We have all heard the saying “There’s nothing new under the sun”. It’s true~there isn’t.
I remember when a famous ketchup maker created a brand new, easy open, no mess bottle. That was nice, however, it was still ketchup in a plastic bottle! Nothing new about, plus it still made a mess. I munch on crackers a lot. One of my favorite brands (won’t use the name–but it rhymes with pits) now has over 5 different types. Some are supposed to be healthier, like low-sodium; and some tastier like honey wheat. The interesting thing, they all have the same base ingredients, same amount of calories…and they are still just crackers! Then there’s ice cream. I remember in my younger years we had 3 choices–vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. Then it was chocolate ripple (not new…just mixing 2 together) and Neapolitan (all 3 together). Now you can get ice cream in so many flavors it’s ridiculous, but the mainstay for each “new” flavor is vanilla ice cream. Plus, if you like, you can get it without sugar, reduced fat, or both. In big containers or bite size portions. But, it’s still just ice cream!
In my 6 decades, I’ve watched the world change, not for the better either! Now don’t let your feathers ruffle at that comment, it is purely my opinion. It may not be yours and I accept that, but this is my blog so I’m going to speak what the Lord has laid on heart. The Word of God (which at the inception of this nation was a “moral guide”) is what I rely on daily for TRUTH! Not media, politicians, world leaders, technology, science (even though I have a Master’s degree in science) and surely not religious leaders.
I recently read a short review of a book written by a supposed well-known Christian scholar. This is the review ( minus the author’s name and the book’s title–that will be in another message). ” Christianity will not be a viable belief system for honest people in the contemporary world, writes (author)*until it drops a few outmoded ideas–for instance, belief in a supernatural God who reveals Himself from outside creation. (Book title) *continues the work begun in (author’s)* bestselling ( first book preceding this one)*, in which the former (author’s denomination and title)* diagnosed Christianity’s major problems. Here, he offers a vision of what authentic Christian belief might look like today, stripped of theism and all its corollaries (doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Atonement). Christians may come to believe that “God is beyond Jesus, but Jesus participated in the Being of God and Jesus is my way into God.” Readers inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s tantalizing writings on “religionless Christianity” in Letters and Papers from Prison and by John A.T. Robinson’s Honest to God will find much challenge and comfort in (author and book title)*, his most mature and most radical book.
What does ketchup, crackers and ice cream have to do with this book about “creating a New Age Christianity” (my words)? EVERYTHING!! This isn’t the only book, author, Christian scholar (?), church leader, theologian, denomination,religious group to adopt the idea of a “BRAND NEW AND EXCITING” way to reach the world for Christ.
Reality is…1) they are not trying to reach a lost world for Christ 2) this is nothing new about their ideology, it’s as old as the first century churches 3) it’s out-and-out BLASPHEMY!
2 Timothy 4:1-5 says explicitly “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove , rebuke , exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions , do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. ”
John Gill commented on verses 3 and 4 saying:
For the time will come: This is a reason of the solemn charge above given: the time referred to was future, when the apostle wrote, but quickly came on; and the characters of it have appeared more or less in all ages since; and in none more than in ours:
when they will not endure sound doctrine; the Gospel which contains the wholesome words of Christ, and is sound itself, having no corruption in it, and salutary in its effects to the souls of men; and yet such is the depravity of some men, both in principles and practice, that they cannot receive it, nor bear to hear it, turn their backs on it, express their indignation at it, and treat it not only with neglect, but with ridicule and contempt:
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers; not being content with the ministry of one man only, or of a few, though of their own sort; but must follow many, and have heaps of them; which seems to express not only the number of false teachers which they accumulate to themselves, but the confused and indiscreet choice they make of them; and that after their own lusts; choosing to hear such as either indulge them in their sinful lusts and pleasures; or are agreeable to their private corrupt sentiments, in opposition to the generally received doctrine of faith. It is a blessing to have pastors and teachers after God’s heart, and who preach according to the word of God; these feed men with knowledge and understanding, ( Jeremiah 3:15 ) but it is a curse upon a people, when they are left to choose teachers after their hearts’ lusts:
having itching ears; always desirous of new things, as the Athenians of old; or loving to have their ears scratched and tickled with smooth things; that are pleasing and agreeable to natural men, and carnal minds; as the purity of human nature, the power of man’s free will, the excellency of his righteousness, and the merit of his works, and the like; see ( Isaiah 30: 9-10) . Now, this being the case, should not discourage, but rather animate the ministers of the Gospel to preach it; for should they desist, in all likelihood the Gospel would soon be gone.
2 Timothy 4:4
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth:The solid truths of the Gospel, not being able to bear the hearing of them:
and shall be turned unto fables; things idle, trifling, useless, and, unprofitable; and which are no better than old wives’ fables; some respect may be had either to Jewish fables, or to the miraculous mythologies of the Gentiles, or of the Gnostics, and others: but in general, it includes everything that is vain, empty, and senseless; and this is to be considered as a just judgment upon them; that since they like not to retain the knowledge of the truth, but turn away their ears from it, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, a mind void of sense and judgment, to attend to things idle and fabulous.
We all need to be aware of this “new” (actually ‘old’) Christianity lest it “creeps in unawares into your life or you church body. We, as Almighty God’s forgiven children, bout by the blood of Christ, NEED–NEED–NEED– to pray for one another, know the truth ourselves (have the Word in our hearts) and be willing to stand fast in the faith that has brought us into the family of God.