Goofus: The Lord says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Gallant: The Lord says to love our neighbor, to go down into the valley and preach to the demon-possessed, for it is the sick that need the physician, not those who are well.
Goofus: Abortion is murder. We need strict laws forbidding the practice of abortion.
Gallant: The law may send a frightened teenaged girl into the hands of a butcher who ends up killing both mom and baby. Instead of demanding what is right under threat of legal prosecution, reach out to those with a serious challenge and tough issue and counsel them about their choices, including adoption.
Goofus: Liberal Democrats are atheists and are destroying our country.
Gallant: Extremist politics of all stripes take our eyes off our Lord and instead focus us on the politics of the world.
Goofus: A fascist government is trying to force me to get a Covid vaccination.
Gallant: In the past vaccinations for polio, rubella, mumps and other dangerous diseases were readily accepted and required to get into public school.
Goofus: Our state government won’t allow us to hold church services because they are insisting public gatherings are spreading the virus. But God will protect us from the virus and we should have faith and freedom and continue to go to church.
Gallant: Jesus even told Satan not to put the Lord your God to the test. Superspreader Sundays have been responsible for significant local viral outbreaks in many communities.
Goofus: I don’t need to read and study the Bible. I already believe, and my understanding is that believing is sufficient for salvation.
Gallant: In whom do you believe? If you haven’t read the Bible how can you say you know God? And how can you believe in someone you don’t even know?
Goofus: All roads lead to God, all religions converge upon the same truths, and we should not pick and choose one while excluding others.
Gallant: Religions teach contradictory and mutually exclusive doctrine. Some teach one God, some teach no God, and others teach millions of Gods. Some require accomplishing more good works than bad, while others teach we are all sinners and all the good works in the world cannot save us. The Bible teaches that there is one faith, one God, one salvation, and one path: that is through faith in the Cross of Christ.
Goofus: Evolution teaches us that man evolved from lower life forms over billions of years.
Gallant: The Bible teaches us that we were created along with separate and distinct species. Although the species demonstrate evidence of adaptation over the years, there is no evidence of any species evolving into another species.
Goofus: Science has replaced religion.
Gallant: Science is the wisdom God has revealed to humans. It is useful, helpful and indispensable to our way of life. But in addition to learning science, we worship the Creator, not creation.
Goofus: The church is shot through with corruption, from pedophiles and sexual predators, to the rich who are constantly begging for money.
Gallant: Scripture teaches us that the world and the devil would indeed invade the church.
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11:3,4)
False doctrine is the principle way in which Satan seeks to gain a foothold in the church. It is not, as so many suggest, false religions existing without that threaten the life of the church – it is false doctrine within (Acts 20).
Goofus: The Bible teaches that if we have faith we will attain health and wealth. If we are suffering it is due to sin in our lives that must be addressed.
Gallant: ”Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).
In Philippians, written from a prison — not a plush office or the Rome Hilton — Paul said, “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (1:29). He then depicted Christ as the suffering Servant, whose ultimate prosperity came after his life on this earth, not during it (Phil. 2). Indeed, had Jesus laid claim to prosperity in this life, there would have been no crucifixion, no atonement, no gospel, and no hope for any of us.
Paul described his daily adversity, his persecution for Christ, and his nearness to death (2 Cor. 4:7-12). Two chapters later he refers to his troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, riots, sleepless nights, and hunger, as well as the experience of nearly dying, and being sorrowful and poor (2 Cor. 6:3-10).
2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?