For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)
A Corrupt Christian Message Produces Unregenerate “Christians”
You may wonder why, as I continue to battle through many physical challenges,1 I will still so often draw your attention back to the Emerging Church aka the Emergent Church, the neo-liberal cult openly operating within rapidly apostatizing mainstream evangelicalism.
The reason is simple: Most simply have no idea of just how devastating the results have been for foolish evangelical leaders embracing the warped and toxic teachings of its superstars like Living Spiritual Teacher and EC guru Brian McLaren and his dutiful disciple Rob Bell.
As I pointed out a while back in On Contemplative Spirituality and Charismania, there’s no doubt whatsoever that through their propaganda the heart of evangelicalism has now welcomed in the practices of the corrupt Counter Reformation spirituality I’ve referred to as Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM).
We’ve also seen that, in addition to CSM, the ostensibly conservative Christian community has also begun to embrace hyper-charismatic excesses, i.e. charismania. Look for yourself at how Christendom is becoming increasingly ecumenical and many younger evangelicals are even inclusive.
One of the fruits of all of this compromise in Christ’s Name is the preaching of self-centered and self-righteous messages from mainstream Christian pulpits by pastors who are not even regenerated. We’re witnessing a fulfillment of 1 Timothy 4:1 right before our eyes:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.
Frankly, it’s well past time to freely acknowledge this. Such as these have severely crippled the spread of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ within the evangelical sector of the visible church. Lord willing, I’ll continue to draw your attention to this as well as to continue exposing these vipers where I see them.
Here I wish to focus upon one of the results all of this has had upon the unsuspecting as these rebels against the final authority of God’s Word have, for years, been distorting the Christian faith. They’ve been sowing to the flesh in order to curry favor with fellow unregenerates in the culture at large.
To be clear I am on record criticizing his dalliances with the writings of apostate Roman Catholic mystics, however, A.W. Tozer is dead-on-target here—even though he was speaking of the Christian community of over half a decade ago:
Each generation of Christians is the seed of the next, and degenerate seed is sure to produce a degenerate harvest not a little better than, but a little worse than, the seed from which it sprang. Thus the direction will be down until vigorous, effective means are taken to improve the seed…
To carry on these activities [evangelism, missions] scripturally the church should be walking in fullness of power, separated, purified and ready at any moment to give up everything—even life itself—for the greater glory of Christ.
For a worldly, weak, decadent church to make converts is but to bring forth after her own kind and extend her weakness and disobedience a but further out…2
No one with even a modicum of discernment would argue with the sad fact that the professing Christian community completely ignored Tozer’s warning. Welcome to today’s Purpose Driven/Seeker Driven quasi-Emegent version of Christianity. Hence the reason why we should avoid many living Christian teachers.
As I begin to close this out, for now, we’ve heard so many of them trumpeting the freedom that the Christian has in Christ; and it certainly true that Jesus has set us free. It is written —For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).
However, the following verse is so often misappropriated today — To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law (1 Corinthians 9:21). That isn’t legalism; that happens to be Scripture.
We need to keep both of these truths in proper balance, which can only be done through the preaching of the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ. While enjoying his freedom in Christ the faithful Christian also strives in the power of the Spirit to — Abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
The great Bible commentator Matthew Henry’s comment on this verse proves helpful here:
This is a good means to prevent our being deceived with false doctrines, or unsettled in our faith; for our Saviour has told us (Jn. 7:17 ), If a man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God. Corrupt affections indulged in the heart, and evil practices allowed of in the life, will greatly tend to promote fatal errors in the mind; whereas purity of heart, and integrity of life, will dispose men to receive the truth in the love of it.
We should therefore abstain from evil, and all appearances of evil, from sin, and that which looks like sin, leads to it, and borders upon it. He who is not shy of the appearances of sin, who shuns not the occasions of sin, and who avoids not the temptations and approaches to sin, will not long abstain from the actual commission of sin.3
Yet Emergent evangelicals give this no thought in their attempt to find a version of the faith where they can be as worldly as worldlings—if not even worse. Neither do they consider what their conduct looks like to young, and weaker, Christians twisting an apt adage consistent with Scripture into a spiritual pretzel.
Rather than being in the world, but not of the world, far too many professing Christians today are of the world while reveling in the world. With all of this in mind then, I now leave you with the balanced teaching below from Church Reformer Martin Luther:
Because there are two different types of people, two different offenses occur. On one side the weak are offended, on the other side, the strong are offended. ]In the opening text above] Paul is trying to keep them both in the middle and avoid both offenses.
The weak are offended where something is done that they don’t understand and can’t distinguish from evil. Romans 14 deals with this situation at length. For example, when the weak saw that others were eating foods forbidden by the law is unclean, they did not dare eat these foods because they were inhibited by their consciences.
Yet they could not disapprove of what others did. Here Paul became a Jew with the Jews, a weak person with the weak to serve them through love so that they would become strong in Christ. On the over hand, the strong are offended when they become annoyed by the weak and grow impatient with their slowness and clumsiness.
Without consideration for others, they overuse their freedom in Christ, resulting in weak people becoming offended. It would be better for them to keep all the laws before offending one person. This is what it means to live by the Spirit.
What good does it do to use the Spirit of freedom against the Spirit of love? But you may insist, “We are free to do this.” Certainly. But you must put the weakness of your brother or sister ahead of your own freedom. It doesn’t hurt you if you don’t exercise your freedom.
Yet it hurts them if they are offended by your freedom. Don’t forget that the task of love is thinking of what’s best for others. Rather than finding out how much freedom you can exercise, find out how much service you can give to your brother or sister.4
- THE EMERGING CHURCH ON A WILD GOOSE CHASE
- EVANGELICAL ECUMENICAL MAGISTERIUM MEMBER STEVEN FURTICK WITH AN ODE TO SELF
- WILLOW CREEK BEGINS THE SINFULLY ECUMENICAL ALPHA COURSE
- I have discussed these previously e.g. in Christ Our Life—Soon To Appear and Latest Concerning Apprising Ministries. ↩
- A.W. Tozer, Tozer On Christian Leadership [Camp Hill: Christian Publications, 2001], September 2. ↩
- http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/1-thessalonians/5.html: accessed 9/3/14. ↩
- Martin Luther, Faith Alone [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], September 3. ↩