Liberalism, Emergent Church, and the “New Age” Christians
The Twelve Main Issues
Intellectual FreedomRejection of Absolute TruthInventing Your Own FaithThe Miracles In The BibleThe Uniqueness of ChristThe Authority of Scripture
Free SexualityQuestioningHolinessCultural AccommodationUniversal SalvationIncorporation of PaganismChristian Gnosticism
Liberals:Came after the Enlightenment, Reason more important than Faith, strongest in late 1800s and 1900’s to 1970 or so, very skeptical regarding Scripture, miracles, the supernatural etc. Unbelieving Christianity.Emergent Church:Trying to reinvent Christianity and make it ‘more relevant to the culture’. Tolerance and acceptance are very important, opposed to ‘fundamentalism’. Shares many doctrinal points with the Liberals.Worldly Christianity.
Faith, Doubt, Unbelief….
Faith=Believing What God Has SaidDoubt=Being Hesitant To Act On What God Has SaidUnbelief=Refusing To Believe What God Has SaidRebellion=Doing The Opposite Of What God Has SaidPresumption=Making Up A “Word” From GodRebellion often masks itself as doubt or as an ‘alternative faith’
Liberalism: Faith and Reason
Faith lays the framework of our mindReason does the ‘thinking’ within that frameworkLogic is only as accurate as its starting assumptions, axioms, propositions and presuppositions.Faith enables us to access information that is ‘outside the box’ of formal reasoning – we call this information revelation: Matthew 11:25-27, 16:13-19, Luke 2;26,Luke 10;21,22 John 1:18, 14:21-26, 17:6, Romans 16;261 Corinthians 2:9-16
The State Of The Mind…
Adam’s mind was good – his faith framework was intact but it was ‘empty’After the fall the mind of man became distorted and was hostile toward God and inventive of evil: Genesis 6:5,6 Colossians 1:21, Romans 1:30Now we need to ‘renew our mind’: Romans 12:1,2This is done by ‘setting it on the things of the Spirit’ :Romans 8:4-6The renewed mind will be powerful in reasoning, logic, and thought e.g. Paul, Augustine, Luther, Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis but it will do so out of godly faith
Liberalism: Questioning Miracles & The Resurrection
By saying that miracles are impossible you are reducing the possibilities in the Universe to the limits of your own imagination and knowledgeYou are saying that there ‘is nothing outside the box’You are also invalidating the testimonies of many people who claim to have experienced miracles both large and smallIf a Christian decided not to believe in the Resurrection then that has SERIOUS theological and spiritual consequences:Mark 12:18-271 Corinthians 15:12-192 Timothy 3:1-7 (esp. verse 5)
The “Right” To Invent Your Own Faith
While this is a constitutional right,that does not mean that the faith which you invent is TRUEThe fact that you like your ideas does not mean that they will work, or that they will bring eternal life.True = Aligned With The FactsObjective Truth = Inter-subjectively Testable (Resurrection)You cannot just play ‘cut and paste’ with the Bible and your favorite philosophers and get something that is true. It must also match with realityThere are still individual facts that are absolutely trueFunctioning in everyday life requires the recognition of absolute factuality and truth and its appropriate use
But Is The Bible Reliable?
The fulfillments of the OT propheciesThe very specificity of ite.gTyreto be a place where fishermen spread their netsThe hundreds of prophecies fulfilled in ChristThe return of Israel to the landThe Gog andMagogcoalition that we can see assembling now for the first time in historyThe deep teachings and morals – that work and have proved themselves a good foundation for societyHistorical and archaeological accuracyJosh McDowell – Evidence That Demands A Verdict
The Question Of The True Religion….
What is the True Religion of the One Creator God?Since God is One and He is the Creator then His true religion will be in harmony with His Creation. His true religion will also not make statements that are completely contradictory to the well established facts about His Creation.His religion should be able to be pursued by all people - not just an elite few.His religion when fully pursued by all people everywhere should allow His Creation to fully function and should not destroy or impair Creation or cause society to collapse.Since God is the Creator of life then His religion should make people more fully alive in their inmost beings
Jesus As The Only Way To God
C.S. Lewis – Liar, Lunatic or LordJesus’ extraordinary claims about Himself were either true or untrue (e.g. I and the Father are One…)If Untrue – then Jesus either knew they were untrue (Liar ) or did not know they were untrue (Lunatic)If True – then Jesus is LordJohn 14:6Acts 4:12John 10:7,91 Peter 3:181 John 2:23, 5:11,122 John 1:9Revelation 5:8-10, 7:9-17, 13:7,8; 20:15
Many liberals and emergent church folk want to change traditional morality and to accommodate current social standardsSex before marriage, legalized prostitution, homosexuality and alternative sexuality are among the disputed areas:But the Bible, medical evidence and common sense are in agreement about the destructiveness of sexual immorality:1 Corinthians 3:16, 5:9-131 Corinthians 6:12-20,1 Corinthians 9:27, 10:82 Corinthians 6:16, 12:21Ephesians 2: 21-22 , 5:3-51 Thessalonians 4:31 Timothy 1:9-10, Hebrews 13:41 Peter 2:5
The Pursuit of Holiness
Justification: occurs at conversion ‘just as if I’d never sinned’ – admitted into God’s presences as a sonSanctification: after conversion, being dedicated to God and being made progressively into His imageGrace is given to help us to become holy – grace is NOT a license to sinEphesians1:4,3:14-21, 5:11 Peter 1:13-252 Peter 1:1-8Hebrews 12:14
Version 1: Evangelical Christians are ‘just intolerant fundamentalists’ who ‘need to be more accepting’Version 2: We need to dress like the world and act like the world in order to reach the worldVersion 3; Spirituality is constantly evolving as culture is evolving and we must express our spirituality not in the confinement of old Christian morals but in the new patterns of the spirit of the age.Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:17-24, James 1:27, 4:4
They believe: That God is Love so everyone is saved….But Jesus says a lot about Hell:Matthew 5:29,30 ; 10:28 ; 23:15,33 Mark 9:43-49 Luke 12:5The need to be saved: Mark 16:16; John 3:16-21, 5:34, 10:9Jews not saved: Romans 10:1-3Eternal judgment: John 5:24-29;Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15; 21:8The Bible does NOT teach universal salvationThere are people who will remain wicked and rebellious and sinful and unbelieving and they will not go to Heaven but will suffer eternal punishment
Pagan Elements / Blended Religions
“All paths ultimately lead to God…”But Christians, even in the NT are told to flee from idols1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9, 10:1-142 Corinthians 6:16Galatians 5:20Colossians 3:51 Thessalonians 1:91 John 5:21And going back to the Jewish religion was falling away from grace: Galatians 5:1-11
Saved by knowledge / awareness - Gk. GnosisVaries a great deal but enlightenment is the goalJohn, 1 John, Ephesians and Colossians plus Apostle’s Creed written in response to early Christian GnosticismFrequently a mixture of Christianity, Hinduism and BuddhismAwareness is separated from actual holiness, daily living, or believing the Bible or certain doctrines about ChristDenies the human nature of Christ, the Incarnation etc.“Oneness with the cosmos…”The self may even be exalted into the position of being God1 John 1, Colossians 2:8-23