I had another guy poke me in the eye because of the creative methods we use to present the orthodox Good News of the Gospel story. Well, he didn’t actually poke me in the eye, but that’s just because I’m quick as a mongoose.
I wish such folks were as concerned about “presenting” the orthodox Gospel as they are about “how” presentations are done.
Does it bother you that people are telling the Old Old Story in new ways? Are you troubled because people use phone apps to read the Bible? Are you questioning whether little children should slide down tubes to get into their rooms for worship, if flat-screens on the platform are acceptable, whether people should hold services in an RV facility or whether it's OK to ask a guy who made Fortune magazine's list of the "50 Biggest Mafia Bosses" to tell his story during GCC's upcoming weekend worship services?
Let me suggest, there may be a more important matter before us.
Is it begging-the-question to ask if our generation has stumbled upon something entirely new to The Way? Could that be? I know Solomon said there’s nothing new under the sun, but seriously, what did he know? There may have never been such a time as this. Are we experiencing something new to the Church - a condition previously unthinkable?
Have we come to a place in Christian history where heresy simply doesn’t exist?
Banishing apostasy and infidelity, latitudinarianism is achieving the end of its own way; those who are so broad-minded they lack firm commitment to the essentials of Christianity are on the cusp of overcoming the challenges of heterodoxy by abandoning orthodoxy.
Have we come to that? Really? Anything goes?
Maybe we've come to the place where there is no possible way to corrupt Christian teaching, because any notion of corruption necessitates a belief that something is holy, pristine, right and ultimately true. Is this the first time in the annals of the Church when nothing is believed to be supreme truth, so nothing falls short of it? If our only absolute is relativism, merely hinting distinctions exist between truth and lies, good and evil or right and wrong, is itself the manifestation of America's arch heresy--offending our new goddess, Inclusiveness.
Where the concept of heresy doesn’t exist, there’s no way to talk about correct Christian belief. How do you describe the boundaries of legitimacy where absolute relativism reigns supreme?
Have American Christians lost any notion of heresy? That condition has consequences. There’s no way to even raise the question of rumble strips, guardrails or boundaries for legitimate and correct Christian belief where absolute relativism holds sway. When anything goes, nothing is out-of-bounds and no mission takes precedent over any other.
So if you’re more bent out of shape about how we engage the mission than which mission we're on, take it down a notch. A wide range of acceptable mission tactics can be employed. Paul, himself, said he became all things to all people so that by all possible means he might save some. Paul had flexibility in his methods and tolerance for tactical nuance. But he had one orthodoxy.
Know this: living and sharing the orthodox faith is critically important, even foundational, to the culturally nuanced methods of mission engagement.
We are called to one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of us all. Lose that Truth and your methods won’t matter . . . period.
Ephesians 4:1-6 - As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Read more from Mark Beeson on his blog, www.markbeeson.com.