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Should Christians Embrace the Use of Preferred Pronouns?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2021 1:30 pm

Should Christians Embrace the Use of Preferred Pronouns?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 28, 2021 1:30 pm

Episode 868 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

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CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. What does Mormonism teach about Jesus and his identity?

2. How should a Christian think about and respond to preferred pronouns?

3. Is it sinful for a parent to allow their teenager's boyfriend or girlfriend live with them if their home situation is unhealthy?

4. How do I avoid becoming apart of a false church?

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Thanks for supporting a great first year of CORE Christianity LIVE!

This week we're featuring our best shows of the year. We hope you had a Merry Christmas and that you'll experience the peace of Christ in the new year. Should Christians use so-called preferred pronouns? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity.

Well, hi there, and happy Friday! This is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. This is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. We'd love to hear from you, and no questions are off limits to Pastor Adriel. You can call us with a Bible question, something about theology or doctrine, even something happening in our culture. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts. You can watch Adriel right now live on YouTube and message us through our YouTube channel. And of course, you can always email us your question at questionsatcorechristianity.com. First up today, let's go to Brandeline calling from Meridian, Idaho. Brandeline, what's your question for Pastor Adriel?

Hi. I was listening to your show earlier, and I heard you were talking about Jehovah's Witnesses, and you said that you can't be saved if you don't understand who Jesus is and his purpose. I come from a Mormon background, and the Mormons I now know, they believe in a different Jesus than the Jesus of the Bible. I was wondering if you could elaborate on your comment that you can't be saved if you don't understand Jesus, the real Jesus, and then if there's any biblical evidence for that. What is the seriousness of being in a false religion?

Yeah. Well, thank you for that question and for an opportunity to follow up on yesterday's program where we answered a question about Jehovah's Witnesses and what they believe about Jesus. So a couple of passages of Scripture that I would want to point to. First, the Bible is really clear that one of Satan's primary tactics in the world today, Brandeline, the main thing he wants to do is confuse us about who Jesus is. The most important question that any of us can ever answer is, who do you say Jesus is? In fact, when Jesus was talking to Peter, he asked him that very question, who do people say that I am?

And then he says, who do you say that I am? And Peter's response was, you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in heaven.

There's no more important question than who is Jesus. And I mentioned that the evil one, Satan, he wants to confuse people today about the identity of Christ. And that's what John says in 1 John chapter 4, who said, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.

For many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God, every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the Spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

There's two things there, right? We're thinking, John is thinking there about the identity of Christ. He's the Messiah, the God-man. And also what he did, the language of him coming has come in the flesh.

It's not just the fact that he came was truly incarnate, but also what he accomplished by his death on the cross, through his resurrection. And so the identity and the work of Jesus Christ is central to the gospel. And that's where the Christian church differs from Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. And the fact of the matter is the New Testament suggests to us that there are going to be other quote unquote gospels that are preached, other Christs who aren't the real deal, but it's this deception. The other passage of scripture that I was thinking of is in 2nd Corinthians chapter 11. Listen to what the apostle Paul said to the Corinthians in verse three.

I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. So Paul is saying, look, there are going to be people who come, who preach other Christs, not in line with the one that you heard, the apostolic message of the gospel that was proclaimed.

And so two passages of scripture then that I would say meditate on, Brandel in Art, that text in 2nd Corinthians 11, and then the beginning of 1st John chapter 4. Now, I have had many Mormon friends, some of whom I've been able to talk about the gospel with for a long period of time, we've had conversations, and many of them will use very Christian terminology. They'll talk about grace, they'll talk about Jesus. Oftentimes what I've found is the challenge here, Brandel, and maybe you've seen this as well, is the Mormon church will define things differently than we do. So Christ, in terms of his identity, who he is, is different in Mormon theology and Mormon dogma, if you will, than what the church has historically confessed. Same thing with grace, salvation, the gospel.

They'll use that same terminology, but oftentimes they mean something totally different. And I think that's where the deception comes in. And I think, one, praying for your friends and family members who are still entrenched in Mormonism, that God by his spirit would open their eyes to see, as you say, the Jesus of the Bible, and then clearly communicating from the text of scripture. Here's who the Bible says Jesus is. He's not spirit brother with Satan. He wasn't conceived in the way in which the Mormon church talks about.

He is the eternal Son of the Father, the second person of the Holy Trinity, equal in power and glory with the Father. And he came to earth to forgive our sins. That's the gospel. The gospel is what Jesus did for us on the cross.

And that's good news. And I think that's another area where Mormon doctrine just is wrong, where they get this wrong. They get the gospel wrong. And so, Brandel, it sounds to me like, can I just ask you a question?

Were you raised in the Mormon church and then you've since come out of the Mormon church and you're going to a Bible teaching church? Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. Well, let me just say this as well. No one is saved by our perfect understanding of how salvation works. Can there be people in these different traditions, even in these cults, who are confused, who long to know who Jesus is and who confess Christ, and yet they're entrenched in this system?

Is it possible that the Spirit of God can work in them, that they can be saved despite the fact that they have some bad theology and something there, but that they're clinging to the grace of Christ? I had a friend who was brought up in the Mormon church. And when we talk about the gospel, he said, I believe that, Adrian.

I really believe that. And I would challenge him and I'd say, well, if you are genuinely Mormon and you believe what the Mormon church believes, you have to say, we believe differently. And he didn't want to do that. Now, I don't know if he really believed the gospel. He said that he did. I do know that if he embraced really what Mormonism teaches, then he didn't really believe the gospel. But can there be inconsistencies?

Yeah, perhaps. But I think the goal should be helping people come into a deeper understanding of who Jesus is through the word. And ultimately, that's the work of the Holy Spirit. And so that's why I encouraged you to pray. And I want to pray for you as well, sister. And I want to pray for your friends and family members, that the Spirit of God would be at work in their lives. And so, Father, thank you for this question.

Thank you for this, sister. Thank you, Lord God, that you've drawn her to yourself through your son, Jesus, and that she wants to know you and she wants to walk with you according to your word. And I pray for her, Lord God, that you would cause her to continue to grow in a deeper understanding of your word, of who you are, gracious Father, and your son, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, that you would be at work in her, giving her that deeper understanding through your word, and that you would also give her wisdom. As she has conversations with friends and family members who she loves, would you, God, open their hearts? Would you be at work in their lives? And through your word, through the power of your gospel, illuminate their minds so that they might see the differences between Mormonism, Mormon theology, and what your word says, what the church historically for the last 2,000 years has embraced. So please be at work in this situation, God. I pray that you would encourage our sister and be with her and bless her in Jesus' name. Amen.

Amen. Brandilyn, thank you so much for giving us a call. Yeah.

And you know what, Brandilyn, we're going to send you a complimentary copy of Dr. Michael Horton's book, Core Christianity, and that may help you in some of these discussions with your Mormon friends and family members. So just hang on the line for a second and we'll get some information from you and send that off to you. Okay?

Okay. Thanks so much. Thanks, Brandilyn.

We appreciate you taking the time to call in today. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Boy, you know, it's interesting how God has brought some different individuals into your life as a pastor, Adriel, especially several Mormons. And you've been able to have these conversations. And man, you don't want to judge people.

You don't want to blast them. But by the same token, as you pointed out very clearly, Satan deceives and he uses these false doctrines to try to lead people down the wrong path. Yeah. And I mean, this is so important, right? Because as I said, there's no more important question that we can answer than who is Jesus? Do I know Jesus? Do I have a personal relationship with Christ?

Not a Christ that was invented by some people or even in my own imagination, but God as he's revealed himself to us in Holy Scripture. And I am grieved by, you know, the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, the leadership there that, you know, oftentimes it's, you know, high family values that they talk about and being good to one another and, you know, a lot of actually really wonderful things, but they don't teach and preach the gospel, the Christ of Scripture. And that is devastating. And there are a lot of people who are drawn to Mormonism because of, you know, those family values. It's just how it seems so nice.

Look at how put together everything is. But that's not the core of the Christian faith. That's not core Christianity. It's not moralism. It's the gospel.

It's Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I know, and I could tell just, you know, from Brandilyn's question, she has a heart for this. And so really wanting to love and minister to our friends with the truth of God's word, clinging to the gospel and praying that the Lord would be at work in their lives.

So yeah, it's keep, brothers and sisters, keep Brandilyn and her family in your prayers. Well, let's get to another one of our questions, and this one is a Facebook post from John, and here's what he asks. How should a Christian think about and respond to preferred pronouns? Yeah, this is a super big question, right, in our culture today. Well, look, I think, one, we have to be careful that we don't just sort of concede to the culture's definition of identity and sexuality, right?

