God commanded King Saul to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15). There was no ambiguity. The king of Israel was to “put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” The army of Israel was immediately dispatched to Amalek. It appeared that Saul was eager to obey but the reality is much easier for us to relate to.
Saul came close to obeying God. He did mostly destroy Amalek. However, he spared their king and kept “all that was good.” This displeased God. He demands complete and immediate obedience. Just as I tell my children, obedience means all the way, right away, and with a happy heart. Anything less dishonors God.
The Prophet Samuel was faithful to confront the disobedient king. Saul played every card in the deck. He first claimed that he had obeyed. Men will always lead with the “nothing to see here” excuse. Samuel didn’t bite.
Saul knew Samuel was closing in. Like all weak men, Saul sought to minimize his sin by shifting responsibility. He had to create some distance. He explained that “the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things.” What could Saul do?
Moreover, Saul claimed that they only kept back the good stuff to sacrifice to the Lord. Men are always eager to create space for disobedience by the offering of sacrifices. They’ll point to some past obedience or propose some future righteous goal as a grounds for their current sin.
Samuel knew better. The command was clear. Saul was king. He possessed all the institutional authority needed. There wasn’t any justification. God doesn’t delight in mere sacrifice. He requires obedience from the heart.
What does this have to do with the Revoice Conference?
God does not see the world as reformed men see it. They are dazzled by credentials, statistics, and celebrity status. Not God. He sees right through it all. He doesn’t delight in MDivs, bestsellers, or institutional clout. It is the heart of man with which He is concerned. He will not accept any sacrifice in place of obedience. Man can be bought off, but not God.
The Revoice Conference is terribly sinful. It dishonors God as it violates the Scripture’s clear teaching on sexuality. Those associated with it will try to justify it by pointing to some partial or past obedience. They will call attention to their sacrifice as a license to sin. If this fails, like Saul, they will attempt to blame-shift and distance themselves from the conference.
I think most ministers will fall for these ruses. King Saul tried to throw Samuel off with a warm greeting and claim of obedience. He said, “Blessed are you of the Lord! I have carried out the command of the Lord.” That is usually enough for reformed men. Show some respect and keep up appearances. It wasn’t enough for Samuel. He said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears?”
The sheep are bleating in St. Louis. Where are the men that won’t be satisfied with feigned respect and postured obedience? Are there any prophets left in the PCA? You know, men that will not only rebuke the obvious sin of Revoice but also stand against the egalitarianism-lite of Mary Beth McGreevy.
Oh, that the bold idolatry of Revoice would awaken the sleeping watchmen to the battle of our day!
[click_to_tweet tweet=”The gay pride parade didn’t climb the walls of the reformed world. It marched right in as we opened the gates through a thousand compromises on the doctrine of sexuality.” quote=”The gay pride parade didn’t climb the walls of the reformed world. It marched right in as we opened the gates through a thousand compromises on the doctrine of sexuality.”]Saul’s failure at Amalek wasn’t his first. He made partial obedience and compromise a way of life. The gay pride parade didn’t climb the walls of the reformed world. It marched right in as we opened the gates through a thousand compromises on the doctrine of sexuality.
So, don’t allow your opposition of Revoice to be a sacrifice to soothe your conscience. It is the low-hanging fruit of repentance. It is merely a start. Samuel didn’t just rebuke Saul. He hacked the king of Amalek into pieces. Unsheath your swords, brothers.