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When Truth Becomes Contraband

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2021 12:00 am

When Truth Becomes Contraband

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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September 25, 2021 12:00 am

9/25/2021 - When Truth Becomes Contraband by Truth for a New Generation

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TNG Radio, where today's culture and timeless truths come together. It's reasoned relevant content apologetics, worldview, and answers to the questions that you need to know. From Alex McFarland Ministries, this is Truth for a New Generation Radio. And now the man who preached in 50 states in 50 days, speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Dr. Alex McFarland. When truth becomes contraband, where will we be? What will we do when the truth becomes illegal contraband? Hi, Alex McFarland here.

Welcome to the program. As always, we're talking about the current culture in light of biblical worldview. Two big stories in the news, and I want to talk about it in light of the truth of God's Word. Remember in Matthew 24, 35, Jesus said, heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. The Word of God is forever. And we've talked many times about the authenticity of scripture and how the Word of God is true. And Jesus, the Son of God, he said, search the scriptures for they testify of me.

That's John 539. So my friend Norm Geisler, the great Christian apologist of years past, he died about three years ago, but Dr. Geisler would often say that of the 80 some books he wrote, his favorite was one called to understand the Bible, look for Jesus, because Jesus is the theme of scripture and how we can know him. And so truth exists. Truth can be known. Really the mission of all of life is to know truth. Honestly, regardless of anything else you might have done or accomplished, your life mission is to know truth. And if you haven't come to that point where you have found truth and amended your life in light of truth, your life mission is not really complete yet. And truth personified, of course, is Jesus Christ.

John 14 6. Jesus said that he is truth. In John 18, when he was before Pilate, he said, I have come to bear witness to the truth. Everyone that is of the truth will hear my voice.

Now let's look at the converse of that for just a moment. The Lord, John 18 35, Christ is before Pilate. Pilate asks the question, what is truth? Jesus said that truth is himself. He said, for this reason, I came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth will hear my voice.

So the flip side is, if you reject Jesus, you are not of truth. I mean, think about that. Let that sink in for a minute, because I want to relate that to the passing of John Shelby Spong, S-P-O-N-G. I don't know if that name rings a bell. John Shelby Spong. I'll tell you a little bit about him in a moment. But also recently, Josh McDowell, the renowned defender of Christianity.

He wrote Evidence that Demands a Verdict, More Than a Carpenter. And certainly over the last 50 years, few names have been as associated with the defense of Christianity like Josh McDowell. And yet, Josh was castigated, criticized, scrutinized, and frankly, attacked over the weekend, by whom? Atheists?

Muslims? By the way, I don't know if you know this, but in South Africa, it's probably about 40 years ago, Josh debated the world's preeminent Muslim defender, Ahmad Didat, in a big stadium in South Africa. This is just one of the heroics of Josh McDowell on behalf of the Christian faith. Ahmad Didat was very intellectual, just a ferocious debater, and frankly, among theologians who love the Lord, a little bit feared, because Ahmad Didat had a certain kind of spiritual mojo about him.

I think it was demonic. So who charges hell with a squirt gun to debate Ahmad Didat, and tens of thousands of people that saw that debate came to Christ? Of course, Josh McDowell. Josh the brave. Josh, the defender of Christianity.

But Josh made some remarks in the news that frankly were 100% true, and of course, he was attacked, not by Muslims, not by atheists, but by Christians. By Christians. We're going to talk about that, but first I want to read a scripture, Romans 1, 18 through 32. And I want to talk today about when the truth becomes contraband.

Could the gospel become illegal? Romans chapter 1 says this, for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Literally men who quote, suppress the truth in their unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shown it to them. For the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen.

In other words, there's no denying it. God exists, God created, and we are accountable to God. The creation clearly shows this, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, Romans 1, 20, so that man is without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they, the fallen world, glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

You see, you have to respond to truth, because if you ignore truth, the next time truth presents itself you may not be able to hear it as well. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And they changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, birds, four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness, through the lust of their own heart, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. But people who reject God, they become pagans, they can't hear truth, they dishonor their own bodies, they've turned the truth of God into a lie. Verse 26 of Romans 1, for this cause God gave them up to vile affections. The word vile, L-E, means wicked.

