Saturday, January 05, 2008

"The Symptom" Revisited

It was back at Ted Haggard's downfall that I posted this missive. Turns out it drew a lot of attention -- and no small amount of controversy. Ken Silva, over at Apprising Ministries, had publicized it at his blog and it then got so much attention it was even referenced at the online version of Christianity Today.

The statement which started all the furor and blog commenting was "I'm sick and tired of being associated with a "Christianity" that does not seem to care one whit about holiness or obedience to God's Word. Let me say this as perfectly clear as I can: I believe that "Christianity" in America is nearly totally apostate. Why? We have abandoned the vision of the Holiness and Fear of God."

And I stand by that statement to this moment. In fact, even more so.

Contrary to what some blogs reported it as, it was a statement on the lackadaisical attitude in contemporary Christianity toward scriptural teaching and Biblical accountability. It wasn't a piece about "Ted Haggard has fallen", but a piece that clearly said "This is what you get when you get your eyes off truth and the application of it."

This is still true today. Since then, evangelicalism has drifted even further out into the "La La Land" of Warrenism, Emergent and seekerism to the point where we even find it necessary to debate whether or not it is a sign of apostasy to sign a document in which one asks for the forgiveness of the false god "Allah" and the Islamic community for the Crusades (Yeah, we should have just let Islam take over the world by sword), and the "excesses of the war in the Middle East". (Ditto).

Welcome to contemporary evanjelloism.

No thanks. Not sure what I should call myself these days. "Old School Evangelical"? I suppose that would work.

But just as I had no desire to affiliate myself with evangelicalism as represented by Haggard, I am even more repulsed by the "evangelicalism" of Leith Anderson and Company who have sold out the faith. Yup, I'm referring to the "Common Word" document which included apologies for the Crusades, "excesses" in the war in the Middle East and an appeal to the false god of Islam and the Muslim community for forgiveness.

And of course, they imply that we worship the same God. Nope. No way.

It's my conviction that evangelicalism is more apostate than it was when I wrote that missive so many months ago. Actually, it may be that it has just been given more opportunity to put its' rottenness on display.

The cry back then (about what I had to say) was "No, it's because of you and me. We are sinners. We all could fall like this", which implies "Poor you and me. We just couldn't help it, there but for the grace of God go I, quit beating on Haggard" (which wasn't happening anyway).

That misses the point completely. The point is we are called to holiness. Ted Haggard and Leith Anderson are not the problem per se. The problem is what it was years unwillingness to know the scriptures, obey them and hold our leaders accountable. We want entertainment.

I'm not up on my politics, and my major in college was in the sciences. But I remember that one reason socialism, communism, etc. overtakes a people is because they get to a point where all they care about is "are the trains running on time".

Brothers and sisters, we have reduced our spiritual concerns down to "are the trains running on time?" We want a comfortable religion. We want paid clergy to do the work. Want music? Hire a worship pastor. He'll do all the work. Don't care about visiting the sick? That's ok, it's the pastor's job. And of course, now it's about making the lost comfortable. So, we cater to the sinful nature of the lost. Else, how will we keep them? After all, they aren't interested in the Scriptures.

Uhm. That's because they are lost....

But that doesn't stop us. No. We gear our "worship services" to draw the unsaved. A church in our town has a large marquee that often scrolls the message "Come Worship With Us!". Never mind the fact, of course, that God seeks those who will worship in spirit and truth...something which the lost cannot do.

Kind of hard to have high standards for holiness when you are trying to appeal to those who have no interest in it. So, the clear proclamation of truth must go out the window. Accountability must go. Discipleship must go. After all, its about the comfort of the Canaanites!

How wretched we have become. And we are paying the price.

The solution? Study the Word. Believe it. Obey it. And, expect your leaders to fit the Biblical models given to Timothy and Titus. If they don't, confront them. Yes, we are supposed to submit to our church leaders but we are responsible for submitting to godly leaders. We need to quit turning a blind eye to those who are supposed to be shepherds but give their sheep stones instead of loaves of bread and live lives contrary to the godly examples they are to be.

So, you profess to be a Christian? What do you care about...the Glory of God through the proclamation of and obedience to His truth? Or do you care more about your spiritual trains running on time? Are you or are you not willing to stand for the truth, regardless of the cost? Yes, it will cost you something as it has me. It has cost me fellowship at at least one local church. This past fall it cost me my job. But it's worth it.

Beloved, the only way to get rid of the disease is the proper cure. And the proper cure is right doctrine and obedience to it. We must have convictions. But not just convictions, Biblical convictions!

You say "but that sounds so hard!" Well, yeah it does. And it is! But what you and I must do is look at that hardness and see it as an opportunity to trust God with it as we obey Him and confront the things we know are wrong.

You say "But I may catch flack!" I say that Paul told Timothy that " Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.." The implication is that if you don't see any resistance in your life, you aren't living a godly one...or possibly even seeking to. You say you are getting along fine with those in the world? That should bother you...or was Paul wrong...or maybe even lying?

Each and every one of us is put on this planet to make a decision. Will you or will you not obey Christ as Lord? Period. End of discussion. What you decide to do will determine the validity of your profession of faith in Christ. No, it doesn't save you. But it does confirm or betray your profession.

So, you want to see the tide change? Then it's time to get off the "train" and start taking a stand.


Karen (Rosesandtea) said...


pastorbrianculver said...

is the train running on time? Seems that is heard a lot in our home town. Seems like the only people taking the train from chicago these days are those people who come down to sell their drugs. They travel here, get off and deliver their stuff and back on the train they go, back up to Chicago. Isn't that so much like our churches today and the people in them. They come to church and put on a good front, pastor delivers a sermon, then everyone is back out the door to live their carnal lives (some pastor's included!) We need to have the police stationed at the train depot to stop the drug dealers and we need to have churches who are willing to practice church discipline so the evilness of drugs and the other worldly culture ideals will stay out of the church. Yes, there will be sinful people in the church, that is not who I am talking about, but rather those people who pretend to be Christians. The ones playing churchianity.

Timothy said...

>" We have abandoned the vision of the Holiness and Fear of God."

I place most of the blame for this on the false doctrine of once saved, always saved. Folks like Jack Chick have made a livelihood of converting truck drivers and others with easy believe-ism. Just believe and you've got a ticket to paradise, regardless of whatever you do later. Commit adultery? No problem, you're already saved. Lie or steal? No problem, just whip our your tract with the date and time you were saved. You've got Christian insurance.

The Great Commision is not to make converts, but to make disciples of all nations.

God bless...

pastorbrianculver said...

I agree with you timothy, easy-believism is one of the tragic marks of contemporary christianity today. Wouldn't it be nice if people like Jack Chick would present the true gospel to these truckers? Maybe then, we would not see them stopped at the adult book stores along the highways and biways!