A Texas pastor says it is time for Christians to stop apologizing for the essential truths of their faith.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 9,000-member First Baptist Church of Wichita Falls, says too many Christians shrink from the challenge of taking a bold stand on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. In his new book "Hell? Yes! ... and Other Outrageous Truths You Can Still Believe" (Waterbrook Press, 2004), he asserts that America is in a moral downslide because Christians have not heeded the biblical mandate to be salt and light.

"All of us are decrying the attempt to legitimize homosexual marriage, or the attempts to remove the phrase 'under God' from the Pledge, or removing Bible reading and prayer from the public schools," Jeffress says, "but we shouldn't blame non-Christians for this. How can we expect those who don't know the author of truth to embrace the truth?
Instead of pointing the finger at the unsaved world, the author sets the blame on the shoulders of the Church. "I believe it is Christians who have wimped out that are to blame for the reason we're in the shape we're in today," he says.

Jeffress contends it is possible for Christians to address the basic truths of the Christian faith and defend the biblical stands that others often label as offensive and intolerant. For instance, he says, it is not hate speech for Christians to speak out biblically on issues such as homosexuality.

"One of the truths we tackle in "Hell? Yes!" is the idea that homosexuality is a perversion," the Southern Baptist pastor says. "It is a distortion of God's plan for human sexuality. When we share with people the truth about homosexuality, that's not a hateful message -- that is a healthy message."

Tired of seeing Christians "wimp out" when it comes to defending the absolute truths of the Bible, Jeffress is urging Christians that it is time to stand up. He says biblically-minded believers must speak out boldly, in righteousness and compassion, on the most important and politically incorrect issues being faced by the lost world today.


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