A common argument often used against biblically faithful Christians is that they are too religious.
And that religion just divides people.
And that religion is not based on real life or on a real relationship with God.
And that one needs to be more secular, more focused on the real world, and more focused on loving one another.
As opposed to insisting that people all believe the correct doctrines and theology. Which, again they say, only divides people.
This focus against “religion” is one of the prime directives of our age.
Our culture claims that science and logic and real-world goodness are what really count.
This thinking is everywhere.
Including in the church.
Faith is Based Upon Specific Things
A popular phrase that one is likely to hear in virtually any church today is that “Christianity is not about doctrine but about a relationship”. About our relationship to Christ and our relationships with each other.
This is the conventional wisdom of the Evangelical church. Which sounds very wise. Very noble. Very good.
But it just isn’t true.
One cannot carefully read the New Testament without constantly seeing the need to believe specific things. To believe specific things which the Lord Jesus said about Himself, His work, and His salvation.
Very specific things.
Those specific things are called, “doctrines”.
Doctrines are clear, strong statements found by reading the whole counsel of God, in context, while “properly dividing the word of truth”.
Doctrines arranged biblically form what is called, “theology”. Arranged properly, a theology can help a Christian navigate through the raging storms of life to avoid crashing into the destructive rocks of error.
A False Nobility
The Progressive Christian movement, which could easilly refer to the vast community of Evangelicals today, loves to tell us that we should not focus on religion. Or on divisive doctrines. Or on having a “perfect theology”.
This rhetoric is everywhere in Evangelical circles.
We can see this as pastors move people away from truth, or from taking any real positions on specific truths; while they move their congregations toward “good works” and ecumenical partnerships.
Making the specific truths necessary for salvation and obedience to Christ secondary things. Moving the words of Life further and further down the list of “essentials”. With some leaders even removing “the essentials” altogether.
But we’ve spoken of these things many times before.
The hard, cold reality of the Progressive Christian church, just like Liberalism, is that they DO, in fact, have doctrines which they believe.
The Progressive church holds to doctrines and defends those doctrines just as much as those nasty Fundamentalists – which they so deeply despise.
Everyone Makes a Choice about Truth
The reality is that Everyone has doctrines which they believe. Whether they state them as such or whether they even recognize them as such, everyone follows a religious system.
The Fundamentalist, the Evangelical, the Mainline Liberal, and the Emergent Church folks ALL have a list of things they believe one must follow to be right with God.
Even while pretending NOT to hold to a list one must follow.
Everyone has a set of beliefs they follow. Even the secular, pagan, scientifically-based, most woke individual in our culture has a religion he or she follows.
Because man is a spiritual being. And he makes a choice about what is true and what is false.
He makes a choice about what beliefs he will hold to – and what beliefs he will deny.
These are beliefs about Who he is, Where he came from, and Where he is going.
Doctrinal, religious belief is unavoidable.
To Be Continued . . .
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