BEGGING THE QUESTION
American Family Radio recently announced that it has dropped pastor and author Alistair Begg’s radio program due t his position and counsel that Christians should attend and bring gifts to same sex marriage ceremonies and those that involve transgender couples. In response, Begg said: “We’re going to have to take that risk a lot more if we want to build bridges into the hearts and lives of those who don’t understand Jesus and don’t understand that he is a King.” This is the scripted-sounding response of many men who have gotten too big for their britches, too smart for their own good, and believe too much of their own press.
In the first place, congratulations and encouragement is due to AFR for doing what they did in spite of the celebrity and financial loss involved with their action. They decided not to build a bridge, but a wall in this instance. Secondly, here’s a reminder and warning for all of us: There’s a time and a place to “build “bridges” and a time and a place to “build walls;” a person who understands and respects what the Bible teaches will be able to spiritually discern when one or the other is appropriate, and will make sure that he has the authority of God’s Word to “risk” whatever risk it is that he is winning to take.
Mr. Begg said that his position involves “the sort of risk that Christians must take to reach those who are lost.” No it doesn’t. This isn’t a risk “Christians must take.” His position isn’t one that Christians should share. Christians have, for over 2,000 years been reaching the lost by the millions without accommodating sin, jeopardizing their testimony and compromising their belief by taking the “high road” of compromise suggested by Alistair Begg and those who share his ideas.
When Nehemiah and the Jews were building a wall between themselves and the heathen, Sanballat and Geshem suggested that instead, they should build some bridges of compromise between one another. Nehemiah’s reply: “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? (Neh. 6).” What was a good answer then, is a good answer now, and always will be a good answer to any argument that would have us “come down” in accommodation of, or appeasement to, sin.
Wanna-be bridge builders are persistent. Nehemiah said, “Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner” (v. 4). Many today are as relentless as Sanballat and Geshem were in their bridge-building proposals; and we must be as steadfast and unmoveable as Nehemiah in our response to them.
Mr. Begg is no probably well intentioned in his position and counsel. But he is, to say the least, positively wrong.