“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord. They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord, but they shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)

Unbelief Is Not Humility; It Is To Miss The Mark Of Christ, And Therefore Is Sin

God in His mercy decided that for this season at least, as a leading online apologetics and discernment labor in the Lord, a major part of my commission as pastor-teacher here Apprising Ministries is to help make you aware of trends developing within the church visible during this time parallel to my opening text. Spiritual darkness continues to creep across apostatizing evangelicalism.

That’s why in recent hard-hitting articles like Jay Bakker, Homosexuality, And Gospel Reductionism and Critical To Know Your Bible! and Apprising Ministries Hits Mark On The Wild Goose Festival I’ve reminded you about the vital importance of the proper Christian spirituality of sola Scriptura; it’s our safest course now that myriad serpentine deceptions are slithering into the mainstream evangelical camp.

It has come with a cost as readership has stagnated and funding has dropped because telling the truth is never popular. Even so, as I told you a year ago in The New Downgrade And Its Apostles Of Uubelief, the infallible and inerrant Word of God has been under attack through the proliferation of a ne0-Gnostic corruption called Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism (CSM), a mysticism-lite for the self-centered (cf. 2 Timothy 3:2).

Sadly, this has now become pandemic within mainstream evangelicalism through its foolish embrace of the sinfully ecumenical neo-liberal cult of the Emergent Church aka the Emerging Church and its Christian universalism in a new version of postmodern Progressive Christian theology under their spiritual circus “big tent” of Emergence Christianity. Think I overstate; consider the unhindered spread of the Love Wins mythology.

Rock star Emerging Church pastor Rob Bell is as evangelical as the Dalai Lama; and as a matter of fact, his approach to spirituality is closer to him than to that practiced by the historic orthodox Christian church. So now, particularly in the younger sectors of spiritually spineless evanjellyfish, relentless bombardment from inside its own publishing houses by EC leaders has turned people inward for a journey to deluded deception and unbelief.

However, when speaking about these ignominious apostles of unbelief in What’s So Dangerous About the Emerging Church? Dr. John MacArthur hits the target dead center when he said such as these like Bell and wild goose chasing apostates like his friend heretical universalist pastor Doug Pagitt, and the equally heretical Tony Jones, progressive/liberal “theologian in residence” at Pagitt’s social gathering:

have decided that there is value, there is even virtue in uncertainty about Scripture.  The bottom line in the movement is they believe that we aren’t even suppose to understand precisely what the Bible means.  And to me, that’s the big issue. It is an attack on the clarity of Scripture and they elevate themselves as if this is some noble reality.  They have finally risen to say we’re honest enough to say, “We don’t know what the Bible really means.  We can’t be certain.  We are…we’re the truly spiritual ones.”  It has overtones of spiritual pride, a false kind of spiritual pride which they call humility.

They say, “We’re too humble to say that we know what the Bible means.” The bottom line, I think, in the movement is that it is a denial of the clarity of Scripture.  It is a denial that we can know what the Bible really says. And as I said, it’s amorphous because there’s a mish-mash of approaches to this and a mish-mash of styles and things like that. But they have embraced this mystery as if it’s true spirituality.  And so, it becomes celebration of mystery, a celebration of ignorance, a celebration that we can’t really know.

I think it’s just another form of liberalism.  I think it’s just another form of denying the clarity of Scripture. (Online source)

As one who’s trudged through this Emergent sewer of skubalon for six long years now I can tell you MacArtur is right; it’s well past time to hear that these inimical instruments of Satan, with their different gospel (cf. Galatains 1:6-9), are in fact perfectly playing the siren song of their father: “Did God actually say?” (cf. Genesis 3:1) From this vantage point you can now better view the following from Charles Spurgeon.

You are likely aware that Spurgeon dealt with the evil modern forebears of this postmodern Liberalism 2.0 in what came to be known as the Downgrade Controversy; and the fact is Phil Johnson has brought out that, as with the original liberals:

As politically incorrect as this might sound to postmodern ears, there are abroad and within the church “many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers….They must be silenced…” (Titus 1:10-11). Or, in the more picturesque imagery of King James parlance, “[Their] mouths must be stopped.” How false teachers are to be silenced is one of those things in Scripture that is crystal clear. It is not by physical force or by auto-da-fé.

