Jesus quotes a psalm. He says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Mark 12:10–11, citing Ps. 118:22–23). In the parable the beloved son is rejected, and in the psalm the stone is rejected. Jesus cites the psalm after telling the parable because he is the rejected son, and the rejected son is the rejected stone.
On Tuesday of the week Jesus was going to die, he was teaching in the temple courts. Religious leaders tried to trap Jesus with various questions, though he evaded their traps with his superior wisdom. In one scene he told a parable followed by a quotation from a psalm, and we should see this parable and psalm together.
Jesus said that a vineyard owner leased the vineyard to tenants while he went to another country (Mark 12:1). During the season for fruit, the owner sent a servant to the tenants to get fruit, but the tenants beat the servant (12:2–3). Another servant arrived, but they treated him the same way, striking him on the head (12:4). More servants came, and some of them were even killed (12:5). Finally, the vineyard owner sent his “beloved son” (12:6). The wicked tenants saw an opportunity to take out the heir, so “they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard” (12:8).
The parable was about the rejection of those who should have been received. The tenants should not have shamefully treated the vineyard owner’s servants. The treatment of the servants revealed the wickedness of the tenants. And since the tenants mistreated the servants, the momentum of the parable prepares us for the hostile way they will treat the vineyard owner’s son. In the shocking narration of the parable, the vineyard owner’s son dies at the hands of the wicked tenants.
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By Samuel Sey — 2 years ago
Just as the seeker-sensitive movement made many professing Christians vulnerable to the emerging church 15 years ago, the social justice movement today is making many professing Christians vulnerable to deconstructing their faith.
The first people to deconstruct their faith were not young people in America—they weren’t people dissatisfied with American Christianity. The first people to deconstruct their faith were people in the Garden of Eden—they were people dissatisfied with God.
Adam and Eve are the first people to deconstruct their faith.
People deconstruct their faith when they’re dissatisfied with their faith—when they’re dissatisfied with God: and it always ends in disaster.
People who deconstruct their faith destroy their faith, and they destroy their souls.
Deconstruction is essentially just a fancy word for doubt. People who deconstruct their faith are people who doubt their faith. When people say they’re deconstructing their faith, they’re just using a pretentious phrase to say they’re doubting what God says in the Bible.
Actually, it’s worse than that. People who deconstruct their faith are not merely doubting or struggling with their faith: they are dismissing their faith. They are dismissing Biblical truth.
Deconstructionism is an approach to critiquing literature and beliefs. People who deconstruct their faith critique the Bible (literature) and beliefs (Christian theology).
Specifically, deconstructionism is a postmodern concept that expands on Nietzsche’s theory that there’s “there is no such thing as facts, just interpretations.”
Therefore people who deconstruct their faith believe there is no such thing as Biblical truth, just interpretations—interpretations mostly dominated by supposedly racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic white people who—according to deconstructionists—preach American or Western Christianity as the only correct interpretation or version of Christianity.
In postmodernism, deconstructionism is a strategic approach to critiquing and attacking Western philosophy as an oppressive philosophy designed by Europeans to manipulate people into accepting harmful ideas as truth.
In the same way, people who deconstruct their faith critique and attack (Western) Christianity as an oppressive theology designed by Europeans to manipulate people into accepting harmful ideas as Biblical truth.
This is why deconstructionists tend to call themselves exevangelicals instead of ex-Christians. They believe evangelicalism is Western Christianity—not real Christianity.
So just as postmodernists attack Western philosophy, people who deconstruct their faith primarily attack (Western) Christianity.
Deconstructionists believe Christianity—or specifically, Western Christianity—was constructed by ignorant and oppressive white men—not God. Therefore according to them, (Western) Christianity needs to be deconstructed or destroyed.
For that reason, when people say they’re deconstructing their faith, it means they’re critiquing and attacking doctrines they believe have been constructed to harm others—doctrines like the inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the divinity and exclusivity of Jesus, complementarianism, Christian sexual ethics, justice, and more.
