In a sermon series (now book) titled And He Dwelt Among Us, Tozer brought up the issue of apologizing for God and hinted to where this could lead.
"The One who created all things, including the ground on which we stand and build our temporary buildings, does not need anyone running around and apologizing for Him. Nor does He need anybody rushing in taking His part and saying: "Now just a minute, He doesn't mean that. He sent judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah but it doesn't quite mean that, it means something else." It means exactly that...and when the Bible tells us there is a hell where the wicked are going, it means exactly that. It does not mean something else." (Tozer, 2009, pgs. 65-66)
In a culture that is uncomfortable with confrontation, judgment and punishment many Christians have begun apologizing for God's wrath, Hell and many other things that we see Scripture stand against. We've acquiesced to the cultural pressure, back-pedaled and tried to explain certain portions of Jesus words, and God's actions away as "something else".
This back-pedaling was not something that was really going on in Tozer's day but has become a HUGE reality today. Never was there a time that a large number of mainstream Christians were against Hell as they are today. Never has there been so much pressure to deny certain sinful acts and call them "not sinful" in God's eyes, when Scripture says something different.
I realize that this post can come off as me saying we need to rush out there and declare to the world how wrong they are and how dangerously close to Hell they are. I am NOT saying that. Nor is this a political response to the whole Starbucks debacle of this week (see picture to the right...I'm sitting IN Starbucks right now!).
What I am saying is that Tozer was right in his assertion that Christians were beginning to apologize for God and we are now reaping the total "benefits" of generations of back-pedalers. We must stand strong and hold fast to what God has revealed about Himself and the nature of sin, when we back-off and tell a different story we are not leading people to Christ, but rather a false version of Christ...which isn't helpful at all!
I saw this from other religions at a recent University Religious forum here at the University of Pittsburgh. Muslims, Jews and one Christian group denied Hell's existence, stating that their religion doesn't hold to something so cruel as all that. I was shocked because I may know more about their religions then them because last I checked...all 3 of those religious groups believes in a literal place of torment...
In the midst of the mess of lies being weaved there was a lone voice from another Christian group who dared disagree. He said: "I don't think it's wrong to believe in Hell. That is my right and I'm not afraid to say I believe it". I think his authenticity shocked folks and the Jewish representative rolled his eyes and whispered: "Whatever".
The reality is: Heaven is the Presence of God and Hell is the absence of His Presence. Plain and simple. Why would God force people who don't want Him to be with Him forever? Why are we all so afraid to stand for truth?
Again, I know this can sound "Driscolly" (made up word for things that sound like Mark Driscoll) but I'm not meaning to say we need to punch people in the face with it and make it our badge of "righteousness" that we believe in Hell or in the wrath of God, but when questioned we needn't back away from it.
This current generation NEEDS something strong to believe in. They need a ROCK in which to build their spiritual house on, yet most of the things out there for them are SAND and as Christians we've been adding beaches to their options rather than keeping the Rock the Rock!
Let us no longer pander to this generations "demands" but give them the truth in LOVE as we seek to lead them to the rock of their salvation because everything else truly is sinking sand.