Skip to comments.More Pastors Jumping Off the Rock into the Raging Waters
Posted on 08/05/2013 12:02:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
When evangelical preachers lose their way and turn their backs on biblical Christianity, why is it they end up in the Episcopal Church?
As a preacher who traveled in the opposite direction and left the Episcopal Church 22 years agoor I should say the Episcopal Church left meI think I have a clue.
On March 18, the Huffington Post reported that Rob Bell, the one-time evangelical pastor who rejected the core of Christian faith, has endorsed homosexual marriage.
Where was that endorsement made? Surprise, surprise: Grace Cathedral, the Episcopal Cathedral of the Diocese of California. Grace Cathedral is located in San Francisco, the Mecca of homosexuality and all things anti-biblical.
Bell is now living in California, where hes promoting his book, Love Wins. The book has propelled Bell to a stardom of sorts, even though it rejected a cornerstone of Christian faiththat no salvation is possible except through faith in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, that rejection caused his split with mega-church Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, Michigan.
The solid cliff of the Christian gospel that Bell has jumped off is the same cliff that I held fast to when I left the Episcopalian Church. I chose the way of Jesus. Unfortunately, Bell and others have chosen the way of Judas.
Shock jocks in the church are not new. They love to make a splash on their way from light to darkness.
In fact, I venture to say that most of themlike Bell and Bishop Spong before himtraveled alongside those in the light, but in reality, were never in the light themselves. They faked their evangelicalism until they could fake it no more. The pressure to be accepted by modern society became too great, and the wolves had to remove their sheep coverings and come out. Then they often found a welcoming audience in the Episcopal Church, who also had long ago given into the need for acceptance from the world.
However, Mr. Bells pronouncement of the demise of Bible-believing Christianity may be premature. To be sure, statistics back his assertion that many people are rejecting biblical faith. But that only serves to strengthen true believers.
From the beginning, Jesus taught that true believers would always be small in number, but their impact would be inversely proportional to their size.
After all, martyrdom served as the seed of the church, and it may do that again.
Bell refers to biblical Christianity as a dying subculture, but he of all people should know what Jesus said. For Bell once opened the Bible and taught from it.
We know that the sheep and the goats will get mixed up until God begins to separate them. The wheat and weeds will grow together until harvest time, when the angels will bind the weeds and bundle them for the eternal fire.
Therefore those who remain Bible-believing Christians should never panic nor be surprised when we see the weeds revealed. We should not be surprised, but neither should we gloat. Far from it.
It is a tragedy. We should grieve and weep and feel the depth of sorrow for them. May God have mercy on us all.
“For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.” Isaiah 3:9
Had not heard that Bell endorsed homosexual union (a spiritual impossibility before God), but am not at all surprised.
Bingo. How about 1 John 2:19.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but [they went out], that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.
What else can be said?
Same could asked of the unitarians.
The unitarians didn’t used to embrace every abomination under the sun.
Now they just can’t get enough of the old evils.
The original sin for the unitarians of course was that they didn’t believe that Jesus is fully God—as well as fully Man.
This robbed them of all power save what they could gin up among themselves—which is to say —not much.
As result their virtue was always just a reflection of the culture around them rather than anything that sprang from their own doctrine.
When the culture went bad they went bad too.
The Episcopals are just a more pronounced outgrowth of the problem that affected all the mainline denominations. About 80 years ago they all signed onto the higher criticism school in their seminaries. Higher criticism treated bible stories like greek or norse myths—that is —fables that revealed something about the human character and condition —rather than God’s truth. This meant that essentially there are no miracles. There’s no supernatural processes at work in the world. Essentially everything is measurable including God. Why? because man is the measure of all things.
Essentially the higher criticism school borrowed the philosophy of Descartes and applied to theology.
(This is a caca thing to do because philosophy presumes that man is the measure of all things whereas theology presumes that God is the measure of all things. But there you have it)
In any case under these circumstances if there are no miracles and nothing supernatural; man is the measure of all things—including God—then of course Jesus is just a man.
All of the mainline protestant denominations have gone the way of the unitarian (Arian Heresy)
So again they have no internal moral spring. their morality is just a reflection of the culture. when the culture—these denominations went bad too.
What is Biblical Christianity? The word Christianity isn’t in the Bible.
Can someone give us the Biblical term for the religion of Jesus Christ?
Yes, it is called Judaism. Jesus was a believing Jew for his entire life and ministry. He criticized certain practices and interpretations of certain religious leaders of his day, but Jesus never abrogated or advocated any abandonment of the holy scriptures, faith in God, or living in accordance with the essential moral teachings or code one finds given us in those scriptures. Indeed, a reasonable interpretation of his ministry is that he sought to emphasize the essential moral character of the laws or rules, coming as he said to ‘fulfill’ or explain them in a more essential or complete fashion, rather than to overturn or invalidate any of them.
And while Christianity eventually came to have its own identification, the common Judeoj-Christian faith tradition teaches the same moral standards and values from the same holy scriptures, which we believe derive from the same One God and Creator.
We don’t need to read the word “Christianity” in the Bible to read, and follow, the Bible’s central moral teachings.
(Indeed, it would be an unfair imposition to demand that a certain word, one that probably did not develop or become commonplace for some time after the end of the Biblical canon, somehow be found inside that body of writings.)
At any event, that’s how I sees it.
Since you asked.
Best regards, fhc
The word "Christianity" is not in the Bible, but the word "Christian" is. So using the word Christianity to describe the faith practiced by those the Bible called Christians seems quite acceptable.
As for Jesus following Judaism, well, He was born a Jew, of course. But He did violate the laws at one time or another. For instance, healing the sick on the Sabbath.
For a more serious violation of Judaistist practice, He claimed to be the Son of God, and never denied it, when asked, or told, by men, demons, of Satan himself.
Matthew 26:62-64 King James Version (KJV)
62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Christ didn’t say, “I came to finish explaining the Law”, he said, “I came to complete it.” Let’s be clear: moral living to the standard of perfection the Law requires is impossible, which is the very point of Christ’s sacrifice: a sinless life that covers all sin.
Matt Chandler’s book, The Explicit Gospel, is one of the best treatments of this I’ve ever read.
Jesus taught to go and sin no more.
U nderstood. I was not attempting to summarize all of the faith. Only to address that it dies contain moral teachings. Something some people out there seem to overlook at times. Thanks.
Yet in Acts the believers were called Christians for the first time. That is the origins of the word “Christianity”.
>>why is it they end up in the Episcopal Church?
Maybe because it pays better.
What are the comparative pay scale and retirement benefit numbers?
They drink a lot also.
When a “church’s” doctrine is set by vote or by the current whims rather than based on 2000 year old rock, what else can one expect except apostasy?
Arians are more like the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Ain't it the truth :)