The Disappearance God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness by R. Albert Mohler Jr. is a truly important book.
I just picked it up a few hours ago and finished it this afternoon. It was that compelling.
Have you considered how much your worldview has been influenced by the world? Have you considered how our culture influences what your pastor/preacher/minister preaches from the pulpit? Have you considered whether that has skewed the truth, the absolute, Biblical truth, in your own mind?
As Christians, we all want to have a Biblical worldview, to be set apart from the world and the world's beliefs. But how well are we succeeding? For instance, the author of this book brings up the issue of hell. The world says a loving God would never send someone to hell. If there is a hell, then God must be cruel. But aren't we judging God by completely human standards? And not just human standards, but post-modernism, which says to punish someone in a retributive way is wrong. But in the words of this author, p. 38:
"Our responsibility is to present the truth of the Christian faith with boldness, clarity, and courage--and defending the biblical doctrine in these times will require all three of these virtues. Hell is an assured reality, just as it is presented so clearly in the Bible. To run from this truth, to reduce the sting of sin and the threat of hell, is to pervert the gospel and to feed on lies. Hell is not up for a vote or open for revision. Will we surrender this truth to modern skeptics?"
Another slippery slope for Christians is the issue of church discipline. "The disappearance of church discipline has weakened the church and compromised Christian witness." p. 133.
On p. 139 he quotes the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5: "...I wrote you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler--not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves."
He speaks of how the new "openness" and "tolerance" is actually just the opposite. "... a central reality of our emerging culture is the closing of the postmodern mind. Something is happening to the worldview, the mentality, and the consciousness of this age.... Tolerance is perverted into a radical secularism that is anything but tolerant. There is little openness to truth, and growing hostility to truth claims. Indeed, the postmodern mind has a fanatical, if selective, dedication to moral relativism, and an understanding that truth has no objective or absolute basis whatsoever." p. 166
"Openness becomes closedness. Freedom becomes bondage, and tolerance becomes intolerance." p. 170. Have you ever heard a more accurate assessment of popular thinking today?
"The closing of the postmodern mind is not a pretty sight, nor is it friendly to human rights and human dignity.... Sweden, for example, already has imprisoned a Pentecostal pastor, Ake Green, for preaching a sermon in which he spoke of the sinfulness of homosexuality.... Across much of Western Europe there is legislation in which it can be considered a crime to speak of the sinfulness of any sexual lifestyle, and of homosexuality in particular." pp. 170-171.
"...In the Netherlands, the largest medical school in the country just reported that 31 percent of pediatricians have admitted to killing babies, and 45 percent of neonatologists have admitted to euthanizing infants--even without informing the parents that that is what happened to their child.... Then along comes the Christian to say, 'We have a message about the dignity and sanctity of life,' and he is told to be quiet." pp.171-172.
"In this time of shifting and sifting and shaking, we are going to be tested, and we are going to find out what we are made of.... But there is one kingdom that cannot be shaken, and that is the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ." p. 181. Amen!
If there ever was a person who hated controversy, who despised the thought of hurting someone else's feelings or causing conflict, it's me. But how can we as Christians sit back and say nothing? I will not. How can I, when I see the destruction wrought by evil thinking and evil policies being carried out even here? Our children aren't allowed to speak the name of Jesus in school, yet Christian students who believe homosexuality is a sin are being labeled "bullies" and worse. Now is the time for us to let our voice be heard. Now is the time to be courageous and to hold out the truth as the only bondage-breaking, liberating hope of every single person on this planet.
Our culture thinks of Christians as "dangerous." Even our own American government has labeled us "dangerous." Why? Because we believe the Bible as the infallible truth of God, and we strive to live by it. That's "dangerous" to them.
Lord, let it be so.