Topic category: Other/General
A New Religion Masquerading As Christianity, Part 2
When I was a liberal I loved mocking the Bible. I’d get giddy arguing with conservatives over Bible stories that to me were ludicrous. One example is the biblical account of Moses parting the Red Sea to help the Israelites escape Pharaoh’s pursuing army. Boy did I scoff at that one! I categorized Christians who bought into the miraculous signs and wonders in the Bible as “unenlightened twits.”
My Christian friend who set me straight on abortion (part 1 http://emailbrigade.com/14.html) challenged me to read “Mere Christianity” by Oxford don C. S. Lewis. The book is a classic of Christian apologetics written in the 1940s. I knew it would be hard reading, nevertheless I accepted the challenge. It wasn’t exactly a page turner but I managed to get through it. Reading “Mere Christianity” opened my eyes to what the Christian faith is all about. From Amazon.com:
“Mere Christianity never flinches as it sets out a rational basis for Christianity and builds an edifice of compassionate morality atop this foundation. As Mr. Lewis clearly demonstrates, Christianity is not a religion of flitting angels and blind faith, but of free will, an innate sense of justice and the grace of God.”
Reading Lewis’ book I came to understand what Christians should believe and why they should believe it. In my research I ran across a whole host of highly educated men and women, including brilliant scientists, who believed in the Bible, even to include the Exodus account of God dividing the sea. I also came to terms with the fact that a God powerful enough to create the sea could certainly “cause the Israelites to pass through” while He “made the waters to stand as a heap.” 
As I mentioned earlier (part 1 http://emailbrigade.com/14.html) liberals prefer the term “progressive Christian” (PC) but a horse by any other name is still a horse. Most PCs don’t believe the Bible’s miracles are true. To them the Bible’s simply an ancient book of historical writings and moral precepts. The biblical accounts are largely legends, myths and fables. On the other hand, orthodox Christianity holds that God speaks to us through Scripture, hence it is the infallible, inerrant Word of God and is objective (absolute) truth.
PCs reject the notion that the Bible is infallible and inerrant but accept that it has some truth sprinkled throughout. When a PC comes to accept the orthodox view of Christianity, his or her worldview crumbles. (Mine did.)
Our postmodern culture stubbornly clings to a philosophical belief in moral relativism. Moral relativism holds that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. “Postmodernism, in an evident inconsistency, rejects some beliefs. It absolutely denies the existence of a source of truth, morality, and intelligibility distinct from man.” 
When I was a liberal and someone disagreed with me on something, I’d spout things like, “That may be true for you but not for me!” In other words, end of discussion! Back then my truth was gleaned mostly from personal experience. I never went to the Bible to find God’s truth. Liberals never do!
Liberal’s worldview is incompatible with the biblical worldview. So in order to create their own reality (their own form of Christianity) they must ignore the rules of biblical hermeneutics (http://www.gotquestions.org/Biblical-hermeneutics.html). Hence the Bible becomes a politically correct, non-judgmental, all-inclusive, “chicken soup for the soul” handbook for pseudo Christians. And that, my friends, is their aim. Here’s cold hard fact: most PCs align themselves with the popular culture’s view of morality, social issues, psychology, politics, and whatnot. They do not cotton to a God who’s inflexible, nor do they accept that in the future He will judge all mankind and that those who reject Jesus Christ will spend eternity in Hell. No way, they say! All of mankind will ultimately be saved through Jesus even if they reject Him as their Savior in this life. What happens when Christians disobey the rules? Their designer God understands how hard life is, thus he/she will look the other way while human beings sin their brains out. He/she is a God who loves ya, baby!
Is any of this in the Bible? No! But in order to make the God of the Bible more acceptable to the popular culture, liberals must reinvent the wheel. To accomplish this they have to undermine Church doctrine. So doctrine is tinkered with, intentionally misrepresented, or scrapped altogether! What gets scrapped includes some of the essential doctrines of the faith for which the martyrs shed their blood!
And yet the Body of Christ has done little or nothing to stop liberals and cult leaders from taking over entire denominations. These men and women are false teachers! Usurpers! Heretics! Liars! Fakes!
The early church had to deal with this sort of thing, too:
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1)
Who supports the churches and ministries of false teachers? Professing Christians! So-called believers fill the pews of apostate churches…they tithe…pat false teachers on the back…sell and purchase their books, music, and CDs…show up at their conferences, lectures and rallies. In the political arena the Christian Right works along side false teachers who “bring in damnable heresies” to form alliances in the battle for our country. Here’s the problem: working with apostates gives them credibility. I admit it’s a dilemma. But is sleeping with the enemy really the way to go? Apparently some think so.
Returning to the Barna Report (part 1 http://emailbrigade.com/14.html) the survey purports that liberals are:
“[F]ar less likely than conservatives to strongly believe each of the following:
…their religious faith is very important in their life (54% of liberals vs. 82% of conservatives); …a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by doing good deeds or being a good person (23% vs. 37%); …their faith is becoming an increasingly important moral guide in their life (38% vs. 70%); …the church they currently attend is very important in helping them find direction and fulfillment in life (37% vs. 62%); …their primary purpose in life is to love God with all their heart, mind, strength and soul (43% vs. 76%); …Jesus Christ did not commit sins during His time on earth (33% vs. 55%).” 
