Friday, May 30, 2014

How Shall Christians Live?

Antinomianism: Is it Alive and Well?

With only three posts in the month of May, it's obvious I haven't had a lot of time. So why do I want to wade into the controversy that's sprung up in recent weeks between The Gospel Coalition, Billy Graham's grandson and pastor Tullian Tchvidjian, who pastors the late D. James Kennedy's Coral Ridge Presbyterian?

I guess because the subject of antinomianism rising again in the church (especially within evangelicalism) has bothered me for a long time. But a couple of points to be fair. I only learned of this dust-up in the past couple of weeks, and other than articles within The Christian Post, I haven't been able to dig too deeply into it. Here is one article written by Richard Davis Phillips, who who tries to explain where the "sanctification controversy" lies. Tullian, on the other hand, came out with a blast against Sovereign Grace ministries and their handling of a sex abuse scandal. Here's that particular article. Tullian has also written articles in defense of his position. It's quite a mess.

Right now, I am hoping to give the benefit of the doubt in hoping that Tullian doesn't mean what his critics think he means. Antinomianism (without law) is a serious error and is rebuked in Scripture. Yes, we are indeed saved by grace through faith, and that not by works. But our good works and righteous living are supposed to be the proof to the world that our faith is genuine, and sanctification is the process where we become more like Christ. The Apostle Paul makes it so plain: "Shall we sin that grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:15).

We do have a problem with a younger generation of professed believers, who seem to not be bothered at all by premarital sex and a host of other unbiblical behaviors. They are no doubt influenced in part by an antinomian mindset. If they are picking this up in their church youth groups, there needs to be some housecleaning.

I am praying as I look into this more as I have time, and that is a challenge. My personal and work life has been more out of control this year than ever before. But I must look into it, and as a teacher in my church, need to be up to speed in case warnings must be given.

In the meantime, pray for repentance and reconciliation all around. The Gospel Coalition was a well-intended idea. They need to be on the same page on essentials.

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