In the late 1970's and early 80's, there was a slogan plastered all over Christian pins, mugs, stationary and so forth. It said, "Jesus is the reason for the season." The season it was referring to was Christmas.
If you read the book of Hebrews, you get the feeling that Christ is very important to God. Notice I said "Christ," not just Jesus. Today we are having a lot of teaching about Jesus, but not the centrality of the Christ, the cross and the resurrection. In other words, many evangelical leaders and pastors are drifting into Protestant liberalism, and in some cases (seen especially in many of the emergent leaders) running pell mell into it.I talked a little about this in yesterday's post. Some of the Hebrews to which this book is written, were trying to go back into the Jewish sacrificail system because of intense persecution against them from the Roman government. As David Wells puts it, that is a far cry from going back into the world system because we don't think we will be successful. Wells says [referring to the seeker-sensitive movement],
We are shrinking back from the uniqueness of Christ and His centrality. They (the recipients of the book of Hebrews) did it out of fear for their safety--we are doing it out of fear that we won’t be successful.
Yes, Jesus was never that popular and isn't now. Paul says in Romans chapter 1 that Christ is an offense to the Jews and to the Gentiles foolishness. I'm not sure what church leaders today don't get when reading these types of Biblical passages. The Holy Spirit draws those to Christ when God is ready. Our programs just don't have that kind of power. If I am sounding a bit Calvinistic, perhaps it's good to at least err slightly on that side. I'm not a hard core Calvinist but so many evangelicals have slid way down to the Arminianian extreme that no wonder we see marketing techniques used to bring people to Christ. The problem of course is that the gospel begins to be watered down and Christ then becomes simply a man named Jesus with a program. Somewhere along the way He lost his halo.
Tim Challies puts it this way,
We don't have any other message than this. Seekers and postmoderns don't want to hear this, but the bottom line is that we don't have anything else to give them. Our only message is of Christ as unique, central, indispensable and supreme. We need to talk together and think together about how we can help people to come from where they are in our postmodern culture to this point where they see Christ as supreme. But at the end of the day we do not have a different Christ for the postmodern generation than for any other. Certain important truths may not have been denied, but were kept hidden out-of-view since these things would prove perilous to the church's success. We are now living with the consequences of this. In America 45% say they are born again, but only 9% have even the slightest clue about the most minimal Biblical understanding to what it means to live an ethical life as a disciple. The only Christ we have to preach is the one the Bible gives us.
See the link here.
I say amen to that. HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!
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