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Sharing Christ in a Cancel Culture (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2022 6:00 am

Sharing Christ in a Cancel Culture (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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October 12, 2022 6:00 am

Before God fully captured his heart, Joe Dallas identified as a homosexual and tried to integrate his sexuality with his Christian beliefs, actively promoting a pro-gay theology. In this broadcast, Dallas addresses major controversies in today’s increasingly hostile cancel culture, helping believers to cultivate respectful discussions and share Christ’s love and truth with others who don’t share our faith. (Part 2 of 2)

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I'm so worried about not being a holier than thou the times I've been afraid to speak at all okay will. There's nothing holy about being silent when you are supposed to speak. If I had been given a great opportunity there. Joe Dallas was on Focus on the Family last time, encouraging us to be ready to share our faith with others, respectfully and honestly, when the spirit leads and the opportunity comes Joe is back with us to navigate the challenges of cancel, culture, and your hostess focus presidents and other Jim Daly on John.

John and I so appreciate your Dallas and his tender heart for others who don't share our Christian worldview. He sees them as people who are deeply hurting and who need a Savior just like you and me last time you shared about embracing a homosexual identity as a young man in trying to justify it theologically that's happening a lot today until God changed his heart and helped him to see that homosexuality is incompatible with Scripture. Those experiences have given him a unique perspective and he has a great advice today to help us reach others for Christ, and he does so in such a winsome way. I Joe Dallas is an author, conference speaker and pastoral counselor. He founded cloud fire ministries in Tustin, California. The help men dealing with sexual addiction and other sexual and relational problems, and Joe has written in a great book for the foundation of the conversation. It's called Christians in a cancel culture. Details are in the show notes were going to pick up the conversation where we left off last time Ms. Joe was talking about our responsibility as Christians to keep the main thing the main thing loving others through Christ that I think that the church's position has got to be one of simplicity, simplicity, meaning this Jim.

I think we try to get too fancy and figure okay let's start really doing extensive research to see how we can better communicate and finesse all of the things we need to do that. The greed of the early church. I thought that way the gospel would've never gotten past Samaria. I mean, I think that we need to get back to the basics of realizing the word of God is still living and powerful.

If we will preach it faithfully. We preach evangelism to the unsaved.

They need to be born again if somebody's transgender homosexual or whatever they are.

If they have not been born again that secondary. Let's always be humble enough to examine ourselves. Examine the way we are presenting truth examine the way we relate to people. Let's be aware of who we are. We have been forgiven much and I love my want to come back to that idea but in the context of marriage. What you're talking about a moment ago I remember having dinner at a you know a banquet and sitting at my table was a Catholic priest and he looked at me and said you know what we believe about marriage in our church. Now tell me, and that he said you know Lucifer was upset that God chose to put his image in humanity, male and female that they were created in his image and that was Lucifer felt the angel should have that anointing the God's image should be placed in the Angels and he said every day when Lucifer attacks when Satan attacks marriage it's because marriage represents the very image of God on this earth. I've never heard that it isn't. It's a beautiful let's look at it and he said it's a stench in the nostrils of Satan to see a man and woman married and exhibiting the very nature of God is the Lord himself said the two shall become bright flash right and this represents my divine nature. Wow, all that makes you think differently about our lately or your wife or your spouse right. Yeah. So that's one thing.

Let let me also go to the Scripture that's meant a lot to me and there's other Scriptures you can as you said earlier, you can squeeze Scripture to say many things and many things that it doesn't intend the site right so you isolate Scripture, but there's other Scriptures that support what I'm about to read. This was at a second Timothy and it really spoke to me in terms of errors.

Perhaps that we've made in the church about how we treat the world but it says this only read it so flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant controversies. You know that they breed quarrels in the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone that most people kind to everyone, able to teach patiently enduring evil. I don't think we do that well correcting his opponents with gentleness God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil after being captured by him to do his will. That really captures the job description is not, and I think from that standpoint how often now applying that to the modern church that we seem to have 1 foot in the culture war battling out arrived/and then this other foot in God's truth, knowing that love is probably the most significant weapon that God gives us but the other half of this doesn't want to use that as its freakishly inadequate release. We think II think so. I look. I think balance is a much greater challenge than getting stuck in one extreme or the other.

There is grace there is truth, and we tend to want to make one or the other resident accepting the biblical challenge the recognition that include Christ likeness. This book and I think it also one of the sicknesses of the time from work hooked on contention. I'm I guess it's like when we were in school. How could you draw a crowd yell fight fight fight fight rough media is absolutely how you look at half the reality shows that you see ads for in there about people fighting. I guess that's how you have it show these days yeah that's true you've identified three unhelpful responses to cancel culture that we can learn from what are the welders raving.

Of course I mean when we rate it would all talk about two extremes.

One is, is the wrath of man. The others, the fear of math right. The wrath of man James that does not work the righteousness of God. When you raise your basically saying I am so tired of you calling me a hater. I'm tired of all the nonsense you're giving the uncertain I'LL show you bigotry if you want to see big and then we start trying to fight the battle in our own strength. Now there's a place for righteous anger. I get multiple divisions be a reason. Some of the stuff you and I've been talking about that the abolitionist movement right the resistance to the Holocaust.

Change born of righteous anger. So okay fine we will use them properly, but I think that that what happens is we get so mad at the people who are opposing us. We want to hurt them or restrict them or be right in with the battle know that's the wrath of man's that's raving and I've been guilty of theft but then there's caving, that's another extreme. That's the fear of man which brings a snare, according to the prophets, and I think that when we are afraid of not being seen as likable when when we want to be like so badly. I think that that we are in real danger of compromising an interesting point. You talked about having relationships with people who disagree with us. Jim you not to have a healthy relationship with people were not to have one if were caving because they don't respect that I really find a lot of gay people a lot of atheist, a lot of feminist, a lot of liberals a lot of radicals respect a Christian you will just say this is where I stand that a Christian who was so wanting to make a sale and meandering be like that gay think they they can sense that insincerity in there like I don't trust you, though, trust somebody will righteousness plainly. This is where I stand, but I'd like to understand where you stand better see where we have some common ground. See we can exchange ideas and do so in the context of respectful relationship now you know what I know some people will never go into that plenty of people still and there is still a place for reasoning with people's that's why signal to Cape.

But we also do need to get over the idea that every time somebody criticizes us every time somebody points out a mistake we made even every time somebody mocks us were not being persecuted. You know I mean I everybody you know this better than I do with all the position you hold the influence you have anybody who speaks publicly we accept the fact that people have the right to scrutinize what we say sure when someone is limiting you there limiting your freedom there limiting your speech that limiting your movement there limiting the capacity that's persecution they are imprisoning your ability to express does look if you can't express what you hear for Christianity without expression is no Christianity expression. We cannot allow ourselves to be denied expression. We can't, or if somebody is actually damaging you there literally harming you because of your position because the positions you hold but just because persecution is not the same degree as other forms of persecution does not mean a stoppers, so today there's probably two things that come to my mind. One is social media. Whether it's Twitter or Facebook would have these twitters by the greatest controller spells right now and it's popping up everywhere. Elon musk is gotten involved and you know as yet, actually, because I think he's right. I II know you and Focus on the Family. We had made a comment about Dr. Levine who is transgendered and we just said that means because many people in our audience. Don't know what that means. So we said, you know, that's it. In his case, it's a man born man and then you know he changes his identity and believes himself to be a woman that caught Twitter. I said that was hate speech. I I met with the executives via teams. We had a meeting and talk about it. It made no sense to me. I said were actually expressing the greatest thing we can as Christians because we believe in Jesus Christ believe is quite a strong statement for the Christian community. So we say of Dr. Levine that he was born a man but believes himself to be a woman that's actually a strong curative statement, but that they said no you got changed to identify so they didn't even recommend that we disable. Let's try to change it to identifies and that was acceptable in but that's it. That's an example of that kind of persecution that you got it. Speak a certain way in order to be acceptable to our platform gives our winning and that's the end that is very subtle.

I mean, think of the difference there. The other that I want you to respond to is when you're losing your job. I mean this is happening a lot on high school school campuses, including universities were people you know Christian people have a different way of framing the world and there being actually fired for that, I thought that was illegal because protection of religious expression I thought was protected by the Constitution and thankfully some groups like ADF and liberty right there stepping out the Becket fund their stepping out to defend these cases and winning most of them. Ironically, I mean there winning 90, 95% of them so that shows it. It's on our side but speak to that idea of loss of job or persecution within the workplace. I'm not to be flippant about this. Jim, because you know my job.

I have a Christian ministry. I mean I operate in Christian society, and I'm not gonna lose my job because I'm not gonna fire myself right so it's very easy for me to sit here and say what you should take a stand when you lose your job, not you got people whose children are depending on them. You've got people who will lose their homes that they can't pay the mortgages so I'm not going to be glib when I say there are some hills to dial because there are now.

Jesus said if they persecute you in one city, flee to another meaning look if there is a way to avoid persecution, do it if you can avoid it without sacrificing your integrity.

I'm all for that. However, if you really are in the position in which you must either give lip service to what you don't believe it. You must say I believe a biological mail can become a female. I believe that marriage can be defined as a male to male union and female female. If you're put in the position where you are told you must give lip service to that then and then only I think you're going to have to take a cue from Peter and John as they look, I'm sorry we ought to obey God rather than man.

Now I am going to appeal this. I am going to try to keep my job.

I don't want to be an enemy but you are unreasonably trying to put words in my mouth and impose beliefs on me that I would not I would not impose my beliefs on you. You're doing this to me I can't do it. So I do think there will be a very high price. A lot of people have to pay but I think in the end, it would be better to pay it and again. Believe me I'm not casual when I say this because I know the ramifications of this are going to be huge for a lot of people. My prayer is that there's going to be enough pushback that is not to come to that. I think all is going to take as a few Supreme Court cases and a few public examples of people saying no would not tolerate this kind heavy handedness and at least that part of the badness could be, if not reversed at least two could be stalled. I'm hoping for that, but bottom line, I think that when it really comes down to the matter of conscience versus the ability to hold your job. You gotta go with conscience. Yeah, I really do.

I don't see what else a person can and you could do that in a dignified way.

You don't have to do the militant about it.

As a theologian once told me to have to go on your way to be hated, which is great statement that we let the offense right, not your personality right and I've I've taken that to heart. I do want to touch on something you were mentioning a little while ago and that is the failures of the church people in the church. Boy there's been a lot of that lately.

Mostly around sexual sin.

But one of things as I talk to journalists who call me to get input about these things and will make the statement well you know the church leadership seems a bit hypocritical I'll cut them off and cite the course were all hypocrites. We can't live this life perfectly working to fail and stumble, but it doesn't nullify the truth of God's word.

It just means were pathetic living it right and and and so in that context, I mean I think we do need to apologize for those that do not live it well that fail and were sorry that that happens, but it does reinforce the very fact that we need Jesus as the Savior sure all of us. I think Jim the fact that people do not live up to the standard that promote does not invalidate the standard. So in all fairness of this is this is done by people on the political, social, theological, left center and right there.

People who promote standards they themselves do not live up to the so I think in most cases what what people live their fare will recognizes there are a lot of Christian leaders that promoted standards that they themselves did not live up to know what we have to be careful to do is to think simultaneously, we do have to live what we preach.

Good night. We got no business shoot in our mouths off about principles we don't live up to. We also have to be honest about our imperfection. So here on the one hand I'm saying. I strive to live up to the principles I promote.

And just when it comes to the sexual arena for obvious reasons. I'm a married man on the leader of the ministry centered on sexual purity.

Yes, I am living what what I teach what I promote. But I am not living it perfectly.

To the extent that I never have a wayward thought or a wayward desire right and I can tell you 1001 other areas of my life that are very wayward.

My own big mouth my ego my laziness, my unforgiveness but yes, the list goes on. So we we need to be sure without pretending to be more than what we are.

Yeah I agree and I think it's a far better way to go because you people connect to brokenness.

They don't connect to perfection is that they know themselves better than we know ourselves right and it we got a bill to say this world were broken. Joe, let me let me go to birthday party because I think this really captures the spirit of what we talk about. You are invited to go to a friend of yours from the time will work.

Yes you are, you know, in the gay community and you became Christian became Christian apologists for sexuality, etc. but they invited you and you decided to go tell me about that experience being the only person of your worldview is full of gay people that knew you in one context and like what Scott had that go down well that was awkward but also I give you points, Fred Allen utilities reference by the gym. When I left the gay community and 84 I lost most of my good friends not because I said I won't hang out with you anymore right but just because we and when I say have reached the point where I realize homosexuality is a sin I need to transplant and start a new life will, by implication, I'm obviously saying I think your incident to that doesn't make it back little, I had some good friends really respected me, and I respected them and we still have a relationship. I went with Mike she was the time I felt my wife Rene. We had known this couple and a couple great guys. I mean, they obviously disagreed with me on this, but we were able to maintain a relationship they had met Rene.

We had gone out to dinner with them. We we just had really enjoyed each other as friends. Sprint. They invited me to birthday party of one of them was happy birthday.

We show up there with the only straight people and after a while, as the drinks were flowing and people were getting a little more rambunctious.

It one gay attorney cornered me and said what are you doing here and who is she, what are you about and how do you know the steel and what you know and I segregation behind right and you know I was scrambling for some diplomatic way to say I hope you know I know their cousin. And so we can find it, but I had to just say well I knew them because I was part of the community.

Well, as soon as I said that I mean as I said in the book. It seemed like even the disco music started getting quieter. I mean everybody to oh it was like when that investor talks.

Everybody was in the crowd started wrestling and he started say now wait a minute. Are you one of those are you part of the Moral Majority are you here to get it.

You know what all of this and so he said I want to know your beliefs. I want to talk about why you do what you do and it was actually a wonderful set up so Rene and I we thought it was one of those carpe diem's okay here we go, and I started just politely explaining I'm like a lot of people I reached the point where I realized that if I went with what I felt it would take me outside when I believed we can all relate to the nonbelievers conflict so that was our common ground that was like Paul talking to the Athenian's will. I see a religious all my let's start with that and then I explained how I had been basically interrupted by God and Rene give her testimony at which was much more moderate than mine but we both and then we talked about how we met this party at this party. That's amazing. This was a party for heaven sake.

And yet the whole thing is like the group is gathered around and you know it. Jim, by and large, I mean, they teased us a little better. There is all right Audrey, but it was friendly teasing you could not have asked for a group of more respectful people and what it showed me was, don't be so darned timid about things. Okay, I'm so worried about not being holier than thou that at times I been afraid to speak at all okay will. There's nothing holy about being silent when you are supposed to speak and I had been given a great opportunity there and Rene and I kinda jumped and we were both just scared to death like well what they gonna do dryness of the pool. But you know they were all I got it give him plenty of points for this. They also dwell.

You know it's beautiful that you're following what you believe you need to do when a we don't agree with you but that that's fine.

You know, in whatever now I'm not saying every time you talk to a party full of gay people to play out that way. But what I am saying is we've got a learn that part of authenticity means being a willingness to give honest answers to honest questions and nobody is going to be helped. Nobody is going to receive Christ. Nobody's going to be turned to truth is going to be built up if were not plainly speaking truth and just because we don't want to be self-righteous or judgmental or pompous doesn't mean that we can't be reasonably honest and clear yeah I and I think Joe the encouragement there is to read the word to know the word so that in those moments you're prepared to have an answer in a very Direct way. I've had that same experience in terms of being an in you know this places those parties you yeah those questions have been asked of me, and again, don't go out of your way to be hated just express the word of God do justice to what Jesus is done in your life and then let it fall. I think I can't think of the environment that I've been in that regard where it's been purely negative. People will do exactly what you said the civil I disagree with you but I respect what is happened to you in another great scripture that he they overcame by the blood of lamb and the power of their testimony. Nobody can assail what you've experienced you.

This is what you've experienced exactly and if anything, it hopefully will hook somebody into asking more questions and maybe just maybe setting them on their own journey to find the Lord for themselves.

Yeah, and that's it. Now you've accomplished the goal, Jim.

There was a time when people had every reason to believe it would be a waste of time to talk to Joe down. I mean, so why, why should I be reluctant to recognize the same Holy Spirit, the convicted me is alive and well and still working and people I should be any different now. Okay. We got a few minutes left and we I think we painted the landscape man we got it at give people the power as best as we can.