What this tells me is that many liberals are befuddled. According to the survey 77% do not believe that Christ is the only way to heaven, yet Jesus clearly taught that the only way to the Father is through the Son. In His own words:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
And 38% say their faith is not an important moral guide in their lives. Where does their moral guidance come from if not from the Bible? Let me guess…..Hollywood!
Only 37% of liberals who attend church feel that it helps them find direction – and they don’t find church all that fulfilling. So 63% of liberal churchgoers find direction from a source other than the Bible? And what source would that be…..Oprah? Perhaps these Christians aren’t fulfilled because they’re not spirit-filled!
What strikes me as odd is that so many contemporary churches are all about me. Today’s churches are specially designed for the individual who hopes to find personal fulfillment. To have their felt needs met. To hear a preacher whose message (sermon) won’t offend anyone’s sensibilities. Some Christians have the attitude: “If the church I attend doesn’t meet my needs, I’ll find one that does.” Take that! And they’re out of there.
It’s hard to imagine contemporary churches not meeting someone’s felt needs. If you check on the Internet you’ll find churches boasting that their “campuses” are a place to “get connected” and “experience life with others.”
Church leaders worry about attrition so they offer all sorts of trick ponies to “get connected.” For example: edgy messages sprinkled with crass talk; loud music that could blow the doors off the building to attract the younger generation; drama skits; interpretive dance; labyrinth walks; special holiday programs (with live animals no less); career coaching; Christian counseling; a “Christian”12-step program (“Celebrate Recovery”); “chick-chat”; book studies (The Shack, which introduces readers to outright heresy); home fellowship groups; “Christian” yoga; “fitness well-being”; senior game day; single’s groups; teen and tween activities; book stores; sermon CDs; coffee bars; do-nuts…the works! You give liberals what they want, they will come.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying churches shouldn’t offer coffee and do-nuts or senior game day. Many marketing strategies tried by churches actually do help Christians grow spiritually. But a lot of what goes on in contemporary churches is off the wall! (See Recommended Links below.) In some instances irresponsible church leadership promotes practices that are outright occultic! (“Christian” yoga anyone?)
Yet even with all the programs churches offer to draw people in, Christians still bounce from church to church to church…. Why? Their needs are not being met. News flash! Christianity is not about having your needs met! It’s not about making yourself a better you! It’s not about living your best life now! It’s not about becoming prosperous and pain-free! What Christianity is supposed to be about is loving God and getting sinners into heaven.
Barna’s survey really wasn’t all that surprising. The thing that stood out to me was that liberals are not the only ones who believe the Son of God sinned while on earth – some conservatives believe it too! This in spite of the fact that the gospel writers tell us that Jesus Christ led the perfect life. In other words, Jesus did not sin -- not even once! Any professing Christian who believes Jesus sinned does not understand the gospel.
“Those who would attack the Church and reject its gospel,” says Albert Mohler, “must direct their arrows at the most crucial truth claim of the New Testament and the disciples: That Jesus Christ, having suffered death on a cross, though sinless, having borne the sins of those He came to save, having been buried in a sealed and guarded grave, was raised by the power of God on the third day.” 
A subsequent Barna survey titled, “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist”  revealed that:
“[M]ost Christians do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living force, either. Overall, 38% strongly agreed and 20% agreed somewhat that the Holy Spirit is “a symbol of God’s power or presence but is not a living entity.” Just one-third of Christians disagreed that the Holy Spirit is not a living force (9% disagreed somewhat, 25% disagreed strongly) while 9% were not sure.”
I’m sure this will tick a lot of people off, thus I’ll receive email accusing me of being judgmental, however, “Christians” who think the Holy Spirit is a symbol of God’s power or presence aren’t saved. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity:
“He is fully God. He is eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, has a will, and can speak. He is alive. He is a person. He is not particularly visible in the Bible because His ministry is to bear witness of Jesus (John 15:26).
“Some cults … say that the Holy Spirit is nothing more than a force…. This is false. If the Holy Spirit were merely a force, then He could not speak (Acts 13:2); He could not be grieved (Eph. 4:30); and He would not have a will (1 Cor. 12:11).
“The truth is that the Holy Spirit is a person the same as the Father and the Son are within the Trinity.” 
What Barna’s surveys show is that although liberals profess Christ many of them are not born-again Christians. How do I know this? God’s laws are written on the hearts of His people. Sooner or later the Lord will take center stage in the life of the person with a regenerate heart. Sheep listen for the shepherd’s voice and follow him:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28).
Sadly, today’s churches are full of goats that are choking out the sheep. Rest assured, goats will not reside in Heaven:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…” (Mat. 25:31-34).
