Madeline Crabb
Obedience to Christ is NOT an option! Part three
By Madeline Crabb
April 10, 2017

"Obedience is the only reality. It is faith visible, faith acting, and faith manifest. It is the test of real discipleship among the Lord's people." (J.C. Ryle,

For the past couple of weeks we have been discussing how disobedience to God's Word is rampant within the Church. This is not just assumption, but is backed by facts and figures. Further, when the Church no longer provides the societal "salt and light" described in Scripture, or when professing Christians act more like the unsaved than we do Christ, our society quickly degrades. It is way past time to agree with God that obedience to Christ is NOT an option!

We have been looking at some terrible sins that have become the norm within the Church. In our quest to get more people through the doors of individual churches, pastors have watered-down the Gospel. In our individual quests of "going our own way and doing our own thing," we have thumbed our proverbial noses at God. We ignore any commands that interfere with our personal pleasures. Carnality is the result. In our quest to ensure that nobody makes fun of us, we rationalize and justify our own sin, and approve of other people's sins – even abominations – committed by those around us. Worse yet, church leaders and pastors support our decisions.

What the Apostle Paul spoke of in Romans, chapter one, is indeed being played out before our very eyes. A major consequence from our sinful behavior is that God turns us over to our evil ways and futile thinking. A final result is reprobate minds. (Rom. 1:28)

This cannot be, you protest. Then how do you explain the things we have been discussing? How can it be that so many Christians, even pastors and church leaders, are addicted to pornography? How can it be that over half of all professing Christians believe that homosexuality should be accepted within the Church? (See previous articles) Why is it that, according to a 2015 Pew Research study, 48 percent of the homosexual community claims to be Christian? Or why are church denominations allowing increasing numbers of homosexuals into the ministry? Or what about the new move towards allowing transsexuals into the clergy, even from the Baptist denomination? What?! Of course there are many kinds of sexual sins, but God calls one of them, homosexuality, an abomination. And yet, the Church now not only approves of this act, but is also practicing it. Woe to us!

The Bible tells us that for practicing such acts we receive within our own bodies the due penalty of our error. (Rom. 1:21) The Bible also teaches that you always harvest what you plant, and that whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction. (Gal. 6: 7-8)

Last week we discussed in depth the consequences of divorce within the Church. Yes, in most cases, divorce is sin, according to God. (Again, this teaching is not meant to "pick" on anyone. I am just a messenger.) However, we who call ourselves by the Name of Jesus must understand that ALL of our sins have consequences.

There is a growing trend, as previously discussed, showing that large numbers of professing Christian young people are now engaging in sexual behavior outside of marriage, and living together before marriage. A 1966 song by the Beach Boys, Wouldn't It Be Nice, speaks of how things were just over 50 years ago. Upon hearing this song, the Lord reminded me that most people then did not live together outside of marriage. Some of the lyrics say:
    You know it's gonna make it that much better

    When we can say goodnight and stay together

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up

    In the morning when the day is new

    And after having spent the day together

    Hold each other close the whole night through

    Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true

    Baby then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do

    We could be married

    And then we'd be happy
Of course, later in the 60's our culture began its serious downward spiral into the abyss. But, at the time of this song, people still considered it wrong to live together before marriage. It has been said that what was once wrong is still wrong! So despite what the masses of unregenerate society say, living together (or shacking up) outside of marriage is wrong. For Christians, it is not only wrong, it is sin.

For clarification, we should consider what such behavior says about our Christian testimony. An unbelieving world is looking at us as being holy and righteous when we claim faith in Jesus. That means we shouldn't be doing what everyone else is doing. Since God has given everyone a conscience, or the ability to discern right from wrong, even the unsaved world can tell when Christians aren't living up to our profession. That's why we are called hypocrites! As Christians, Jesus tells us to "come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them...Don't touch their filthy things." (2 Cor. 6:17 NIV)

When men and women live together outside of marriage, no matter how innocent they claim their behavior to be, the whole world assumes they are sleeping together. In my community we have a large state college, and consequently, it is becoming commonplace here to see men and women sharing apartments, and even now, coed dormitories. In such circumstances, whether in our private lives, or in the university community, these men and women see one another in various states of undress, and in places like bathrooms where the two should never share such experiences, unless married. (And even in marriage, some things really are private!)

Before any of you castigate me for using these examples, consider the uproar over coed bathrooms at Target, and now even coed showers in our public schools. Professing Christians rightfully led the charge against such practices which are morally wrong. So then, if we don't want to be forced to share our bathrooms with people of the opposite sex, then why are we doing it in our homes when we live with someone who is not our spouse? Yes, it is the same concept. We are sharing too much of our private selves with someone who has no right to this knowledge. It demonstrates our immorality and carnality, both of which are contrary to God's teachings.

Furthermore, what does it teach our children? How do we explain that it's okay to live with, sleep with, vacation with someone of the opposite sex when we are adults, and yet teach our children they shouldn't do the same? Again, as previously discussed, our children will copy our behavior. So how much worse is this when we profess Jesus as Lord, and commit these sins? How can we teach our children holiness and obedience to God when we are leading unholy, disobedient lives? The answer, of course, is that we cannot teach them. Indeed, we are the hypocrites we are so often called, even by our own children.

In a recent sermon on godliness, Pastor Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries posed the question: "Is your life an example of being committed to Christ?" He said that those professing Jesus as Lord will love, obey, and serve the Lord ALL the time, and that our obedience to Christ should be "crystal clear."

Dear professing Christians, is your obedience to Christ crystal clear? All the good works we do are insignificant if we don't obey God. Scripture says, "Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22) Does this mean we will be perfect? Absolutely not. There is only one who is perfect – Jesus Christ. But, we are called to be transformed into His image (2 Cor. 3:18) Scripture teaches, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Rom. 12:2 NLT) Living like the world means we have indeed copied the behavior and customs of this world. According to God's Word, doesn't it also mean we are being disobedient?

Dear friends, having ministered to many women over the years, it is startling how pervasive sin has become within the Christian community. Yes, we can look at the national figures previously listed and be shocked. But we need to realize that it starts within individual hearts, and spreads from there to families, churches, and communities. Sin is a disease of the soul, and needs to be eradicated. Doesn't that mean that each of us needs to address the various strains of the disease within our own lives? When we sin against God and His Word, we are disobedient, and as we are learning, disobedience to Christ is NOT an option! To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.


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