The Great Enemy of the Church and America Is Not Secular Humanism As Once Thought

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Revmitchell, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Alister McGrath asks, "What will replace atheism?" Here is my answer: atheism will be replaced by pantheism. Logos (word) will be replaced by mythos (myth). The conclusion stares us in the face. Postmodernism has brought an end to secularism. But this raises a further question: where does Postmodernism lead us? Lutheran scholar Frederic Baue answers: "[to] a phase of Western or world civilization that is innately religious [emphasis mine] but hostile to Christianity…or worse, a dominant but false church that brings all of its forces to bear against the truth of God's Word."


    http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/article.php/3232/Peter_Jones
     
  2. TCGreek

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    "But it is Pagan Spirituality"

    I see this in the New Ageism.
     
  3. Humblesmith

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    I think you are very accurate. Norman Geisler has always described pantheism as a cosmic vacuum clearner, that sucks up everything in its path. The connection between atheism and pantheism is, at first glance, polar opposites. But once you think about it, and listen to what both are saying, they are very, very similar. The spiritual vacuum created by atheism naturally results in pantheism.

    I met a guy two weeks ago that was a buddist, and was introduced to buddism by a catholic priest. He was an absolute pantheist, believing that everything is one, that separatedness is an illusion. Our culture is headed in this direction, and if we want to win them for Christ, we must be prepared to begin where they are and lead them into the gospel, following the example of Paul in Acts 17.
     
  4. LaymansTermsPlease

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    I'm just a simple layman, but I've been enjoying all the free seminary classes on MP3 at BiblicalTraining.org and Covenant Seminary.

    Really made my morning commute a different deal....who cares if the traffic is slow, that just means I get to hear a few minutes more of a good lesson, especially hermeneutics, NT and OT surveys, church histories, etc. Anyway, I digress.

    I'm a computer programmer with a minor in accounting, not a philosopher at all, and even in college I didn't waste time on any psychobabble, sociology, pshychology, philosophy any more than I had to with just hitting the introductory stuff to get my degree.

    I listened to some of Ron Nash's classes at BiblicalTraining, but I bogged down through some of the classic Greek guys, and thus never made it through the later Worldview and Apologetics stuff.

    Sorry, I say all the above ramblings to point out how the following class has resonated with me more than any of the other phlosophical stuff.

    Apologetics and Outreach - http://www.covenantseminary.edu/worldwide/en/CC310/CC310.asp

    I'm about 9 lessons into it now, and wow.

    This guy begins by immediately trying to frame the current PostModern worldview. I had never really heard of PostModern before outside of a mention of Art or Architecture.

    He describes exactly as you all have mentioned...the Modern secular scientific mindset was bankrupt, and the non-Christian response was to realize pure empiricism with no God/truth was hollow and rebel against it. The problem is that the void of Absolute Truth and God channeled the rebellion against the scientific humanist into a relativism.

    Hard to reach folks when they have become pantheistic, all ways lead to whatever your version of God is. Most people have reduced Christians to just another splinter group in their minds. They see us as any other little group with our own view.

    Most folks think all views are equally valid...it's all in how sincere you are and how you feel personally. The only thing the society really views as IMMORAL is when you try to declare something as absolute truth for everyone (and not just for yourself). So imposing your view of truth on another is their view of evil.

    I guess where the teacher in the class is heading is to teach us how to find value in the culture where folks value some shred of something that matches God's truth ("humanitarian stuff" like help the poor, help the sick, fairness, etc...and good crusade near and dear to them). When folks hold a truth dear in their personal view that actually lines up with God's truth, then you have something in common....a bridge you can build on to reach them.

    He talks a lot about relationships, which the Postmodern world is starved for. Basically trying to hit your point of "reaching them where they are" because the traditional methods of evangelism will just turn unbelievers off...they hear it as noise and just someone else's personal view of truth and just switch you off.

    If we don't build bridges and relate to the lost they way Christ did with getting out there in life with unbelievers then we'll never reach them. Huddling inside your church as a "safe haven" to only associate with other Christians is unbiblical and unfruitful as far as evangelism, of course.

    Be IN the world but not OF it. :)
     
  5. Palatka51

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    Are you suggesting that we not assemble with the brethren? When I am on the job I meet and associate with all sorts.
     
  6. LaymansTermsPlease

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    Oh no, we're obviously told to associate with everyone.

    Not just unbelievers to the exclusion of brothers, nor just brothers to the exclusion of unbelievers.

     
  7. Palatka51

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    [​IMG]For a few moments I thought that you were suggesting an assembly at a Buddhist Temple or a Coven or something like that.
    Just kidding, I assume that you are asking us Baptist to be more apt to tell others about Christ in our work place, in the market place and in the schools.
     
  8. LaymansTermsPlease

    LaymansTermsPlease
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    Well, sort of...kinda the point the professor was making that gripped me was that we are called to be in and among the lives of unbelievers and be salt and light to them...not just preaching at them, but living among them, showing Christ's love.........all this instead of retreating into a place where we only associate with believers.

