Humanist: “See that bum over there? Communism can put a new set of clothes on that man.”
Christian: “I see a man made in God’s image. The Lord Jesus Christ can put a new man in that coat.”
A few years ago, the leaders of the emergent church declared we needed a new Reformation. These same people also dismiss the Bible because they say that in a visually-oriented postmodern, post-evangelical culture no one can know truth, and words are open to too many interpretations, anyway. Even the Word.
I always wondered what their idea of Reformation is. I do know they rely on humanistic philosophies and methodologies in place of the Bible. When a person attends their meetings, or she learns that life’s problems are solved psychologically, sociologically, politically, and by throwing in a little morality (the non-dogmatic, non-binding, non-guilt-producing kind). There are also “spiritual” approaches, everything from exorcism to guided visualization, yoga, and other techniques.
As a result, the emergent preachers succeed at dressing up the dead, albeit in leisure suits. But having rejected God’s offer and provision of salvation through Christ alone (ye old Reformation remedy), they can no longer hold out the hope of making men new. They reject new creations in Christ, people who are redeemed by God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and continually undergoing washing by the Word.
Instead, they merely clean up corpses and teach them to smile the smile of the deluded, those who haven’t yet given up on their own efforts.
Christians know that the problem is sin and consequent death. The solution is death and resurrection in Jesus Christ. For the emergent ones, though, the fundamental (nasty word) problem sinners have is difficulty making non-counter-productive choices.
They say that people are struggling because they are victims of outrageous fortune. Thus the need for these new high priests of the mind/brain/soul/body. They’ll teach you how to take control in order to be set free from your past-present, addictive, seemingly-inevitable fate.
After all, you can’t reenter the womb and reemerge. Even Jesus knew that (wait, maybe that was Nicodemus). But you can get in touch with your inner child, your free-roving spirit, your evolving persona, your reinvented self. And we’re already really good at lying to ourselves and pretending. So who’s to say who’s really saved anyway?
Having tossed aside the real gospel, they had to rewrite the Bible to fit their agendas. Their watered down counterfeit entertains their flesh. A true Reformation message that came from the Lord would be biblical, and hence deserving of the emergent ones’ scorn. (And it’s not as entertaining to sinners determined to remain in sin.)
Therapy and emotional experiences passing as worship are all that is on their pages. We see that medical doctors do not pursue treatments that cannot be reimbursed by insurance companies. Hired clerics are just as astute, business-wise. They are accountable to accountants, lawyers and other politically correct superheroes. And on their fellow unreformed travelers who pay them hush money to keep quiet about all the uncomfortable passages in Scripture they have no intention of taking seriously.
Their way doesn’t work. It is counter-productive. They are going nowhere, but strut in style. They’re thinking so outside the box that they will forever drift in space. The Lord never set out to fix or renovate men or mankind; even less, make cosmetic changes, acceptable to whoever the current trendsetters are.
Christ takes once-born people and turns them into children of God. Twice born, their lives begin to change from the inside out. It takes a while, but the Author of our faith is most assuredly the Finisher.
Government indoctrination efforts through schools, the media, medical/pharmaceutical industry, military—are busy with their great social experiment. That would be the same one that did so well way back in the Garden of Eden. There, the evil one’s methods were much simpler. But we recognize him still.
He steals, he kills, he destroys. He lies and dissembles. He also reforms. He is the father of all Faustian bargains, who calls in his marker just when his children are riding highest. But we have a Father! A heavenly Father. A Father who loves us so much, He sent His Son—the eternal Son of God—God the Son, in the flesh to die for our sins. He made a way for us to return to Him. He did not withhold any expression or manifestation of His love and justice. He would have His family, whatever the cost.
Still, all the glitter that is not gold entices us. The enemy attempts to mimic God, and we mimic him. “I am.” Those are the Lord’s words alone. Let the devil and his children make their grandiose claims. They are nothing less than bound for hell.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17).