Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Defending the Faith

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints," Jude 1:3.

In the churches of today, in America and across the whole world, this command, and scores of others are being intentionally ignored for what I can only assume are purely ecumenical reasons. What is this faith that we should zealously defend? And why should it need defending? Whom are we defending the faith from? Those who are in the faith are "sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called," Jude 1:1. The faith, which is the heart and soul of the gospel, needs defending because, "certain men crept in unawares...ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and the Lord Jesus Christ," Jude 1:4. The character of those whom we defend the faith against are likened as, "filthy dreamers," who, "defile the flesh, despise dominion (reject authority), and speak evil of dignities," Jude 1:8.

Now look into the church today and see what Christians are being fed as truth, either "gospel" truth or some comparable revelation which is apparently supposed to be held in equal regard. Man is no longer viewed as an inherently evil being, as the Bible, God's infallible word, declares us to be, Genesis 2:17, Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10, Ephesians 2:1, Colossians 2:13, etc. Instead, coinciding with the advent of modern psychology, we are being informed the Jesus and the prophets inspired by the Holy Spirit were wrong, and apparently we are innately good after all, and given proper guidance and counseling, we may achieve a cleanliness of spirit and soul apart from God's grace, tantamount to our own re-birth. We are not dead in sins and trespasses, but merely broken, and the Bible is apparently no longer a viable option even for ministers of the church to give people hope for wholeness and reconciliation.

In fact, I'm not certain anyone is aware that reconciliation with God is a need of every human being any longer. When someone begins to view something backward, seeing man as good, with flaws that can be smoothed out via human effort, then the weight and strength of sin, the very nature of sin, is utterly lost in the process. For someone who accepts what the Bible tells us concerning our lost condition, sin is a natural outpouring of our rebellious nature. When we commit evil, we are yielding to the fallen nature God's Spirit tells us we have; we are a slave to sin. Our good deeds are still marred with our sin and pride: in fact pride is the essence of our rebellion. We will not accept God's lordship of our lives, will not yield our autonomy, so we invent cheap solutions that do not force us to look at the naked truth.

Psychology is a fraudulent religion constructed to dismantle Christianity, as it was certainly engineered this last century by men who were not at all Christian, and some ardent enemies of the cross. For that reason alone psychology should be cast out of the church, since it is the counsel of the ungodly, Psalm 1:1.
It is a grievous thing to watch the disintegration of the church at large as so many denominations will no longer take a stand for God's truth, or Christ's salvation for fear of offending minorities, opposing religious claims, or appearing intolerant. Who is being intolerant? The one who says dogmatically that all religious views are equal, period? Or the one who says that right and wrong still exist, absolutes indeed exist, and man is still in need of salvation which is found in Jesus Christ alone? Has truth become intolerant? Or is this merely a cunning ploy to gag anyone who would voice disapproval of what is being done in the name of progress and tolerance? When I hear tolerance being touted this way, I hear the word "apathy" superimposed, because that is what we have demoted the word to. Yet when someone proclaims that there is no absolute truth and all religions are equally valid, they have spoken an absolute truth! There is absolutely no singular right way, according to this paradoxical and untenable view.

Where is the fiery love and caring for men's souls that should be the hallmark of our church? We are supposed to be the body of Christ, and the Bible is God's authoritative word, "according to His divine power which hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him (Jesus Christ) that hath called us to glory and virtue," 2nd Peter 1:3. The tolerance, equality, and "coexist" mantra of today which is being so heavily glorified as apparently wise displays in my eyes a shameless lack of thought or concern for the welfare of others. It also reveals a mentality that wilfully excludes any possibility that one particular answer to man's woes could be right, to the exclusion of all others. How have we all become so brazen that we know better than God? What is the Bible, if not His 1,500 year long revelation to mankind through prophets, apostles, and His beloved Son? Could humanity know more about Heaven, eternity, and how we achieve this coveted end more than God Almighty does? Who made the heavens and the earth? We don't know how to reach Heaven; none of us have been there to say otherwise! Yet this does not seem to halt the advancement of the majority (even within the church) from making ignorant statements about the equality of all religions, and their claims of truth.

Yet truth is not a preference, opinion, or majority vote. Truth exists apart from us, and has existed from eternity past, endless eras before the first man existed to add one wit of comment regarding it. Jesus Christ is the truth, and always will be, John 14:6, Hebrews 13:8. Truth is not molded generation by generation. God's truth is absolute, open and free for all to take if salvation is their desire, and Christ's lordship does not offend, Isaiah 55:1, Revelation 22:17. To those who deny God's call to repentance and salvation, there is Hell and damnation, because they prefer to reject God. They want nothing to do with God and Heaven, or to reach Heaven by the path God has set down; such people prefer to suffer eternal darkness than to bow in lordship to anyone, even their own Creator. The need for us to hear such a message has not diminished, in fact it may have increased, seeing how much deception and false teaching exist inside the walls of our churches. Christianity is rooted in history, fits the answer for mankind, and reveals the character of a God worthy of both knowing and adoring.

