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This Does Not Bring God’s Wrath, It IS God’s Wrath

According to this article, a recent Gallup poll, for the first time, shows a majority (53%) of Americans supporting the legalization of “same-sex marriage,” i.e., they support the radical redefinition of marriage (though, of course, the question was not asked in that logical, historical, or moral form). According to the information published in that article, when the question was first asked in 1996, 27% supported the idea. The rapid change in opinion is directly related to the public relations push planned out decades ago by homosexual activists, and fully supported by powerful figures in Hollywood.

The profanation of marriage: many Christians will say, “This will bring the wrath of God.” As a general statement, this is true. But I would like to suggest that given the light Western culture as a whole, and the United States in particular, has received, and given our cultural heritage, this will not bring God’s wrath, it is God’s wrath. In other words, when a culture can fall so far morally at such a precipitous speed, God has surely removed not only His hand of blessing, but His hand of restraint as well. We are being given over, or, maybe more accurately, have been given over, to fulfill the “lusts of the flesh.”

You see, Western culture has so demeaned marriage, treated it with such disdain, glorified its destruction, mocked its sanctity, that it is perfectly righteous and proper for God to remove the blessing of marriage from such a culture, and replace it with a profaned, twisted substitute. Just as God causes those who refuse to love the truth to love a lie (2 Thess. 2:10-12), so too it is proper to allow a culture to follow its own rebellion to its proper end. Don’t like God’s law about marriage? Fine, He will let you fall in love with a shallow, soul-destroying, culture annihilating substitute. He will let you purposefully abuse children by denying them a father or a mother, as if either one can simply be dismissed on a whim. He will let you confuse your children about their gender, resulting in the degradation of every element of the society. Such cultures pass into history, and relatively quickly.

All of this is evidence that the next generation (the article says the large portion of support comes from the young) has been thoroughly indoctrinated in a secular/materialistic mindset that has no foundation for understanding marriage, its God-given character, and its centrality to life and society. My generation has failed, quite honestly, to pass on a robust Christian worldview to our children, in general, and the results are clear, and predictable.

We must keep our lights bright, call for repentance, call sin sin, and wrath wrath, always as redeemed and hell-deserving sinners ourselves, and pray God will pour out repentance upon our land.

The Door Was Shut, Rob Bell

Inspired by today’s Dividing Line webcast, I offer the following compare and contrast on Rob Bell’s theology.

Rob Bell (Love Wins, p. 66):

Could God say to someone truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation, “Sorry, too late”? Many have refused to accept the scenario in which somebody is pounding on the door, apologizing, repenting, and asking God to be let in, only to hear God say through the keyhole: “Door’s locked. Sorry. If you had been here earlier, I could have done something. But now, it’s too late.”

Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:1-13):

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.”

But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.”

But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Am I saying that those in Hell will come “truly humbled, broken, and desperate for reconciliation” – no, I’m not saying that. I’m saying that when the door shuts, it’s too late. So, since you don’t know when Christ will return, or when you yourself will die, take hold of the kingdom of heaven now. Be prepared.

Bell’s dream of an always-open heaven is nothing more than a delusion.

– TurretinFan

Your Hell is Too Small, Mr. John H. Armstrong

To John H. Armstrong, author of the book, “Your Church is Too Small,” and to those who buy into his way of thinking, my response is “Your hell is too small.”

What do I mean by that? I mean that you are too quick to assume that people don’t need to hear the gospel. You figure, “if they call themselves Christians, who am I to judge?” But in the process you lose the chance to convict them of sin and exhort them to repentance and faith in Christ.

By accepting their Christian professions despite their idolatry or other serious and unrepented-of sin, you are not doing them any favors. You may make a lot of friends for yourself (and that will be your reward) but you are not showing them love.

We love our fellow humans and we don’t long for hell to be as large as it is. But on the other hand, we need to be realistic and to keep in mind that there will be many who are now saying “Lord, Lord,” who will be there. It’s not loving to tell someone with a treatable disease that they are fine, even if they don’t want to hear about their disease.

Mr. Armstrong, you may think that my definition of the church is too small, but I’m afraid I must tell you that your definition of hell is too small. If I’m wrong, I’ve shared the gospel in vain. If you’re wrong, you’ve failed to share the gospel with those who need it. If there’s any uncertainty about who is right, I suggest you come over to my side.

-TurretinFan

Church Growth is Dead?

Pastor Marty Fields of Westminster Presbyterian Church believes that it is:

The first crack in the church growth edifice came a couple of years ago when church growth advocate George Barna expressed frustration that – since the full-blown implementation of church growth principles 20 years ago – there has been no net growth in the Christian church to speak of; in fact it has declined in America. He found that mega-churches have both a big front door and an equally large back door.

All mega-churches seemed to have accomplished is to kill off smaller churches that resisted the temptation to compromise Biblical Christianity.

The final nail came when Willow Creek Community Church – the “Mecca” of the church growth ideology – recently released the results of a multi-year study on the effectiveness of their programs and philosophy of ministry. Cally Parkinson and Greg Hawkins, on staff at Willow Creek, conducted the study. The conclusion? Senior Pastor Bill Hybels said, to his credit, “We made a mistake.” They didn’t make disciples – they made dunces.

Read the whole thing here.

But, the real question is “What will those churches driven by the spirit of pragmatism learn from this?”