Should Tim Keller Be Added To The List of Heretics? What Do You Think? Please Read Wyatt’s Comments!

Christians Side With Mammon. Mammon Sided with Barabbas.

By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | March 28th, 2013 at 03:30 AM | 58

RESIZE:

AAA

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24

1,980 years ago tomorrow, the world put God on trial. When offered a choice, the world surrendered up God to be tortured, crucified, and killed and asked that Pontius Pilate free the criminal Barabbas instead.

There is no compromise between Christ and the world. Young evangelicals, complacent in the United States and unharassed, would do wise to remember this.

Tim Keller, a noted preacher in my denomination (Presbyterian Church in America), made news yesterdaywhen he talked about evangelicals coming to terms with gay marriage. In particular he said that “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.”

Keller is an accurate indicator of where things are headed within evangelicalism, particularly among younger evangelicals.

Christians in America have gotten soft. We’ve turned the nation into an idol to be worshiped. We’ve become so convinced by the “shining city on a hill” rhetoric we think “It can’t happen here,” regarding persecution of Christians. Joe Carter has a great read on this.

Joe is right. We’ve turned the American ideal of liberty into an idol we worship. The religious liberty in the first amendment is meant to protect the religious as they seek to draw people to them. But the world demands instead that the first amendment be used to draw the religious to the world and silence those who refuse to go along for the ride. In making an idol of our democratic freedom, the irony is that many evangelicals in America are abdicating the use of it.

What Christians in the United States of America, who’ve had it pretty easy for a long time in the USA, have forgotten or never learned is that the world is deeply hostile to the things, and people, of God. Remember, one thousand nine hundred eighty years ago tomorrow, the world chose to spare a criminal and crucify God himself.

Many young evangelicals who are making the decision that gay marriage conflicts with their personal beliefs, but it’ll be okay under the law, are making a compromise to avoid conflict and be liked by the world. “I’m not one of those Christians,” they think and often say.

They want to be liked. They want the world to like them and to think them a part of the world. They view Christians who are seen as too hostile to others as inferior in spreading the Gospel or too judgmental. They fall victim to the sin of pride that their gospel is greater.

They’ll nod approvingly to the lyrics of Casting Crowns “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” saying, “Nobody knows what we’re for only what we’re against when we judge the wounded. What if we put down our signs crossed over the lines and loved like You did.”

Unfortunately for them, they’ll be hated anyway, even if they don’t realize it.

The Casting Crowns song, which is all over Christian stations this month, contains this lyric: “The world is on their way to You, but they’re tripping over me.”

Christ was very clear on this.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

The world is not on its way to Christ. The world hates Christ. The world will not allow a compromise between Christians and the world.

Evangelicals have a tough time on the issue of gay rights. If we hold to our convictions, we’re accused of hating gays. If we point out that sex outside of marriage is a sin, including among people of the same sex, we’re accused of saying they’re going to hell.

Christians are called to love their neighbors. Loving their neighbors does not mean turning a blind eye to their sin, or giving tacit approval to sin. Christians should want no one to go to hell. But we’ve arrived at a point where should we even mention this, we’re accused of saying gays are going to hell.

We must live our lives with love toward everyone and be friends to all who are opening to being friends. But we should not delude ourselves. At some point the world will make us choose. And if we choose Christ the world will accuse us of hating, condemning, and judging. The world is deeply hostile to the Christian idea of loving the sinner, but not the sin. The world believes we cannot love the sinner if we do not fully affirm them, which means loving, or at least tolerating or accepting, their sin.

If we truly love our neighbor we must pray for their repentance, not accept their sin. If they tell us God made them that way, we must know that we were all born sinners. God didn’t do it. Our fallen nature did. The struggle with sin in the process of sanctification leads us closer to God. Those who revel in sin do not draw close.

The chorus of the Casting Crowns song includes the line, “Oh Jesus, friend of sinners, break our hearts for what breaks Yours.” Christ heart breaks for all the fallen. Many Christians though are not believed when they confess their hearts break toward those who do not even recognize their sin.

Christians are accused of judging and casting stones, as the lyrics of that song claim, when all they are doing is not shying away from the fact that God sets standards. He may say to cast no stones, but he concludes with “go and sin no more.” Young evangelicals have bought into the notion that by proclaiming the standards of the Bible they are judging. They seek accommodation and given tacit approval to sin lest they be accused of judging or casting stones.

There is no accommodation on this issue with the world. Young evangelicals, Tim Keller, and the rest are deluded if they think they can seek a compromise with the world.

Mammon chose Barabbas and too many young evangelicals are choosing Mammon.