Meaning, when people say they’re deconstructing their faith—they’re simply repeating what Satan said to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “Did God actually say…?”
When Satan said to Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1), he was attempting to deconstruct her faith. He was craftily suggesting Eve had misinterpreted God’s words.
Then when Eve said to him God said they shouldn’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or they’ll die—Satan suggested God was oppressing and manipulating Adam and Eve in order to keep them from becoming enlightened or “woke” about his harmful lies about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Satan said: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).
Does that sound familiar? Deconstructionists suggest we Christians do not want other Christians to deconstruct their faith because we don’t want them to become enlightened or woke to Western Christianity’s supposedly harmful interpretations and lies about sexuality, social justice, salvation, and scripture.
Deconstructionists, clearly, haven’t stumbled on a new phenomenon—Satan is the founder of deconstructionism. Adam and Eve became the first people to deconstruct their faith when they became dissatisfied with God’s words and believed Satan’s lies.
By Dan Crabtree — 2 years ago
If you have the Bible, you have everything you need to minister to souls. You don’t need to become an expert in African American history, critical race theory, or the American criminal justice system to talk about ethnicity today…If the Bible is sufficient, then the Bible is what you need.
I want to briefly address two aspects of Scripture that will affect our conversations about ethnicity: illumination and sufficiency. I’ll start with illumination.
If it’s true that the Bible doesn’t privilege certain human perspectives over another, then what is Paul getting at in 1 Corinthians 2:14-16? Paul writes:
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
On the surface, it sounds like Paul is breaking up humanity into the haves (“spiritual”) and the have-nots (“natural”) and then asserting that the haves are the sources of authoritative truth. But read that passage again carefully because that’s not exactly what Paul is saying. The truth resides in “the things of the Spirit of God” in “the mind of Christ,” which is to say, God’s revealed Word. And in quoting Isaiah 40:13, Paul affirms that God’s comprehensive knowledge is beyond any of us, despite the revelation He has given. Nobody can pretend to know everything like God does and so claim omniscient objectivity like God can.
But Paul also labors in this passage to make it clear that not everyone has the same kind of response to God’s revelation. The “natural person” responds with a rejection of God’s Word; he “does not accept” the truths of Scripture. The word in Greek for “does not accept” has to do with welcoming in, like you would a guest to your house. And the natural man won’t do that because God’s Word is “spiritually discerned”—that is, it requires the indwelling Holy Spirit to be accepted.
What is it about God’s Word that non-believers always, without exception, refuse to accept? It’s not necessarily mental assent to the facts contained in the words. Plenty of non-believers agree that Abraham existed, that David was king in Israel, and even that Jesus was a real Rabbi in ancient Palestine. So, what won’t they accept? The unbelieving, natural heart will always reject the intended application of the Word of God because by their nature, they won’t obey God (Rom. 3:10-11; Titus 3:3). As Paul puts it, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot” (Rom. 8:7).
So, if we put that all together, what we hear Paul saying is that non-believers who do not have the Spirit of God dwelling in them are unable to accept the truths of Scripture, meaning that they will not respond with a right application of Scripture. On the other hand, believers can and will appropriately read and apply Scripture, though to varying degrees. We “judge all things” in light of the truth of God’s Word, illumined by the Spirit, and so we have the ability to see truth rightly. Nobody can understand anything rightly unless they see its relationship to the ultimate Reality—God—and only believers have the spiritual enablement to do just that. And we live in light of that understanding given to us by God.
So, in a way, the Bible does create a group of haves and a group of have-nots. There are those who bow their knee to Jesus, rightly discerning and obeying His Word; and there are those who refuse to obey and, in so doing, completely miss the purpose of God’s Word. It’s not that unbelievers can’t do accurate exegetical work, rightly arriving at the intended meaning of the authors of Scripture. The problem for anyone outside of Christ is that they can’t respond to that meaning rightly, and they can’t respond rightly because in their sinful, rebellious hearts, they won’t. It’s a problem of the will, not the mind.
