The scriptures command us to Defend the Faith.
This presupposes that there actually are scriptural absolutes to defend.
Not just good ideas. Nor simply strong beliefs. But solid, non-negotiable, doctrinal truths.
Even so the modern Evangelical church is moving away from scriptural absolutes. Not long ago, one of our local pastors even made a comment against “absolutes”.
Which means that truth must not really be true anymore. Even though our pastors still call “truth” by that name.
At least not absolute truth which one must believe in order to be right with God. Which one must believe in order to be saved.
Nowadays, it’s more about what you do or don’t do or how nice and loving you are that makes you right with God.
Instead of what you actually believe.
A Christians must listen very carefully to know what words mean these days. Since leaders still use the same old biblical words and phrases. But those words and phrases now mean something different.
Tearing Down the Foundations
If you read enough of the Emergent and Progressive Christian writers or listen to their speeches, you will hear them speak against absolutes or the Fundamentals.
Oh, how they do hate the Fundamentals – as well as the Fundamentalists themselves.
It’s interesting how those who are supposedly so tolerant and loving hate the Fundamentalists so much.
If there is one distinguishing characteristic of an Evangelical today, it’s their criticism and vitriol toward the fundamentals of the faith. And toward those who insist that there are definite things that one must believe to be saved. And definite things one must believe to walk in obedience to Christ.
This is because the Evangelical church has been moving away from the concepts of doctrinal purity or from being biblically sound or from just standing firmly upon truth.
They are determined not to get hung up on truths that have been put into creeds or statements of faith.
And, if someone really insists on a statement of faith or a creed, it should be as nebulous as possible. So that just about anyone who calls themselves a “Christian” can accept it.
Is There Anything Christians Will Defend Today?
And, of course, the whole idea of “defending the faith once delivered unto the saints“, well, that just doesn’t fly anymore. That is too militant. Too combative. Too divisive.
And it’s not in keeping with the new tolerance that is sweeping across the Evangelical landscape. Which is gradually seducing the church into accepting the New Social Gospel.
Because, after all, why would anyone actually defend the faith in this new, ecumenical, embrace-everyone-as-a-brother-in-Christ church? When they are teaching that we should accept everyone, at face value (not challenging or questioning what they really believe), then we certainly don’t need any pesky doctrinal truth gumming up the works.
Yes, they will talk all day long about faith. Or having faith. Just not about The faith.
A Simple Test
Do you think I’m being harsh?
A simple test for all this is to ask a fellow believer exactly what one must believe to be saved?
Most will respond with a kind of soft rebuke. As if we are asking something we should not ask. As if we are trying to start trouble.
They will often claim that we “must not major on the minors”. But, instead, to seek common ground. And to stop being critical. To stops sowing seeds of division among the brethren.
Even without our having stated anything specific about what one must believe.
There is a general resistance to even bringing up the idea of absolutes. Or the need for doctrinal soundness. Or the need to defend something.
The question itself has become a kind of lightning rod for controversy.
This really makes me wonder how many of those we worship and fellowship with are even truly believers. And how many of them really know the Lord according to the scriptures.
When we cannot even go below the surface anymore.
And what about those who are leaders in all this? Who are standing less and less upon truth. And more and more upon their touchy-feely “missional” statements.
Which are based upon “love”, relationships, biblical “community”, “missional” imperatives, and social engagement.
Instead of “the faith once delivered unto the saints“.
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay