A Reformed Roman Orthodox Catholic?

There is little doubt to both insiders and outsiders of the Christian faith that the Christian faith is undergoing a significant event. That is, after almost one thousand years of a sharp divide between Christians (leading to war in some cases), the divide is no longer between “Presbyterian” and “Methodist,” but between theologically orthodox and theologically heterodox. This divide has arisen over the last twenty years, with Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants aligning themselves more closely together on issues of politics and theology. Such unification has occurred for both theological conservatives and theological liberals, with each respective group seeking out like-minded believers in other denominations.

But what is truly interesting is the direction many young evangelicals are heading and that is where we see a distinct change occurring. It seems that many evangelicals are making drastic changes in their belief systems and heading in one of five directions: they’re becoming Reformed, they’re becoming Roman Catholic, they’re becoming Eastern Orthodox, they’re becoming “spiritual,” or they’re leaving the faith.

The last two are almost one in the same for very little differs between one who says there is no God and one who has no idea about God (or creates a god of the mind and subsequently worships him/her/it). Evangelicals are becoming discouraged with the action – or lack of action – found within their churches in caring for the poor, showing love for nonbelievers, or building a Christ-centered community and therefore apply their disenchantment to the Church itself. Others, unfortunately, cannot accept God as He revealed by the prophets and reject the God of the Bible and opt for a version of God mixed with pagan ideas of God. Either way, some evangelicals move towards a more pluralistic outlook on the world where all religions are essentially equal and God saves everyone regardless of their beliefs. In other words, the only criteria for salvation is simply to exist. This is a very postmodern faith that doesn’t have any absolutes other than to deny all absolutes and conservatives. Some do leave the faith, but many opt for a more “open spirituality,” where their relationship with God is on their terms and in fact, the attributes of God are the attributes they love. Rather than conform to God, they conform God to them, who is then no God at all. For many, they lack the moral fortitude to be orthodox, but also lack the intestinal fortitude to be atheists.

To combat this massive exodus from the evangelical community, many churches are attempting to become “relevant.” They offer better worship bands, more atmospheric auditoriums (even changing the title of the auditorium from “sanctuary” to “worship center,” as though worship is produced in a factory), and shy away from the absolutism that so may young people seem to be fleeing. While they still believe that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, they won’t openly admit that and instead water down the Gospel into something that is nice and applicable; instead of offering a life-changing force that turns princes into paupers, they offer a life accessory, something that enhances the life you already lead, but doesn’t really interfere too much with your day-to-day interactions. Is it any wonder why such events are failing? Continue reading


Loving your enemies

Let me preface everything I’m about to say with this disclaimer:

I am no fan of the emergent movement. In fact, most people within the movement would classify me as extremely hostile to it. I find some parts weird, some parts refreshing, and some parts heretical. Unfortunately, I find some of the teachings to be apostasy (though this is more on an individual basis and not overall). I am hostile to the theology, I do find much of what they’re exploring/teaching to be a dangerous rehashing of old heresies, and I do not like how flippant they tend to be toward Church history.

With that said, I attempt to argue against the theology and not against the person. I fail at this, but I do attempt it. In most cases, just because I disagree with them – even if that disagreement is huge – I always try to divorce the person from the idea. This means:

1) That I try to be friendly

2) If possible, I try to be their friend

3) Before criticizing what they’re saying, I try to understand what they mean and why they’re saying it (from the person if possible)

Sometimes, I fail at all three, sometimes I succeed at all three. I’m a sinner, so it’s hit and miss. But I only know when I’m wrong because I also know how I should act and by knowing how I should act, I know how others should act.

The reason I bring all of this up is recently, Michael Morrell (helps with “The Ooze” website, an emergent website) opened up with some problems he’s been having concerning extreme anxiety. In the post, he confessed that for whatever reason, he’s slowly been gaining a fear of travel, so much so that he can’t drive out of his local area or even ride with other people. I’d encourage you to go read the article because it’s very refreshing to see someone so open about their struggles.

Unfortunately, some people with a Reformed bent who are also anti-Emergent and pride themselves as heresy hunters read the post and decided it would be a perfect opportunity to make fun of Mike. They mock Mike attempting to find alternative cures to his problem to simply having the problem, viewing it as a weakness within Mike that they can exploit.

I’m all for arguing against false teachings or false spirituality, but what these men at Remonstrans are doing goes too far and is unbecoming of a Christian. Under the Christian worldview we wage war against ideals and not people, though sometimes we must wage it against the people as well in order to save those who they lead astray. But even when we go against the person, we show how what the person is saying is wrong; we don’t attack the personal problems of the person, especially if the person can’t help it. What Mike is going through is not something that is under his control; he deserves our prayers, our empathy, and our support, not our vitriol and insults. Continue reading

Christianity vs. Reason

How does reason work with Christianity? It seems that in the modern age we like to put them opposite of each other. There is ‘reasoning’ and ‘Spirit guided living,’ and never the two shall meet. Yet, this isn’t exactly the Biblical model for reasoning. Here I plan to offer a defense of Christian reasoning by opening with a section from a previous article I wrote: Continue reading