It’s worth taking the time to walk through the theological dynamic of the illumination of Scripture because it has huge implications for how we talk about ethnicity in the Church. Many voices in the conversation about ethnic division in the Church would have us lean on not just the Word of God but also on the wisdom of minority groups as a whole, regardless of their spiritual condition. And while I heartily agree with my own need for wisdom from different perspectives, I disagree that “the non-dominant perspective should be given heavier consideration due to the nature of the understanding necessary and provided by minoritized status.” Being part of a minority group doesn’t supply the applicational insight to Scripture that the Church needs—the illumination of the Spirit does! Likewise, European American Christians are no more privileged in their interpretation and application of Scripture than African American Christians. We all share the same Spirit, Who gives the same life and light to all regardless of our ethnicity.
Too often, non-believers and even the enemies of Christ have been lauded within the Church as wise guides on the topic of ethnic division. But “what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?” (2 Cor. 6:14-15). I’m not saying that I can’t learn anything from the non-believing world—much of my formal education as an adult has come from secular sources, for which I am extremely thankful. But we would be foolish to think that the world will give us answers for spiritual problems or that ethnic tension in the Church can be resolved by solutions from outside the Church, like critical race theory and intersectionality. If non-believers can’t apply Scripture by the power of the Spirit, then how are they supposed to help us “maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3)?
By Kendall Lankford — 6 days ago
Love always seeks the best for a person. And what is best for a person is what God says in His Word. We must love men and women who are being led to the slaughter enough to point them away from these diabolical fantasies, the damned identity politics dreamt up by demons and instead bid them to turn to the truth of the Holy Scriptures. We must love them enough to call them out of their sins and perversions, leading them toward the belly of the fiery abyss. We must love them enough to call them to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ before it is too late. Placating them is not loving them!
A MATTER OF LOVE
Generally speaking, every Christian has some level of understanding that God has called us to love. It is kind of the point of being a Christian, right? Paul says if we do not have love, we are nothing. Jesus said that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. And He did not provide such a glorious and precious Son to reproduce more Grinches on Mt. Crumpit or more Ebenezer Scrooges on Business Street in London.
God saved us and did it through the greatest act of love ever recorded to make us loving people. Jesus even said that they (the world) will know that we are true disciples of Jesus by the way that we love one another, which means how we love other Christians (John 13:35). But, Jesus also taught us that we are to love our enemies and to pray for the ones who persecute us, which means our love must extend beyond the people who attend Church with us. We must be willing and ready to love anyone, even those who hate us most ferociously.
And this is where the confusion occurs. Just because we are to love people does not mean we are to love what they do or the sinful movements that they have ensnared them. It is my contention, and what I will be arguing here, that standing against a MOVEMENT is wholly necessary, and it is one of the chief ways that we genuinely love the PERSON.
For a moment, pardon me for my pungency. I will grab the flame thrower to light a couple of candles, and I will do this on purpose. Sometimes, we need a mother’s soothing lullaby to help us fall gently to sleep. Yet there are other times when we need to be shaken from our slumber by the father because the house is on fire. Today will be more like the shaking.
THE ABORTION MOVEMENT
I said above that we must love the sinners caught in sinful movements while hating the movements that trapped them. This is true. Which means we must not hate women who have had abortions. We must love them (profoundly so). This means we must love them enough to hear their stories of pain, to empathize with their struggle, but also to refuse to sugarcoat what they have done and to bid them to repent for murdering one of their children. If that language seems overly harsh, perhaps you are part of the problem.
Think about it, how many children in this country, and around the world, have to brutally die before we start taking this issue seriously? How many heartbeats need to stop for us to go beyond conservative incrementalism and heartbeat bills to flat-out abolish this disgusting, immoral practice? And let me just ask the obvious question: can our actions really be called loving if we allow this culture of death to continue? Are we really being kind to all the innocent babies who were chopped up into bloody pieces inside their mommy’s womb or chemically roasted by toxic abortifacients when we say things to the mother like: “It wasn’t your fault” or “You had no other options.” How sick and demented do we need to be to believe this garbage? Biblically speaking, abortion is the wanton sacrilege of human life, plain and simple, and total abolition of it is the only just outcome. To tell a woman anything else is to lie to her, make excuses for her sin, and allow her to believe the lie that God is not enraged over the shedding of innocent blood. He is the one who heard Abel’s blood crying out from the ground, and He is the one who hears every tortured fetus screaming from the cold metallic pan. And He will avenge them.
