One of the reasons people stay away from mainstream Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism is because it is often boring.
Yep. That’s right. Boring.
As in a lack of imagination. A lack of creativity. And a tendency for taking middle-of-the-road positions. Like politicians trying to come up with a position that will appeal to as many people as possible.
By that, I mean basically watering down the word of God and taking out all the interesting stuff. So that a mediocre version of the Bible can be served up to get the most number of people to sign onto it.
Being careful to avoid all the sensational and questionable things that the more “emotionally-charged” and “uneducated Christians” latch on to. And taking positions that Christian radio and Christian media can serve up to the masses.
The Cost of Faith
There is this tendency within Christianity to skip over sections of the Bible that could be embarrassing to the Christian wanting to fit into a particular culture. Especially an academic or corporate culture.
Because, within those groups, doctrines like Creationism, a young earth, and a worldwide-flood do not fit. Those who are trying to blend into a savvy business or scientific environment are “forced” to tow the line of evolutionary thinking. And to openly reject the biblical record.
Or, at the very least, to keep their mouths shut about what they really believe. Being careful not to die on some doctrinal hill unnecessarily.
(I am so sick of hearing that stupid, doctrinal-hill excuse. As if anyone in mainstream Evangelicalism actually sticks their neck out on much of anything these days!)
Because, otherwise, they would have to defend their faith in the Bible, as written. And take a stand that would most likely cost them a job, a reputation, or a career. Not to mention becoming an outcast of the social culture that they have become accustomed to.
Even becoming an outcast of the popular Evangelical culture they have worked so hard to satisfy.
The Entitlement of Academia
It is interesting that a great deal of this watering down comes from the academic arena.
Which is not surprising. Because I think most academics, even those who are Christians, tend to be very concerned with their reputations. Especially their intellectual reputations.
One excuse for this, that is commonly used, is that educated unbelievers will not accept the straight-forward Creationism position. Therefore, in order to reach them for Christ, the Christian is tempted to compromise in that area.
Which makes them very susceptible to taking positions that are middle of the road. Not too extreme one way or the other. And remaining open to considering that God could have used evolution as the Creation process.
Which creates for the Christian, the appearance of a thoughtful weighing and balancing of the facts. The appearance of a sensible person not prone to wild speculations.
Tragically, this mentality has led many highly-respected men to outwardly deny biblical authority. Especially as it relates to special Creation, a young earth, and a worldwide flood. Not to mention the miracles of Christ or the Resurrection.
Like a Child
Very simply, we need to read the word of God like a child.
Coming to God’s word as one who is willing to accept what the Lord has said at face value. Without changing it to be more acceptable to the “intellectuals” around us.
This is what I believe the Lord meant when He said, “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3)
True faith demands that we believe that God meant what He said. Because He took such great pains to not only Perfectly Inspire those words, but also to Perfectly Preserve them.
We make a very serious error when we forget this. Because, if this were not true, then we would be open to every new idea and trend possible. There would be no stability in our beliefs. Only a constant, slip-sliding-away from a tangible, trustworthy Bible.
Probably one of the greatest condemnations of modern Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism today is in their handling of the word of God. They often exhibit an arrogant, smarter-than-thou attitude toward truth.
It seems that scholars and academics often believe that their elevated position gives them the right to experiment and push-the-envelope on doctrinal thinking. The world’s educational system certainly does this.
And so does the Christian academic culture.
This is evidenced by a flippant liberty that many leaders and scholars take with the truth. Exposing the church to a constant re-interpretation and revision of what the Bible actually says.
Believing they can tell the rest of us what the Bible means. As if we are too stupid to grasp it on our own.
There is a strange kind of entitlement that seems to possess many academics and Christian scholars; revealed by their penchant for changing the words of God and its doctrines to suit their own social and scientific preferences. All in order to fit in with and be acceptable to a world that denies the gospel.
We need to believe what the Lord has said — as He has said it — without allowing some middle-man to rob us of the blessings God has given us in His word.
And rejoice in the awesome wonders He reveals to us!