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Evangelist, Baptist, Husband, Father, Mid-30's.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Veiled to the Perishing

My least favorite rules when working with youth are the reactionary ones, rules like, “Don’t put full soda cans in the leaky trash bag in the shuttle.” Or, “Keep water games away from expensive electronics.” And especially, “Don’t cut down trees while someone is standing in them.”

These may sound funny, but the reason they are reactionary rules is because who would have ever thought they needed to be rules until someone did exactly what the rule now forbids after the fact. Similarly, my least favorite theological clarifications happen after some heresy has become engrained in the church. Currently, as I see it, there are two great heresies operating within Christianity, the first is the unholy relevatism of the semi-emergent church; I have no lack of blog posts addressing this driscollism, mysticism, and humanism.

The other great heresy facing Christianity today, in my opinion, is the call for ecumenicalism within the sovereignty debate. One of us is obviously wrong, yet for over a century the church has tolerated unbiblical preachers like Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, and Luis Pilau who preach an impotent Christ and the sovereignty of man. This blog post was conceived under one such ecumenical call, “Our differences in doctrines only convolute God’s message to non-believers.”

I have to wonder if this person has ever read Second Corinthians 4? He’s almost quoted it, though Paul was on the exact opposite side of the ecumenical call than him,
We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord… - 2 Corinthians 4:2-5
Jesus said it better even than Paul, “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. Because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” (John 8:43,45)

Wow! What has convoluted the message? Is it the Calvinist/Arminian argument, or the Cessasionist/Mystic debate, or Eschatology discussions? No, it is the very truth of God, for if the message is convoluted, it is convoluted ONLY to those who are perishing. This is exacerbated in that the god of this city (whom Christian radio frequently sings songs to and about) has blinded their eyes so that as Paul said earlier, “The word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

The call to ecumenicalism and tolerance may seem noble at first, but we see that it is tampering with God’s word, editing our statement of truth, proclaiming our own opinions instead of Jesus Christ as Lord. Phil Johnson, over at Pyromaniacs, said it best with,
We live in a culture that has lowered the tolerance for phony gentleness. “Let’s just agree to disagree”. The refusal to fight for truth has done much damage. Lets agree to argue until one of us refutes the others and we come to the correct conclusion.
If the gospel is convoluted, it is convoluted to those who are perishing. We must not substitute a phony call for gentleness, an editing of God’s harshness, under the guise that our theological disagreements may keep someone out of Heaven. And let me add a very very minor caveat, we must not seek to install inappropriate stumbling blocks, but those that stumble over the truth of Christ do so because God has doubly predestinated them to (1 Peter 2:8). If they will stumble and fall, then let them stumble and fall over the absolute truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, not perishing because we failed to shine the full light of the gospel; Christ in us.
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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