Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The age we live in

Some times I cringe when I hear what people in the church have to say about the world we live in. I am not sure if it is because of my youth, or my ignorance, maybe it is just good old fashion pride; but whatever it is it really bothers me when people talk about this age being worse than any other time period. You’ve heard it. “There has never been an age with so much sin.” “As long as I can remember things have never been this bad.” “The Lord is going to have to come back soon; things are getting out of control.” This attitude lacks any kind of historical perspective, and seems (from my experience) to be limited to the American Church. And so, when people make statements like the above statements they are not talking about world history, rather there are speaking of the American culture. I just have a problem with saying that sin is increasing. At this point (subject to change with more experience, understanding, and humility) I am only willing to say: the effects of sin are compounding as creation waits for the immanent return of Christ as a mother experiencing labor pains. That being said…

…The world that we live in today, as was true with other time periods, has some definite flaws that can be reflected in the church. Lets use as a sample of this the emergent Church of the post-modern era, and the seeker church of the modern era (the tail end of the modern era, transitioning into the postmodern era). The seeker church was all about the oil-change experience. Come to church and you can get the full service and be out the door in 30 min or less (guaranteed or your giving will be refunded). The idea was to make a church so big and non-confrontational that people would feel comfortable. This post is not about the inherent flaws in the seeker movement, and so I will leave that investigation to you. But what the seeker church did was take the community aspect away from the church. Evangelism became watered down, and fellowship became non-existent. Take for instance what is going on right now in N.C. There is group of people working to distribute a film made in 1979 through the mail to every person county by county. “[T]he project is often described as an unobtrusive, nonconfrontational way to fulfill Jesus' command to his disciples to spread his teachings.” But look at the impact that this evangelism is making.

“In Iredell County, it was difficult to find anyone who objected to the mailing. Matt Adams, 31, who teaches music in Statesville, the county seat, said that although he was a Christian, he did not plan to watch the video he had received. Living in the Bible Belt, Mr. Adams said, "I have a strong Christian viewpoint pressed on me at least three times a day. So having something mailed to me, that's probably less intrusive." Saul Gordon, 77, the oldest brother in a Jewish family that runs a metal yard in Statesville and attends the county's only synagogue, had a similarly mild reaction. "I gave it to my maid," he said. It was also difficult to find anyone who had actually watched the DVD, although many people said they planned to do so.”

This is an example of the non-confrontational mush that the seeker church calls the Gospel.

But look at the newest movement, the Emerging Church (even the name of the movement gives me the willies). The emergent church has decided that what the seeker church lacked in community it will more than make up for. In fact, you can’t do anything without community. The premise behind the emergent church is to embrace post-modernity. In some respects this is not so bad. We live in a post-modern world and so (especially us young guys) we are going to think more in that box than any other. However, the emergent movement fails to rejects the sinful parts of post-modernity. They have failed to realize the difference between being in the world, and not of it. This is seen in no better place than their de-emphasis of Scripture. Scripture and doctrine have become important to them, but only in that they are part of this discussion of life. I have a lot of questions about this new movement. And there are many different strands of “emergers” that are our there. But for now, I will have my antenna up.

From these two movements we can really see a good example of “the pendulum of history.” One mistake pulls the pendulum one way, and in a reaction the pendulum gets pulled all the way to the other side. Unfortunately the truth of God’s Word is in the middle with a remnant. In every age there are different problems, but all of these problems go back to one sin.

We are all born into sin, and this world we live in has been subjected to the crushing effects of sin. Thank God for that glorious gospel, and the hope of Christ’s return.

Galatians 4:4-7
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.


Blogger Morgan said...

Amen. And to think, there's not necessarily going to be any distinct signs leading up to the rapture - so theoretically it could happen before you're done reading this comment, Praise Him!


17/8/05 12:16 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

This is true, I wonder if I will even be able to finish the pop-tarts I am eating?


18/8/05 7:45 AM  

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