Wednesday, October 18, 2006

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

If history teaches us anything it is that the more things change the more they stay the same. This is what I was reminded of today while talking to author, speaker, and professor Michael Haykin. He spoke of the individualism that is prevalent in the church today and the dangers it brings. One of the great points he made was that this is not new, in fact you can look to the 1800's and see the beginning of what we see today. An interesting observation he made was that you also see many of the false religions we have to deal with today having their genesis in that same time frame. Periods of individualism lead to a questioning of everything including the Church and it place or need. Also at stake in these times is truth. Individualists will question truth and see truth as subjective to the individual and certainly not absolute.

Enter the emergent church movement. This is the manifestation of individualism we see today. A movement that has at its core the devaluing of Scripture as authoritative and a valuing of relationships above and over Scripture. As we have seen in history new religions begin from such things, and as Michael put it today, in twenty or thirty years we will see the emergent church movement morphing into classic liberalism. It matters that we maintain a jealous faithfulness to the Word of God , as without that we too will fall down the slippery slope to liberal theology. And that matters supremely as what will be lost then is the integrity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So as we look ahead to the future of the Church, let us look back and understand the pitfalls and dangers of those who went before us. That will better enable us to minister to those who are all about "the story" and "the conversation". There will be a great need to give truth to those who have heard many "stories" and had a lot of "conversations", but are bound for the fury of Hell. And though some of them would question the existence of Hell , history also tells us that this is not new either!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com