They are to be refuted and rebuked by qualified elders in the church who are skilled in the Scriptures, “able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it” (Titus 1:9). That presupposes that vital truth is clear enough to know for certain. And it prescribes a clear remedy involving exhortation, reproof, rebuke, and correction.[1]

With this in mind I point you Unbelief: Parent of Every Gross Evil, Your weekly dose of Spurgeon posted by yesterday Johnson over at his well respected Pyromaniacs blog. This excerpt is from Spurgeon’s sermon “The Sin of Unbelief,” which was “preached on Sunday Morning, 14 January 1855, at the New Park Street Chapel in
Southwark, during Spurgeon’s first year as pastor of that congregation.”

As you read on, consider the truth of this classic quote, Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it:

The sin of unbelief will appear to be extremely heinous when we remember that it is the parent of every other iniquity. There is no crime which unbelief will not beget.

I think that the fall of man is very much owing to it. It was in this point that the devil tempted Eve. He said to her, “Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” He whispered and insinuated a doubt, “Yea, hath God said so?” as much as to say, “Are you quite sure he said so?”

It was by means of unbelief—that this part of the wedge—that the other sin entered; curiosity and the rest followed; she touched the fruit, and destruction came into this world. Since that time, unbelief has been the prolific parent of all guilt.

An unbeliever is capable of the vilest crime that ever was committed. Unbelief, sirs! why it hardened the heart of Pharoh—it gave license to the tongue of blaspheming Rabshakeh—yea, it became a deicide, and murdered Jesus. Unbelief!—it has sharpened the knife of the suicide! it has mixed many a cup of poison; thousands it has brought to the halter; and many to a shameful grave who have murdered themselves and rushed with bloody hands before their Creator’s tribunal, because of unbelief!

Give me an unbeliever—let me know that he doubts God’s word—let me know that he distrusts his promise and his threatening; and with that for a premise, I will conclude that the man shall, by-and-bye unless there is amazing restraining power exerted upon him, be guilty of the foulest and blackest crimes.

Ah! this is a Beelzebub sin; like Beelzebub, it is the leader of all evil spirits. It is said of Jeroboam that he sinned and made Israel to sin; and it may be said of unbelief that it not only sins itself; but makes others sin, it is the egg of all crime, the seed of every offense; in fact everything that is evil and vile lies couched in that one word—unbelief.

And let me say here, that unbelief in the Christian is of the self-same nature as unbelief in the sinner. It is not the same in its final issue, for it will be pardoned in the Christian; yea it is pardoned: it was laid upon the scape-goat’s head of old: it was blotted out and atoned for; but it is of the same sinful nature.

In fact, if there can be one sin more heinous than the unbelief of a sinner, it is the unbelief of a saint. For a saint to doubt God’s word—for a saint to distrust God after innumerable instances of his love, after ten thousand proofs of his mercy—exceeds everything.

In a saint, moreover, unbelief is the root of other sins. When I am perfect in faith I shall be perfect in everything else: I should always fulfill the precept if I always believed the promise. But it is because my faith is weak, that I sin. Put me in trouble, and if I can fold my arms and say, “Jehovah-Jireh the Lord will provide,” you will not find me using wrong means to escape from it. But let me be in temporal distress and difficulty, if I distrust God, what then? Perhaps I shall steal, or do a dishonest act to get out of the hands of my creditors; or if kept from such a transgression, I may plunge into excess to drown my anxieties.

Once take away faith, the reins are broken; and who can ride an unbroken steed without rein or bridle? Like the chariot of the sun with Phaeton for its driver, such should we be without faith. Unbelief is the mother of vice; it is the parent of sin; and, therefore, I say it is a pestilent evil—a master sin. (Online source, bold in original)

The original appears complete with a comments section right here.

End Notes:

[1] Gary L. W. Johnson, Ronald N. Gleason, Reforming or Conforming?: Post-Conservative Evangelicals and the Emerging Church [Wheaton: Crossway, 2008], 217, 218).

See also: