Count it all joy when you face various trials. --James the brother of Jesus

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Theological Liberalism in the Local Newspaper

I saw this sign driving by one day, but I didn't expect to see it show up in the local newspaper. The person submitting this pictorial found it refreshing. I find it absurd, but I'll leave the spelling error alone.

First, you might say that God is too big to fit in any "religion," if you use technical distinction. By this I mean, "religion" is man's attempt to get to God on his own. Taking this definition, I would say that all human attempts at reaching God fail. No "religion" can do it because God is too big, mysterious, an holy that we cannot reach Him in our own efforts. This leaves human beings with a real problem. If all man's attempts at reaching God ultimately fail, how are we to know anything about him at all? The good news here is that God has made himself known; he has revealed himself, and he has spoken to man in the Bible.

Of course the likely response to this is that my argument doesn't hold any weight because you may not believe the Bible. However, it still doesn't keep the sign in the picture above from being absurd. This sign is on the marquee of a Congregational Methodist church. I don't know much about this particular denomination, but the name at least sounds like it belongs to a Christian congregation. Christianity has 66 book of sacred scripture collected in what we call the Bible. Christian congregations ought to be defined by the Bible, and the Bible is an exclusive book. In Genesis you see a God who created the universe and created all human beings from a single originating pair. In Exodus you see a God who reveals himself to Moses as a jealous God who condemns 1)the worship of any other gods, or 2) the creating of images to worship which implies that God regulates how he is to be worshiped, or 3) taking the Lord's name in vain which implies an empty claim to follow him. Later on in the Old Testament the people are told that they worship God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him. In the Gospels, Jesus claims to be the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one comes to God but through him. Jesus also claims that a rejection of him, that is Jesus, is essentially a rejection of the Father. If we take Jesus words seriously, we cannot reject Jesus and still claim to be following Christian God.

The absurd thing about the statement, on that marquee is that it claims to come from a Christian church. If they would just take the sign off and call themselves universalists at least it would be honest, but how can anyone who claims to be a Christian so easily abandon the words of Christ?

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