Such apathy would never get someone through school. Imagine answering 2+2=7 because all answers lead to the same conclusion? Or Abraham Lincoln was the first President of the United States because all answers are equally valid? What is left when this barrier is broken down, and right and wrong cease to exist? God has given us the gospel, and Christ has died to redeem us from our sins. No authority exists apart from God, and it should and must absolutely be His word that we obey, His Spirit that we follow to our gain or our hurt. Be not conformed to this world, Romans 12:2. Psychology, the "coexist" mentality, and liberal churchianity would all reduce truth and good to relative items, given to humanistic interpretation. But a malleable truth is not truth at all, but merely popular opinion or majority consensus. If the authority of your truth begins and ends only in yourself, then you have no sufficient basis for any manner of truth claims, especially in the realm of spiritual matters. Christians have no sanction to speak against Christ or Scripture. Would someone claiming to have Jesus as their Lord commit treason against Him?

There is great evil occurring within the pale of professing Christianity. Homosexual ministers are being ordained, when we are clearly told in Scripture that homosexuals or sodomites will not enter the kingdom of God, 1st Corinthians 6:9. Anyone habitually practicing such a sin must be cleansed of that sin (6:11). Note the list it appears in, which includes fornicators, thieves, adulterers and idolaters. Habitual practice of something plainly labeled as sin by the Holy Spirit might incline one to wonder if that person has ever been saved at all, since there is apparently no leading by the indwelling Spirit. If someone is comfortable in their sin and does not feel that they should part with it, but rather the entire body of Christ ought to be changed to cater to their carnal wants, (their minds are enmity to God, Romans 8:7), something is clearly wrong with how we preach the gospel! This should not even be presented for discussion; but it is a clear indication of what Jude was warning about when he told us to contend for the faith.

These same professing Christians who deny their Lord also, "are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage," Jude 1:16. Also there would be, "mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit," Jude 1:18-19. Jesus never spoke or preached acceptance and love apart or divided from divine truth. He would never sacrifice righteousness and holiness for the sake of superficial acceptance! Look at Him dealing with sinners: "When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more," John 8:10-11. While Jesus preaches forgiveness, one must cease the practice of their darling sin (go and sin no more). Jesus is Lord of our lives if we be Christians. We are bought with a price to perform the will of God; His will be done and not ours.

If we can't even do this, or refuse to do this, one must honestly wonder: have you understood the gospel? Are you even saved? If you have no care for the glory and honor of a holy God, then you have utterly misunderstood the new birth and new walk in the Spirit. God saves sinners in their sins...to bring them out of them. We are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:11. I only pose an honest question: If you do not wish to have Christ as Lord, then I must wonder if you have Him as Savior, because no one can have a divided Christ. Walking carnally is dangerous, because while you may be saved by grace through faith, there is no fruit, no evidence in your life to correspond to such a work of God, and we will be left in perpetual doubt. This is why the apostles encouraged us to test ourselves and see if we are in the faith, so we are not disqualified when we stand before the Son, 2nd Corinthians 13:5, 2nd Peter 1:10, 1st John 3:19. These are perilous times; careless walking will not suffice.

What more can be said? Doubtless this will be seen as hateful diatribe against many, but love sometimes has to sound harsh to wake people from their doldrums. A friend swears to his own hurt, Psalm 15:4. I wish to be a friend of anyone who reads my posts, and to share the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other. I know this to be the truth, a truth that does not change because God does not change, Malachi 3:6. It is universal, it is free, it is God's gift through the spilt blood of our blessed Savior. As to the false teachers of our day that promote scandalous division by allowing what the Holy Spirit would never permit, by teaching man's finite wisdom as though we are peers of God rather than creatures, and for casting away the simple gospel which saves in favor of social justice, political correctness, or liberal modernity: "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them," Isaiah 8:20.

I implore anyone who reads this, consider what I am saying. Is it nonsense to believe truth is unchanging, and genuine spiritual truth was given mankind by God through the Holy Spirit? Right and wrong are eroding swiftly, as we seek to cast them aside to freely mold words and meanings as we see fit. What we are left with then is an empty, useless shell of Christianity. If the broad road fits everyone Christ NEVER needed to die; hence Christianity was pointless: why should the Son of God die when other roads were available? The axe-murderer is going to the same place as the moral atheist, devout Muslim, sadistic wife beater, or Christian. No one is excluded; everyone is tolerant. Except to those who gainsay: then one must be intolerant to anyone who suggests one way alone is viable. But I would rather have the world offended by my words and some saved through God's grace, then to have said nothing, played it safe, and shamed my God who cared enough to die for me. Christians: do not be ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, Romans 1:16. It has been given unto us not only to believe on Christ, but to suffer for His sake, Philippians 1:29. If there is no fear of God before your eyes, seek for it. It is the beginning of wisdom, Job 28:28, Proverbs 1:7.

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