Thursday, October 4, 2012

Here's what I think...

I know that I am in a minority these days, as a Reformed believer. I haven't always believed this way. I was a part of the mainstream "evangelical" movement for many, many years. I even went to an "evangelical" Bible college where I majored in Bible and Christian Education. I spent several years in ministry. I was an elder in our local church which we had been attending for about 8 years. But then I started having some questions, and I made the mistake of trying to get some answers.

I started asking questions about what we believe and why. Why did we feel the need to take what the Bible says and change it to make it more appealing. The Bible says in our weakness we are strong, and that our inabilities show his glory as He uses us to accomplish His purposes. But that does not sell. So we changed it to say that God wants us to be happy and satisfied. He wants us to be full of esteem. We started showing how that our strengths are what glorify God. And that our abilities bring Him praise.

Who in the Bible thought this way? Well, David did, when he took saw Bathsheba. Maybe he thought God wanted him to be happy. Moses did, when he struck that rock. Jonah, when he complained about the plant that died. But those did not go well.

Well, those are OT, what about the NT? That was different, right? That was when God really wanted us to be happy, right?

Surely the praise of the believers would make Ananias and Sapphira happy. Peter telling Jesus that he shouldn't have to suffer, that was the right thing to do, wasn't it? What about those Galatians, and their desire to follow a different gospel? If it made them feel better, was that okay?

At first, it was just a feeling that something was off, and I was searching for answers. But the evangelical church does not like questions. It likes happy thoughts and good feelings and a smiling Jesus who loves you no matter what. While I am not questioning the depth of the love of Jesus, I do question the our response to Him and the consequences of that response.

Just how narrow is the narrow road?


Paul G said...

Amen brother, I think the same way.

Pablo said...

I appreciate what you are trying to say. Today's church often stresses a doctrine that focuses on happiness and positivity, I agree.

I'm uncomfortable with the use of sarcasm. I prefer clear communication. Sarcasm is an indirect form of expressing our needs. It often uses ridicule or derision when making its point. I find expressing the truth, while doing so kindly, is more effective. Would it be possible to share what message you believe the modern church needs to express to this generation?

I am saddened by the evangelical message, too. I find the doctrines of grace and the clear exposition of the Scriptures as a deep need of our society, as it slips further into depravity. We don't need to cheapen it by only promoting a happy gospel.

I hope to see you over at my place sometime soon.