New Hope Baptist Church
Friday, November 16, 2018
a place to call home

12-5-13


We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves a public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. 

A.W. Tozer

 

There are two beliefs that are held in common with all false religions. The first is that they will encourage the congregating to “seek their own righteousness;” a works-based salvation framework. The second is that they will try to redefine Jesus Christ as a mere mortal, a man either supernaturally indwelled or a “good teacher,” or worse some spirit that moves from prophet to prophet down through the ages.

In Wednesday night’s discussion we ended our meeting by talking about the necessary foundations of Biblical Christianity and how straying from those basic tenants of our faith can cause serious consequence, most notably damnation. In a world with so many conflicting ideas of God, the Bible and Jesus we must pattern ourselves after the Beraens and “search the Scriptures diligently.” However most of us don’t and instead follow after emotion, experience and the untested teachings of errant leaders.

Another common tenant of false religion is humanism, the basic belief that the human being is inherently good, and the ability to overcome sin can be acquired if one follows all the rules of said religion. This flies in the face of Romans chapter 3 and the Bible’s testimony that all mankind is under sin from the time of birth until death.  One of the main reasons other religions do this is their leader(s) seek to elevate themselves to the status of a demigod. This entitlement as “supreme” leader or “most enlightened one” is dangerous because congregants hold to the idea that what that mere man speaks is direct revelation from God and use what these men and women wrote as additional Scripture.

However, we are all prone to sin and we all seek after our own good; there is no one who has a direct line to God and can come up with new Scripture or define for us a different kind of faith other than the one passed to us from Christ himself.  It is all too common for these demigod types to even change Scripture itself to fit Jesus into a category of humanity much like they themselves are. For instance, Joseph Smith in his “Inspired” translation of the Bible said John 1:1 should read like this: “In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God.” That’s in direct contradiction to the literal translation of John found in the ESV: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Do you see how he brought Jesus down to a mere man by saying he is “of God” instead of the deity that is Jesus’ rightful place?

In a world that is ever progressing towards an existential faith practice we must hold firm to our core belief that truth is not defined in the eye of the beholder but rather truth is defined  in Scripture and Jesus said he is the truth and Scripture attests that if we add or subtract anything from it we are cursed. (Rev. 22:18-19) It is only natural for us to follow our emotions. Yet emotions betray us and cause us to perceive truth in the light of what makes us the most comfortable. Friends, this cannot be. We must show ourselves diligent in seeking after the One True God and not after our own experience or the false teachings of apostate leaders willing to itch the ears of us who hear them. After all, the consequences for getting it wrong are most severe.