From a Biblical and ethical standpoint, there is nothing morally different between a woman getting an abortion and hiring a hitman to kill her toddler. In both instances, she bought and paid for a professional to kill someone she was supposed to love, care, and protect. We must stop euphemizing our language and call this precisely what it is. Abortion is not healthcare. Abortion is the intentional, inexcusable, and unauthorized decision to terminate a precious life that belongs to God alone, who endowed it with significance, dignity, and personhood.
And, while you may still be reeling from my descriptions, this is precisely how we love people. We love them by telling it to them straight and by pointing them to the risen Christ as their only hope. We love man and woman by exposing the lethality of sin, which is awful news, and then by providing them with the remedy, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can heal the wounds of a mother who killed her child. He is the only one who can forgive a man for pressuring his wife to let medical serial killers in planned parenthood dismember his legacy. He is the only one who can forgive the murderous doctors who have gallons of blood dripping from their hands. And the only way to truly be loving is to point everyone to Him.
And, what I find most astonishing is how the amazing grace and tender mercy of our perfect spotless savior totally and completely buries all of our sins! As reprehensible as abortion is, and as much shame as that should induce if left to our own devices, a woman who turns to the Lord Jesus Christ is not only forgiven but her shame is also eliminated! Her sins have been washed white as snow, and He restores her to royalty in His Kingdom. She has been given a new and glorious nature that cannot be taken away from her. She is healed! She is loved! She is restored! She is no longer known by a scarlet letter. And she may well worship in eternity alongside her aborted child. How? Because He took the curse that she deserved and gave unto her the honor she could never earn! Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior, overpowered the putrescence of our iniquities and rescued us for His glory and our great good. This is true for all sinners! Why do we hold back from declaring this message? Why do we think this is unloving? And because of that, why do we entirely pervert this glorious Gospel by avoiding nearly half of it, skipping past the bad news of sin and death, to accommodate a sinner’s fragility? If you throw out the bad news, the good news makes no sense! If you throw out the need for a savior, you no longer have the Gospel! That is not the path of love or how we ought to love anyone.
At the same time, while I love the woman who has had an abortion, I must hate the abortion movement with every bone in my body. I will ever be at war against this modern day temple to Moloch! Why? Because it is the movement that is promoting, cheering on, and subsiding the murder of nearly a million image-bearing humans every year! This movement was dreamt up in the recesses of hell, fueled by the power of demons, and has captivated a swampy and pathetic government of fiends who would rather kill its citizens than lose political power or funding. I will love the person enough to hate such a despicable movement. And I will hate the movement enough to make war with it all my days.
THE LMNOP MOVEMENT
We must not hate the sodomites or lesbians who are caught in nature-denying, God-hating behavior. We also must not hate transgender people who have denied one of the most basic tenets of reality: their own biological gender. And, furthermore, we must not hate human beings who are mired in such delusional confusion, that single persons now want to identify as plural pronouns, or the genetic human who now want to use a litter box instead of a toilet. This is not to mention the kind of mental disorder that would cause a homosapien to identify as a two-spirit penguin. This would be hilarious if it were not true. Being true, I am heartbroken for them. I am shocked and grieved that such an apparent mental health crisis, of this magnitude has broken out in the Western world, and the “adults in the room” are trying to cure it with identity politics and clever deceptions. This is like trying to put a fire out with gasoline or trying to plug that hole in the Titanic with bubble gum. Instead of receiving the help they need to confront such vivid and wretched delusions, people today are force-fed horse manure from a society that absolutely hates them and a medical establishment that is profiting from lopping off their genitals.