The early Church stood out in stark contrast to a culture steeped in immorality, cruelty, violence, and death. Christianity became the dominant faith, not because followers of Jesus Christ blended in with Rome’s immoral, self-indulgent, me-centered culture, but because their focus was on community. Christians valued the family. They looked after the sick, the needy and the elderly. They also opposed abortion and infanticide.
Two thousand years ago Christians pursued virtue and goodness. In a word, holiness. Why was holiness important to them?
“And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God” (Exodus 3:5-6).
When you draw near to God, remember that you’re on holy ground (http://www.desiringgod.org/Blog/409_r_c_sproul_session_1/).
For those who have been masquerading as Christians consider taking Jesus’ advice:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
What is truth? Truth is a person -- Jesus Christ! His very words are contained in the pages of Holy Scripture. The Christians must take Christ’s words seriously! Reading the Bible is important because it contains God’s roadmap for Christian living. Glancing at it every once in a while doesn’t cut it. God’s people must read it regularly as it is our armor (http://emailbrigade.com/85.html) against the forces of evil. And don’t pick and choose the verses that speak to your heart, make it your mission to read through the entire Bible and to thoroughly study it. How else will you become a mature believer that’s adequately equipped to defend your faith?
Our Lord dubbed His followers the salt of the earth:
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Mat. 5:13).
This may sound harsh but it’s pretty obvious that the Body of Christ has lost its savor. While the lukewarm Church sat idly by, truth was trampled and countless ungodly influences inserted itself into Western Civilization. Both Protestants and Roman Catholics turned away when their Savior was sent packing. Because believers chose to mind their own business, America’s on a slope so slippery we may never be able to climb back up again. Who would have thought we’d find ourselves on the road to European-style socialism? Is this what most Americans want? I doubt it, but it’s being pushed down our throats whether we like it or not – and it’s happing very quickly. Better wake up America!
My generation never dreamed that our Judeo-Christian values would be openly mocked and ridiculed by Hollywood and the media. Anyone who opposes the Left’s radical social agenda is accused of spreading hate. Evangelicals are demonized and called "intolerant fundamentalists” when nothing could be further from the truth! If something isn’t done to stop the war on truth, evil will continue to thrive and civilization as we know it will perish.
The good news is that some men and women of God are speaking out against the apostate Church -- and they’ve got some harsh words for pseudo Christians. In a recent sermon, Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church (http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?commentView=itemComments&lid=17378 ), Paul Washer declared:
“There is a terrible malady upon you and judgment is coming.”
Yes, judgment is coming. For this reason true followers of Jesus Christ must make God’s invisible Kingdom visible to the unsaved – before it’s too late.
Part 1 http://emailbrigade.com/14.html
Berean Research (Owner, Editor)
 Richard Rorty and the Postmodern Rejection of Absolute Truth By Dean Geuras http://www.leaderu.com/aip/docs/geuras.html
 Survey Shows How Liberals and Conservatives Differ on Matters of Faith -- The Barna Group http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/258-survey-shows-how-liberals-and-conservatives-differ-on-matters-of-faith
 The Resurrection of Christ and the Reality of the Gospel By Albert Mohler http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=3592
 Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist – The Barna Group http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/12-faithspirituality/260-most-american-christians-do-not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exis
 The Holy Spirit -- Carm.org http://www.carm.org/christianity/christian-doctrine/holy-spirit
--Christians Are Mixed Up In Mysticism By Marsha West http://www.newswithviews.com/West/marsha52.htm
--Ten Indictments Against the Modern Church—Sermon by Paul Washer http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?commentView=itemComments&lid=17378
--Another Victim of the Modern American NON-Gospel—A Little Leaven blog http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/05/another-victim-of-the-modern-american-nongospel.html
--What’s Being Taught At Rob Bell’s Church—A Little Leaven blog http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/05/whats-being-taught-at-rob-bell.html
--This Video Was Produced by a "Christian Church"—A Little Leaven blog http://www.alittleleaven.com/2009/05/this-video-was-produced-by-a-christian-church.html
Recommended Reading Truth Decay, By Douglas Groothuis http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0830822283/consernewsinform
America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, By Mark Steyn http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0895260786/consernewsinform/
The Apologetics of Jesus: A Caring Approach to Dealing with Doubters, By Norman L. Geisler and Patrick Zukeran http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0801071860/consernewsinform
Knowing Scripture, By R.C. Sproul http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0877847339/consernewsinform
Know What You Believe, By Paul E. Little http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1564767558/consernewsinform
Copyright by Marsha West, 2009. All rights reserved.
Biography - Marsha West
Marsha West is a religious and political-based writer. Until recently Marsha was owner and managing editor of the Email Brigade website and the EMB News Report for over 20 years. She is currently co-owner and editor of Berean Research and general editor of the Christian Research Network. Marsha’s articles have been published widely, both online and in print. Her articles appear on Berean Research, Christian Research Network, News With Views, RenewAmerica and Web Commentary. Visit her resource website: http://onsolidrockresources.com