Sunday, December 20, 2009

From the Archives

The following post is from my archives and was originally written back in 2005. As the issues involved are rather timeless, and the political debate in Washington is making me crazy, I am reposting it today. While the emphasis of my commentary is theological, it can certainly apply to the political as "truth" is at stake in both. And that's putting it mildly.

Clarity and Postmodernism

In Ephesians 4:29-5:12, the Apostle Paul writes the following . . .

Let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption....But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper for saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks . . . Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience . . . Do not participate in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

Pretty clear, isn't it? It doesn't take someone of Mensa intelligence to get it. Unless you are a postmodern...or worse yet, a so-called postmodern Christian (an oxymoron in my view).

What is the postmodern mind? Phil Johnson, executive director of Grace to You (Dr. John MacArthur's ministry) put it very well in a presentation he did on postmodernism:

Postmoderns don't like authoritative definitions. Try to define something clearly, and they will nitpick endlessly over every ambiguity, every exception to the rule, and every supposed paradox that challenges your definition. They will exploit every generalization to try and make it appear absurd. They like to blur the line in every dichotomy . . . They would probably call me irresponsible for even trying to simplify and explain something as "complex" as postmodernism (quotes mine). Then they would quibble about every sweeping statement I might make. They would use pettifogging arguments to try and overthrow every definition I give and every dichotomy I make.

Well said, Phil. It is one thing when such mental and linguistic gymnastics are bandied about by and among unbelievers. I can remember when former president Bill Clinton (supposedly a believer, open to question) famously told the grand jury, "it all depends on what the meaning of 'is' is." He knew perfectly well what "is" meant and so did everyone else.

The media might have thought Mr. Clinton was clever, but such games won't fly before the judgment seat of the Lord. As Romans 3:19 says, that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God.

When those who are supposed to be Christians engage in these types of mind/word games and cast question on the very Word of God itself, it is evil . . . and that is the nicest word I could use to describe it. Most evil of all are the so-called teachers who ought to know better -- teachers and authors who are misleading millions through their books and lectures. This mindset permeates our culture today, especially among younger people, and it threatens to gut the evangelical church, which was built on the foundation of Christ first of all, and with the labors of the Reformers, who gave their lives to put the church back on a foundation of biblical truth.

I believe in the Lord who wrote the end of the story from the beginning. "Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?" And later, "it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

We had best not play games with Scripture, nor quibble endlessly hunting for loopholes and exceptions. As far as this believer is concerned, "God said it..I believe it..and that settles it."

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