For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside. (Mark 7:21-23)

The Truth Hurts

The above is not a pretty picture; it isn’t seeker sensitive, and unfortunately those of us who teach the Truth won’t come emerging with much of a following. But this is the backdrop against which we must begin our look at the marred image of God in the new evangelicalism. A gross misunderstanding of the true nature of man is the root problem of this whole seeker sensitive Church Growth movement, which has spawned both the Purpose Driven Church and the Emerging Church. You will be coming to see that the leaders within both of these groups are closer than most people think, and all of them share that serious spiritual flaw I’ve just mentioned concerning the true nature of man. You must understand that through many years of the Christian Church in America dwelling on the love of God toward man until it has been magnified out of its proper Biblical context, the message now preached is a quite distorted view of what Christ actually taught, as evidenced above.

The truth is that far from teaching that mankind had a little sin “problem” Jesus of Nazareth–the Creator Himself in human flesh–even told His Own disciples they were evil by nature. This may come as a shock to the Purpose Driven and Emergent church crowd, but this is also clear from Matthew’s eyewitness testimony, as he reports that Jesus taught:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

Did we catch that in verse 11? Christ says – “If you, then, though you are evil.” And here is where the ancient Church would easily connect this back to the fall of Adam and Eve. But the Emergent cry is: “But mankind is created in the image of God!” Even Rick tells us in The Purpose Driven Life “Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God” (85). Yes, and yes again, it is true that mankind is created in the image of God, and Adam and Eve had a most intimate relationship with God. However, what is missing in these teachings is the very reason for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Adam and Eve sinned and caused the irreversible nature of sin to be perpetuated in their progeny. Irreversible, that is, until Christ Jesus took our sin upon Himself so that God could forgive all our sins by nailing the written code to the Cross (see–Colossians 2:13,14). But today new evangelicalism has begun openly denying this vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of our Lord.

The Marred Image Of God

One of the things we need to keep in mind here is that from the creation of mankind in the first chapter of Genesis, sin becomes so accelerated and so terrible, that it is only takes until chapter six before the LORD God Almighty–a Being of pure love–becomes so grieved with mankind that He decides to destroy them all in a global flood, save eight people. And as I’ve mentioned before, what is not being taken into account in the sinner sensitive Purpose Driven Church and the schismatic Emerging Church is that the earth then becomes repopulated from these same eight. Now the leaders of this new evangelicalism point people back to Genesis one and tell us that mankind was created in the image of God. But now you can see the twist of the Truth by Satan here; although we are created in the moral character of God, those of us on the earth right now are also descendants of people who already had a fallen nature.

Now that you have all of this in proper prospective you are in better position to understand what our Creator has said above as Christ Jesus calls us evil. You should also now be able to see that the oft-quoted Jeremiah 17:9 – the heart [of man] is deceitful, is far from just an isolated principle latched onto by rabid fundamentalists. As I have previously pointed out it is a sad fact concerning the horrific corruption to the image of God in mankind that happened because of the Fall. And our Lord’s comment about the true nature of man is in perfectly in accord with what He had said back in Genesis 8:21, where the LORD God plainly tells us about mankind’s true nature – every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And then this is further confirmed by God the Holy Spirit through His Apostle Paul when he informs us – Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).

What Paul is telling us here is that when perfection comes – when we are glorified with Christ, then we will have the image of God completely restored, and no longer will it be a poor reflection – or as the KJV says will it be seen – through a glass, darkly. The Apostle John is also talking about this same event when he says – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2). As we look at the Bible from God’s perspective these things become clear as crystal, and even especially so as we look at Romans 5:

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (vv.6-10)

And this marred image of God is what is missing from the message of the seeker sensitive “gospel,” which Galatians 1:7 tells us is really no gospel at all. The thought behind this new evangelical wishful gospel is that if we don’t tell people how much God loves them, and if we don’t “ease” them into our churches then they won’t come. But what these blind leaders who are leading their blind followers don’t understand is this: If we don’t preach the Gospel that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave us to preach on behalf of God the Father then God the Holy Spirit doesn’t come. Thus we are in a most sorry state where we just might have pleased man, but we have most assuredly grieved God. Until the Purpose Driven and Emerging churches get back to telling people the Truth then they will only continue to see growing churches that slam the door to the Kingdom of Heaven in the faces of those to whom they are lying.

And let us not forget that Christ Jesus takes a very dim view of the type of religion espoused by the man-pleasers of this new evangelicalism like Rick Warren and Brian McLaren and Joel Osteen:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. “Woe to you, blind guides!