Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
(Romans 6:12-13)

The Church In Pagan America Has Lost Her Heart

Among the important issues I have brought to your attention lately at Apprising Ministries is all this talk right now within evangelical circles about the alleged need for us to “contextualize” the Gospel message. Unfortunately this is only one of the warped and toxic effects upon the Body of Christ of the meandering musings of men associated with the neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church like Donald Miller and Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. For example this is what apparently led Director of Missions of the Grand Valley Baptist Association (SBC) Kent Shirley to include books by Miller and McLaren on his Recommended Reading for Pastors & Staff page.

Just look for yourself at the number of titles which come from men providing the poison of Contemplative Spirituality. But these are the kinds of things that led my friend Phil Perkins (also SBC) to write Open Letter To Dr. Frank Page And Kent Shirley. For those who may not know Dr. Page is the president of the Southern Baptist Convention. And then unable to receive private replies from Dr. Page to subsequent emails we published Open Letter To Dr. Frank Page and Kent Shirley II. Brother Phil and I agreed the other day that things are like they are in the SBC because people get bored with doing things God’s way and waiting for Him. O, we just want more results and we want them more quickly–instant “have it your way” Christianity.

So instead of doing true God-centered, Christ-centered, Cross-centered evangelism the American Christian Church made other choices. It decided to follow fools like Robert Schuller into a new reformation focused on the three most important persons they know: Me, My-self and I, will make myself like the Most High. The Idol of Evangelicalism has now literally become man-centered and then made its most ill-fated choice in listening to the words of Emergent wolves in sheep’s clothing and becoming “missional,” or…well, even worse. This word missional sounds good but as I have pointed out elsewhere when you watch it in action it becomes praxis (methods) over doctrine. Hence the all the whining and crying today for “unity” and “tolerance.”

So now it’s constantly being drummed into pastors that we need to make the Gospel relevant to our supposed postmodern culture. Permit me to tell you how the Lord hears those words. Mediocre American Christianity now comes from the world and therefore speak[s] from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:5). No more taking up our cross and following the Master outside the camp of the “establishment” to die. O no, now we simply join it in it’s relativism. As one reader of Slice of Laodicea put it while commenting on my article Rob Bell: The Myth of Mars Hill “Miracle Grow”:

They’re so upset with you that they’re going to fight back as best they know how: calling names, backbiting, questioning your character and intentions, and totally ignoring what you’ve revealed–because after all, facts cease to be facts when you don’t like the person stating them.

This form of dyslogia is common in America these days, because people haven’t been inclined to THINK for a very long time… Ech. It’s like arguing with a seven-year-old; no matter how well you prove your point, you’re still a ‘dumb boogerhead and your mom dresses you funny.’ ”

And this is at the very heart of the matter…the fact that the Church in pagan America has lost her heart. She has lost the nerve to boldly stand for the absolute Truth of the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. I postulate it’s because modern evangelicalism, which never renounced the humanism inherent within it, instead was willing to settle for mediocre Christianity. This is what the Spirit of the Lord says to the rapidly apostatising evangelical camp in America:

“I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place–unless you repent. (Revelation 2:4-5)

But it’s not as if our Great Shepherd hadn’t placed His watchmen upon the wall. In the following devotion A.W. Tozer called to you, but you weren’t listening. Are you listening now? Did you see how red the sky was over America this morning? Even so, the watchman shouted:

It is disheartening to those who care, and surely a great grief to the Spirit, to see how many Christians are content to settle for less than the best. Personally I have for years carried a burden of sorrow as I have moved among evangelical Christians who somewhere in their past have managed to strike a base compromise with their heart’s holier longings and have settled down to a lukewarm, mediocre kind of Christianity utterly unworthy of themselves and of the Lord they claim to serve. And such are found everywhere…

Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be…

Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By “want” I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God’s conditions to obtain. TIC,064.

“Oh Lord, give me that ‘wholehearted desire’ that keeps me from being satisfied with mediocre Christianity. Amen.” (Tozer on Christian Leadership, November 23)


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