Biblical Christianity vs. Cultural Christianity

It’s now been 13 months since I started sending out warnings regarding the emergent church heresy which is rapidly spreading throughout all denominations.  I pray you have learned much and are prayerfully asking the Lord, “if I see false teaching anywhere, what can I do?  What is my responsibility as a Christian, according to the scriptures?”  Part of what the emergent church movement has embraced is the philosophy of post-modernism, yet I want to make it clear also that modernism was not exactly a great thing either.  Post-modernism says that there may be truth but we can never know it for sure; while modernism said that we can clearly know the truth through the use of human reasoning.  Sounds good at first, but human reasoning… well, you know where that can lead to.  I suggest the solution is simple: let’s go back to pre-modernism and simply believe what the Bible says.  This may sound like a radical suggestion to the post-modern crowd, but… let’s just trust the scriptures completely!

I heard an excellent and encouraging sermon last night on Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem.  We as Christians need to do the same.  We must rebuild the walls around Biblical Christianity and stand strong together.  We may even feel like we have too few resources or too few people fighting in the battle, but we must be reminded as I was last night, that God is the winner already, we just don’t know how the final outcome will be.  That does not mean however, that we sit by the sidelines, because God wants all of us involved in the fight for Biblical truth.  We need to trust Him and obey Him, and use whatever resources that He provides for us.  I prefer to allow God to use whatever abilities I have, rather than not being willing to join in the fight.  The only question left to answer then is, who is willing to help rebuild the walls and make the city strong again?  What part can each one of us play?

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:15-16: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.

Follow the principle taught in 1 John 4:1:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

And finally, this warning from Paul in Acts 20:21-26:

Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

May God bless you in searching for truth, and examining all claims of truth, that you do it in the light of scripture only.

The following comparison is from a chart at Kjos Ministries comparing the differences between Biblical and cultural Christianity, including those ideas espoused by the emergent church crowd.  Call this a quick crash course on learning the general philosophy of emergent/post-modern/cultural ideology; but as I have advised fellow Christians many times, check it out for yourself if you are skeptical.  Research the information, and the teachings of emergent leaders.

Biblical versus Cultural Christianity

This chart is an attempt to answer those who judge Christians by the atrocities committed in the name of “Christianity” through the ages — including our own times. Those wars, persecutions, and cruelties had little to do with Biblical Christianity. They had everything to do with man’s greedy, power-hungry human nature which seeks its own ways rather than God’s. The ungodly expressions of our human nature may change from culture to culture, but the result is usually the same: the people imagine a god that fits their new cultural wants and values, and they learn to see this distortion of Christianity as the true church.
Biblical Christianity means being joined to Jesus Christ through faith in what He did for us at the cross, then allowing Him to live His life through us, so that others might know Him and see His love. (That love may include sharing His warnings as well as His promises with those in need.) The established Church, like Old Testament Israel, has always tended to drift away from its devotion to God and become just other institutions, subject to the same human impulses and painful consequences as the rest of the world. Please don’t blame human evils on a “straw-man” or a convenient cultural distortion of Christianity. Consider some of the differences between Biblical faith and today’s cultural deviations.

Biblical Christianity

Only understood by those who are joined to Christ through the cross

Cultural Christianity

Believed by the masses to represent genuine Christianity

It is… A personal relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, based on faith. John 17:20-26; Rom. 8:37-39 A religion based on humanist logic, “feel good” experiences,  and popular interpretations of Scriptures.
Come to God through… Faith in Jesus Christ Who has revealed Himself in His Word and by His Spirit. John 14:6 Faith that our own good works and intentions are good enough.
View the Bible as: The absolute, unchanging, Word of God. The Bible is inspired and guarded by God — including its honest reports about evil acts among God’s people. 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet 1:25 A collection of guidelines, allegories, myths, and stories useful for good living. Offensive verses must be ignored.
Our goal is… God’s approval. To know Him, do His will, follow His way, and live each moment in fellowship with Him — by His wonderful grace! Gal.1:10 People’s approval. To please, not offend, the world and its communities. Fun, feel-good fellowship.
Source of Strength God’s unlimited grace and power. Gal. 2:20; Phil. 4:19 Our human abilities — plus God’s help when “needed.”
See our human self as… Weak and inadequate apart from Christ. 2 Cor. 12:9-10 Strong and capable if we have confidence in Self.
See sin as… Leading to spiritual bondage and death. Rom. 6:23 A normal part of life. Ignore it, or you might offend someone. Or enjoy it, for “God understands” you needs and inclinations.
Deal with sin through… Confession and faith: trusting Jesus as the “Lamb,” our Savior who bore our sins on cross. Rom. 6:1-6 Try to do better next time, or just tolerate it. Don’t offend anyone by making them feel guilty.
Caring for people… Bring people to Christ. Demonstrate God’s love. Trust God to meet needs by His Spirit working through our surrendered lives. Rom. 12:9-18 Bring people to the church or group. Don’t tolerate uncompromising Christians who might offend people. Do to others as you would have others do to you.
Response to suffering: Trust God to use suffering to deepen our faith and endurance, prepare us for ministry, and demonstrate His love and power. 2 Cor. 1:3-11 Pray, endure, and trust that God will help. It’s okay to challenge God’s love, power, and purpose — and to seek quick relief through whatever means available — no matter how it conflicts with His Word.
Commitment: Trust and follow God. No compromise. Rather die than betray our Lord. Rom. 12:1-2 Trust and follow feelings and human logic. Compromise essentials to avoid offending the world.
Expect to… Face rejection and persecution. John 15:20-21 Get along and influence the world.
Outreach: Bring God’s love and good news to the needy, then bring the needy to Jesus. Adapt the church to the “community” so that everyone will feel at home.
Daily hope: Eternity with Jesus, our Shepherd and King. 1 Peter 1:3-9 Success, acceptance of all people, fun and fellowship in this life.

Kjos Ministries


2 responses to “Biblical Christianity vs. Cultural Christianity

  1. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth (Romans 1:16)

    To be “ashamed of the gospel” covers a number of attitudes from being totally embarrassed by it to thinking one can improve upon it a bit to make it more acceptable. One example is the claim by an Emerging Church author that the teaching regarding Christ’s paying the full penalty for the sins of mankind through His substitutionary death on the Cross is irrelevant and viewed as “a form of cosmic child abuse.” More subtle examples include trying to make the gospel seem less exclusive, and the “softening” of the consequences from which the gospel saves mankind, such as the wrath of God and the Lake of Fire.

    Prevalent among many religious leaders who profess to be evangelical Christians (i.e., Bible-believing Christians) is the promotion of a gospel that is acceptable to, and even admired by, people throughout the world. Today, the most popular form of this is the social gospel.

    Although the social gospel is common to many new movements among evangelicals, it is not new to Christendom. It had its modern beginning in the late 1800s, when it developed as a way to address the various conditions in society that caused suffering among the populace. The belief was, and is, that Christianity will attract followers when it demonstrates its love for mankind. This could be best accomplished by helping to alleviate the suffering of humanity caused by poverty, disease, oppressive work conditions, society’s injustices, civil rights abuses, etc. Those who fostered this movement also believed that relief from their conditions of misery would improve the moral nature of those so deprived.

    Anyone who puts his hope in this social gospel, which employs “people of faith” to make “this world the kind of place God can come to,” needs to heed the words of Jesus in (Luke 18:8) Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

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