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Posts Tagged ‘America’s Churches’

I Blame Us, Part 5: The Recovery

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Let’s Have a Reformation!

All week I have argued that the American Evangelical church is to blame for the collapse of our culture. We have failed utterly to maintain the doctrine of the law which was universally taught in Protestant confessions, becoming instead a lawless people. This has handicapped our witness to the world, robbing us of the moral authority to speak and of any message which could convict.

A very serious reformation is needed. Efforts to defund (and dismantle) Planned Parenthood are certainly a righteous cause. It is right for Christians to fight abortion, and to struggle to define marriage properly. However, a more fundamental reformation is necessary, and what is more, it is within the grasp of the church. I speak of a reformation of Evangelicalism – one in which we repent of the last half-century of abandonment of morality. The needed reformation will be spiritual, theological, ecclesiastical, and homiletical.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

I Blame Us, Part 4: The Failure

September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Yesterday I wrote about the scourge of antinomianism which has all but erased traditional protestant doctrine from the evangelical world. While thorough antinomians may be in a minority; they are both vocal and influential. Most evangelicals have at least abandoned part of the law. Many have adopted a form of homiletical antinomianism – an antinomianism of message if you will. It is as though we are permitted to believe in moral law, so long as we never preach it and rarely write about it. Where the law is still permitted to be discussed, it is only with regard to its first (evangelistic) use. Talk of the law restraining human corruption is forgotten, while talk of the law as a standard for Christian ethics is strongly resisted within the church.

But what does any of this have to do with the moral collapse in culture? After all, a solid majority even of self-professed evangelicals still oppose gay marriage, and we are nearly unanimous in our opposition to the culture of death characterized by Planned Parenthood. Are we indeed to blame?

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

I Blame Us, Part 3: The Rejection

Anybody for a game of “Who’s the Pharisee”?

Yesterday I laid out the traditional Christian ethical system, having already quoted the chapter on the law from the 1689 Baptist Confession. Of course this system seems like a radical departure to any contemporary Christian who has been raised on the conviction that biblical law is a useless relic from an earlier dispensation. It is, however, the consistent teaching of Protestantism. In a nutshell, that system may be summarized like this:

1.All biblical law is derived from the character of God, and is thus by definition good.

2.Some laws served a temporary purpose, and God himself abrogated those laws.

3.Biblical law also includes that which is permanent and universal, and this is clearly identified in the Ten Commandments.

4.No one keeps this law perfectly, and thus no one is saved by keeping it.

5.The moral law is nevertheless very useful, and therefore ought to be preached.

6.The preaching and teaching of the moral law is entirely consistent with the gospel.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

I Blame Us, Part 2: The Law

Yesterday I argued that the main culprit in America’s moral collapse has been none other than Evangelical Christianity. In support of that argument I linked to the 1689 Confession’s statement on the law. I argued that this was not a uniquely Particular Baptist doctrine, nor even English Reformed, but was universal in the Protestant church at one time. So before I make some observations on the confession, I need to demonstrate the truth of this statement: “[This] theology was held by Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and the Continental Reformed as well as the Baptists.”

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

I Blame Us, Part 1: The Collapse

That’s gotta hurt!

Most American Christians are currently experiencing cultural whiplash. We thought we lived in the best country on earth, one with a long history of Christian influence, and that we were necessarily better than a lot of other places. Better than atheist Europe, better than pagan Africa, better than Catholic Latin America, and better than the tyrannical Far East. Obviously we’re better than the Islamic Middle East. And Canada, too – everyone knows we’re better than Canada. We’re America. We pledge allegiance to the American flag and to a recently-invented Christian flag right next to each other. Piety and Patriotism are twin brothers in our land. We’re the Christian nation, the home of the free, the defenders of liberty.

Then, in one month’s time, we discover that actually, the constitutional republic our civics classes taught us about simply no longer exists. Instead, a panel of elite lawyers make up the constitution as they go, while an even smaller number of elite bureaucrats set policies according to their whims. Consider:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Dr. Kennedy concludes by lamenting over the results of the preaching of Arminianism in our churches

“It will be a sad day,” concludes Dr. Kennedy, “for our country, if the men, who luxuriate in the excitement of man-made revivals, shall with their one-sided views of truth, which have ever been the germs of serious errors, their lack of spiritual discernment, and their superficial experience, become the leaders of religious thought, and the conductors of religious movements. Already they have advanced as many as inclined to follow them, far in the way to Arminianism in doctrine, and to Plymouthism in service. They may be successful in galvanizing, by a succession of sensational shocks a multitude of dead, till they seem to be alive, and they raise them from their crypts to take a place amidst the living in the house of the Lord; but far better would it be to leave the dead in the place of the dead, and to prophesy to them there, till the living God Himself shall quicken them. For death will soon resume its sway. Stillness will follow the temporary bustle, and the quiet will be more painful than the stir. But to whatever extent this may be realized in the future of the Church in Scotland, our country will yet share, in common with all lands, in the great spiritual resurrection that will be the morning work of that day of glory, during which ‘the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth,’ and ‘all nations shall be blessed in Messiah, and shall call Him blessed.’ Meantime, were it not for the hope of this, it would be impossible to endure to think of the present, and of the immediate future, of the cause of true religion in our land. The dead, oh, how dead! The living, oh, how undiscerning! And if there continue to be progress in the direction, in which present religious activity is moving, a negative theology will soon supplant our (Westminster-ed.) Confession of Faith, the good old ways of worship will be forsaken for unscriptural inventions, and the tinsel of a superficial religiousness will take the place of genuine godliness.”

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel