Marsha West, General Editor CRN
In part one I examined the term “evangelical” and laid out what true evangelicals believe and why they believe it. Admittedly the movement has evolved largely because of pragmatism – whatever works. Pragmatism has resulted in the gospel of Jesus Christ that’s set forth in the scriptures being watered down and a false Gospel with its Christless Christianity being spread far and wide. In our postmodern world it is rapidly becoming something other than what Jesus himself declared in Matthew 28:16-20.
What the true gospel has been replaced with is the social gospel, i.e. theological liberalism. Why did it change? Because the liberal agenda cannot be accomplished without change.
Liberals are all about feeling good about themselves. As such they’ve got an unquenchable desire to do “good works” to make themselves feel good. To the liberal, or post-evangelical aka emergent, it matters not what the Bible says; what matters most is how they feel about things. I mean, it’s all about self-esteem, right? So it’s not surprising that feelings trump even the God-breathed words in Scripture. It matters not that the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible because what He said in the old days has become irrelevant.
Liberals believe they’ve come to a new understanding of what the Bible does and doesn’t reveal so it’s incumbent upon them to bring that dusty ol’ book out of the stone age and see to it that it blends nicely with our enlightened culture. To that end, post-evangelical/emergents have taken it upon themselves to apply a new meaning to anything in the scriptures that might offend someone’s sensibilities. After all, the post-evangelical/emergent’s political and social agenda takes priority over everything else, even if it means they have to modify the writings of men who actually observed and reported on events that took place several thousand years ago – the eye witness accounts!
The thinking goes that if the Bible says something that doesn’t make me feel good about myself or hurts my feelings, then I am entitled to completely ignore it. Or… I can twist the intended meaning until it says what I want it to say.
People who do this have a very low view of Scripture. Moreover, they have no understanding of sin and the holiness of God.
Too Many Cooks Spoil The Stew
Also responsible for what theologian Michael Horton called “theological ambiguity” in evangelicalism is a witch’s brew of syncretism stew. As I stated in the first installment, one of the main ingredients in this concoction is discernment disintegration. A good way to ruin any recipe is to allow a lot of cooks to add their own ingredients to the pot because the stew becomes unpalatable! In the case of the Bible, the recipe is already perfect!
Before I move on, it’s important for readers to understand that the truth of the Gospel is inherently offensive to the unsaved. To try to make it palatable to those who are dead in their sins requires completely changing the message. But wait! That is exactly what post-evangelical/emergents are bent on doing. I repeat. They have no understanding of sin and the holiness of God. “Sin is desperately wicked,” says Todd Pruitt. “It is mutiny against God. It is a rejection of his Lordship and love. Therefore sin and its consequences must never be trivialized (Gen 3; Rom 1:18ff, 6:23).”
2016 Presidential Campaign
In our current presidential election cycle we hear the term evangelical used daily. An example of this use comes when pundits talk about the self-proclaimed evangelical, deal maker and billionaire, Donald Trump. It’s said that he’s garnering significant support from “evangelicals.” I’m not going to spend a lot of time on all the distasteful things Donald Trump has said and done during the campaign. But I do need to point out a few for the purpose of showing that his moral values aren’t in sync with the values of conservative evangelicals.