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36 Responses to Should Tim Keller Be Added To The List of Heretics? What Do You Think? Please Read Wyatt’s Comments!

  1. joel says:

    Sir, it is exactly your atitude why unbelievers are repelled by so called christians. A true follower of Christ will do what he did when he was with them. He drew them to him. If we are following Jesus’ example we will attract sinners and frustrate the religous as he did. Where do you see yourself?

    • hollysgarcia says:

      Romans 1:32 (after looking at the whole context of who is being spoken to), look at what His Word says about those of us who even approve of these things…

      We do not judge the world, but we certainly cannot condone sin, or a license to sin. We can love the sinner, but the way we do that, is to speak the truth in love. To renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, to not walk in craftiness, nor handle the Word of God deceitfully as Mr. Keller is doing (2 Cor 4). A double minded man is unstable in all of His ways.

  2. Hi Joel,
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

    Where do I stand? I stand on Biblical Truth. Nowhere it the Word of God is homosexual behavior or marriage accepted.

    Yes, Jesus dwelt among sinners and drew them to Himself who was and is the embodiment of Truth. He never accepts sin – although He loves those who are unable to stop themselves from sinning. He calls us to the Truth of His Word and continues to encourage us to repent of sin.

    Tim Keller advocates an equivocation. He says we can hate, with God, the sin of homosexuality but accept homosexual marriage. I’m sorry but the sin of homosexual behavior is what is being practiced in same-sex marriage. God does not allow for it and Tim Keller is preaching a false doctrine by playing word games. Those who teach false doctrine are heretics.
    If you can find Scripture to show that the sin of homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage is acceptable to God, I’d love to see it.
    Without that Scripture, we are bound by the Truth of The Word of God which, to my knowledge, does not advocate for it.

    Blessings.

    • Tim says:

      Keller is weak. He is not a true prophet of God. He doesn’t speak out clearly and strongly against everything the Bible speaks clearly and strongly about.

      • Josh says:

        I agree. He was asked in a veritas forum what happens to people who don’t know Christ when they die, and he replied, “I don’t know. I just know they need Jesus.” I barely even know a whole lot about Tim Keller, but if you can’t say John 3:36 in public then that’s disappointing.

    • Thank you, Matt.

      Here is the “clarification”:

      Keller Clarifies Position on Same-Sex Marriage
      Tim Keller
      TGC Blog | March 29, 2013
      FB SHARETWEET

      “A recent article on the Huffington Post reported on a discussion among journalists about how younger evangelicals view the issue of same-sex marriage. I was present, and I said that I have noted many younger evangelicals are taking an Anabaptist-like position; that is, that while they still believe homosexuality to be a sin, they don’t think the government should put that belief into law for the nation.

      In explaining the Anabaptist tradition, I was quoted saying, “You can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal.” I did say that—but it was purely a statement of fact. It is possible to hold that position, though it isn’t my position, nor was I promoting or endorsing the position. I was simply reporting on the growth of that view.

      I can see how some readers might be confused at these points in the article and think that I support the legalization of same-sex marriage. I do not. I hope that clarifies things for those of you who asked about this article.”

      I accept his position. If he really believes this and teaches it from his position as a leader in The Church, this false teaching can be put behind us.

  3. HL Jackson says:

    Erick needs to repent of his hypocrisy and pharisaical self righteousness. His own church has bowed its knee long ago to pragmatism and seeker-driven ministry tactics. It practices a non-biblical form of communion and an idolatrous form of worship in having sermons pre-taped and delivered via video. Randy Pope has exchanged his role as pastor for that of CEO/Author/Motivational speaker. Perimeter has planted churches who practice intinction, lectio divina and spiritual formation a la Richard Foster. They have built a world-friendly empire and promoted sinful teachings that have destroyed the marriages of several of their members. some of which are my personal friends. I have personally been affected by the failure of elders from Perimeter to hear the pleas of the parishioners of my plant church and discipline the renegade plant pastor who is unrepentant in his abuse of members and staff.

    Keller should be the least of Erick’s concerns because his own backyard is overrun with weeds.

    All of this is merely my humble opinion as a mere “sheep”, of course.

  4. S. Wyatt Young says:

    Really wish you would have taken the time to do your research on Keller’s comment before being swept away by the shaky reporting of the news media. In the following Huffington Post article, Tim Keller clarifies his position. The quote to which you are referring was Keller simply stating the position against which you’re railing so vehemently as being that of many young evangelicals, not as the position he holds. His position is consistent with orthodox doctrine, certainly not what you claim it to be in your post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/new-york-pastor-tim-kelle_n_2980570.html

    In the future, please take the time to do the appropriate research before slandering the name of anyone, much less a prominent church leader. Such discipline is especially important in an era of a sensationalist, progressive news media that seems to only hear (and thus report) what it wants to hear.