    I sort of always understood this, but it is apparently pretty easy to fall right in with your Christian friends only and not make an effort to engage unbelievers on a relational level.

    Here's some quotes from one of his lectures:

    Jerram Barrs - Covenant Theological Seminary - Spring 2006
    We can become so distressed by the world because it is so worldly, as if that should surprise us, that we try to create our own distinct evangelical culture so that we can avoid the sinful society as much as possible. We have our own separate Christian, or even Reformed, groups and institutions of every kind so that we are able to have as little to do with the world as possible.

    I remember speaking at a conference of pastors about this issue, and one of them said, “In our city, we have our own Reformed country club.” Now he was quite serious. “So on Saturdays, the weekends, and whenever else, we can go play golf and have our sports and everything else with fellow Reformed believers. We do not need to participate in the other country clubs and golf clubs out there. We have our own separate Christian and Reformed club.”


    A church was thinking about building a new sports facility, and I make no criticism of that. If you are going to have a sports facility and it is open to people in the community around you and it is a service to the community, that is a great thing. But this is what the guy said when he was encouraging people to give toward this.

    He said, “We want to turn our church into a haven, a haven from the world.” Those were his exact words. He said, “Already we have our church services here where we can be together. Already we have our friends here. Already we have our school here for our children,” and I am not criticizing Christian schools, but I am just quoting him.

    He said, “Now we will be able to have our sports here, too, and we will not have to have anything to do with the people out there. So please give to the building of this sports facility.”

    To turn our churches into havens from the world is not what the New Testament calls us to do. That is not how Christ redeemed us, by living in a haven that was completely retreated from the world. But this issue of cultural retreat is one of the strongest characteristics of the evangelical community in this time in which we live.
     
  9. Palatka51

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    Are you suggesting that we should dress like, talk like and do all the other things that those in the world do just so we get an opportunity to share the gospel to a lost person?
     
  10. webdog

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    How did you get that from his post?
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    I am "all things to all people", but will not compromise Bible-based values.

    Most are just lousy preferences of mine (or forced by society on me) so I can be "all things".

    Won't give up that snappy bow-tie, though . . . :laugh:
     
  12. J.D.

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    The greatest danger to the church comes from within - false prophets. There's nothing new about unbelievers justifiying their rebellion with false religion, and there's nothing new about false prophets in the church either. But what is new, it seems to me, is the lack of preachers with enough discernment to see through the smoke screen of "unity", "liberty", and "love", which have become the mantra of the false prophets. Case in point - people that "worship" God through their "gift" of CLOWNING that God (say they) gave them. Of course, the minute we speak out against clowning in church, we've "judged" somebody and hurt their feelings and have taken away their "joy", whatever that means.
     
  13. LaymansTermsPlease

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    Ummm, no. I'm with you Webdog, I don't see how what I said could be taken that way at all. :)

    I'm suggesting that we befriend lost folks (without compromising our obedience to God) and let them see God's love in us, which will be a witness to them. We should "live out" the gospel, then as they see the difference, the Holy Spirit may lead them to a place where they want to "hear" the gospel after they've seen it demonstrated as making a difference in our lives.

    In fact, we are disobedient to God if we *don't* befriend lost folks too and try to be salt and light to them.

    Jesus was accused of being a friend of publicans and sinners, but he didn't "do all the other things that those in the world do".

    A pharisee wouldn't have dared speak to a Samaritan....Jesus scolds and scandalizes their insular mindset with his parable of the good samaritan telling them that everyone is their neighbor who they are commanded to love.

    (Luke 5:30-32)But the Pharisees and their experts in the law complained to his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered them, "Those who are well don't need a physician, but those who are sick do. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."


    (1 Corinthians 5:9-11) I wrote you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. In no way did I mean the immoral people of this world, or the greedy and swindlers and idolaters, since you would then have to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who calls himself a Christian who is sexually immoral, or greedy, or an idolater, or verbally abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person.


    (1Peter 3:15-16)But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you.




     
  14. Palatka51

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    Thank you LTP I am in agreement with you. I just couldn't figure out why you thought that Christians were grouping up and not sharing the gospel to the lost. I am a Coca Cola salesman. I go into bars on occasion to service and sell equipment and sodas. I have a unique opportunity to be like Christ on many occasions and I'm quite sure many here on BB have similar opportunities.

    So what non traditional methods of evangelism are you proposing then?
    What new bridge is there to build other than the Blood of Christ?
    Is there another gospel that I do not know about?
    And frankly I do not know of any believer "huddling inside their churches" for a "safe haven".
    How does one do that and not earn a living?
    Even a full-time Pastor that stayed in his church and did not go out to visit the jailed, sick, and widows would soon be looking for another job.
    That is why I was looking for clarification.
     

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