Everybody’s Doing It – Part Two

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 This week’s lessons teach us to shine our lights in a dark world.
Purity and perversion.

Still another issue is ecumenism. Ecumenism is the desire to get all Christians together under one umbrella, whether or not they hold to the cardinal doctrines of Christianity. Schaeffer refers to a meeting of The World Council of Churches held in Vancouver, British Columbia, that by all objective accounts was a disaster. So much so that even the secular magazines, Newsweek and Time, in particular, said how ironic it is for these men to be calling upon the name of Christ while issuing the kind of proclamations they did. Yet strikingly, there were so-called evangelicals present at the meeting who wrote favorably about it and backed that up with published articles.

Now, near the end of his book, Schaeffer talks about the matter of sexual immorality, the theme of this passage in I Corinthians 6. Schaeffer bemoans the breakdown of standards in that area within the evangelical church as well. Now, you don’t have to know a lot about The World Council of Churches, or ecumenism, or the details concerning biblical inspiration to know that, at least in this area, the churches have a problem. It is a tragedy of epic proportions. An increasing number of evangelical churches are responding to sexual immorality within the church with an attitude that says, “Well, you know, we are all human. What can you expect? After all, we must be loving, and, therefore, it must be all right.”

I attended a meeting of some key evangelical leaders, men whose names you might know, and the name of Francis Schaeffer came up in relation to this book. Their comments were, “Well, you know Francis Schaeffer – he’s getting old and getting kind of narrow, kind of brittle, kind of legalistic in his old age.” When Frankie Schaeffer, Francis Schaeffer’s son, gave the condensed version of that book in a speech at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, the reaction I had heard about even before somebody gave me the tape was, “Well, you know Frankie – he certainly is an angry young man.” It’s interesting that Frankie Schaeffer finished his speech by saying, “Don’t say when I’m done, ‘Well, I don’t like Frankie Schaeffer,’ or ‘I don’t like the appearance of his father.’ That is not the issue. The issue is, am I speaking the truth? And if you believe I am speaking the truth, what are you going to do about it?”

The apostle Paul would have understood this accommodating spirit, even though it was not quite as bad in his day as it is in ours. It was bad because it existed in the world, but it wasn’t as bad because it was not in the church. The world does not have an objective standard. The world does not know that there is a God who has given a moral law that is embodied in the Scriptures. So, it is no wonder if the world drifts. But it is a tragedy when the church of Jesus Christ drifts, the professing church of Jesus Christ, the church that knows there is a God who has revealed himself in the Scriptures, and who does have a moral standard.

Study Questions
  1. What is ecumenism?
  2. Why are some evangelicals lax on issues of morality?
  3. Why is it worse for the church to slide into immorality than for the world?
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