Monday, July 12, 2004

BUILDING A NEW FOUNDATION

Sometimes I get in trouble with my brothers and sisters in Christ when I express concern about false teachings within the church. They seem to try to disuade me from speaking up about the truth of God's word. I recall one person telling me that I should not speak up against the leaders in the church when they are wrong because that would bring upon myself a curse from God. I've also been told that we are only called to live holy for God is holy, yet I believe part of living holy is to contend for the faith, to cast down and expose false teachings as stated in Jude, "Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."(Jude 1:3)Or in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 where it states "Test everything. Hold on to the good.", and Matthew 22:37; "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
MIND.'"[emphasis added]

And there are many more to this point:

1 Peter 3:15
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always
be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you
to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do
this with gentleness and respect"

2 Corinthians 10:5
"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets
itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take
captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

2 Timothy 4:2
"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. CONVINCE, REBUKE, EXHORT, with all longsuffering and teaching."(emphasis mine)

We are urged to contend and even defend our faith in God's word through His son Jesus Christ, not in vain arguing but with love, respect, and patience. While I do agree that ultimately God will reconcile all things back to Him, I do believe that we are to make every effort to win souls and expose false teachings when they arise or else we will be held accountable for our inactions as well as our actions.

This brings me to this point, people will not receive God's word when there is no foundation to it. They will be like the seeds that fell among the thorns and thistles or among the rocks, but in order for the preaching of the Gospel to be truly effective they must be planted in good soil,that good soil is a solid foundation in the word of God which starts in Genesis. People, even many Christians, do not accept the bible as true and historical, they do not connect it to reality and therefore are struggling with their faith. Even at the start of the early church with the Apostles, there were many who received Christ, I believe on a large part, due to the fact that the foundation of the Old Testament scriptures were already accepted as true. Even when Paul spoke at the Areopagus to the philosphers there, they already believed in a god yet did not know who he was. Paul came in and filled in the blanks, if you will, for them. Some of them believed and other did not. Yet, there was a common ground for them to work with.

As I stated before, one common thread among the false teachers is their stance on the book of Genesis,this is why I know that we must begin to expose them starting with demonstrating the truth of the creation story. For from this we get many foundational teachings about clothing, marriage,sin, disobedience, Satan, sacrafice, and the nature of God. All of these things are foundational to the Gospel message, without them the message really doesn't make much sense which is why many do fall away eventually.

Three examples of how the Gospel connects to these foundational teachings is the concept of sin, death, and redemption, these three things are explained in the first three chapters of Genesis. First, God covered Adam and Eve with an animals skin, a symbol of Christ and the concept of shedding blood to "cover" our sins. Another example is in the reference to Jesus Christ's death, burial and ressurrection, when God gave a prophesy of the woman's seed crushing the head of the serpent, second, Christ is referred to as the "last Adam" by Paul in Romans, as Adam was the representative for man that brought death to us, so too Jesus became our new representative that brings life, third, Jesus had to be born of a woman, be of the lineage of Adam,and take on the punishment of sin upon Himself in order to save us, who are also descendants of Adam. He could only die for Adams descendants. All of this stems from the book of Genesis.

But when we deny the historicity of the creation account, we undermine the essentials of the Gospel message. One way this has been done is through allowing thousands or millions of years to be explained into the six day creation model which stems from evolutionary thinking based on the so called discovery of the fossil record which has evidence of death, desease and violence. This is inconsistent since the bible clearly tells us that it was due to Adam and Eve's sin that we have death, desease and violence. Also, God looked on all he made and said that it was good, how could that be if there was death and desease occuring prior to the fall of man? That makes God inconsistent and a liar! It is from this axiom that we begin to get false teaching for it is when you can weaken the foundation that you knock the rest of the building down. As Jesus stated in Matthew 12:29 "Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can rob his house." If one is allowed to discount part of the bible, especially a part that is foundational, then the rest of the bible is easily discounted as well. Our Christian leaders are compromising the truth and authority of scripture for the sake of "winning souls", not offending, and a false unity. The Lord says in Hosea 4:5-7
Hosea 4:5-7
"You stumble day and night,
and the prophets stumble with you.
So I will destroy your mother-
my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
"Because you have rejected knowledge,
I also reject you as my priests;
because you have ignored the law of your God,
I also will ignore your children.
The more the priests increased,
the more they sinned against me;
they exchanged their Glory for something disgraceful."


and again in Jeremiah 8:10-12

" They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
"Peace, peace," they say,
when there is no peace."


Because they reject the knowledge of God and accept the foolish wisdom of the world the word of God is made into a series of formulas, mantras, and secret spells and many are dying and don't know it. We avoid this essential truth to some how keep the peace and not cause division. Such is the plight of the Church. It has gotten to the point of accepting homosexuality as a norm, justifying abortion, and churches relying more and more on government funding to do the work of God. The ability to justify these things stem from the abandonment of the historicity of Genesis and hence the rest of scripture as well.

The secular mindset has so permeated the church that, if we are to be effective as Christians, we have to practically start all over again in our approach to spreading the Gospel. We have to form a new foundation or frame of reference in order to get the whole message across and penetrate the wall of secular reasoning that is so strong among unbelievers and believers alike. This need in forming a new foundaton speaks volumes into why homosexuality, abortion, and the breakdown of the traditional family has become common place rather than taboo inspite of many organizations who do protest these notions, but are still losing the battle here in America and even abroad, but don't even realize why. We have to start to rebuild a foundation for the church from the begining.

3 comments:

r said...

Mr. McClellan, I think you may have missed your calling; preaching and exhortation really seem to be your spiritual gifts.

Rae

Jerry McClellan said...

You are not the first to suggest such an idea.

Anonymous said...

Exellent points and you're certainly not alone.

Doug Giles also throws down the biblical gauntlet in his 17 Jul 04 article entiltled "Pastors, Priests, and Politics -- Part I" @ http://www.townhall.com/columnists/douggiles/dg20040717.shtml

God Bless

Andy