We do not deliberate, for we have decided. To be for ever holding the truth of God, as though it might yet turn out to be a lie, were to lose all the comfort of it. –Charles Spurgeon
Shortly after reading that quote from Spurgeon I read this sad news of Hillsong Church:
At a press conference for the Hillsong Conference in New York City today, Michael Paulson of The New York Times asked Houston to clarify their church’s position on same sex marriage. But Houston would not offer a definitive answer, instead saying that it was “an ongoing conversation” among church leaders and they were “on the journey with it.”
Immediately after I tweeted this:
I still can’t understand why we need an “ongoing conversation” on things that the Lord has clearly spoken on.
Hillsong has since clarified, but my larger point stands. There are some things which do not need an “ongoing conversation”. Or to put a little more meat on that: because God has already spoken there are ways in which we now converse about these issues.
The Importance of Keeping Our Presuppositions
I will readily admit that as a believer in Christ, I have certain presuppositions. One of these is that I believe God has clearly spoken to us in His Word. Secondly, that where God has spoken he is the absolute authority. No questions asked. As a Christian He is the Lord of my life. That means if His Word contradicts me then I must change—not His Word.
What is happening, though, is that many believers are having “conversations” while abandoning these presuppositions. And to those with darkened minds, one cannot have these presuppositions and still be considered a rational human being. Therefore, the Christian “conversation” almost always ends in apostasy. Because once God is removed from the center and I, the interpreter (or the interpretive community), becomes sovereign—God has already been booted off his throne.
If you are a believer there are certain presuppositions that you cannot surrender and still converse like a Christian.
I understand the struggle to which Brian Houston was referring; we want to remain relevant and we want to be able to have conversations with those who oppose the gospel. I get that. But I think the words of Os Guinness are helpful:
By our universal pursuit of relevance we have actually courted irrelevance; by our breathless chase after relevance without a matching commitment to faithfulness, we have become not only unfaithful but irrelevant; by our determined efforts to redefine ourselves in ways that are more compelling to the modern world than are faithful to Christ, we have lost not only our identity but our authority and our relevance. Our crying need is to be faithful as well as relevant. (Prophetic Untimeleness, 15)
God has spoken. Therefore, every other conversation must be subservient to His conversation.