Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Losing The Desire To Be Dogmatic

There is no doubt that postmodernism is taking hold of our society.  From the issue of same-sex “marriage” to drugs to almost anything, the cry of the age is to allow for people to have personal freedoms and for no one to say that another person’s personal freedoms are wrong so long as those “freedoms” are viewed as what the culture likes.  Romans 1:32 fulfills this view:

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

What culture views as appropriate is what is being championed today.  The majority wins.

And this is effecting the Church as well.  From the heretical emergent movement (that is thankfully dying) to the seeker church to the evangelical church, we see a move toward postmodern thinking taking hold of the Church.  One way that I see clearly is the loss of desire from Bible teachers to be dogmatic over theological issues.  I have a buddy who is open to Catholics being saved even if they hold to Catholic teachings faithfully.  Perhaps there are Catholics out there who are truly born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-7) but I have witnessed to many Catholics and have never encountered such a person.  When I begin to discuss salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, every Catholic I have evangelized did not understand the gospel.  They always had a works-righteousness view where Jesus is part of their salvation but He and His work are not the finality of their salvation.  Yet my friend believes that simply because a person has confessed Jesus Christ, they perhaps should be viewed as saved.  He believes the society just will not tolerate the dogmatic teachings that a person must hold to the fundamentals of the faith to be rightly called a Christian.

Postmodernism has caused people to ask the question, “Is justification enough?”  Can we make the gospel issue really about the nature of justification by grace through faith in Christ alone (Romans 5:1) or should be broaden our views so that we include Catholics, Oneness Pentecostals, etc.?  Why be dogmatic about doctrine?  Let us unite around our common experience in Christ (or whoever if you are an emergent) but not around doctrine.

The fact is that doctrine does two things.  Doctrine affirms that we are in the faith and allows the Church to pursue the same goal of exalting the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:10).  In Acts 2:42 we read that the early Church devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.  This is our New Testament.  The early Church devoted themselves to hearing and obeying the Apostles who in turn, through the Spirit of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17), gave us the New Testament.  Our duty today is to be devout in studying the New Testament and applying it to our lives.  Paul told Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16 NIV).  That should be our passion as well, to remain faithful to God in teaching His truths (Titus 2:1).  Doctrine does matter both now and for eternity (Galatians 1:6-9).

Secondly, doctrine divides in a good way.  Doctrine allows us to see who are the genuine children of God and who are not.  1 Corinthians 11:18-19 says:

18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

Notice that Paul the Apostles states that these divisions are good because they force the Church to know the truth.  Doctrinal controversies have been a part of the Church since her beginning.  Yet when we ponder the great doctrines that came out of controversies, we realize that not all doctrinal debates are bad.  Nearly all of the New Testament letters were written over doctrinal issues.  And in all the New Testament letters, Paul spends time at the beginning of them discussing theological issues.  The book of Romans, for example, spends 11 chapters before beginning in chapter 12 with “practical living.”  Yet the modern church today spends 3/4 of her time with “practical living” and very little on doctrine.

We see this affecting the Church in many ways.  False conversions.  Shallow understanding of the gospel.  Lack of passion for God in prayer.  Lack of desire for evangelism.  A careless attitude toward theology, toward holiness, and toward the Bible.  We see people waffling on cultural issues such as same-sex “marriage” because they don’t know what the Bible says.  We see a plethora of topical preachers because they are careless in their handling of God’s Word.  We see theologians rejecting the inerrancy of Scripture because it just doesn’t fit into our modern times.  This lazy attitude toward doctrine and toward holy living has in turn produced a very world, very cultural driven church.

I urge you faithful brethren in Christ to stand firm for the gospel.  Defend the gospel.  Die for the gospel if necessary.  Let Jesus Christ be your passion and your God.  I pray that those who love the truth of God would preach His truth in every city across our nation and around the world.  Our world doesn’t need a compromising church.  Our world needs the truth of God preached through tears and exhortation to repentance.  I pray that every true disciple of Jesus would obey Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20) and be faithful to make disciples and to teach them His Word (John 15:1-11).

May God be exalted.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/11/2013 at 11:56 AM

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  1. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    stacy0063

    04/11/2013 at 12:48 PM


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