    • Thank you, Wyatt, for your comment.

      Unfortunately, what Pastor Keller is involved in here is equivocation. Let’s look at some other examples:

      “I would never get an abortion because it is murder but I don’t think we should have laws preventing others from doing it.”

      “I would never behead someone for being blasphemous but I don’t think we should make laws preventing Muslims from doing it.”

      “I would never steal phone records from news organizations but I don’t think we should make laws preventing others from doing it.”

      “I would never lie to Congress but I don’t think we should make laws preventing others from doing it.”

      It is equivocation which takes us down the slippery slope of political correctness where moral and ethical relativity become a higher authority than the Bible.

      We just cannot have it both ways.

      Blessings

      • S. Wyatt Young says:

        THE EQUIVOCAL VIEW IS NOT KELLER’S VIEW! That was the whole point of my comment. Had you actually read Keller’s comments via the Huffington Post article I provided, you would have seen the full context of Keller’s statement, in which it can clearly be seen that Keller’s statement, “you can believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal,” was taken out of context by a sensationalist and progressivist news media (a slanderous wave which you gladly got swept up in, and to which you still seem to wish quite dearly to cling).

        In the aforementioned statement, Keller was stating the position of younger evangelicals, NOT HIS POSITION. Read the actual comments, via the Huffington Post article, and see for yourself. Whether or not you bother to do so will tell me whether or not you value the truth more than the slander you’ve propagated.

        It is a shame that people like you care so little for the truth. You have become agents not of Christ, but of His enemy. You know the one of whom I speak.

  5. So, Pastor Keller can say on one hand, “I can see how some readers might be confused at these points in the article and think that I support the legalization of same-sex marriage.”

    And on the other hand, in his own defense, he says, “I do agree that even if you think the Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong, you have to have a somewhat separate set of arguments to then go and say it should be public policy, too”

    This is not a defense anyone can buy into. What is his “…somewhat separate set of arguments…”
    How does anyone, especially a Biblical Pastor state, “…even if you think the Bible teaches homosexuality is wrong…”? Why would anyone need to “think” about it at all? The Bible, God, says it is wrong!

    If Pastor Keller cannot be clear then all he’s doing is playing CYA and political correctness games. He’s taken a positionof vagueness in search of an explanation and a definition.

    When he comes out with something definitive, we’d all love to know. All I see now is obfuscation.

    Blessings.

    • S. Wyatt Young says:

      He’s not being politically correct. He’s being intellectually honest, as should you be. You and I cannot empirically prove that the God of the Bible exists. “For we live by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7 NIV) Though I very much believe the Bible is true and right in what it teaches, and though I believe that if America chooses to continue to go against God it will only result in the further degradation of society and not in a step in the direction of progress, I also have the intellectual integrity to recognize that such beliefs are by sheer definition, articles of faith.

      What’s more, instead of calling someone a heretic for having the intellectual honesty required to recognize that “we live by faith not by sight,” I sit back in quiet confidence, knowing that if the Bible really is true (and I believe it is), then America will learn that truth the hard way, or perish altogether. I am fine with either because though I very much love my country, I love my God many times more than I love my country, and I know that, again, that if the Bible is true, as I believe it is, then “The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3 NIV) Nothing escapes Him. Nothing derails His plan. Simple as that.

      As for believers, if we really believe the Bible is true and that its teachings are right, then it would be wise to prepare for the trouble ahead if America continues to go against God and His ways:

      “A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” —Proverbs 22:3 NIV

      Either way, it is slanderous and INCREDIBLY unfair of you to go calling Keller a heretic for having the intellectual honesty to admit that we live by faith and not by sight. You’ve played right into the Enemy’s hand and acted as a voice of divisiveness in the Body.

      • What I am asking of Pastor Keller is clarity. Sadly, he is playing the same game as corrupt politicians. He’s speaking out of both sides of his mouth. It makes him sound more like an appeaser who is more concerned with the “fear of man” rather than the “fear of God”.

        My understanding is that same-sex couples tend to engage in sinful sex.

        Why does he say we somehow need different criteria for making a law against it? Moral laws (that have their inspiration in The Bible) are a part of the fabric of America. There is nothing new there.

        “Intellectual honesty” is a fun exercise but it doesn’t help those who become confused by it. Clarity and honest definition of terms is far more valuable for most than murky vagaries.

        Blessings

  6. S. Wyatt Young says:

    Keller is being no more a “corrupt…appeaser” than the Apostle Paul:

    “To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” —1 Corinthians 9:20-22 NIV

    I can almost guarantee you, having read a few of Keller’s books, that he is being intentionally vague for the sake of winning as many to Christ as he can.

    What you fail to understand about truth is that it is very much like medicine: in small doses, it heals; in large doses, it kills. Keller is doing his best to only give America as much truth as she can handle, without compromising biblical doctrine.

    He is being intentionally vague for the sake of the Kingdom, certainly not, as you suggest, for the sake of heresy or corruption.

    I promise you that Keller believes homosexuality is a sin, contrary to the best interest of any human being because it goes against God’s created order. And he states himself that he does not support same-sex marriage, likely for that reason.

    Once again, though, he has the intellectual integrity to recognize that there is an argument for Christians not to assert such a stance in public policy, and that he understands it, though by the stance he professes, he implicitly disagrees with their perspective, as do I. If we as believers really do love our country and, more directly, the people of our country, *and* if we really believe that the Bible’s teachings are in the best interest of men and women, then the most loving thing we could do is to insist on those teachings being codified in public policy (love, of course, being putting the best interest of others first). I suspect Keller would use a similar line of argument, again, having read a few of his books and listened to quite a few of his sermons.

    • Well done, Wyatt.

      You quote the one scripture I believe gives a certain justification to Pastor Keller’s statements.

      You did a great job in this conversation. Thank you for taking the time to be as clear as possible.

      I tend to be pretty “black and white” on things of Scripture but you have reminded all the followers of this blog, including me, the necessity of some “gray”.

      I’m going to change the title of this post…to add a little “gray”.

      Blessings

  7. Abe says:

    Keller doesn’t even assert that Jesus is the only way to heaven: http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/?columnid=5449&articleid=77008

    • Isn’t isn’t it sad when being “culturally relevant” becomes more important than truth?

      Blessings

    • S. Wyatt Young says:

      Yes, he does. As someone who’s listened to quite a few of Keller’s sermons (which I’m guessing isn’t true of you), I can assure you that he does, most emphatically.

  8. Eliza says:

    Since Tim Keller is a theistic evolutionist, I am not sure how he can use the argument of homosexuality being against the created order. He is a rank heretic.
    http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/articles/?columnid=5449&articleid=77005

    • S. Wyatt Young says:

      The judgmental self-righteousness (and blatant ignorance of Keller’s positions, which he has openly articulated in his sermons and books) that the falsified accusations set forth in this article have wrought breaks my heart.

      Grace and Peace,

      S. Wyatt Young | Writer

  9. steve says:

    Here’s a straight forward, “black and white” question for you Erick: Would you support the United States being governed under a theocracy that adhered to your particular interpretation of the Bible? That would be the logical conclusion to your position that a true Christian cannot hold the idea that the civil government should not keep gay couples from getting married. Would you also support a civil law against adultery with the punishment being a public stoning? If not why not since that is the way the Bible teaches it should be handled? Oh, that was the Old Testament. Okay, how about a law against lust, since Jesus taught if you lust you have committed adultery in your heart? If one is caught lusting should the government gouge their eye out or would we leave that to a special governing board of Christians? Maybe you could be on that board.
    And please don’t sanctimoniously “thank” me for my comment. Just give a straight up answer.

    • Here’s a straight forward, “black and white” question for you Erick: Would you support the United States being governed under a theocracy that adhered to your particular interpretation of the Bible? That would be the logical conclusion to your position that a true Christian cannot hold the idea that the civil government should keep gay couples from getting married.
      (I would have no problem with the U.S. Govt. legislating against any kind of marriage other than an adult man and an adult woman).
      Would you also support a civil law against adultery with the punishment being a public stoning? If not why not since that is the way the Bible teaches it should be handled? Oh, that was the Old Testament. Okay, how about a law against lust, since Jesus taught if you lust you have committed adultery in your heart?
      (Actually, I believe Jesus teaches it is the one legitimate ground for divorce – not stoning).
      one is caught lusting should the government gouge their eye out or would we leave that to a special governing board of Christians? Maybe you could be on that board.
      (Lust is a sin and can be dealt with through church discipline.)

      And please don’t sanctimoniously “thank” me for my comment. Just give a straight up
      (I hope my answers are helpful and “straight up”.)

    • Sorry Steve. I did not answer your first question.
      The answer to it is yes! If we can test all legislation, executive orders, Supreme Court decisions, etc. against The Word of God, I’m all for it.
      How about you?

