Early this semester I watched a few videos put out by Focus on the Family called “The Truth Project.” It was a very biblical, logical, and interesting approach to discover the truth of the Gospel and who God is. The very first week, the speaker made a very good point that I would bet most of you don’t know, so before you read on, see if you can dig through the scripture in your brain and find the answer.
Why did Christ come into the world?
There is only one time that Jesus said “This is why I have come into the world…” When was it? What was his answer? It seems like a pretty important question right? Well lets look at the scripture.
Jesus is before Pilate who asks him “So are you King?” to which Jesus gives a remarkable response (well of course he does, he’s Jesus!) “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.” (John 18:37)
Wow! I bet that isn’t what some of you expected. Do you see that truth as it relates to Christ is obviously fundamental to the Christian faith? There’s no going around it, Christ came into the world to testify to the truth.
The point I am trying to make is that a biblical definition of truth, and what it meant to Jesus is paramount in understanding and even believing in the Supremacy of Christ.
Here’s the dictionary definition:
Any of a number of trends or movements in the arts and literature developing in the 1970s in reaction to or rejection of the dogma, principles, or practices of established modernism.
Postmodernism is a blatant rejection of the logical principles of truth and an embrace of a relativistic philosophy centered around the acceptance of uncertainty. It is the current secular humanistic view of life, and says that truth is relative and is different from person to person.
Now if you are anything like me that last sentence just confuses you to death! I mean at least pick a different word; truth could be defined as what exists outside of our minds and what doesn’t change from person to person. Naturally, truth and relativism are near antonyms. I mean, this doesn’t seem like rocket science to me (not that there is anything wrong with rocket science Eric ). Aristotle figured it out! He was not a child of God, but he through what I think is quite simple logic came to a very basic and elementary conclusion.
“'to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true”
This almost needs a “duh” at the end. With the understanding that the lost will never be able to fully understand what we know is true, lets move on to the real, frankly disturbing issue at hand.
Post Modernism and the Church
Ouch. I hope it hurts you to read that as much as it made me cringe to type it. Nevertheless, it is true. The heresy of postmodernism has infiltrated church walls and is being accepted and taught by many of today’s rising figures in Christianity, including a man that is called by many “the next Billy Graham.” Yikes!
It seems contradictory from the start. How could a religion based completely on the fundamentals of what “is,” be accepted and followed by people who’s cultural worldview says “Truth is relative and can’t be known for sure?” Here’s how the Emergent (postmodern) church justifies this.
In Rob Bell’s Velvet Elvis, he uses the metaphor of a trampoline. He says that the Christian life is like jumping on a trampoline, and the doctrines of the faith are like springs. Bells says that all we should focus on is jumping on the trampoline, that we spend too much time checking the springs. And what if one of these strings pops? Are we OK? Of course! The trampoline keeps propelling us upward towards God. This appealing example says that Doctrine is flexible, indefinite and not entirely important.
Now let me make something VERY clear before I explain the danger and heresy that is brought about by this picture. These springs are not “Calvinism” or “Armenianism” or “views on baptism” or “when to take communion” or ”dispensationalism.”
The book uses things such as the virgin birth, or divinity of Christ to define these springs. I’m not at all saying we should spend all day bickering over the picky things of complex doctrine that both sides of the issues have questions and concerns. That is not his analogy. On the contrary, the Emergent Church seems bent on marginalizing the essential unarguable doctrines of Christianity.
Postmodernism in the church says that like a brick wall, Christianity is solid and unmovable, but also like a brick wall, you can remove on theological brick and have the wall perfectly unmoved. This disturbs and puzzles me.
Take Barry Bonds for example. He set the all time homerun record right? 672 homeruns... I think it is safe to say that he is a fantastic baseball player, very possibly the best. He has meaning, reason, standard in the world of baseball and in the culture of America. But wait, I’m forgetting something huh... the steroids.
Barry Bonds cheated. Broke the law and the rules of baseball, and lied in court about it. I know he’s still a great baseball player, but to me, that record means nothing. I don’t care if he his 600 more, he cheated, he was fake.