The pathways to death, the behaviors that destroy not only the body, but the soul. Do you remember when Jesus was, in Mark chapter 6, Mark chapter 2, Christ had forgiven a man's sins, Christ is presenting himself as Messiah, and it says in Mark 6-3, they were offended at him. And that's the word scandal. Scandalizo is the word in the Greek. The things of Jesus are scandalous to many people nowadays.

Sadly, even scandalous to professed Christians. When we talk about these things in the state of the world, we've got to remember that our calling is to be bold for Jesus. When we come back, we're going to talk about when the truth becomes contraband, we're going to talk about the passing of one man who rejected truth, and the stance of one man who has been a champion for truth. Stay tuned. Alex McFarland here.

We'll be back after this. Have you ever wanted to raise your hand during a sermon? Well, here's your chance. Hi, Alex McFarland here from the nationally syndicated radio program Exploring the Word. For more than 10 years, my cohost Bird Harper and I have taught scripture and answered hundreds of Bible questions. We've compiled a brand new book of the top 100 Bible questions from listeners of all ages, from questions about supposed Bible contradictions to apologetics facts that prove the truths of scripture. This new book features practical content that will make the Bible come alive for you.

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Welcome back to the program, Alex McFarland here. We're talking about when truth becomes contraband. And in Romans chapter 1, it talks about those who deny truth and really if they don't worship the Creator, inevitably they will worship the creation. And like the Bible says, I think we're in this time today, their foolish heart became darkened, Romans 1.21.

Romans 1.22, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Now let me pull a couple of things out of here and I want to talk about when truth becomes contraband. And look, in terms of Christianity, the opposite of true is false, right? But the opposite of orthodoxy is heresy. Now orthodoxy is right belief.

Orthopraxy is right action. As Christians, if you're a believer in Jesus, we are called to right belief and to right living, right action. Orthodoxy, really ortho, from which we get the word orthopedic, speaks to the setting of a broken bone. When you're orthodox, you're giving glory to God because you've believed his revealed truth.

Remember the doxology, d-o-x-a, doxa means glory. When you trust Jesus, you believe his word, you are believing the right things and that is not only glorifying to God, but it's good for you. Praxis, p-r-a-x-i-s, is the word for action.

Orthopraxy is right action. So we're living in a weird time when some outright deny the Bible, some claim to believe the Bible, but they advocate lifestyles and behaviors contrary to the Bible. That's like when people talk about, you know, the church by love endorsing gay marriage. Well, biblically, love is the commitment to meet another person's needs, but it's seeking the highest good of another. Well, obviously, the highest good of any human being is to know God and to live by truth, to avoid things that are false, contrary to the Bible, destructive to the body and the soul. So regardless of how much the modern world might say that we're being tolerant, if I encourage my neighbor in something that is absolutely contrary to the scripture, I'm not really showing them love. Also, let me say this, many modern Christians, they name the name of Christ, they claim to be a believer, but yet they live and they encourage life that is absolutely contrary to scripture.

That is not orthopraxy. And so if we're going to have right belief, that will result in right action. Well, a person that opposed all of these things and more just passed away on September 12th. Some of you that have perhaps followed the spiritual and cultural battles of the Western world for a couple of decades might remember the name John Shelby Spong, S-P-O-N-G. And I wouldn't say this. I don't say this brazenly. I certainly don't say this with any joy. But without doubt, John Spong, former episcopal bishop is in hell right now.

It's got to be. Al Mohler of Southern Seminary on the passing of John Spong said, Spong went out of his way to overtly reject and deny every key doctrine of Christianity, which he did. I first became aware of John Shelby Spong back in the 80s. I remember he would be on all the talk shows and he was for homosexuality and he was for gay marriage and he was against fundamentalists, as he called them, like Dr. Dobson and Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham. And it's funny, he at one time had served in Lynchburg, Virginia, the home of Liberty University and I remember Spong was on some show, this is 25 years ago plus, and he said there is no hell. What the Bible says about hell is false. But if there is hell, the closest thing to hell is what I went through having to live in the same town as Jerry Falwell, Falwell being a Bible believer and a fervent defender of Christianity. Can you imagine saying that being around one of the 20th century's most faithful Christians was hell?

But that's where Spong was. And the sad thing about it, the thing that was just very insidious, was that he claimed to be a Christian, and no less a Christian, but a minister and a leader in the church. Now remember the Bible says, be not many masters.

In other words, don't seek positions of leadership if you're not going to really live it. And it says those that are in leadership will be judged all the more harshly. So I want to unpack the word truth and the word heresy.

And I want to talk about, for instance, Dr. Spong, because Dr. Spong oozed arrogance. In fact, he would say this, because he had this, as all heretics do, and certainly the progressives and the postmoderns, and sadly many Christians today that are, I don't know what I would call the hipster Christians, they have this smug superiority. Spong once said, the church is like a swimming pool.

Most of the noise comes from the shallow end. In other words, those of us that proclaim the gospel, those of us that call out for the defense of the faith, we're the shallow ones. Do you understand that? So heresy, heterodoxy, orthodoxy means right belief. Jesus is the son of God. The Bible is the word of God. That's orthodoxy. But heterodoxy means you're deviating from orthodoxy. So to say that Jesus wasn't virgin born, to say that Jesus isn't the son of God, to say that the Bible isn't the word of God, all of those things are heretical beliefs. They're false.

Okay. Heresy, and oh my goodness, Dr. Spong was heresy incarnate. I mean, really. Heresy denies the knowledge of the truth in favor of the, quote, alleged search for truth. Spong said God is not a Christian. God is not a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu or Buddhist.

All of those are human systems that human beings created. Now listen how sophisticated this allegedly sounds. He says, I honor my tradition. I walk through my tradition, but we walk into the mystery of God. He said, quote, I don't think my tradition defines God. It only points me to God. Now that might sound very sophisticated and very intellectually aristocratic, but it's heresy.

Heresy denies the knowledge of truth in favor of an alleged search for truth. When we come back, we're going to talk about what to do when the truth becomes contraband. Stay tuned. For the first time since the COVID shutdowns, it's the 2021 Truth for a New Generation National Apologetics Conference. World views, the battles you must win, featuring Dr. Alex McFarland, Dr. Frank Turek, Sandy Rios and E. W. Jackson talking about raising children to come to Christ and stay with Christ in the midst of the woke movement, critical race theory and Marxism in America. October 15th through 17th in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, conference and concert by the Birdsong.

TNG 2021, October 15th through 17th. Register at Are you tired of liberal agendas ruining our country, but you don't know what to do about it. That's why Truth and Liberty Coalition was founded. We want to equip you to take back our country and impact the world. Here's how we do it. We educate through broadcasts, conferences and our website with resources that inform, equip and motivate. We unify by collaborating with like-minded organizations like the Family Research Council, the Family Policy Alliance and My Faith Votes. We mobilize by providing practical tools you can use to impact your local community.

As Christians, we are called to make disciples of nations. Together, we can change the course of our country for good. Join Truth and Liberty to connect with believers and organizations who not only want to see a change in our nation, but a community that is actually doing something about it. Join us online for our broadcast and subscribe for relevant updates on our website Welcome back to Truth for a New Generation biblical worldview with Alex McFarland.

Hey, we're talking about when the truth becomes contraband, but I've got to remind you, time fleets away, folks. Truth for a New Generation, the nation's largest, longest-running apologetics conference. It's coming to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, October 15 through 17. It's going to be amazing. Frank Turek, Sandy Rios, award-winning journalist, Bishop E.W.

Jackson. It's for all ages. We're going to be talking about creation versus evolution. We're going to be talking about defending the faith. And you don't want to miss it. We need this, folks. Join your youth group.

There is time, even though it's only about three weeks away. Go to my website, which is There are hotel discounts, group discounts. It's Truth for a New Generation.

Music by the award-winning band from Nashville, the Bird Songs. I've worked with them many times. It's going to be amazing. Plus, if you want to host a TNG rally in 2022, reach out to us. We're doing 10 one-night rallies next year.

