Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep Your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

Being Without Excuse In The Eyes Of Our Lord

I borrow the above title from a devotion from Oswald Chambers. While doing some research this morning I was led to the website of the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts. Having once been with the American Baptist Convention in the early 90’s, and seeing this event is not far from where I live now, I was particularly saddened to see just how far this denomination has fallen. No, it’s not surprising as Tony Campolo, who openly denies the inerrancy of the Bible, is a minister in this group but even so when I saw Discovering the Emerging Church at Missionworks 2007 it still makes me sad.

You see, regardless of how loudly some keep insisting it, this kind of discernment work does not make us happy but as a pastor-teacher it is certainly a part of my particular commission – preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction (2 Timothy 4:2, NASB). And tragically we are watching a mainstream denomination, which was once thoroughly orthodox, now beginning to be swallowed alive by contemplative mysticism as evidenced by the AB Women’s Retreat. Follow this link and you will see the brochure tells you they will, “experience God’s presence in a new way”, “learn a different way to pray”, and there will be “quiet time for contemplation.”

Combine the immersion into the cult of new liberal theology that is the Emergent Church with contemplative prayer along with things like Liliana Da Valle having just been named “the new Executive Minister of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island” in violation of Scripture and we are seeing yet another fulfillment of the following from God’s Word – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

All of which is the current abysmal background within rapidly apostatizing evangelicalism which make the words from the devotion by Oswald Chambers chillingly prophetic:

“Who art Thou, Lord?” Acts 26:15

“The Lord spake thus to me with a strong hand.” There is no escape when Our Lord speaks, He always comes with an arrestment of the understanding. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you in the language you know best, not through your ears, but through your circumstances.

God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. “I know this is what I should do” – and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance. We have shown our ignorance of Him in the very way we determined to serve Him. We serve Jesus in a spirit that is not His, we hurt Him by our advocacy for Him, we push His claims in the spirit of the devil. Our words sound all right, but our spirit is that of an enemy. “He rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.” The spirit of our Lord in an advocate of His is described in 1 Corinthians 13.

Have I been persecuting Jesus by a zealous determination to serve Him in my own way? If I feel I have done my duty and yet have hurt Him in doing it, I may be sure it was not my duty, because it has not fostered the meek and quiet spirit, but the spirit of self-satisfaction. We imagine that whatever is unpleasant is our duty! Is that anything like the spirit of our Lord – “I delight to do Thy will, O My God.” (My Utmost for His Highest, 20)