Crises in Christianity part 1
Discusses a crisis in the Christian movements
A monumental Crisis in Christianity
The Prosperity Gospel: the belief that God's primary concern is for believers to be healthy and wealthy. If Christians are sick, suffering or poor, it is because of sin or a lack of faith.
The New Age Movement: a belief system of Eastern influence that emphasizes universal tolerance and doing what feels good (moral relativism). It contends that man is divine and can create his own reality and identity.
Legalism: the improper use of the law described in Scripture to try to attain or maintain salvation. Legalism also fosters judgment of fellow Christians for not adhering to one's own ideas of holiness rather than encouraging them to imitate Christ, obeying God's standards as explicitly outlined in Scripture.
Hyper-grace: the overreaction to legalism, resulting in abuse of God's grace. Believers find themselves drawn to the modern hyper-grace movement because they are looking for freedom not just from legalism, but also from God's standards.
The Emerging Church: a movement that claims to be Christian but employs culturally sensitive methods to make the gospel more palatable to a postmodern culture. Jesus' life is treated more as an allegory or narrative rather than a true event. Of particular concern is the inclusive approach to various belief systems, an emphasis on emotions over absolute truth and the notion that there is no hell, judgment or need for forgiveness. The Emerging Church movement also glorifies honesty and confession, but without repentance.
So we can say:
To the universalists: No one will be saved apart from Jesus Christ. Only those who choose to repent and call on the name of Jesus will have eternal life (see Acts 4:12, Matt. 25:46, Heb. 9:27, John 14:6).
To heralds of the prosperity gospel: Jesus promised us that we will suffer, but that He is with us and has overcome the world (see John 16:33, Rom. 5:3-5, 2 Tim. 3:12, Luke 14:27).
To the new agers: There is only one sovereign God, Creator of all things (see Is. 55:8-9, Job 12:10, Heb. 2:5-10).
To legalistic: If righteousness were attainable through the law, Christ would not have had to die (see Matt. 7:22-23; Gal.2:21; Rom. 3:10-12, 28; James 2:10). We are justified by faith in Jesus Christ's singular work on the cross, and even this faith is a gift from God not achieved by our own efforts (see Rom. 4:5, Eph. 2:8). And we are not to judge our brothers and sisters in Christ on debatable issues (see Rom. 14:1-12).
To proponents of hyper-grace: God's grace has freed us from the bondage of sin, but we should not receive His sacrifice in vain (see Rom. 6:23, Heb. 10:26-29). We must repent and seek to live under the lordship of Christ, seeking holiness through the power of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Pet. 1:13-16, 2:11-12, 16; Rom. 5:20-6:18).
To the emerging church: If we dilute the gospel, then we no longer have Good News to share (see Gal. 1:8-9, 1 Cor. 15:1-4, Ex. 20:3-6, John 8:24). Only Christ can break the chains of sin, set the captives free and conform us to His image (see 1 John 5:3-5, Phil. 3:7-9, Gal. 5:16).
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