Monday, September 24, 2007
Without a doubt, "Evangelical Christianity" has been under attack for as long as it has been around, but more vehemently lately with the rise of groups like the Emergent "Church", the Jesus Seminar, and the Prosperity "Gospel". At the heart of all of this, many Christians have just been altogether confused by the waves of "theology" that spring from these groups and many others that claim the name "Christian". Why does this happen? Why all the confusion? Why can formerly sound orthodox Christians be so blown about with every wind of doctrine that comes about? At the risk of stating the obvious, I submit the answer is simply because of sin, but one sin in particular. It's the sin of idolatry. What is the idol? It's very clear: the idol of esteeming a man's influence over God.
I have listened to sermons, read articles, etc, from many of the major people in these fields and the one thing that they all seem to be in agreement on no matter what the subject matter is, is the need "to be influential". It may sound strange to call this a sin at first, but take this for example. God specifically says, "If a man also lies with a man, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Lev 20:13) This is God's word. Homosexuality is an abomination to Him. It is very clear to anyone that reads this and takes it in exegetically. With this said, a man by the name of Brian McLaren says, "Frankly, many of us don't know what we (emergents) should think about homosexuality." My question is, does it really matter what a person opposed to God thinks? Should it even in the smallest sense be consider to be taken as valid? Does it really matter what we think as human beings if we differ from God? If a person's opinion differs with revealed Scriptural truth, is it to be taken seriously or as valid? Will it change God's view of homosexuality being an "abomination" to Him? The optimistic thinking that it will or does is rooted in the liberal "Every person's opinion matters and should be treated as important" way of thinking. That is a flat out lie. When someone's opinion differs from revealed truth, it is of no importance at all. (Period)
Many people can look at someone of the likes of Joel Osteen and see nothing wrong with what he says (or doesn't say) because "he is winning others that other people might not. Don't you see all of the people who's lives are being changed from hearing his 'message'?" What is that message, though? Is it that "God has a wonderful plan for your life and wants to change it to give you material blessings?" That's not God's message at all, yet a person can see the influence he has on people and write him off as "being okay". Why? Because the majority (definitely not all) of evangelical Christianity has harbored the sin of idolatry for years. "If a person can bring in the numbers, who cares about their theology? It just causes 'division in the body' anyway." That is blatant idolatry. When a person's influence or person is regarded higher than God revealed in Scripture, idolatry is prevalent. Sin prevails, not God.
Do you have the uncofessed sin of idolatry? If a pastor of a widely influential, 4,000 member Mega-church comes to you and says, "I believe that the Bible is unclear about God's position on having sex outside of marriage.", would you consider what he has to say even for a moment? If your answer is yes, ask yourself what your reply would be to the same question, but in this case, if you were told this statement by a homeless person on a park bench downtown. Would you consider what he has to say? If your answers differ when asked by each of the two individuals, you're guilty of the sin of idolatry. You regard a man's opinion to be of more worth than God and his commandments as they are revealed in Scripture. You need to repent.