by Robert Sickler
There appears to be Christians, those who believe in what the bible speaks and are, for the most part, silent where the bible is silent, that are unaware of the horrible evil preying on Christendom; and, even on our own brothers and sisters in the restoration-movement. Ignorance, however, does not free us from our responsibility for reacting to the fact that our nation is being flooded with the waters of a great spiritual movement, where peoples as diverse as Pagans and “Christians” embraced one another in the belief that God exists in many forms and fashions, thus allowing each person to worship God in his or her own way. If not thrown a lifeline, Christians swimming in this vile flood will eventually reach the point where they proudly acknowledge the existence of Christ but openly deny His supreme and universal deity. Before you dismiss this threat, please read the following survey information.
A new survey by pollster George Barna finds only 9 percent of born-again Christians hold a biblical worldview. For the purposes of the research, a biblical worldview was defined as believing that:
- absolute moral truths exist;
- that such truth is defined by the Bible;
- and a firm belief in six specific religious views. Those views were that:
- Jesus Christ lived a sinless life;
- God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He still rules it today;
- salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned;
- Satan is real;
- a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people;
- and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.
Posted: December 3, 2003
© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com
Although the survey was not all-inclusive, as far as Christian beliefs go, it still reveals a serious lack of attention to Christian essentials, or a downright disbelief in Christian essentials, on the part of Christian leadership. Fortunately, there are a few spiritual leaders who have recognized this threat and are boldly speaking out against it. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of solidarity in this effort … probably because the Body of Christ is fragmented and divided into islands of faith where members reinforce one another's beliefs and are oblivious to the threat of postmodernism.
It is hard to visualize a unified effort to combat postmodernism without the Church waking up and acknowledging the fact that it is the duty of every fellowship, which is an element of the Body of Christ, to take an open and dynamic stand to counter this evil. Of course, the Church we speak of did not come into existence through the will of man nor does it now exist through the labors of any organization of man. The one true church is the body of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the one true living God, and it is on this fact alone that His church exists, as His own personal creation. Yet bold men, with charismatic personalities, continue to take fragments of scripture and endow their encapsulated concepts with doctrinal powers; thus, forging their own personal representation of the church. In doing this, they fail to recognize that; no matter how great the principles underpinning their doctrines and no matter how firmly linked they are with scripture, all doctrine resulting from induction, deduction, inference and interpretation are still subordinate to the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the one true living God, and that He is the creator of the Church. The restoration movement was not birthed in fellowships that proclaimed Jesus to have been a great man. Our forefathers knew and proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of the one true living God and that our existence as a society of believers is as members of the one true church … the Body of Christ. As a member within the universal Body of Christ each church fellowship has an obligation to shepherd the flock and protect lambs from evils like the one devouring so many of our brothers and sisters today.
The Church, of all Christian peoples, is the creation of Jesus Christ and exists under His authority and leadership alone. It is true that people who consider themselves Christians will, by the intrinsic nature of the human beast, tend to gather together in fellowships where folks have a common mental and emotional moving. Our fellowshipping with those of a kindred religious leaning is not a great tragedy, in and of itself. The tragedy comes when a fellowship has lost sight of the real reason for their existence: which is to be a functional element with in the body of Christ. It is a serious error for a congregation to forget that they are but one small part of a much larger and divine creation. It is truly evil when a congregation rises up the religious cloth of their fellowship, as an organizational standard, which over shadows the true mission of Christ. This sad condition is made even more horrid when the crest of our fellowship motivates us to build walls, and then to ignore the plight of those whose crest is made from a different cloth. Evidence abounds to support the fact that many fellowships, with roots in the restoration movement, have become so clad in the religious weavings of mortal minds that they no longer recognize that all true Christians are bound together under the authority and leadership of Jesus Christ alone. True members of the Body of Christ cannot let this sad condition go unchallenged... we are accountable to Christ for demonstrating our responsible to our brothers and sisters.
Least one be led to believe that this plea is a call for unification, let it be clearly stated that: “Christendom, that body of people who, for the most part, profess with their mouths that they are a religious society founded upon the teachings of a man called Jesus, is already drowning in the spirit of pseudo Christen brotherhood!” It is not that we are advocating ignoring the plight of mainstream protestant denominations, as well as others. But, one can hardly keep from recognizing that their condition is, in all probability, irreversible. We must come to acknowledge, however, the fact that this cancer of religious humanism and universalism, or whatever name you wish to give it, is rapidly gaining ground in restoration fellowships and colleges. Therefore, this plea is for restoration fellowships to stop belaboring the fact that we gather in different tinted groupings; and instead, open our eyes to the fact that our own brothers and sisters are being lured into the mindset of apostate leaders … within the restoration movement itself! If there be any hint of unification in this plea it is for us to unify our efforts to save our fellow Christian from damming their souls with the evils of universalism and religious humanism.
Do not let your own congregational piety blind you to the fact that a growing number of restoration congregations already have leaders who’s minds are so riddled with the cancer of universalism, and their souls so darkened with the spirit of religious humanism, that Christ has become a nonessential element of their teaching. With the guile of a serpent, they preach politically correct sermons and ever so slowly weave a spell that denies the universal and supreme deity of Jesus Christ. Their infiltration of conservative congregations, within the restoration movement, is going unchecked because restoration shepherds are caught up in bickering with one another over their own petty opinions. This foolish disputing, over non-essential matters, only results in our maiming the very elect of God and defaming the love of Christ before the world. As a result of this foolishness, the true body of Christ exists as isolated individuals and congregations, which are so blinded by their crusade to lift up local traditions that they are unaware of the real evil sweeping through the remnant of the restoration movement. God did not call us out of the world so that we could unite under some fabricated human standard. There is no way one could be led to believe that God intended for our fellowships to become isolated islands of Christians that ignore the plight of brothers and sisters, who are being lured into believing the lie preached by those who have abandoned the deity of Christ.
How sad it is that the very elect lift up their opinions as if they were God-inspired revelations; when, these opinions are really nothing more than the invention of men’s minds, even if they be founded on scripture and most profitable for governing an individual’s personal way of life. In truth, these opinions are wolves in sheep’s clothing! They may, in their own standing, be of great worldly value; but all these opinions really do is fill the thrown of Christ with the image of the opinion’s promoter, rather than with Christ. We must wake up and see that we have been blinded by our father’s fanatical service to opinions and that this is the greatest spiritual abomination ever worked by the one who seeks to destroy the Body of Christ. We have become Pharisees and Scribes! We are stiff-necked servants in love with our opinions about a cause, but we have lost our fear and love for the one who is the cause. What a grand blow to the work of Satan it would be if true Christians could be brought into a loving tolerance of one another’s opinion, and thus become partners in a holy war to rid Christendom of post modernism and its universalism and religious humanism. This will never happen as long as our shepherds remains tainted with the sin of turning their religious opinions into traditions, which so infests the original mold of Christianity that only deformed examples of sacrificial Christen love are manifested.
Christian leader, do not be fast in becoming hostile at what you have read … please try to recognize that most doctrine, which divides us, is really just opinions that fall into the realm of disputable matters. Disputable matters being, as defined by Paul in such letters as Romans, Corinthians and Colossians, those nonessential matters which impact Christians in differing ways; and that as such, they exist without a clearly defined thus saith the Lord to support any one camp’s opinion. Under these conditions, the best that we can do is to share with one another our inductions and deductions of scripture. These are, after all, only the inventions of a less than perfect human mind. Thus, we must humbly proclaim that we consider these opinions as profitable only to ourselves and to such folk as have had the scripture speak to them in like manner. Most definitely there will be those who do not share our opinion, but we must make it plain that we do not wish to divide over an opinion. For, once a person is outside of scripture, which contains a clearly defined thus saith the Lord, then that person has no right to contest with a brother over their opinion regarding such scripture. This is not to say that we never expound on our opinions. Should peace and harmony reign in a Christian discussion, over a disputable matter, most of us are rapid to lay forth with our opinion, thinking that it is so grand, and we so excellent a speaker, that all but the most daft will soon be swayed to believe as we do. To expound on an opinion, however, is not the same as to militantly push that opinion forward as doctrine. As Christian leaders, we have been commissioned to labor to bring people into a strong relationship with Christ. We have not been commissioned to push nonessential doctrine, which is often fueled by emotional opinions, causing us to be alienated from other true Christians. The plea for us to stop pushing our opinion, that falls into the realm of disputable matters, as essential doctrine should be our first step in a true spiritual restoration; and, a vital step in reaching out to our brothers and sisters who are sinking in the sins of universalism and religious humanism.
Can we not all agree that when personal opinions exist, which rest in areas tangent to salvation doctrine and are better suited for defining an individual’s personal walk with the Lord, that it is very foolish for anyone to oppose the resultant convictions of a person’s heart. A wise leader knows that scripture-induced convictions can only be clearly defined within the chambers of the individual’s heart, seeing that they have been put there by the individual’s communion with God. Yes, it is up to the shepherd to carefully consider the origin of a person’s convictions. But, when an individual's opinion results from scripture-induced convictions we must accept the fact that these convictions are between the individual and God. Remember, we are only dealing with personal opinions that fall in the realm of disputable matters and not issues impacting salvation. Under these conditions, it is much better to allow people to put their faith in the word of God, as it is revealed to them from a personal study of scripture, than it is to put their faith in man’s explanation of scripture. Yes, this is a fine line that a shepherd must walk. But, when we force people to believe everything that they have been taught by us we are teaching them to put their faith in the wisdom of man and not in the wisdom of God. The truth is: that if our opinion is taught in the love and power of the Holy Spirit then it will bear fruit where God wants it to flower. Scripture teaches us that Paul was initially more compatible with Timothy than he was with John Mark, but there is no indication that Timothy was right and Mark was wrong. Just like Timothy and John Mark, we will each have our own personal Christian personality. But, as scripture later reveals, Paul’s change in attitude toward John Mark shows that our personal convictions are no reason for us to remain so isolated that we allow evil men to lead restoration peoples away from Christ.
If we agree to not oppose our brethren’s opinions, regarding disputable matters, does this mean that there are no Christian standards and that each and every person can do as he or she wishes, and still be called a Christian? May God forbid that such a state ever exists, or that this writing ever be used to make such a proclamation. Scripture makes it very plain that there are both lost and saved persons... thus there must be essentials of salvation! Scripture makes it very plain that there is both obedience and disobedience to God... thus there must be essentials of Christian conduct. Without essentials of salvation, and Christian conduct, there would be no need for Jesus Christ. With out Jesus Christ there would be no absolute truths. Without absolute truths there would be no Christian standards, and without Christian standards all there would be is chaos. Nature proves that all is not chaos, standards must then exist, absolute truth must exist, and Jesus must exist. Thus, kingdom essentials must come from the very fibers composing the fabric of Jesus Christ. These essentials are the absolute truths that merge together forming the solid rock on which Christianity was built, and now these essentials are what set true Christians apart from the rest of the world. Simple-minded opinions of man pale in value when compared to true Christian essentials.
Christian essentials were sown in the blood of Jesus, they bloomed in His resurrection, they have clothed the bride of Christ through all time, and their beauty has been an anchor for Christian faith throughout history. Yet, today we are witnessing a mass exodus from the truth in mainstream protestant denominations and a growing departure from the truth in conservative Christian fellowships. If the decline in Christ-centered essentials continues, even more restoration fellowships will sink into the spiritual wasteland of post-modern Christendom: where man’s reasoning generates logical winds, which stirs up the dust of men's minds and carries them in no defined spiritual direction. Christendom’s religions will tumble along in these winds until another man’s reasoning generates another logical wind to stir the dust of men's minds in yet another non-direction. Without Christ-centered essentials, on which to build, Christendom will continue to be impregnated with religious orders more concerned with addressing: personal relationships, social conditions, hugging a tree, and being politically correct than they are in proclaiming that JESUS IS KING. Under these conditions, there will be no acknowledged essentials on which to build a case for embracing Christ as our only savior and supreme ruler of the universe. If we fail to rally under the banner of true Christian essentials, only very small isolated islands of Christianity will exist in a vast spiritual sea of humanistic spiritualism.
If post-modern Christendom, and significant portions of restoration fellowships, are becoming as Christ-less as it appears... then our ignoring the current situation is a serious problem. When members of our movement do not take the Holy Bible as the final authority for establishing our relationship with God and our fellow man: then they have opened the door for Satan to blind us with the wisdom of man. When we do not believe, and preach, that Jesus is the ONLY path to God and salvation: then we have provided Satan with construction materials for building a broad and easy spiritual path for man to follow straight into hell. When we proclaim that man cannot know God, or even worse, we say that our God can be any God: then we have built a thrown on which Satan can sit as God. To ignore the fact that we have brothers and sister being lured into these horrid apostate conditions is a sin.
If we are to be what Jesus wants us to be then we must tailor all of our missions with pure scriptural truths; free from the influence of mental gymnastics performed by leaders who are in love with the sound of their own voice. Every endeavor will proclaim that we serve a risen savior who reigns as supreme authority in the entire universe, and that at His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that... He is lord. True Christians will be anchored in the truth that their God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and, that the only path of salvation recognized by our God is through acceptance of Jesus Christ as master of our life. We will boldly tear the blinding delusion from the eyes of our brothers and sisters and gently offer them our hand of fellowship. We will love them with a love that can only come from a servant of Jesus Christ and we will patiently teach them the essentials of Christ. In this grand cause, we set aside opinions generated by man and we are simply Christians serving our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.