Thursday, May 22, 2008

Emergent Mess

There is a current movement in many churches that I find rather disturbing. In some circles, I have to admit, it is rather benign. But at its core are some disturbing problems. Their idea that orthodoxy or truth is really in need of a overhaul is not the main problem—though a dangerous stance. The reason for the overhaul is a big philosophical conundrum. As stated by some of its main proponents, those who hold orthodox views tend to be nasty people who get it wrong themselves. (Here is a blog post that gives a very good analysis of the problem.)

Nasty and untrue

Well, who wants to be a nasty person? Certainty not I. So what's the alternative? Live in doubt with a touch of agnosticism. That seems rather harsh, but have you really listened to the rhetoric of the emergent movement? They say that deconstructing orthodox (truth) belief and marrying it with a correct orthopraxy (practices) we can have a true orthodoxy where we can question everything, and are sure about nothing. This is suppose to be good.

The problem is that what is true is not dependent on our behavior. It is not even dependent on our own right beliefs. We can be wrong about something, but that doesn't mean we are wrong about everything. For instance, let's say we get directions to a church from one of its members. We may find out that the directions were wrong, but the meeting times were correct. We may even look up the directions on a map, and eventually find our way to the church. So it doesn't follow that because that member was wrong about the directions, that she is wrong about everything pertaining to her church (i.e. the schedules). It also doesn't mean that I cannot know the truth about the directions either—I consulted a map.

Raise your hand if you're sure

But doesn't surety cause division? Yes and no. When the apostles were sure about something, it often caused schisms with those who disagreed. The issue is not the division, the issue is who is right. Ultimately, Satan holds a point of view. Does this mean that God is wrong because He doesn't respect that, and tells us not to respect that? Obviously not, because God is the end of the matter and the ultimate cause of the matter (Beginning and End).

Remember, Satan likes to masquerade as an angel of light or as a wolf in sheep's clothing. In other words, he masks himself to infiltrate our ranks with error. And this error is disguised as truth. If Jesus is the embodiment of truth, then we better listen to him, to his apostles, and to those prophets he sent (Matthew 7:13-27; Ephesians 2:19-20), and stop paying so much attention to the teachings of men. And at worst, the teaching of hypocritical liars. (1 Timothy 4)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Christians Don't Reject the Truth

Christians do not have a lock on truth. But to be a Christian, a person has to believe that the Christian worldview is true (at the very least). Every decision, every thought, every assumption, every approach, every judgment, and every lifestyle must conform to this worldview to be inline with this truth.

In believing Christianity is true, a Christian must reject all other worldview truth claims. That is because the nature of truth is that it automatically excludes that which isn't true. Therefore claims about how the world really functions, why it exists, and where it's going is a view of reality that can not be contradictory. To make the claim that it is so is a claim that is self-refuting. And a self-refuting claim can not be asserted.

Why bring all this up?

Well, modern day western Christians, often to accommodate worldly thinking because of the fear of man, often attempt to make their claims about truth, Jesus, the Bible, God, and sin a matter of personal opinion. Some even go as far as to say that these issues really don't matter, as long as you are sincere or a good person. Although this is clearly a works salvation, which doesn't save anyone, some Christians find solace with unbelievers when they make these claims.

The Bible must be believed, if you are to be saved. (I hear some moaning on that one.) Yes, I said it. You cannot be a true Christian, if you do not believe the Bible. Jesus, himself, said that there will be many who believe they are Christians, but are not disciples of Christ. This shouldn't be! (Matthew 7:21-27; Acts 11:25-26)

Objections from my own brothers

But you may say, "I believe parts of the Bible. Just not the miracles." My question would be, "On what basis do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God?" You also may say, "Well, I believe the words of Jesus, and that's all." My question would be, "Why is that? Much of what Jesus said maintained the veracity of the Old Testament passages. How can you assert the words of Jesus, yet reject what he claims to be true?" And for those who reject certain New Testament passages—because they are not colored red by modern-day printers—"Why do you accept passages that attest to the words of Jesus by those who attest the other New Testament passages that you reject?"

We have options

The problem is that there are mainly two alternatives opposed to careful acceptance of the Word of God. One is following what we think is right, and the other is following what we feel is right. The problem with the first is that what we think is right, may destroy us. (Proverbs 16:25; Proverbs 3:5-6) And the problem with the latter is that what we feel is right can deceive us. (Jeremiah 17:9)

The only real alternative is to follow Jesus and the apostles he gave for the task of showing us the Way.

Please. Don't be a fool.