Archive for the ‘Liberalism’ Category

Elton John has made a Jesus to his own liking

June 30, 2014

The church hierarchy, the traditionalists, might be up in arms about (gay marriage) but times have changed. If Jesus Christ was alive today, I cannot see him, as the Christian person that he was and the great person that he was, saying this could not happen. He was all about love and compassion and forgiveness and trying to bring people together and that is what the church should be about.

Elton John

Not that Jesus was even a Christian…but He certainly affirmed the teaching of the Jewish Scriptures and that did include Leviticus 18:22 etc. By reaffirming Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19 Jesus makes heterosexual, exclusive, monogamous unions the God ordained norm. Elton John may not like that but saying what he does belies ignorance of the historical Jesus.

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Creating a Jesus we are comfortable with

February 5, 2014
Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving.
Sir Elton John
He also demands we repent (Matthew 4:17). We want to make a kinder, gentler Jesus that makes no demands on us. And how could he? That Jesus doesn’t exist.

The social gospel is giving water to a thirsty man who will die. The Christian gospel is giving the water of life.

January 5, 2013

It was a blisteringly hot summer day and a cattle car stood at the siding. It’s destination was Mauthausen.

The car rolled past the garrison barracks and came to the siding where a string of cattle cars stood. Oskar could tell, by the haze hanging above the cars and blending with and wavering in the heat rebounding from the roofs, that they were full. Even above the sound of the engine, you could hear the mourning from inside, the pleas for water. Oskar braked his car and listened. This was
permitted him, in view of the splendid multi-zloty saddle in the trunk. Amon
smiled indulgently at his sentimental friend. They’re partly Plaszow people, said Amon, and people from the work camp at Szebnie. And Poles and Jews from Montelupich. They’re going to Mauthausen, Amon said whimsically. They’re complaining now? They don’t know what complaint is.

The roofs of the cars were bronzed with heat. You have no objection, said Oskar, if I call out your fire brigade? Amon gave a What-will-you-think-of-next? sort of laugh. He implied that he wouldn’t let anyone else summon the firemen, but he’d tolerate Oskar because Oskar was such a character and the whole business would make a good dinner-party anecdote. But as Oskar sent Ukrainian guards to ring the bell for the Jewish firemen, Amon was bemused.
He knew that Oskar knew what Mauthausen meant. If you hosed the cars for people, you were making them promises about a future. And would not such
promises constitute, in anyone’s code, a true cruelty? So disbelief mingled with
tolerant amusement in Amon as the hoses were run out and jets of water fell hissing on the scalding cartops. Neuschel also came down from the office to shake his head and smile as the people inside the cars moaned and roared with
gratitude. Grun, Amon’s bodyguard, stood chatting with Untersturmfuhrer John and clapped his side and hooted as the water rained down. Even at full extension the hoses reached only halfway down the line of cars. Next, Oskar was asking Amon for the loan of a truck or wagon and of a few Ukrainians to drive into Zablocie and fetch the fire hoses from DEF. They were 200-meter hoses, Oskar said. Amon, for some reason, found that sidesplitting. “Of course I’ll authorize a truck,” said Amon. Amon was willing to do anything for the sake of the comedy of life. Oskar gave the Ukrainians a note for Bankier and Garde. While they were gone, Amon was so willing to enter the spirit of the event that he permitted the doors of the cars to be opened and buckets of water to be passed in and the dead, with their pink, swollen faces, to be lifted out. And
still, all around the railway siding stood amused SS officers and NCO’S. “What does he think he’s saving them from?”

When the large hoses from DEF arrived and all the cars had been drenched, the joke took on new dimensions. Oskar, in his note to Bankier, had instructed that the manager also go into Oskar’s own apartment and fill a hamper with liquor and cigarettes, some good cheeses and sausages, and so on. Oskar now handed the hamper to the NCO at the rear of the train. It was an open transaction, and the man seemed a little embarrassed at the largesse, shoving it quickly into the rear van in case one of the officers of KL Plaszow reported him. Yet Oskar seemed to be in such curious favor with the Commandant that the NCO listened to him respectfully. “When you stop near stations,” said Oskar, “will you open the car doors?” Years later, two survivors of the transport, Doctors Rubinstein and Feldstein, would let Oskar know that the NCO had frequently ordered the doors opened and the water buckets regularly filled on the tedious journey to Mauthausen. For most of the transport, of course, that was no more than a comfort before dying. As Oskar moves along the string of cars, accompanied by the laughter of the SS, bringing a mercy which is in large part futile, it can be seen that he’s not so much reckless anymore but possessed. Even Amon can tell that his friend has shifted into a new gear. All this frenzy about getting the hoses as far as the farthest car, then bribing an SS man in full view of the SS personnel—it would take just a shift in degree or so in the laughter of Scheidt or John or Hujar to bring about a mass denunciation of Oskar, a piece of information the Gestapo could not ignore. And then Oskar would go into Montelupich and, in view of previous racial charges against him, probably on to Auschwitz. So Amon was horrified by the way Oskar insisted on treating those dead as if they were poor relations traveling third class but bound for a genuine destination. Some time after two, a locomotive hauled the whole miserable string of cattle cars away toward the main line, and all the hoses could again be wound up. Schindler delivered Amon and his saddle to the Goeth villa.

Schindler’s Ark, Thomas Keneally, p.288-290

It’s good to give water to those who are thirsty. But if we do not address their ultimate fate it is no more than ‘comfort for the dying’. That is what the social gospel is.

The social gospel is giving water to a thirsty man who will die. The Christian gospel is giving the water of life.