Like, that's what I already think. What harm does it do if you just call someone by their quote-unquote preferred pronoun? They might be biologically male, but if they feel like a woman and they want to be called she, well, what's the big deal? Why can't you just call this person her or she? Well, part of it is the Christian worldview, we have a totally different understanding of identity, and we would see identity and even sex as being something that we don't just sort of decide.

It's not something that I choose for myself, per se. It is a part of who we are biologically, how God made us, male and female. I mean, that's what you see in the early chapters of Genesis, and so I don't think that we should just sort of concede and say, yeah, let's just use this kind of language, because this is not in line with the biblical worldview. And frankly, it's a really new way of thinking. I mean, this is sort of a recent development in history in terms of just thinking about sex and gender in this way, and so I think there are reasons to call it into question. Now, this is a complex issue.

I'm not saying that we should just sort of bring it down like a hammer and just go against people in a way that would come off as rude or overly polemical. We want to be sensitive to the fact that there actually, I think, are some serious illnesses involved with, if you think of genuine gender dysmorphia, and I think that needs to be factored in as well, but in terms of the way in which we talk about these things, I think we have to stick to essentially what we have in scripture and the way in which the Bible talks about identity, the way in which the Bible talks about sexuality and gender as these things that come to us from the outside. God creates us in a particular way. I know that there are other complexities to this issue, but that's how the scriptures speak, and so I think that that's how we should also speak in this discussion, while exercising wisdom and also sensitivity to the people who are around us, and I think sensitivity doesn't just mean wholesale embracing this view of gender and sexuality, and Bill, I know that you're a counselor and you've worked with people who struggle with these kinds of things.

I don't know if you have anything else to add there. I really appreciate what you said, Adriel, in that we don't choose. God makes that choice for us. That's the way he designed us. We always have to look at God's intent and his design, which we can discover in his general creation as we observe, you know, the way biologically, you know, you look at the brain of an infant, a male or female infant, that brain is different structurally. It's different functionally. It lights up differently under stimulation right from the get-go, right, coming out of the womb, and that's, I think, very powerful evidence that God has designed us, male and female, and so even though some of the, you know, psychological, psychiatric organizations, I think, have moved to embrace this movement, that's a small minority of those individuals in those organizations that make those determinations.

It's not the rank-and-file psychologists or psychiatrists in America that make those decisions. I think the average person doesn't realize that, so I love your advice, and yes, be sensitive and be kind, be gracious, but also don't just, you know, go with what the culture is telling us at the time. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and we know it can be difficult to begin reading the Bible for the very first time, and some Bible reading plans can be somewhat complex and daunting, so we are excited to offer you a special Bible reading plan from Core Christianity.

That's right, Bill. For the reasons you mentioned, at Core Christianity, we wanted to create a Bible reading plan that would do two things. One, help someone new to the Bible cultivate a joy for reading scripture, and two, help someone who may have lost that joy to find it again. The Core Christianity Bible reading plan is a free resource, and it'll only take you about 10 minutes per day to complete, and it lasts through the whole year. This plan won't take you through the entire Bible in a year, but it will introduce you to the big narrative and grand themes of the Bible. This plan is designed to help you develop a habit of reading without requiring a large time commitment, and our prayer is that this new habit would carry on through the years over time, helping you to continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus and His word. To download the Core Christianity Bible reading plan, just head over to CoreChristianity.com forward slash reading plan.

Again, that's CoreChristianity.com forward slash reading plan. Well, let's get back to the phones, and we have Courtney on the line from Gilbert, Arizona. Courtney, what's your question for Pastor Adriel? Hi, yes, so I have a friend who, she is a believer, and I'm just trying to figure out how to navigate a situation that she is in in her house. She has a teenage son who has his girlfriend living with them because she comes from a, her household just isn't a very healthy one, and so she lets his girlfriend live with them, even though she is pretty sure that they're fornicating. Is that a sin on her part? Ooh, yeah, well that, I mean, that latter piece there does complicate things because, you know, it wouldn't necessarily be a sin for her to want to take in this girlfriend if she's got a difficult family situation at home, and they're able to help out. I mean, I think hospitality is key in the Christian life.

I came to faith in Jesus Christ and began to grow in my relationship with the Lord while I was in high school, largely in part because of the hospitality of another family that would invite me into their home and share the love of Christ with me. But if she knows, this friend knows, that essentially what's happening is there's fornication taking place and there's no intention to stop, well then I think that that really is an issue. And frankly, maybe there's a better place for the girlfriend to stay. I don't know if they could set up something else, but I think she also wants to make sure that she's protecting the couple in their own purity and making sure that, you know, they're not in a situation where they're just giving themselves to sin. And so it sounds to me like this is an issue of wisdom, and maybe the wisest thing in this situation would be not to have the girlfriend there because of what's taking place. If things were different, I might say, well no, it sounds like things are working out okay, and they're able to be separate, and this is really helping the girlfriend out and putting her in a better situation, and maybe even helping the two of them to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

That'd be wonderful, but it sounds like it's having the opposite effect, and so it really should be maybe something that they reconsider. Thanks, Courtney. Appreciate your call and your concern for this family. You're listening to Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. Let's get to David from Kansas City, Missouri. David, what's your question? I wanted to ask, in Revelation, Jesus mentioned the Harlan church, and I wanted to know, how do we recognize it, and how do we not fail in temptation to become a part of it?

Mm-hmm, yeah, that's a great question. I mean, it's sort of like the question of, how do I know, you know, how do I find a good church? And we have resources here at Core Christianity on that very topic. It's something I'm passionate about as a pastor, and so I guess the first thing I would say, when Revelation chapter 17 talks about the harlot, it's this sort of government system that he's calling his people to come out of, this beast that essentially persecutes the church, but he does. Earlier, when Jesus is speaking to the seven churches in Revelation chapters two and three, some of the churches were associated with this kind of harlotry, and Christ is calling them to repentance, to purity, to walk in the light.

Now, how do we know to avoid this particular church? Well, what we oftentimes point to, David, are the marks of the true church, and what are the marks of the true church? It's the faithful preaching of the word of God. So is the gospel being faithfully taught in this church?

Is the Bible something that's valued, or do they value personality and, you know, maybe some of these other things, but they're not really preaching the scriptures? If that's the case, well, then there's a huge problem, because the word of God is shaped by, created by the, the church of God is created by, shaped by the word of God, and so if the word is not being preached, you don't really have a church. So the right preaching of the word, right worship, right administration of those ordinances that Jesus gave to the church, baptism in the Lord's Supper, and discipline, so that when there is sin, immorality or, I mean, you just, the list goes on and on. You think about the different kinds of sins that churches have been engaged in, everything from lack of care for the poor, racism, sexual immorality, abuse, those kinds of things. When those things are happening, there's discipline. The sin gets called out.

It gets repented of. No church is perfect, but this isn't a church that is embracing these sinful practices and saying, oh, they're okay. No, they're addressing them and repenting of them, and that's what Jesus calls each of us individually to do, and that's what he calls the church to do as well, and so I would say being a part of a church that is committed to faithfully teaching the word of God, that is committed to worshipping Jesus in line with how he said he wanted to be worshipped in his word, those ordinances that Jesus gave to the disciples, and is committed to growing in holiness and discipline in the Christian life, caring for one another. The author of the Hebrews said in Hebrews chapter 3, you know, exhort one another day by day while it is called today, lest we're hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. If you don't have those things, if you don't have the faithful preaching of the word of God, if worship is just like, hey, whatever, you know, whatever we want to go goes.

There's no discipline. There's people living in open sin, but it's not addressed by the leadership of the church, by the pastors. Well, that's a recipe for disaster, and in those situations, especially if the word of God is not being faithfully taught, I think we're called to find faithful churches, and so thank you so much for that question. Boy, Bill, a lot of questions today about just the true church. I mean, how to be a part of faithful churches, and in line with that, who Jesus is and his identity, and walking with the Christ of Scripture, not a Christ that we invented, you know, in our own imagination or, you know, some other spirit, right? You know, in today's culture, there is such a tendency to kind of want to invent our own God and our own sense of beliefs. In fact, there are a lot of people you could talk to, you know, just on the street who would say, well, I, you know, have my own version of God, or here's what I believe about him, or here's what I believe he wants me to do, and man, talk about, you know, the importance of getting back to his word on a daily basis. Yeah, we each want to make God in our own image. Well, here's the good news. That wouldn't be a very great God, but the God of the Bible is, and he reveals himself throughout the pages of Scripture.

Get to know him. Thanks for listening to today's episode of CORE Christianity. Adriel and I love our audience, and we'd love to take your questions. Give us a call Monday through Friday at 1130 a.m. Pacific time at 833-843-2673. That's 833-The CORE. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-The CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program, and be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-03 23:42:45 / 2023-07-03 23:52:57 / 10

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