Thursday, April 16, 2009
As the church lady would say, "isn't this special?
The linked article in Christianity Astray discusses how most "Christians" in the United States don't believe in a real Satan, or worse yet, the Holy Spirit -- a clear denial of the Third PERSON of the Trinity.
Of course, the question echoes in the air -- just how are we defining the term "Christian?" Apparently the definition is pretty loose. I suppose one could argue about the devil (although I think denial of Satan's existence is pretty stupid), but when we begin pooh-poohing the Holy Spirit, that is really a serious matter. The Holy Spirit is clearly seen as a Person in Scripture. He is described as our Comforter, the One who seals us in our redemption, the One who convicts of sin, and the One who is grieved at sin. You can't "grieve" a non-entity.
The long and short of all this is simple. There are essential doctrines and non-essential doctrines. Essential doctrines are the core of the faith, the ones that determine whether you are a true Christian or not based on what you believe about these essentials. And the key essentials involve soteriology (how we are saved), Christology (the Person and work of Christ), and the Godhead (Trinity). Deny any of the essential doctrines in these areas, and that means you are not a true Christian by biblical standards and practices.
This is yet another crying example of how the preaching and teaching of sound biblical doctrine has fallen by the wayside in favor of useless "self-help" and pop fads -- rotten pottage instead of the lush richness of God's truth.