Knowing the word as best as we do. Getting back to the basics. Love God first confess those sins try to live a life that is exemplifying the very heart of God, knowing that were centers and were to fail, but not accepting it, you know, trying to live a good life so people can see Christ in us. What else should we do to fight this battle in the culture. I think one of the best ways to fight battles and the culture is to become a good listener. I think it is because people are hungry to be heard. Jim and I think if you as a Christian on the job with a family member in your hearing people who disagree with you. You come to the holiday seasons and you know different family members around the table expressing to Verrocchio's. I think rather than jump in by saying what this is what I believe I'm I think it's very hopeless and okay you know I would love to understand more about what you believe how you arrive at truth, what your worldview is what your life is good and we tell you mine. Let's see where we can agree. Let's see where we disagree. Let's see what we can reason with each other because then you're basically saying I'm not just seeing you a somebody I want to make a pitch to close the deal. I want to know you and I want you to know me and I want us as human being student to be adult enough and respectful enough to recognize we can have differences and is not gonna kill either one of us. That's a very good starting point, then I think we can move into as opportunity Ike I always say as wisdom and opportunity allows that's very subjective. I know, but that job description you right from Timothy know in my King James version.

I'm an old man stuck in King James F. The phrase he uses is apt to teach now. I think we have to be eager like looking for. Lord, please give me an opportunity to speak truth here.

Okay I'm not can impose where it's not very classy to do so, but I would like an opportunity so please go before me and open up that opportunity and as wisdom and opportunity allow week we can basically speak more specifically to truths and of the gospel were wanting to again share the gospel with the unsaved disciple.

The saved speak prophetically to the culture and that's that's a part of the challenge. I think we've we've got it all back on. I always felt that Chuck Colson did a beautiful job taking prophetically to the culture. He was a good teacher good preacher wonderful testimony knowledge what he spoke prophetically, he would say to the culture we have a creator who has a different opinion on this than our culture is holding.

Let me at least tell you what that opinion is take it, leave it still meet whatever, but at least let me speak and this even gets down to you. Note 1 of the reasons I wrote my book was to equip the average believer to be able to talk about these things, but to do so with the understanding we do so as ambassadors when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ were not going to answer for how many people responded positively to our message. We can answer for help faithfully and how godly we were when we started that message.

That's the that's a great thought and a good place to and what a great discussion. Thanks so much and I've loved it and I put Christians in a cancel culture that's a must read for people that want to put themselves in the crosshairs in those discussions when they're confronting cultures. Thank you for being thank you for having Jim it was a great conversation with Joe down nuggets for all of us to apply immediately in our own relationships with others.

Yeah, John, and we can take his advice and put it into practice.

As we have discussions with people who have a different worldview. The story that Joe shared about he and his wife, going to a birthday party with homosexual friends and having the opportunity to share their faith that it really struck me those friends were very generous.

For the most part, to listen to what Joe and Rene boldly shared with them and I think most of the time when you treat others with respect, they will treat you with respect may take some time to develop that trust.

But that's what we should be aiming for years.

That's what opens up the heart in John 15 Jesus said if the world hates you, know that it is hated me before it hated you. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

He said, but all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. What a great reminder and a comfort that we don't need to go out of our way to be offensive. If anyone is offended. Let them be offended by the word of God not by your personality. We need to get out of the way so the gospel can crack open the heart of that person that were speaking to. I hope you will ask God to show you opportunities to share with others in his grace and truth.

And Jim, as you mentioned earlier, we want to encourage her listeners to get a copy of Joe's wonderful book Christians in a cancel culture. We got details for you in the show notes or call 800 K in the word make a donation of any amount either a one-time gift or if you can, a monthly pledge that allows us to just count on your donation on a month-to-month basis will say thank you for being a part of the support team by sending that the Christians in a cancel culture again donate and request a book call 800 K word family on behalf of Jim Daly and the rest of the team here. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ praying with the kids at bedtime in the comfort of your home this warm setting is featured in the new special edition print from Focus on the Family titled what matters most. It's a story and painted by artist Morgan Weiss gicle depicting a faithful pioneer family, and it can have a special place in your home to remind you of what's truly important.

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