We, as Bible-believing Christians, should be thankful that God has used men (and women) of God throughout the centuries to preserve the Tenets of the Faith. This weekend we were introduced to one of most recent men in this long list of faithful.
Dr. Peter Beck, http://www.christianity.com/blogs/beck/11600313/, a graduate of Southern Seminary, who completed his PhD in Church History, was a former member of Parkway Baptist Church. This is where we currently attend church, and continually are blessed by the sound Biblical teaching by the pastor and leadership. Dr. Beck considers Parkway his 'home church', although he is now a religion professor at Charleston Southern University.
He is truly a man of God who is not afraid to 'step on toes' for the Word of God and discernment. This weekend he took us through how Baptists through the centuries beginning with Luther and Zwingli started a movement that is still going today. The reformation did not stop at Calvin and Wesley.
One of my take-home messages was the fact that those theologians from Zwingli's disciples to Spurgeon's detractors had the same issues that the we have had in the 1980s through today. 'Liberals' (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) claim today: 1- Scripture is not divinely inspired, it is biased by those who wrote it. 2- We can fellowship with many faiths to enlarge our 'tent'.
Jesus gives us a very sobering warning that we need to take seriously: Matthew 18:5-14, and Mark 9:42-48. (v. 6)
1. It is better to be dead than to lead one of my 'little ones' astray.
2. Stumbling blocks are part of a fallen world. BUT woe to you if you 'willingly' allow one to come through you! (v. 7)
3. It is better to take drastic spiritual/physical action (cut it off) than to suffer eternally. (v. 10)
Paul many times in his writings warns the leaders to 'be on guard' for 'perverse teachers' (Acts 21). He instructs us to be alert and don't be fooled by these who want to 'tickle your ears'.
Our Generation is now dealing with the Post-Modern Theology and seen in the Emerging Church 'Syndrome':
1. "The Shack": No reverence for Almighty God (who is pictured as a Female), and that there are may paths to God, not one narrow way.
2. Brian McClaren: ("The church has been preoccupied with the question, "What happens to your soul after you die?" As if the reason for Jesus coming can be summed up in, "Jesus is trying to help get more souls into heaven, as opposed to hell, after they die." I just think a fair reading of the Gospels blows that out of the water. I don't think that the entire message and life of Jesus can be boiled down to that bottom line."
3. Josh Reich: "Some of the values of the emerging church are an emphasis on emotions, global outlook, a rise in the use of arts, and a rise in mysticism and spirituality."
4. Tony Jones: "I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state."
Tony Jones, Part Two: "Since then [college years], I’ve become more uncomfortable with the notion that people are inherently bad, prideful, etc. I don’t deny the reality of sin. But I do doubt that human beings are depraved from birth. So, without quoting the Bible, what do you think? Are human beings predisposed to good or evil?"
Whaaaaaa? "Without quoting the Bible?" It's all about TONY and TONY's GLORY, forget God's Glory.
5. Rob Bell: "God has an incredibly high view of people. God believes that people are capable of amazing things." And in Velvet Elvis he writes: "So this is reality, this forgiveness, this reconciliation, is true for everybody. Paul insisted that when Jesus died on the cross, he was reconciling “all things, in heaven and on earth, to God. All things, everywhere. This reality then isn’t something we make come true about ourselves by doing something. It is already true. Our choice is to live in this new reality or cling to a reality of our own making." (p 146)
Bell also states: "This is part of the problem with continually insisting that one of the absolutes of the Christian faith must be a belief that “Scripture alone” is our guide. It sounds nice but it is not true… When people say that all we need is the Bible, it is simply not true." (pps. 067-069)
All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim 3:16-17).
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self,… For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 3:1-2; 4:3-4, NASB)
LUTHER, ZWINGLI, CALVIN, WESLEY, BUNYAN, AND SPURGEON
OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Today, when our '5 Sola' Leaders stand up and warn us, we had better listen! When John MacArthur, Al Mohler, Alstair Begg, Mark Dever, and others (now I count personally Peter Beck!) start naming names, we had better listen and dive even deeper into the Bible.
We as parents need to ensure we train up or children so that we are not the conduits of stumbling blocks. Whether actively or passively allow this GARBAGE to enter our homes, God has warned us that it is better off if we were DEAD.
I (and my wife) now take that even more seriously after this past weekend.