Missions, Evangelism, our Church’s (continued) kinda part 2 of

In Apologetics, Chrisitian, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Prayer, Satan, Saved, Sin, Sunday School, Trinity on September 16, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Recently I have had the opportunity to read some of Francis Schaeffer’s books along with Ravi Zarcharias and RC Sproul. To answer those who claim I am bypassing Holy Scripture I begin each day in the word and work out from there. Without a proper foundation of Scripture from which we hear the gentle voice of the Savior speaking and teaching, correcting, and revealing His purpose I would be lead astray by even the best of intentions. Each of us have a different hunger mine has especially been for early church history, apologetics, and the current lack of influence the Church has had on recent culture in the US and seemingly around the world.

Several of the writers and theologians I have been listening too and studying bring a prevailing theme of our churches abandoning and going as far as too punish those who would challenge orthodoxy, tradition, and force the Bible to say something it was never intended to say. For the record Sola Scriptura, Solo Fide, Soli Dea Gloris, are when studied and understood are along with the other well established doctrine provide the basis for a lifetime of sanctification. More to the emphasis the Church seems wrongheaded to me are the areas we used to dominate in culture and now have abandoned.

There are a few milestones in the life of the Church, for clarity the Church includes historical, reformed, and current congregations. The unbeliever typically does not differentiate between types of churches but generally sees the Church as more monolithic when looking from the outside in.

One of the first major mistakes and missteps was the Galileo blunder. Quickly to refresh Galileo was forced by the Inquisition in 1633 to recant his support of the Copernican theory of the solar system. Many Christians do not know the Church of that age did not base this on any biblical pronouncement, but rather on a fallacious assumption from the teachings of the second century Greek astronomer, mathematician, Ptolemy. The Bible in fact argues against this concept of the earth as the center of the solar system. The result is more damage to our ability as Christians and Churches to defend the truth of the Word. Critics have never allowed the church to forget the Galileo blunder and have consistently expelled it from the halls of academic credibility. This clearly deals a blow to the church even today as we defend the truth of the Gospel in an unregenerate world. The real threat in the minds of that time wasn’t the subjection of the physical universe to scientific study, what many jettisoned was the validity of ideas such as prayer and providence in a universe that now had a purely mechanistic explanation. If we continue to follow this path to its next stopping place, we come to the idea if the world was mechanistic this would apply to man as well.

Determinism became a very familiar word in philosophy and psychology lexicons. Later an idea called the line of despair will help show the impact of this on not only secular society but unfortunately the Church as well.

Now the battle intensifies with the challenge of Darwinism and the shock waves throughout Christendom.  The idea that man evolved by natural selection from the animal world put an axe to the very root of religious belief and uprooted the trunk of Christian belief. Even today the Church has those who want to compromise with natural selection and claim it as a tool that God uses to create His world and the myths of Genesis are merely antidotal at best. In its quietness and fear the Church receded from the battle and let the naturalists bully it into only the moral aspects of life. Darwin’s bulldog Thomas Henry Huxley in responding to the Archbishop Samuel Wilberforce of Oxford was quoted as follows:

“If the question is put to me whether I would rather have a miserable ape for a grandfather, or a man highly endowed by nature and possessed of great means of influence, and yet who employs those faculties and that influence for the mere purpose of introducing ridicule into a grave scientific discussion-I unhesitatingly affirm my preference for the ape.”

The biggest tragedy however is the difference between what is known and what is believed. The real question where is the church and its affirmation of God’s creative power? We can’t have a relationship with the personal God who is there and endowed us with personality unless the first 3 chapters of Genesis are true. And now the momentum is building for the total all out attack on the Church.

We have Carl Marx with his new economic theory based on atheism becoming the foundation for a revolution and future government that killed over 60 million of its own people without any reaction from the church. He also credited Darwin for giving him his answer to our creation which completed his total concept for the elimination of Christianity from his new society. We are now confronted with the dialectic of man without a Creator and purpose for his existence.

Meet Freud and his analysis of religion and you find him dragging the church’s creditability for moral influence and holding society in general accountable for their behavior into the street without a whimper. He takes human sexuality out of the sacred quarters of the bedroom and reduces marriage (a God ordained institution) to nothing more than a substitute for sexual impedance. He saw religion as a public version of a private obsession. He called the hopes and beliefs of the church a “future of an illusion” and threw it over the wall of civilization.

To sum up the damage done the Galileo effect (loss of confidence in providence), the Darwinian deductions (the loss of a Creator-God), and the Marxist presuppositions (a new economic theory based on atheism), we need only to see the Undertaker arrive.

With all these attacks what was needed was someone to cast this creature called theism completely out! The German philosopher Fredrick Nietzsche delivers a devastating blow to the word orthodox and it now meant being wrong. Nietzsche despised religion in general and Christianity in particular, with unbridled fury. This is a small sample of what has been taught as truth.

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground, and too petty.”

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

So profound was Nietzsche on those who studied him that he influenced the 20th century through the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini. The cause of millions of deaths and the bloodiest century of mankind, how do we as the church answer?

This all seems dark but bear with me and when we know how we got where we are we can be prepared to go where we need to be. Without knowledge, and understanding we end tossed about to and fro by the whelm of those who would mislead and worse deceive.

(Luk 11:52 HCSB)  “Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn’t go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in.”

 (Rom 1:2829 HCSB)  And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.

They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice…

 (Eph 4:14-15 HCSB)  Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head–Christ.

 (Jas 1:5-6 HCSB)  Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

 As we have moved through some secular and church history, one does not cancel the other but reminds us that the Bible, the Church, and people are in the space time living breathing real world. Unfortunately many in the church ignore and worse disclaim the truth of history as though if it isn’t literally in the Bible it didn’t happen or is doubtful at best. The Bible is a book from history and is history while not exhaustive it is complete and correct concerning the personal God who is there, His relationship with man and our response to Him. This doesn’t eliminate the truth of recorded history outside the Bible or make it false. It’s this very kind of illogical and wrongheadedness that has hurt the message the Church was entrusted to bring to a lost and dying world. Many the times it has been said “that’s just man’s words not God’s!” as if the writers of the New Testament weren’t using man’s words inspired by God. They were not machines, robots, or automatic recorders; they expressed their intellect, personality and most importantly God’s message to us through inspiration.  

 But something has happened to the modern church and the modern Gospel why are we not able to communicate with our friends and colleagues the message of hope and life with purpose. How come we hear so much the message of self realization and self declaration, instead of:

 (Mat 22:37-40 HCSB)  He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment.

The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

 The modern church is really missing the opportunity to respond today to the things that people will one day read about as history and wonder why we didn’t tell the truth of the Gospel. It’s very tempting to look back in history and see the shortcomings of those before us but do we really want to see our shortcomings and the way society is degenerating before us. While we merrily sing, dance, and clap our way through a Sunday morning of the next edition of how to be a better me? Pulpits that used to teach the sinful nature of man and his rebellion against the God who is there now are afraid to mention sin based on the latest marketing report and growth survey. We don’t need the words that displease us we just want the words of Jesus. No more

Hell just love and serenity so we can be the best people we can be.

 How and where did the message of the Gospel get so diluted?

 When did the mega church replace the local caring body of believers?

 Who decided that bigger was better?

 When did the TV preacher replace the local pastor?

 When did the Bible become the “good book” not the Gospel that leads to repentance?

 How did absolute truth get side tracked by a personal ethic?

 When did character quit mattering?

 How did we let love lose its esteem and be replaced by attraction and lust?

 How many more churches are going to come into being not because of need for a local congregation but because of a disagreement and disengagement from the body?

 What is our response as a body of believers to the destruction of the family?

 When did abortion and the culture of death neuter the church?

 Why can’t we be political and Christian at the same place we worship?

 Is religion really a private matter?

 When did the message of the cross step aside and the message of a social gospel take its place?

 Food for thought, room for discussion, and time to close for now, next the line of despair and how it answers a lot of the questions I have proposed. God bless!


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