Yesterday I referred to Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 9:22 “I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some.” We have to be careful in understanding what he meant. Sometimes Christians can be guilty of taking that too far. We do need to find out what the needs of people in our community are and build bridges into their lives.
That said, we cannot allow the world to determine what we believe and teach. Paul also said in Romans 12:2 that we are not to be conformed to the pattern of this world.
Francis Schaeffer was a Swiss Theologian I admired for many years. He was a brilliant man but he often spoke of how the impact of the age Enlightenment (in the 18th century) is still with us today. I just read a fascinating article about him. Man has become the measure of all things. It isn’t God who sets the rules and calls the shots. Man (men and women) now determine what is good and evil, true and false.
We are seeing this today and it is a mindset that has infiltrated the Church. Christians are often basing their beliefs and behaviors on feelings rather than on what God has said. Why? The Bible used to be thought of as infallible and inerrant. But this has been challenged. And once you take away the authority of Scripture the dominoes begin to fall. Absolute truth is replaced with relativism (whatever seems right to the individual).
The belief in the absolute truth of Scripture is what enabled the church to stand up against the powerful Roman Empire and not just survive but actually thrive. A Church that has bought into the relativism of our culture has absolutely NOTHING to say to our culture.
And just as one example of what Schaeffer said to expect is a rising in churches becoming more focused on social work in lieu of proclaiming the gospel. Of course we are to be concerned for the poor and the outcasts. But the primary focus of the church is to preach the gospel of salvation with the forgiveness of sins found only in Jesus Christ. Jesus’ primary message and the message He gave to His disciples was to tell people to repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
May this (MCC) be a place where we always uphold the authority, infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture.