW,

    Second thing I disagree with you today. Take heart sister – all in good stead….
    Sanctification IS a life long process (The Holy Spirit will continue(some translations) the good work (he has begun in you) until that day (when Jesus returns). That’s in the bible.

    Philippians 1:6
    Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

    However, a part of that sanctifying work is that we depart from sin and hate it more and more. And more and more…

    To a point we have to tolerate those that have not been properly instructed. I knew a guy that carried on in fornication after being saved for a year or so. Then he was convicted and stopped. But instruction, rebuke and discipline comes from the pulpit as well as our elders. When they decide that homesexuality is OK they are in open rebellion to God’s word.

  • Discerning the World

    Michael

    >> Second thing I disagree with you today. Take heart sister – all in good stead….
    Sanctification IS a life long process (The Holy Spirit will continue(some translations) the good work (he has begun in you) until that day (when Jesus returns). That’s in the bible

    Aye yes, hangs head in shame… Yes it is a life long process until Jesus Christ returns. What I should have said is that (as per New Age belief, emergent ideas) is that their view of the sanctification process involves them being able to achieve godhood on earth.

    >> However, a part of that sanctifying work is that we depart from sin and hate it more and more. And more and more…

    Yes, when I was saved from my nightmare it took me 3 years of serious conviction by the Holy Spirit, serious chastisement in changing my ways. Because of my serious dedication and love for Jesus I spent most of my time crying my heart out, begging Him to help me as I could not stop certain things on my own. The more I obeyed the Holy Spirit in my life the more He spoke to me and the more He convicted me. Now I spend most of my time crying my heart out in reverence to my Lord Jesus Christ because I realise every day how weak I am and without Him I am nothing.

    I also spent most of my time with a sinus headache cos I cry a lot haha ;)

  • Kirby L. Wallace

    They can lose their glorification and never hear ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ from their King – ever.

    Maybe I’m wrong about this, but if they don’t hear “Well done…” they also don’t get to hear the rest of that bit that goes “Enter in…”

    Just sayin’

    ;-)

  • Sandy

    The idea that salvation is free would make it the only thing that is free in our world.

    The concept that salvation is easily attained by the most limited introspection, by the simplest of simple, by the laziest, and by dumbest bigots is understandably very, very popular with people who may be so described.

    Christianity, and other mainstream religions, have created such monstrous quantities of nonsense, murder and suffering that the time has come to question our fundamental beliefs. The Hebrew based God seems to have been too busy for many thousands of years to care much about the earth.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Sandy

    Please make sure that in future you refer to Roman Catholicism as Roman Catholicism and NOT Christian. Roman Catholicism are murderers. Genuine Christians are NOT for the Bible says, Thou shalt not kill. Because some lunatic runs around murdering people in the name of God does not make them Christian. Hope that changes your perspective on things.

    The Hebrew based God seems to have been too busy for many thousands of years to care much about the earth.

    That’s a strange comment. He created the earth. Man has destroyed it. You wanted to be free from God, so He let you have your way. Well done and congratulations are in order to what YOU have done to the earth.

  • Amanda

    Sandy

    The idea that salvation is free would make it the only thing that is free in our world.

    The concept that salvation is easily attained by the most limited introspection, by the simplest of simple, by the laziest, and by dumbest bigots is understandably very, very popular with people who may be so described.

    I know! Isn’t it great? That is the Good News of Christianity! And I speak as one of the dumbest of bigots:

    But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luk 18:13)

    That is all the introspection required. Then our great God and Saviour declares such a man justified!:

    I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luk 18:14)

    It is glorious! It is wonderful! It is free! It is the Good News!

    Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned– for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:1-21)

    Simply:

    And to the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
    (Rom 4:5)

    Does that sound like folly to you, Sandy? Is that a stumbling block to you?

    For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” (1Co 1:21-31)

    We will never question our fundamental beliefs, because the Word of God teaches is. We are trying to expose the monstrous quantities of nonsense taught by all religions and those who teach that the time has come to question our fundamental beliefs.

    The Hebrew based God seems to have been too busy for many thousands of years to care much about the earth.

    You are dependent on the “Hebrew based God” for your very next breath. And Jesus Christ said:

    But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” (Joh 5:17)

    The future of the earth is sure:

    But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. (2Pe 3:10-14)

    Sandy, maybe you should spend some time in Job 40. It starts like this:

    And the LORD said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.” (Job 40:1-2)

    Good luck with that. And with changing your fundamental beliefs.

  • kris

    Deception is running rampant, confusing minds against the Spirit of Christ. We are blessed to have arrived alive in Christ. Bless Spong. May he arrive there to. Our hurt and torment can lead us awry. Never forget that we have the Spirit which makes intercession through us by the power of Jesus. We have the ability to tear man down or build them up. What we tear at is the thick deceptive force that Spong has united himself with, but lift his great intelligent spirit and mind to the Throne room of Heaven where proper alignment can occur. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. If we all remain seated in a critics position we are then stifled and neutral, not contending for our brethren who have fallen. Let us bear one another up. For the greatest of these is Love. I know that i have fallen many times, tail spinning after man made doctrine. We do not war against flesh and blood but against evil spirits and principalities. Word up…

  • Burning Lamp

    Kris, Spong feel off the wagon a loooooooong time ago if he ever was on it in the first place. Your benevolent attitude may seem loving, but exposing false teachers is the loving thing to do. Yes, pray for the man, but rather pray for the multitudes he has taken over the cliff with him. Rather pray for those who have the courage to expose the deeds of darkness. This is NOT unloving – unloving is looking the other way and letting the sheep be slaughtered. THAT should be our main concern, not taking a soft approach with false teachers.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    BL

    Indeed, there comes a time when you gotta face facts.

  • donna

    [Edited by DTW: Deleted, you were asked TO NOT COME BACK]

  • donna

    [Edited by DTW: Deleted, you were asked TO NOT COME BACK]

  • Arthur

    “what this bishop demands is nothing less than the total reformulation of the Christian faith.”

    …..

    How is this a bad idea? The Church (Body of Christ) needs to stay abreast of the times. Christianity has to change its message as it has been been outdated by science. The world and universe are much older than six thousand years. That is all the Bishop is saying. Otherwise in the near future there will be no faith left just superstitious believers.

    Martin Luther told us that the biggest enemy of faith is reason. Yet reason has got us to where we are today in the modern scientific world. To reverse Luther’s statement- Faith must then be the biggest enemy of reason. There has to be compromise between faith and reason and that is what the Bishop is saying. Interesting time’s ahead for all and sundry. You cannot deny established scientific evidence. So what do you do?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Arthur

    I new there was something dodgy with you and your comments but I could not put my finger on it and now you come out and expose yourself.

    So…You want to change the message of the bible? You want to change the Word of God? You want to change Jesus? (because Jesus Christ is the Word of God – Jesus in the Bible in Published form) So you want to change Jesus to what? I know of another individual, Satan who has been trying to do the same thing since this the beginning of time.

  • Arthur

    Deborah have you read any other important books other than the Bible? Like books that explain – How old the world and the universe really are. I applaud your faith. I was once there. How i wish that, what you say was true. But it can,t be. As it contradicts scientific evidence.

    I do not want to change anything in the Bible. But it will have to change to keep up with modern science otherwise it will loose it,s credibility. Can you see that in any way. You are a very committed Christian. That is ok. You also come across as very intelligent and knowledgeable on sound doctrine. But if your foundation rock is secure it must with stand intense scrutiny from outside the faith.

    Anyway thank you for your interaction and your website which i find very enjoyable and enlightening. I also once contended for the faith. My wife and family are still committed Christians. I however for there sake try not to upset their faith with my un belief. Maybe i should also not upset your and your readers faith as well with my scepticism?

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Arthur

    God never loses his credibility. If science and gnosis amalgamate you end up where you are – faithless and following another pathway away from God and His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Arthur

    Even the bible makes space for Evolutionists and their ridiculous ideas… you ask me if I have read the ‘other important books in the Bible’ I think I need to ask you the same question because you know you haven’t.

    You know that Darwin said “It rained for millions of years on the rocks. A soup came from all this rain on the rocks and amoeba was formed. From this Amoeba, man and ALL living creatures developed”

    Check this out…

    Jer 2:27 “Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.”
    Jer 2:28 “But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.”

    Ummm Errmmm.. Say no more..

    What else would you like me test my faith with Arthur? You know that Satan tested Jesus Christ in the desert, why now are you trying to imitate Satan?

    I pray you leave you dear family alone. They have done nothing to harm you.

  • Robbie

    Arthur.
    Of course there are many books, but a lot of truth mixed with lies too…

    Darwin’s “origin of the species by means of natural selection” puts death before the fall of man. Just the cover of the book is an introduction of the lies to follow.

    Indeed there is a lot of reasoning for evolution, but it is all circular. I will also pray for your family and for you…

  • Burning Lamp

    Sadly Arthur does not have any concept of just who God is. He is trying to put man’s capacity to reason on the same level as the Creator of the universe! That is the same lie that Eve fell for in the Garden. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.He is the Alpha & Omega and His wisdom supercedes all human reasoning. How tragic for Arthur that he does not know the Savior because he believes the Bible needs to be updated to keep up with man’s “accomplishments”.

  • Sheugnet

    I especially like how he mentions Jews, blacks and women in the same breath as homosexuals. I know that homosexuality is a sin, but I certainly didn’t know that being a WOMAN is a sin!

  • Those who who have truly received Jesus Christ and washed in his precious blood know that we live and abide in the power of the holy spirit. We do not live according to the flesh and the world’s political correctness concepts. God’s children is made aware of sin by the holy spirit and the word of God; which never changes to accommodate the wickedness of the world. If you are a homosexual and believe you are a christian, you are sadly deceived by the devil. The bible says that satan is a liar and the father of it. Bow down before Jesus Christ today and confess your sinful lifestyle and Jesus will give you the holy spirit so you will walk in newness of life. Jesus loves you and wants to you be free from hell’s damnation today.

  • Ezigbo

    I pity Spong and all who agree with him and hold his view point…. I pray they don’t realise their end too late…..

  • Sharon

    1Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

    I chuckled when I read your post. So I guess you are the final authority that has determined that Christianity must “reformulate” to catch up with the times. We must change Holy Scripture so it is more “scientific.” No one, not me, not you, not every scientist on the planet knows how old the planet Earth is. Scripture doesn’t say it’s 6,000 years old. Nor can scientists prove the Earth and the Universe are million, zillion, years old.

    Be careful of the price you could have to pay to try to change true Christianity and especially the Word of God.

    Other than the fact you sound as if you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ, which is very sad; I’m still chuckling about your thinking you or any one could change the Eternal Word of the Most High God.

    Arthur wrote:

    “what this bishop demands is nothing less than the total reformulation of the Christian faith.”

    …..

    How is this a bad idea? The Church (Body of Christ) needs to stay abreast of the times. Christianity has to change its message as it has been been outdated by science. The world and universe are much older than six thousand years. That is all the Bishop is saying. Otherwise in the near future there will be no faith left just superstitious believers.

    Martin Luther told us that the biggest enemy of faith is reason. Yet reason has got us to where we are today in the modern scientific world. To reverse Luther’s statement- Faith must then be the biggest enemy of reason. There has to be compromise between faith and reason and that is what the Bishop is saying. Interesting time’s ahead for all and sundry. You cannot deny established scientific evidence. So what do you do?

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John Shelby Spong - Victory over Biblical Christianity

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