Thursday, September 16, 2010

The "Big Tent" Hipster church versus the Authentic Church, The Body of Christ

I ask you what is wrong with singing the old hymns?  What was so problematic with my grandparents' church?  A new kind of Christianity is needed?  Really?  

The postmodern church speaks of the religious left, the postmodern church, and the religious right, the Body of Christ.  To me, it's akin to the Reich church, definitely unChristian, under Hitler's evil reign compared to the Confessing Church, the Body of Christ, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  The postmodern church is more interested in group hugs, warm fuzzies, providing a shoulder to cry on when folks get "real" with each other, telling folks they're fine the way they are instead of preaching the truth, instead of showing lost, hurting people that Jesus can bring them victory in their pain, as well as save them from their sinful selves!  As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, "Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs.  Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance.  Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.  Those who try to use grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves.  Isn't it a blasphemous encouragement to sin boldy and rely on grace?  Is there a more diabolical abuse of grace than to sin and rely on the grace which God has given?  Is this not the sin against the Holy Ghost?"  Words like diversity, pluralism and tolerance have anesthetized us to the reality of good and evil.  We’re called to love all men in the name of Jesus, not ignore their debauchery in the name of diversity.  Sin is a big deal to God.  So much so that He allowed Jesus to die on a cruel Roman cross to rescue us from its grip.  Glossing over evil - whether our own behaviour or something the entertainment media has produced - is to say in essence, “What you did is really of little value to me, God.  My view of sin is different from yours, and frankly I’m not that disturbed by it."  Tolerance is the cultivation of an attitude of indifference to things we see happening around us.  It is a numbing of one’s conscience, a dumbing down of one‘s convictions.  It is political, religious and cultural correctness.  It is being afraid to step on toes.  It is not wanting to make waves.  It is keeping one’s head in the sand like an ostrich.  In the name of peace, we tolerate evil.  In the name of tolerance, we accept sin and call it free enterprise or freedom of sexual persuasion.  We dare not stand up for what we believe for fear of being labeled intolerant.  The postmodern church, whose father is Brian McLaren, has acquired the policy of making grace available to all at too low a cost.  Their humanitarian sentiment makes them give that which is holy to the scornful and unbelieving.  The call to follow Jesus in the narrow way is rarely heard.  What has happened to the warnings of Martin Luther's against preaching the gospel in such a manner as to make men rest secure in their ungodly living?  That seduces folks to living on the mediocre level of the world.  Deceived and weakened, men feel strong having possession of this cheap grace -whereas they have in fact lost the power to live the life of discipleship and obedience.  “Tolerance” and “love” are two very different things.  Tolerance sees your sin and embraces it.  Grace sees your sin and hands you over to Christ's healing embrace.  As exemplary Bonhoeffer said, "Costly grace is the Gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.  Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ.  It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.  It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner.  Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of His Son:  'ye were bought at a price,' and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us.  The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ.  Grace simply means discipleship."  

Attempting to portray half a Saviour, bringing only His love to the lost world, without at the same time illuminating His love with His truth, is the scheme afoot in the postmodern church!  Of course, half a Saviour is no Saviour at all.  Half the Gospel is no Gospel.  It's playing cafeteria Christianity, picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to believe and what parts to discard, like President Thomas Jefferson did.  That is NOT Christianity!  Liberal Christian is an oxymoron.  There can be no such person!

Speaking of tent revivals, the Catholic church I grew up in in Charlottesville, VA, held an honest-to-goodness tent revival meeting this August.  Lives were changed and rearranged for Jesus Christ as folks from many denominations and differing worldviews gathered together to praise, worship and listen to the Gospel preached in its entirety.  They were not there for a riveting performance, or to be told they are fine the way they are.  They already knew they were NOT fine the way they are.  That's why they were there!  They already knew they were living in rebellion towards God, seeking their own way.  In Matthew 9:11-13, Jesus' disciples were asked, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"  On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."  In essence, Jesus was saying that everybody is living in sin if they have not surrendered all to Him, and everyone is in need of His healing and His salvation if they want to have eternal life.  He didn't tell the tax collectors and sinners that they were fine the way they were.  He didn't join them in their sin in an attempt to relate.  He wasn't down with how they were living.  He boldly declared that they needed His healing and His salvation!  The people in attendance at The Church of the Incarnation, for the tent revival, were there to hear the Truth proclaimed!  Herein lies the crux of the problem with the postmodern church, what they have dubbed the "Big Tent" - we cannot simply embrace all religions as if they are equal.  THEY ARE NOT!  All paths do NOT lead to heaven!  There is one narrow way, folks, and we are told by Jesus, "few there be that find it."  How sobering!  The heresy the postmodern church teaches sends people to hell!  That is NOT love!  That is NOT the Good News of Jesus Christ!    Here is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said to such heresy, "The church has only one altar, the altar of the Almighty ... before which all creatures must kneel. Whoever seeks something other than this must keep away, he cannot join us in the house of God ... The church has only one pulpit, and from that pulpit, faith in God will be preached, and no other faith, and no other will than the will of God, however well-intentioned." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith which is alone. That is, we are saved, not by anything we do, but by grace. Yet if we have truly understood and believed the gospel, it will change what we do and how we live.  Unlike cheap grace, which means going to church and hearing that God just loves and forgives everyone, so it doesn't really matter much how you live, anyone who truly understands how God's costly grace comes to us will have a changed life.  Costly grace changes you from the inside out.  Actions must follow what one believes, else one cannot claim to believe it."  ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Unlike the unbridled, unholy freedom Donald Miller preaches, the social gospel they proclaim, the worldly preaching focused on sex and pleasure from pulpits such as Rob Bell's, Jim Wallis', Brian McLaren's, the party atmosphere, and the empty 7/11 songs sung in the postmodern church, how about instead offering a courageous man, (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer) who actually knows and craves the wisdom and knowledge in God's Word, to bring the eloquent message of the Truth of the Good News, in all it's grandeur, power and majesty, to the toiling masses?  "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  ~Galatians 5:1  We are free in Christ to do that which is right, to surrender all to Him, His will, His way.  We are not free to go back into bondage in Egypt, back into living for our own sinful will and way.  We are not free to take license in the freedom of Christ to live however we selfishly want to.

The old hymns and Scripture songs are fraught with powerful meaning.  Singing them instills peace, joy, comfort, strength and hope, as well as ensuring God's Holy Word will root deeply in one's heart.  My grandparents were blessed to hear fire and brimstone preaching, the truth of Jesus proclaimed.  They had the fear of God, unlike those in the postmodern church of today - the church that is supposedly so hip.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER.  All we need do is get back to His way, authentic Christianity, the Gospel of the Good News!

No comments:

Post a Comment