Sunday, April 07, 2013

Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism and Why We're In the Shape We're In

For the sake of due process, I would like my readers to go to the following websites and tell me if they think that what they are hearing is rock music, what I would call today "soft rock," but still rock music, led by a rock band.  Look here, here, and here.  Please comment with your opinion.  I'm looking to my readers, not a flood of hard rock lovers that want to make a joke out of it (I would expect that from them).  I want you to give your name too -- no anonymity on this.  People are calling me a liar about whether a rock band and rock music was at the Shepherd's Conference.  Now read the blogpost.

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Our country kills millions of babies.   Several states, including large ones, legalize homosexual marriage.  Those two headline, but we also have rampant nudity, foul language, illicit sex, rebellious children, confused roles, and rising atheism.  What's happened and is happening?  Maybe things aren't as bad as ever, but I think they are.  I haven't heard anyone who doesn't agree with that.  Is it the Bible and prayer removed from the public school?  Is it the POTUS?  Is it the Democrat Party?  Naw.  Uh-uh.

Church leaders are the problem.  I see three reasons why we've gotten where we are.  Church leadership could have staunched a lot of the sewage.  If I were to make the three reasons one reason, which could be worth it, I would say it's self-interest, related to a lack of courage.  The leaders don't want to be unpopular.  They don't want to be marginalized.  They want to get big, the way success is judged.  Rather than, like Paul, who in 1 Corinthians 4 said I don't care if you judge me and then in 2 Corinthians 5 said I labor to be accepted of God, their selves are too big to lose.  Pragmatism.  Coalitions.  Spheres of influence.   Self-interest.  But let's get to the three reasons that relate to that one.

One.

Creation of Uncertainty On Truth

Uncertainty diminishes and then negates authority.  You can't tell people they're wrong without a reason.  You've got no reason if you have no basis for it.  Homosexual marriage is wrong.  The Bible says it's wrong. The Bible, huh?

The leaders caused doubt about the words, then the meaning, then the teaching.  If you aren't sure you have the words, then how could you know what the words mean?  And if you don't know what the words mean, how could you ever apply them?  This is where we're at with the people leading our people.  Everyone gets to choose the Bible they like, the meaning they want, and then the application that suits them.  This was created by evangelicals and fundamentalists.  They've provided no certainty for the people in the pew.  And if the people in the pew don't have certainty, they won't give any to the ones outside the building.

Evangelicals and fundamentalists might say that this is just the reality.  Well, then the problem is faithlessness, a staggering in unbelief, that led to the doubt.  They attack people with certainty.  They hate those with certainty.  I know it.

Satan attacks truth at the word level, then the meaning level, and finally the application level.  He'll get rid of truth any way that he can, whichever one that will work.  He'll gladly customize.  In the end, the truth won't be believed or practiced, and Satan will have his way.  Some of these evangelicals and fundamentalists are concerned about truth.  They don't want to lose it, but they are the biggest contributors to its loss.

Two.

Ranking

In the name fundamentalist, you read ranking.  The fundamentals are ranked above other truth.  So the other truth becomes expendable.  They say, "No," but it's "yes."  Evangelicals are generally worse.  They have the gospel or just "Jesus," and everything else is sublimated to a non-essential.  Almost anything can be called a non-essential.  If you talk about something else to almost any extent, you'll be said to be minimizing what's important.

This is not a biblical idea -- ranking -- as an evangelical or fundamentalist might explain it.  If an evangelical or fundamentalist can make something God said to be non-essential, then anything can be reduced to meaningless.  Marriage between a man and woman are a casualty.  It can be unclear or less important, so not something to emphasize.  Leave it out of the conversation.  You don't want to preach on it.  You'll offend visitors, who need the one truth, the gospel.

Ranking fosters disobedience to God.   It's where we're at now.  Jesus is the chief cornerstone, so He guides the north, south, east, and west of the building, but the cornerstone is now a memento, like a moon rock.  His guidance can't relate to anything uncomfortable.

You whittle everything down to what will keep us together.  Finally, all that matters is keeping together.  Keeping together becomes the one essential doctrine.  We're close to that right now.

Three.

"Grace"

I read Grace Awakening when it first came out, and in that initial edition, Chuck Swindoll asked why we can't see God in a pair of bermuda shorts.  What I'm reading about the grace of God now is that God's grace and mercy are wide, wide enough for homosexual marriage.  Andy Stanley writes, Deep and Wide, the title a play on the children's song, and he's making note of that.  I'm sure it isn't too deep and mainly wide.  A mile wide and an inch deep.   Grace has become a garbage can for almost everything.

People don't want to be judged.  So what gets judged more than anything is judging.  You'll get judged for judging, except where it doesn't matter.  And there you can judge away.  Have an opinion.  Have many opinions about things that don't matter, but don't judge in an area that matters.  If you do, you'll be judged.  This is where grace is at today.

Sentimentalism has replaced love.  Capitulation is the new love.  And this flows from that wide and shallow stream of "grace."

We're in the shape we're in because of these three.  At least.  It won't stop unless we recognize it, admit it, and turn from it.  The goodness of God should lead you.  God is good.  His truth is good.  His grace is good.  All of it.

What's ironic about my warning is that people would have to judge what I'm saying is true, but that would require truth.  That truth has been uninstalled from the hard drive.  What will be recognized instead is that I don't have the cache to merit consideration.   If anything that I've written means anything to me, that can't matter.  So I push the "publish" button.  Again.

13 comments:

DLF said...

Thank you for not only hitting the target but putting three well-aimed shots in a very tight grouping on the bullseye!

D. Flaming

Steve Rogers said...

Nail...Hammer...Head...Wham! Prepare to be called a separation Nazi or compared to Fred Phelps for such discernment in 3,2,1...

Seriously, though, if such discernment were being developed by discipleship in the Word instead of Monster Truck Sunday, then the salt would not have lost it's savor.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks for the support, both and all.

Andy Stevens said...

Spot on! - Fundamentalism was a compromise from the start. First class Scriptures for the sake of fighting error yet the rest of Scripture left to the whims of denominational preference.

We have supposed that gain is godliness, and inspite of the warning of Scripture concerning the wisdom of the world we strive to be like the world with the lie of winning the world when the truth is that we love the world!1Jn 2:15-17!

We hail those who fought against such things in the past as heroes of the faith and build in their name, but refuse to war under their banner.


Mt 23:29-31 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.

d4v34x said...

Bro. B.,

I only listened to part of the first song (Before the Throne of God Above) linked at the top of the article.

It's rock.

Tom Balzamo said...

Wow! Spot on assessment.

Dan Knezacek said...

Kent, You are exactly correct! I think, however, that the problem goes farther back than you would want to believe.

Back to the 1850s when they said "wine" doesn't really mean wine. Back to a time when the pastor became a stand-in for the Holy Spirit.

When the protestants left Roman Catholicism, they kept some of Rome's methodology. Even the Baptists, and Brethren did this, though perhaps to a lesser extent than the Anglicans and Presbyterians.

Was Jesus raised on Sunday? The bible does not actually say which day He was raised, but the protestants have bought Rome's lies on this one. The placement of a comma in Mark 16:9 makes it seem like He was raised on the first day, but the original had no commas. It could just as easily say "Now when Jesus was risen, early the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Magdalene..."

All I am saying is people tend to read into scripture their pre-conceived notions, and end up disobeying Jesus, and affirming Rome's errors! He is the one who set aside the Sabbath in the Garden of Eden. Do you think He didn't know which day He would be raised on?

Christians have the freedom to meet on any day of the week, but the Sabbath is still the Sabbath, and "Lord of the Sabbath" is one of His official titles!

Your 3 points are correct, but the root of the problem is that man thinks God needs his help! It ultimately is that our leaders have no respect for God!

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks for the other comments and dropping by everyone else! :-D

For those who commented on the 'rock music' issue, thanks.

I played it to our other pastor, David Sutton, and I didn't tell him what it was or show it to him, or give him a leading question. I just said, tell me what you are hearing. He didn't even know it was going to be music. His first sentence: "It's rock music."

PSFerguson said...

Agree Kent it is CCM and worldly. I do find it ironic that MacArthur in his last Q&A session on Grace to You attacked the use of rock music. Must applaud the defence of biblical forms of music by Bauder and Straub at Sharper Iron. It must be difficult for them to be in a minority among young fundies. But if you touch the sacred cow of the flesh you better expect a reaction.

Afraid I don't see the connection between have the position that limited fellowship is possible between true fundamentalists and the antinomian views of people like Swindoll. That is the Phelps like analogies reworked. Bible believing fundamentalists have managed to fellowship for centuries despite differences in many areas. It did not lead the likes of Bon Jones Jr, Ian Paisley, TT Shields to embrace CCM or moral relativity. Think you need to think again.

Gary Webb said...

Is the music in those services rock? Yes, yes, & yes. Our adult Sunday school classes are currently having a series on music. Our assist pastor Joe Russ is doing the teaching, & it has been very good. He is using the book "Can You Rock The Gospel" as sort of a springboard.

To others who commented:

PS Ferguson - Something is missing in your second paragraph, & I did not follow your point. Could you restate it or elaborate?

Dan Knezacek- You may need to stick to building airplanes.

KJB1611 said...

Dan,

Baptists never were part of Rome, and Christ did rise on the first day of the week, the day instituted in the NT for Christian worship. See the resources on the Sabbath and the Lord's Day here:

http://faithsaves.net/different-religions/

Watchman said...

A quick word in defense of one of my favorite hymns. That performance is one thing, but Before the Throne of God Above is actually from the Civil War era and the traditional tune is powerful and moving. If you don't know the "real thing" do yourself a favor and find it--it's worth keeping.

demapastor said...

before I was saved when I was a young teen, I listened to heavy metal music (hard core, black metal etc), if it can be actually called music. This is certainly rock but very light.