I’ve been on an interesting journey in my life, in the past seven months now. Sometimes it feels like two years, but my wife reminds me now and then that I only started my blog in January, and my email list perhaps in October. One of the surprises I found along the way was the amazing knack of many emergents on the internet blogs, many of them pastors themselves, to always argue with me at length over and over, and never support their positions with scriptural authority!
I stumbled upon this disease known as emergent theology, armed with its contemplative practices (a pagan, mystical, transcendental pretending-to-be-Christian meditation), and the undergirding of its main objective, to subvert the power and authority of the infallible, inerrant Word of God. I knew I was in for a battle if I opposed it.
But we Christians are assured of who the victor is in this great battle with Satan’s forces, which has been going on since he rebelled against God and proclaimed he would be equal to God. He started this battle in the garden of Eden, when he used his wiles to suggest to Eve that God said something other than what he meant. You see, Satan is not dumb, although he is clearly not omnipotent as God is. But he uses our weaknesses, our infatuation with our own intellect and reasoning, our pride shall we say, to subvert God’s Word, and therefore, cause us to become blind to our own egos. Thus we fall into the trap, and Satan has now convinced us to just do what we feel is most comfortable and most immediately gratifying, not realizing until later, that we have chosen a path of compromise and inevitable destruction. Why does this happen, even to the most seasoned Christians? Note what 2 Corinthians 11 says here:
- “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.”
Satan is not going to hit us over the head and say to us, “this is heresy, and I want you to reject Christ, and follow me into the place of everlasting torment.” Even the newest Christians would immediately reject him. Rather, he tries to get to us by using a lot of good stuff, inserting his poison in very small, unnoticeable amounts. It’s like putting arsenic in a bowl of soup. A little at a time over a period of months, and for a while you enjoy the soup and can’t wait for the next bowl. But over time, you seem to be getting weak and not feeling up to par. But you keep eating that good tasting bowl of soup, maybe even more, never realizing that’s what the problem is. Next thing you know, you’re dead. In this case, we are talking about spiritual death. You become deadened to the practices of the world, mistaking them for what you think is God’s way, but it really is Satan’s way. How does this happen?
- The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
A powerful delusion is what it is, because as I see all this apostasy happening, and I see who is falling for it, I wonder to myself over and over: how? How can people be so blind, many of them learned scholars and seasoned Christians, as to accept what is clearly not biblical? And how can such Christians put such doubt in God’s infallible Word? It is clearly the work of Satan and his minions in this world. But the most mystifying question is this, “how can Christians who see this for what it is, be so indifferent, so apathetic to a problem which will send many straight to the pit of hell, all along believing that they are worshiping and believing in the true Jesus?”
Is it compromise? Is it a desire to avoid conflict? A need to avoid “division?” A desire for “unity?” If so, I ask, what is more important, to avoid conflict and have a false, temporary unity which will crumble later, or standing as an uncompromising, conquering warrior for the truth of God’s Word?
I listened the other day to a great sermon by David Legge, an evangelist, preacher and Bible teacher from Belfast, Northern Ireland., titled “Warfare”. He preached on putting on the full armor of God. He says some sobering things, like “the sad fact is that many have retired from the battlefield.” And “it strikes me that many do not even know that there’s a battle on.”
But we are in the middle of spiritual warfare. And it is getting more dangerous daily. As Rev. Legge* pointed out, there are at least three kinds of soldiers in this battle. One is the cowardly soldier, who shrinks away from the battlefield in fear and uncertainty, not relying on Him who has already declared victory by the power of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. The cowardly soldier instead looks at the situation through his own imperfect eyes and his human reasoning, thinking that this is hopeless, and what can we do? And his answer is usually, “it is too much for me, I can’t do anything about it, let’s just compromise.”
Rev. Legge then talks about a second kind of soldier, one who is badly bruised from the battle. He therefore is weakened because perhaps he did not put on the whole armor of God.
I like the third kind of soldier he mentions, the conqueror, the one who fights on because he knows he is not fighting to prevent a loss, but rather he is fighting with full confidence because he knows the full assurance of God’s victory! It is inevitable, we just don’t know exactly what is completely involved in God’s master strategy, but we know the victory is guaranteed! This soldier has put on the whole armor of God. You know…
- Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:14-17
So for those who have tried to talk me and many others into “taking it easy”, “slow down”; thanks for the advice, but there is to be none of that around here when we are in the middle of spiritual warfare like this. The souls of many are at stake, especially young people in the universities who are listening to the heretical teachings of men like Brian McLaren, who says that “the cross is false advertising”. To those who have said that we are causing division or causing people to walk away from the faith, please know this, that the only division being caused is by the false teachers who have brought this heresy into our midst. And the Lord has clearly commanded us to “note those who cause divisions” and “have nothing to do with them.”
- I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Romans 16:17
So there are decisions to be made. Let’s just not stand on the fence, wavering in the wind, worrying about what will happen, or what people will think. Make a decision, if you are against this heresy that has come upon us, then jump fully into the battle without compromise. You cannot compromise truth, even for the sake of your best friend, husband, wife, child, no one at all. But make sure you have put on the full armor of God, otherwise the weak spots will be penetrated by Satan, and it could prove fatal.
I urge you to stand firm, and guard yourself, as it says in 1 Timothy 4:16…
- Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
* Pastor Legge’s entire sermon can be read or listened to at his website, Preach The Word.