Tuesday, February 07, 2006
The EC and Scripture
Never mind me and my Rickenbacker. I would have posted a photo of just the Ric, but shots of me actually playing are so rare, I thought at least one should be captured for posterity. I can see right now that at least 15 pounds needs to come off pronto.
In my first post on the subject of the Emergent Church (EC), I listed at least eight areas of concern. The next one I want to tackle briefly is the low view of Scripture many adherents of the EC seem to have. I say "seem" to have because one is never really certain of what they really think. Certainty is, after all, anathema to a postmodern. (Okay, that was a bit tongue-in-cheek).
I had mulled over several approaches to this until EC leader Brian McLaren lobbed a water balloon filled with limberger cheese into the blogosphere - his suggestion at the Leadership Journal blog that Christian pastors, leaders, theologians etc. put a five year moratorium on making comments about homosexuality until we can figure out what we think about it. You can read the text at the link in my previous post to this one. Brian's blog entry, of course, unleashed a firestorm. When I read Brian's initial statement, I was aghast. Then, when I read his response to those who have rightly taken him to the woodshed, I was even more aghast. But for my purposes at least, this couldn't have come at a better time as it illustrates beautifully the point I have been wanting to make about the EC and God's Word.
The EC and those who embrace the postmodern mindset love to throw all sorts of ambiguity and doubt into any crystal clear, unambiguous assertion one might make. While Brian and others in the EC might not know what to think about this issue, God's Word leaves no such doubts as to what God Himself thinks. Deuteronomy 18:22 sets God's view bluntly. "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination (tow 'ebah or to 'ebah in the Hebrew). Abomination is defined as a "disgusting thing" in a ritual sense as well as in an ethical sense. Far from this merely being an Old Testament/Torah prohibition, strictures against this type of behavior are also found in Romans chapter 1 and other New Testament locations.
Only in the postmodern mind (whether drug induced or spiritually induced) can these Scriptures somehow be interpreted other than their plain meaning. Wishful thinking, maybe. You really have to either redefine them or reject them outright. But we are not to look at God's Word through a postmodern prism. Scripture makes it very clear that God will not grade on the curve when it comes to His Word. People can blind themselves through their own stubbornness and rebellion. Having done so, they will not be excused for their blindness and stubbornness.
We need to understand the ramifications of this as it goes beyond the issue of homosexuality. To not believe God's Word is to not believe God Himself. What is the opposite of "Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness?" If Abraham had not believed God, it would have been reckoned to him as unrighteousness. What does Scripture tell us of those who do not believe? It tells us they are condemned already. If we can't believe what God said about human sexuality, how can we believe what He said about how one is made right before Him? How can we believe the Gospel, by which we are saved (1 Corinthians 15)?
We had best stop playing eeny meeny miney moe with the Bible. And before someone attempts to throw it at me (Brian tried this argument in his response post), don't bother telling me that we don't stone people to death any more for violations of Mosaic law. I learned in Sunday school class as a child the differences between the Old Covenant and New Covenant..the differences between ceremonial and moral law etc. When the EC or other liberal theologians try this, understand that it is merely a smokescreen designed to throw people into a thousand bunny trails away from the key issue being discussed. If a pastor is uninformed about the differences between the Law of Moses and the New Covenant, then he has no business wearing his clerical collar and Birkenstocks. Unless his obfuscation is intentional, which makes it all the more repugnant.
In time, we'll explore the other "low views" of the EC.