Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In your face, apostate!

broken stained glass Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude 3

The faith is worth defending. In an age when secularism defines social agendas, does Christianity stand a chance of presenting an acceptable worldview? I say, YES! But it will take lots of work. And it MUST start in the church.

The faith (the body of teachings beginning and rooted in the gospel that comes from the work of the apostles themselves) has been in decline for over a century. Liberal theology and its neo-liberal proponents among emergent thinkers have emasculated most of the power of the gospel in mainline Protestant denominations. People may accidentally come to faith in these groups, but it is usually because they were affected outside the dead liberalism of their church. Apostasy is winning the day in Christian circles.

From outside the church, naturalism and total secularism have seen the universe itself as the shaping force for human evolution. God is no longer necessary for most philosophical considerations in 21st century Western thinking. We have now the most secularized culture ever, and in America, we seem to have embraced the most secularized administration of government and education ever in our history. Evangelicalism is on the decline, at least in terms of popular thinking. And many futurists see it declining even as militant Islam, New Age paganism, and Eastern religions are on the rise worldwide. The time has come to contend for the faith. Too long we have been content in a lobotomized form of it.

It is time for Christians to be discerning and dedicated to defending the gospel. I am NOT for reviving the old fighting fundamentalism of my youth. That militant Christianity was a form of apostasy itself. No, I believe we should preach and defend the gospel. We should teach and defend the doctrines of essential Christianity. We should develop and defend a robust Christian worldview. And we don’t have to mock others to do it. We do have to understand the opposition and gently and vividly instruct, yes…even confront, those deceived by false teaching. Without these commitments, Christianity will not stand another generation.

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