      • Steve says:

        Why should marriage be restricted to an adult man and adult woman? Our civil law arbitrarily calls 18-year-olds “adults,” not the Bible. Under your definition of marriage, Mary would have been ineligible to marry Joseph. And if lust is committing adultery in your heart and Jesus said adultery was grounds for divorce, then everyone can divorce, according to the Bible, since everyone has lusted and will continue to lust. Dealing with lust through “church discipline” is absurd since lust can spring out of nowhere when you’re innocently walking down the street. If you don’t act on it no one is the wiser, yet Jesus still says an act of adultery has been committed in your heart. If you honestly share your thoughts about the attractive woman you saw, now she has grounds for divorce. That’s the conclusion you have to come to if you’re going to use the Bible as a literal book of rules. And as long as you’re using the Bible as a literal book of rules, where, pray tell, does it instruct us to deal with lust through “church discipline?”

        As for my advocating for the United States to be run by a Christian theocracy, absolutely not as evidenced by the problems I’ve already illustrated in your “logic.”

      • You win, Steve.
        Congratulations.

        Blessings

  10. Steve says:

    Correction: I meant to say: “If you honestly share your thoughts WITH YOUR WIFE about the attractive woman you saw…”

  11. D. V. Aguiar says:

    I have a great idea for all those defending Mr. Keller. All that scripture calls SIN we as a nation should legalize. Anyone want to make bets on how long our nation would survive. Oh my, truth really does suck!

  12. Your view of love toward the wicked is unbiblical.
    “Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
    I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my enemies.” (Psa 139:21-22 NKJ)
    And this is a song sung in the Temple!
    We are not to love the wicked and our neighbors are not those who hate God.

    • I’m sorry, Stephen, I am confused. You state, “We are not to love the wicked and our neighbors are not those who hate God.” Have I strayed from this? Please be kind enough to help me see where so that I may correct it.
      Thank you.
      S/G

      • tonibrown64 says:

        I ran head on into Keller’s theology at a church plant where the pastor and wife were completely given over to his teachings. We left immediately.
        Below are excerpts from the EPPC event from their own website…it is clear that Keller supports the legalization of gay marriage and cannot understand why all Christians don’t support it!

        MS. SULLIVAN : I think it’s possible to say that I support gay marriage because of my evangelical faith, and that you can take the specific number of instances when something is mentioned in the Bible against kind of the totality of my common sense reading of the Bible is the poor are mentioned hundreds of times, and so that seems to me to be a larger theme of the scripture .I don’t want to go back and forth about that, because I don’t want to call you a Christian who is not actually an evangelical because of your position on that. I would just protest against having my evangelicalism questioned because of my faith reading of this. And maybe that is being Baptist, where we have the priesthood of the believer, and so I get to decide what the Bible means for me. But that’s my take.
        DR. KELLER: First of all, this is a good spot to point out something — which is that you could believe homosexuality is a sin and still believe that same-sex marriage should be legal. You know that. Those are not the same issues. They overlap. And I do think it would be fair to say, like people more in an Anabaptist tradition, like Duke University and Stanley Hauerwas and those folks would be saying, “If you try to make the world like the church, you end up making the church like the world.” As Christians, we think you shouldn’t bow down and worship little statues, but we wouldn’t want a law out there in America to say it’s illegal to worship statues. So that view is to say, look, for Christians we believe this, but for same-sex marriage it shouldn’t be a problem, because it’s not our position to try to legislate Christian morality.
        MS. POWERS: I just wanted to clarify, too, when you were saying you can be an evangelical and support gay marriage. You mean secular gay marriage, civil gay marriage.
        DR. KELLER: Yes, that’s what I —
        MS. POWERS: You don’t mean in the church.
        DR. KELLER: No. See, in other words, I was trying to say that those are two different issues. And hopefully every Christian knows that, because there are all sorts of things the Bible forbids that we would be forbidding to Christians that we would never want to be legislated. Like I gave the perfect example — idol worship is the worst sin in the Bible, bowing down to little statues and worshipping them and asking them to give you favors and all that. But I think it would be quite un-American to make that illegal. So anyway, yes, that’s what I meant.

        Link to the complete transcript of the above interview:
        http://eppc.org/publications/dr-timothy-keller-at-the-march-2013-faith-angle-forum/

        Keller even uses his “little statues” analogy to make his case for supporting it!

        His clarification statement was “spin”….he is a dangerous, DOUBLE-MINDED man!

      • Thank you so much for this. As you know there are those in the visible church who place Keller alongside Luther and Calvin. So sad. And so, the easily manipulated flock, who do not have to read God’s Word for themselves because Tim Keller does it for them and falsely interprets it for them, fall into more and more deception.

        Blessings,
        S/G

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