Having read Machen, I returned to a realization that I have carried for years. We have emasculated Jesus. Machen was correct but he could not foresee the Post-Modernist movement. The Modernists have seen science does not always arrive at the conclusions for which they had hoped. A new, more fluid Christianity was needed. Now, rather than rely on science alone, they rely on “feelings.” Someone’s “feelings” can never be judged, because their “feelings” are just as valid as your “feelings.” You will also notice that there is no longer the scientific premise of “absolute truth.” Now, everyone has “their truth,” which may differ from “your truth.” Did O.J. Simpson kill Nicole or Ron Goldman? In “his truth” the answer is “no;” in Fred Goldman’s “truth” the answer is “yes.” Our truth does not matter.
So, how do you make the Bible align with the Post-Modern movement? Easy, you make Jesus a Post-Modern man! Except that men are threatening, so we can’t identify Jesus with any “manly” characteristics. Jesus was gentle. Jesus never judged people. Jesus sat with prostitutes and criminals. Jesus was all peace and love, more of a Gandhi-type or even a Che Guevara. (Never mind that Che would have executed the same people that celebrate him today). Jesus exists only to make us feel good about ourselves.
That old vengeful God guy of the Old Testament is gone. Hippy dippy Jesus is just all right with me, man. (Never thought you'd see the Doobie Brothers in one of my blogs, did you?)
I have been a member of churches that are led by these Post-Modernist preachers. They want to tear down everything in the church that might make someone uncomfortable. The exception being white, middle-aged or older males who caused all these problems in the first place. Someone offended by the Bible declaring an act or omission a sin? Don’t worry, God knows what is in your heart and he forgives you. Jesus won’t judge you and no one else should either.
The problem is, this is a false Christianity. A wussified Jesus is not a Savior. A God that is only vengeful is a one dimensional God. It ignores what we learn in Isaiah 41:13, “For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” It ignores what we learn from Jesus in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”
God is vengeful AND loving. Jesus judged AND forgave. The Post-Modern Christian does not want to deal with the fact that some people will be condemned to eternity in Hell. (The same Hell that the Modernists disposed of as superstition- a lie to get people to behave). The Post-Modernist response? “A loving God would never send someone to Hell.” The fault with this thinking? “A perfectly holy God could not tolerate sin, and Jesus died for the redemption of those sinners who God has chosen to enjoy eternity with Him.” If Jesus is not the Son of God, he is either a liar or a madman. Even if you don’t believe in limited atonement on unlimited atonement, the idea that everyone goes to Heaven (universal atonement) was ruled heretical in 543 at the Council of Constantinople.
No one likes to be called a sinner. No one likes to hear that their child is a sinner. No one likes to hear that their friend is a sinner- but guess what? WE ALL SIN. The Bible sets a high standard, because God sets a high standard.
My sin is no different from your sin. Our sin is no different from your child’s sin. Your child’s sin is no different than your friend’s sin. We all sin- but when we try to excuse it by declaring it is not a sin, we compound that sin because we put ourselves in the place of God.
Fortunately, we don’t need to take on God’s responsibility because He can do it for us. The path isn’t always easy and you will slip along the way, but the ending is beyond description. How can I be sure? I can be sure because that is the absolute truth found in the Bible. The Bible makes you uncomfortable? IT SHOULD! If you could read the Bible with a clear conscience, you would not need the Bible, or God, or Jesus. The truth is always hard to hear. But we are not children who get participation trophies. We need to hear the hard truths.
It is because we are all created imago Dei (in the image of God) that I care about you and I want to share that destination with you. It is because I love you as brothers and sisters in Christ, that I share this passage:
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
II Timothy 3:2-5
Use the Bible and be discerning.
Use the Bible and be discerning.Don’t be fooled by the Modernist and Post-Modernist. And don’t fool yourself.