Now in the exact same way, how could you EVER tell me that we can still trust and cherish the Bible as the Inspired, Inerrant, Infallible, and Authoritative Word, if it isn’t what it itself claims to be. Perfect. Again, I’m not talking little controversial issues that aren’t addressed completely in scripture; I am talking about the fundamental essential doctrines of our faith. If the Bible has lied, how can we accept it? If it has lied, we as Christians could be logically torn to bits; the bible would immediately contradict itself in so many places.
We must stand up against this uprising of heresy. Christ came to testify to the truth, and in response, we much be entirely apposed to this cowardly cave-in of Christian meaning and understanding.
How Postmodernism seeks to destroy the Supremacy of Christ
Here are 3 simple reasons why what these new theological thinkers bring to the table is completely contradictory to what we know about who God is and what he has given us and done for us.
1. It seeks to belittle and marginalize the authority and inerrancy of scripture.
To expound on what I discussed earlier, lets look at a section of Bell’s Velvet Elvis that I pulled from a pro-Emergent Church Blog.
“What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry’s tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was really just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births?
What if that spring were seriously questioned? Could a person keep on jumping? Could a person still love God? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live? Or does the whole thing fall apart?”
If you have a biblical truth-seeking understanding of scripture this should absolutely infuriate you. What a mockery of Truth! Essentially, what is being asked here is “what if the Bible was proven completely and irreversibly false? Then do we have a legitimate faith?” To which the answer is a resounding NO! Not only is this a complete butchering of the divinity of Christ (which sounds awful Gnostic to me) but it’s just downright disgusting. It reeks of disrespect for Gods holy word. Read the passage again keeping in mind the fact that God through the writers of the Gospels has told us about the complete divinity and humanity of Christ through the glory of the virgin birth. I hate it.
2. It seeks to destroy Biblical doctrine and discourage the studying of God’s word.
The Emergent Church, rather than encouraging believers to study to know who God is, encourages a hatred of theology and an embrace of the uncertain, making very clear its postmodern roots.
These leaders often promote what sounds good and happy about God above the glorious picture which the Bible paints. If God’s sovereignty means that he was in control over my friends death, let’s redefine sovereignty so we can like God more. If God’s just nature means people will go to hell, we do as Brian McLaren has and call hell “false advertising” from God, belittling his justice and making light of the rich stores of grace on the other end of the spectrum. Oh, and did you catch that? according to Emergent theology, not only is God not an author of absolute truth, but he has tricked us with falsehood.
The lack of focus on our sin, and the absence of emphasis on the Biblical nature of God fling us into a jungle of confusion and uncertainty. It’s really no wonder these leaders say that you can’t know truth; it’s impossible to match the false standards, based out of how they want God to be, to the truth of who the Glorious God of the Bible is.
Lastly and most tragically
3. It seeks to destroy the power and importance of the Gospel
This doesn’t take much explaining. I will let Brian McLaren do it for me.
“In this light, although I don't hope all Buddhists will become (cultural) Christians, I do hope all who feel so called will become Buddhist followers of Jesus; I believe they should be given that opportunity and invitation. I don't hope all Jews or Hindus will become members of the Christian religion. But I do hope all who feel so called will become Jewish or Hindu followers of Jesus...
"Ultimately, I hope that Jesus will save Buddhism, Islam, and every other religion, including the Christian religion, which often seems to need saving about as much as any other religion does. (In this context, I do wish all Christians would become followers of Jesus, but perhaps that is too much to ask. After all, I'm not doing such a hot job of it myself."
What a horrible distortion of the gospel. We all know John 14:6
‘Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” ’
What is the truth? That Jesus is the only way to heaven, and that through repentance in faith we are saved through grace by the Glorious work of Jesus, who took our sins upon himself and paid our debt. This is the truth! We can stop guessing or saying that we can’t find it. There is no other name by which men are saved!
How can we not know truth? God gave us truth! He invented truth, and gave us the capacity to know it. We can rest assured in the promises of scripture and know that God is God, and he is a God of truth.
Praise God that he has created a way for us and revealed it to us!