Universalism is not taught in Scripture

May 11, 2011

As even universalists have to admit:

It is best in fact to admit quite frankly that any view of the future destiny of [unbelievers] which is to be tolerable to us today must go beyond the explicit teaching of the New Testament….[This] does not really give us what we want, and it only leads to insincerity if we try to satisfy ourselves by artificial explanations of its language. And we are in the end on surer ground when as Christians we claim the right to go beyond the letter, since we do so under the irresistible leading of the moral principles of the New Testament and of Christ Himself.

C. W. Emmet’s, ‘The Bible and Hell’ (1917) quoted by Richard Bauckham

Of course, like modern universalists such as Rob Bell, Emmet had to impose a paradigm on the NT and ignore/downplay texts that did not ‘fit’. This reminds me of what Sherlock Holmes might say:

I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

source

The universalist twists the data to suit the universalist theory rather than adopt a theology that suits the facts of the NT texts.

The Liberal Jesus of Rob Bell

April 29, 2011

…Christ (says Bell) is (not) whatever you want him to be. Some Jesuses should be rejected, Bell says, like the ones that are “anti-science” and “anti-gay” and use bullhorns on the street (8). But wherever we find “grace, peace, love, acceptance, healing, forgiveness” we’ve found the creative life source that we call Jesus (156, 159).

Elsewhere, after describing a false Jesus “who waves the flag and promotes whatever values they have decided their nation needs to return to,” Bell offers the promising alternative: “the very life source of the universe who has walked among us and continues to sustain everything with his love and power and grace and energy” (156).

These [Eucharist] rituals are true for us, because they’re true for everybody. They unite us, because they unite everybody. These are signs and glimpses and tastes of what is true for all people in all places at all times—we simply name the mystery present in all the world, the gospel already announced to every creature under heaven. (157)

This is classic liberalism pure and simple, a souped-up version of Schleiermacher’s feeling of absolute dependence. This is all immanence and no transcendence. This is not the objective gospel-message of Christ’s work in history that we must announce. This is an existential message announcing a rival version of the good news, the announcement that you already know Christ and can feel him in your heart if you pay attention.

Kevin DeYoung, God Is Still Holy and What You Learned in Sunday School Is Still True: A Review of “Love Wins”.

NB Bell has a ‘Jesus’ who just happens to espouse the same (left-wing) causes he does. Quelle Coincidence!

The emerging church is the last rung for evangelicals falling off the ladder into liberalism

April 29, 2011

The emerging church is not an evangelistic strategy. It is the last rung for evangelicals falling off the ladder into liberalism or unbelief.

Kevin DeYoung, review of Rob Bell’s Love Wins

if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an “Arms are for Hugging” sticker

June 5, 2010

Most mainline Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left clichés, on the grounds that if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an “Arms are for Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.

Mark Steyn, America Alone, Regnery, 2008, p.100

I would venture to say that Missions have more to hope from a narrow creed which remains great, than from a wide humanism that runs thin

November 26, 2009

I would venture to say that Missions have more to hope from a narrow creed which remains great, than from a wide humanism that runs thin. We cannot rest Missions on a religion of Fatherhood alone. The recent gospel of mere fatherhood has been concurrent with a decay of missionary zeal. Where that phase of Christianity shows itself it is Unitarianism, which has no Missions because it has no Gospel. . . . One source of the decay in missionary interest is the decay in theological perception and conviction. Vagueness always lowers the temperature.

P. T. Forsyth, Missions in State and Church

knowledge is a different department of life from religion

October 29, 2009

knowledge is a different department of life from religion

Schleiermacher

The feelings are exclusively the elements of religion and none are excluded.

Schleiermacher

 

We do not lay the main stress of our religion on any opinions right or wrong. Orthodoxy is at best but a very slender part of religion if it can be allowed to be any part of it at all.

John Wesley, From: Plain Account of the People Called Methodists

 

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Moroni 10:4

Everything, forsooth, is true and nothing is false! Everybody is right and nobody is wrong! Everybody is likely to be saved and nobody is to be lost!

October 21, 2009

The tendency of modern thought is to reject dogmas, creeds and every kind of bounds in religion. It is thought grand and wise to condemn no opinion whatever, and to pronounce all earnest and clever teachers to be trustworthy, however heterogeneous and mutually destructive their opinions may be. Everything, forsooth, is true and nothing is false! Everybody is right and nobody is wrong! Everybody is likely to be saved and nobody is to be lost! The atonement and substitution of Christ, the personality of the devil, the miraculous element in Scripture, the reality and eternity of future punishment, all these mighty foundation–stones are coolly tossed overboard, like lumber, in order to lighten the ship of Christianity and enable it to keep pace with modern science. Stand up for these great verities, and you are called narrow, illiberal, old–fashioned and a theological fossil! Quote a text, and you are told that all truth is not confined to the pages of an ancient Jewish book, and that free inquiry has found out many things since the book was completed! Now, I know nothing so likely to counteract this modern plague as constant clear statements about the nature, reality, vileness, power and guilt of sin. We must charge home into the consciences of these men of broad views and demand a plain answer to some plain questions. We must ask them to lay their hands on their hearts and tell us whether their favorite opinions comfort them in the day of sickness, in the hour of death, by the bedside of dying parents, by the grave of a beloved wife or child. We must ask them whether a vague earnestness, without definite doctrine, gives them peace at seasons like these. We must challenge them to tell us whether they do not sometimes feel a gnawing “something” within, which all the free inquiry and philosophy and science in the world cannot satisfy. And then we must tell them that this gnawing “something” is the sense of sin, guilt and corruption, which they are leaving out in their calculations. And, above all, we must tell them that nothing will ever make them feel rest but submission to the old doctrines of man’s ruin and Christ’s redemption and simple childlike faith in Jesus.

J.C.Ryle, Holiness, ch.1, ‘Sin’