Defusing The Tension: NBCC Stand On The New Normal - Eastern Mirror
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Op-Ed

Defusing the Tension: NBCC Stand on the New Normal

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By EMN Updated: Mar 12, 2024 11:53 pm

The tension between theocentric and anthropocentric institutions has always existed. Christians have always understood themselves as living in two kingdoms: the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God. The tension will become wider when the church appeals to biblical teaching and society continues to be swayed away from its interpretation of meaning and existence in the face of modernism and liberalisation.

Our society is beginning to feel this aspect more and more lately. We are moving into a phase where everything is measured by our happiness rather than by God’s holiness, and this is wearisome. When we leave God out of our thinking and behaviour and want only a religion, everything is permissible, but that will become “Christless Christianity.” And we certainly will not want that!

 We are entering a new world where the sense of our being sinners becomes secondary, if not offensive. And more of this will occur when society tries to silence us with legislation and all sorts of advocacy urging the church to compromise and accommodate. But this we cannot do because morality is not defined by us. As much as we try to understand, we are bound by a higher law that defines us in our relationship to the world. For the world, everything is permissible if it is not a threat to their political agenda and security. Nations that were founded on biblical principles and prided themselves once upon a time have succumbed to the demands of the world. And now have become the agent of that change.

 We recognise that all of us are sinners and that the only true hope for sinful people – whatever our sexuality – is in Jesus Christ. There is no middle path to define morality and behaviour. The role that we play is for the church to become a community of grace and show love and understanding to those whose orientations are different without being judgmental but not endorsing and advocating their behaviour. The church must again and again affirm God’s love and concern for all human beings, whatever their sexuality, and so repudiate all attitudes and actions that victimise or diminish people whose affections are directed towards people of the same sex. This approach, the church must take as her ministry to reach out in love without compromising that LGBTQ+ sexual practice is incompatible with His will as revealed in the Bible.

 We may have failed in our ministry to the LGBTQ+, but the time has come for us to make our position lovingly and compassionately clear: the LGBTQ+ lifestyle is unacceptable. It is against God’s design for marriage as male and female and against the teaching of the Bible and the belief of the Christian faith and practice. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the church to reach out in the spirit of Christian love and compassion without making discriminatory judgments.

 We are not against the people who struggle with an LGBTQ+ lifestyle. Love the person but hate the sin should always be our approach. We also cannot criminalise and stigmatise them. The church’s position is simply to state that our lifestyle is against the teachings of our faith and practice. As much as we try to be good citizens of this world, Christians must also stand their ground on issues that impinge on our faith and morality because we have a higher calling to stay faithful to the teachings of the Bible. As much as we try to understand them, the church also cannot embolden them to continue in their lifestyle, which is against the teaching and practice of our faith. We can only implore them to seek redemptive transformation.

 The biblical foundation is attacked by the new definition of morality. It must be clear that the law of the land, which is progressively changing with the passage of time and civilisation, cannot define religious morality and how we must behave. This is because the morality of the church is governed by an unchanging standard based on biblical teaching. The socio-cultural definition of accommodation is different from that of the biblical teaching of accommodation. The biblical teaching of accommodation is the love of God and the message of redemption. This is made effective by the realisation that we are sinners and that our actions are selfishly driven until we find redemption through forgiveness and restoration.God loves all sinners but that Love shouldn’t be an endorsement for the sinful behaviour.

Does this encourage the church to accept the new normal? Some people think and have expressed their view that this will liberate the church from its narrow confines. But that is not true. It has only helped the church take the teachings of the Bible and biblical morality and ethics seriously. It has given the church the opportunity to define our compassionate outreach and ministry by redefining what is sin and what is against God’s standard of morality. It has also awakened the church to the fact that we must be more compassionate to those who struggle with their orientation without condemning them.

(Rev. Dr. Zelhou Keyho)

NBCC General Secretary

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By EMN Updated: Mar 12, 2024 11:53:46 pm
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