How Did We Get Here?

The thing that probably baffles me the most within the Evangelical church is how easily we dismiss important things that we shouldn’t.
But what comes in easily at second place is how easily we don’t rebuke the things that we should rebuke.
(Remember, Jesus rebuked people and ideas; and we are called to imitate Him as His disciple.)
Now of course, I realize that there are people who say some pretty outlandish stuff and bring up some fairly ridiculous ideas within the Evangelical church.
I’ve been in the Evangelical church my entire life, and I’ve probably heard most of them.
However, most of the crazy things that you hear are a result of poor theology; which in turn is a result of poor discipleship within the Evangelical church.
So unfortunately, what has happened is that as a result of our poor theology and our poor discipleship (which has produced believers saying and believing some pretty crazy things sometimes) we have become accustomed to letting people say all kinds of crazy stuff and we just sort of shake our heads and go on.
But then, every so often, someone gets theology right; and then we pay them as little attention as we do those who are spitting out bad theology.
The problem being that we have become so accustomed to not really paying attention, that we are not truly listening and taking action when we should be listening and taking action; whether that action being repenting of our inattention, or rebuking fallacies.
And just to be clear, I am referring to matters of Biblical truth and error.
I am making the case that while we as Evangelicals claim to believe that the Bible is completely true and that it should be completely taught and obeyed; we often flippantly disregard important biblical truths while allowing unbiblical deceptions to fester within our churches.
I’ll use two of my personal pet issues to demonstrate the point.
First, I’ll demonstrate how when someone gets theology right, we shrug our shoulders and really don’t pay any attention.
The central theme of the Bible is that the ultimate purpose of redemption through the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is that men are rescued from their fallenness so that they may once again bring glory to God by being re-conformed to the image of God that they were originally created to be. And this re-conformity is only accomplished by men being conformed to the image of Jesus (who is the perfect image of God) through imitating and obeying Him as His disciple (through the supernatural empowerment and enlightenment of Holy Spirit); until they are completely perfected upon their entrance and glorification in paradise.
(Genesis 1:27, Matthew 5:48, Romans 1:22-23, 3:23, 1 Corinthians 11:7, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Galatians 6:14-15, Ephesians 4:22-24, 5:1, Colossians 3:9-10, 2 Peter 1:4, Romans 8:29, 12:2, 13:14, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 15:49, 2 Corinthians 4:4, 5:17, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:11-13, Philippians 2:1-5, 3:7-11, Colossians 1:15, 1:28-29, 2:9-12, 1 Thessalonians 1:6, 2 Timothy 3:12, Titus 3:4-6, Hebrews 1:3, 6:1, 12:1-3, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 1:1-4, 2:21, 2 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:6, 3:3, 4:17.)
So, here’s the problem… in 45 years of being in Evangelical churches, I have never heard that preached or taught in an Evangelical church.
Let me put that another way…
In my entire life, I have never heard the central theme of Scripture taught or preached inside the walls of an Evangelical church.
And I didn’t really know or understand that until about 4 years into seminary.
Here’s my point:
When you read that explanation of the central theme of the Bible, what did you think?
Did you look up the provided Scripture passages to see if it was true?
When you realized that it was true, did you think, “We need to do whatever we need to do to make sure we are teaching that!”
Or, did you just shrug your shoulders and go on?
If so, are you sure that you really believe that Scripture is completely true and that it should be completely taught and obeyed?
Do you see what I mean that we dismiss important things that we shouldn’t?
Next, I’ll demonstrate that we often allow unbiblical doctrines and deceptions to fester within our churches.
How did that happen?
The fact that any sexual activity outside of a heterosexual monogamous marriage is a sin is one of the most clearly stated premises in Scripture.
Anyone who argues otherwise has to twist Scripture worse than Satan himself to even begin to make an argument; and in doing so, they prove themselves to be an extremely immature believer at best, and a heretical false prophet at worst (Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 5:1-11, 6:9-11, Jude 1:1-16, Revelation 2:14-16, 2:20-13, 21:8).
And yet, this is exactly where we are as the Evangelical church in America.
Either we are dismissing and overlooking the most important scriptural truths, or we are entertaining and considering unbiblical deceptions; and at worst doing both.
God help us.
For more information on why it is so important to repent from sin and then imitate and obey Jesus as His disciple, start here and follow the links the end of each article:
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash