Sunday, March 14, 2010

Double Talk

Is it just me or do very few Christians really care or even note what the Bible says? Day after day, I observe an ever-growing list of assertions made by pastors, TV preachers (not the best source of doctrine, admittedly), and ordinary Christians, that flies right in the face of direct, deliberate statements of Scripture. I am constantly amazed at the fact that on any given Sunday, a man can get into the pulpit and blatantly contradict God’s infallible Word, and no one raises an eyebrow.

The following are a few examples of what I mean.

In Romans 10:20, the apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 65:1. Both passages state, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” But if one were to listen to the average preacher, especially those of the mega-church philosophy, you’d think this verse didn’t exist.

Much to the same point is Paul’s citation of Psalm 14:1-3 in Romans 3:10-11. Paul informs us, quite bluntly that “no one seeks God.” Yet if the ‘Seeker-Sensitive’ movement be true, then the world is brimming over with people seeking for God. The Osteens, Warrens, and Hybel-types seem to conveniently not notice this verse and a whole host of others like it.

Christ’s parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-8) teaches a similar lesson. The lost sheep is precisely that: LOST. It does not decide to pull itself up by its bootstraps and find its shepherd. No. It wanders aimlessly in its lostness until the Shepherd finds it.

It seems that the worldly belief in man’s inherent goodness has crept into the Church. The old Calvinist doctrine of Total Depravity has disappeared from view. Many have gotten so caught up in the narcissism of our age that words like SIN and REPENTANCE are considered buzz-kills. Few dare take on our obsession with ‘healthy self-esteem.’

Everyone seems to feel qualified to dispense with spiritual advice. When the plain words of God are laid out, many simply come back with a response like, “Well, I think that…” And with a wave of their hand, God’s authoritative statements are resigned to the scrap heap. It’s odd, isn’t it, that none of us would consider asking medical advice from our plumber or legal advice from the supermarket cashier, nor would anyone in those fields feel particularly qualified to give said advice, BUT when it comes to matters of eternal significance, few feel reticent to spout out an, “I think…”?

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