And your city might be one of the places where we go. You can go to my website, which is Friend, we have got to rally the church to valiantly, passionately, effectively defend the truth of the gospel.

My website, By the way, Psalm 119 160 says, the sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgments endures forever. God's truth endures forever.

So John Spong passed. And not only was he a heretic, passionately, zealously denied all about Christianity, but he had just this cockiness about himself. Oh my goodness, he carried himself as being utterly sure that he couldn't be sure. He was passionate in his belief that no thinking person would believe. And he was basically an atheist. And as most atheists are, he was a moral libertine, because morals and values and beliefs and behaviors can't be separated. Do you know what you believe definitely defines how you behave. And that's, you know, Paul said, I have no greater joy than when my children walk in truth. Show me a person that denies God and his word, and I'll show you a person that doesn't believe they have to acknowledge any moral boundaries.

That's why Spong, though he at one time was married, got into homosexuality, advocated for homosexuality. But here's the thing. While heresy announces itself with a smug superiority, heresy carries itself in a false humility. It's like, oh, I'm too, too humble to believe that I, I, a mere human can apprehend truth. No, we can apprehend truth. Now what is truth?

R-U-T-H. We've talked about it many times. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Truth is the way things really are. Do you understand heresy is commitment to a contradiction? Heresy, rejection of God's revealed truth, is commitment to a contradiction, because you're saying you know that you don't know, you're sure that you can't be sure, you're positive that you can't be positive. And heresy carries itself in this false humility.

Now heresy markets itself as quote, the new genuine. Bishop Spong, and many like him, said that we have to get away from quote, these medieval ideas that are in the Bible. And you know it's just so academically arrogant and frankly patronizing to say, well Christianity is based on ideas from the Middle Ages. Well first of all the Old Testament was completed 400 years before the birth of Christ. The New Testament was written within, from 40 to 70 A.D., so we're talking 10 to 40 years after the life of Christ. But the key parts of the New Testament regarding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus were memorized and recited and circulated by the church within weeks after Calvary's cross. And it's just so sad that Bishop Spong, he said quote, I have become convinced that we must put an end to atonement theology or there will be no future for the Christian faith. Okay the atonement is that Christ died on the cross for our sins. And that is the Christian faith. And so heresy denies the authentic to insist that it is what is truly authentic, which is completely false. Now this past weekend Josh McDowell, who has been a friend and mentor and I mean literally family friend for 25 years, and he made a statement where he said that black and white individuals have the same opportunities in terms of work and education.

We can all go places if we just work really hard. Well the Twitterverse had a meltdown. And the sad thing about it, the people who were just murdering Josh, and I'm not going to repeat it, but tweeting horribly rude and critical things of Josh were Christians and young hipster preachers with podcasts.

And I tweeted, I said look I've been around Josh McDowell for 25 years. People don't know that he and his wife have personally out of their own pocket paid for scholarships for minority students to go to college and done so many things. But so many Christians have said to me, and this relates to heresy, well the church's fundamental mission in this moment is to stand against racism.

False. Now racism is bad, of course, but the church's fundamental mission in every generation is to preach the gospel. 1 Timothy 3, Paul said Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. So I want to say to all the ordained ministers and all the self-appointed Christian revisers out there, if you say more about racism than the gospel, you're not doing your job. Is racism bad?

Of course. But the fundamental mission of the church is to preach the gospel of salvation. Our fundamental mission, listen carefully, fundamental mission of the church is not to end racism but to get sinners saved. Now if you love your neighbor, as Jesus said, racism will end. But the primary mission of the gospel is to help sinners miss hell and go to heaven. Now racism and love and benevolence, that's an outflow of the gospel. But if we're saying more about social justice than the resurrection of Jesus, we're not doing our job.

May God deliver us from heresy and set our feet on the solid ground of truth. Our ministry, folks, is here to help you do that. Call us at 877-Yes-God-1.

That's 877-Yes-God and the number 1. Or give online at While you're there, listen to program archives, read Alex's blog, invite Alex to speak at your event, or contact Alex with a question or comment. Thanks for listening today and join us again next time as we bring you more truth for a new generation on TNG Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-19 17:07:32 / 2023-08-19 17:17:20 / 10

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