Sunday, September 19, 2010

New insights into liberal churches…

“The true opposite of love is not hate but indifference. Hate, bad as it is, at least treats the neighbor as a thou, whereas indifference turns the neighbor into an it, a thing. This is why we may say that there is actually one thing worse than evil itself and that is indifference to evil. In human relations the nadir of morality, the lowest point as far as Christian ethics is concerned, is manifest in the phrase, I couldn't care less.’”

Joseph Fletcher

So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  Revelation 3:16

Curious about my friend’s church’s politically correct teaching about Islam (it teaches that Islam is to be respected like any other religion), I asked him this question:  “Does your church teach anything about Islam’s Mahdi being the Christian anti-Christ and the Christian Messiah being the Islamic anti-Mahdi?”  He answered “Oh, no, we don’t get into that sort of thing because that pits one religion against the other – that brings about religious wars.”  Incredulous, I asked whether the Gulf War, Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II, World War I, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, or the American Revolution were “religious wars.”  Of course the answer was “no.”

To the mind of the church he represents, the “religious” wars of 1,000 to 2,000 years ago justify ignorance of Islam today, the greatest threat to Christian and American liberties in the 21st century.  This indifference to the Islamic ideology and the real threat it poses is typical among the great majority of Christian churches.

Indifference is caused by two things:  Lack of information (ignorance), and a lack of love – in this case lack of love for the historical teachings of the church.

Knowledge of Islam leads one to clearly understand that it is as much or more a political ideology as it is a religion.  A good number of the “religious” wars of the past have been fought on the basis of the political/ideological aggression of Islam – its doctrine of intimidation, aggression, conquest, domination, and submission.  Failure to understand the historical ideology and doctrines of Islam are more likely to embroil us in a so-called “religious war” than efforts to understand Islam.  With understanding we can act appropriately short of war to safeguard and preserve our freedoms.  Without understanding we will find ourselves in an untenable defensive position where war is the only option to preserve whatever freedoms we have left.

Lack of love for the teachings of the church is caused by several things:

  • Self-absorption.  Leave me alone.  Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do.
  • Cultural taboo of discernment, aka taboo of “judging” ourselves or others.
  • The abolition of moral absolutes; the new sin of of believing there are any moral absolutes:  right and wrong; good and evil.

The common denominator of these three things is “rebellion.”  From what?  From the self-discipline that enabled us to get to the point of feeling rebellious.  We lost the balance between Godly self-control and ungodly rebellion against self-discipline.  And without God’s standards, there is no measure or criteria for our self-discipline.  We, and especially our churches, have untethered ourselves from Godly standards of discipline.  This loss of discipline has brought about a loss of respect for diluted church teachings.  That loss of respect has in turn brought us to the point of indifference – an absolute loss of love for the teachings of the church – even of Christ himself.

The result:  We no longer have convictions of the truth.  The church, the former repository of truth, is no longer worth defending.  We should not even think of who the adversary might be or what forces may destroy the church.  Our primary goal rather than defending convictions we no longer possess becomes avoiding controversy, not offending anyone and avoiding the red herring ‘religious war.’ 

What happens when we discover that our tolerance and avoidance of controversy (as is the case with Islam) have backed us into a corner we can’t escape from?  Will it be too late?

One answer:  Seek a church that teaches about Islam, the differences between the doctrines of Islam and Christianity, and how these differences are manifesting themselves.  Become aware of the alternative outcomes of ignoring and of acting on these differences.  Such churches exist.  They may not be as comfortable as the lukewarm feel-good churches.  But they teach the truth.  And get engaged with that church and its people.  Your love will be revived.

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