Evangelical Swampage

“As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, American evangelicalism is clearly confused, fragmented, and frighteningly vulnerable to false teaching.

“Evangelicals are too worldly-minded and untaught to be able to recognize all the deadly errors that have made themselves at home within the movement. Evangelical leaders are far too tentative and timid in denouncing those errors—up to and including the damnable ones.

“Rank-and-file evangelicals won’t stand for it if their leaders do point out false doctrines, especially when the error is being peddled by a slick celebrity.

“These problems are serious. What we commonly refer to as “the evangelical movement” is actually no movement at all anymore. It has morphed and melted down into a variegated, muddled, incoherent swamp—without any meaningful boundaries. And we are sending to the world a message that is as garbled and bewildering as this ersatz movement.”

Judgmentalism and Sermons

“There are hearers who make themselves, and not the Scripture, the standard of their judgment. They attend not so much to be instructed, as to pass their sentence. To them, the pulpit is the bar at which the minister stands to take his trial before them; a bar at which few escape censure, from judges at once so severe and inconsistent.”
–John Newton

For many, it’s been a long time since they’ve listened to a sermon. The pastor says a phrase, a buzz-word and “Oop, can’t say that pastor. This guy doesn’t know anything.” And off their mind goes.

Hard to learn when we don’t listen. Even harder to learn if you think you know everything.

Satan Wants to go to Heaven Too

Desiring to go to heaven is not proof you are truly saved.

The Bible gives many tests to determine the legitimacy of your profession, wanting to go to heaven is indeed a true desire of a believer, but it aint the only one.

Wanting to escape pain, struggle, temptation is a human desire, it is not inherently spiritual. Consoling yourself with the positive thinking of heaven is not faith.

A true desire for heaven results in a purification of life, a detachment from worldly things. It is not an elevated sense of worldly things, nor is it an excuse to continue to mind earthly things.

Satan wants to go to heaven, too as long as he doesn’t have to give glory to God while he’s there. Are you in that boat, too?

A. W. Tozer’s Warning

From a review of Tozer’s life:

“With a burning desire to learn and a keen sense of educational inadequacy, Tozer began to devote long hours to reading. He not only read a lot, his mind was preoccupied when he was home, as he continually sorted out ideas and wrote articles in his mind when he could not be alone to put them on paper.

“By early 1928 the Tozers had a routine. Aiden found his fulfillment in reading, preparing sermons, preaching, and weaving travel into his demanding and exciting schedule, while Ada learned to cope. She dutifully washed, ironed, cooked, and cared for the little ones, and developed the art of shoving her pain deep down inside.

“Most of the time she pretended there was no hurt, but when it erupted, she usually blamed herself for not being godly enough to conquer her longing for intimacy from an emotionally aloof husband.”

Your Life and God’s Boring Book

I’m a reader of the Bible. Good days, bad days, indifferent days, any days I’ll read the Bible. Sometimes I look for a little extra inspiration, a little something to help me through.

It seems on those days when I need a little “pick-me-up,” I’m reading Exodus. When was the last time you heard a life-inspiring sermon from Exodus 27?

Then I consider the original writing of Exodus 27. Israel has escaped Egypt, they’re wandering in the wilderness whining about their disastrous room service, trying to make it to the Promised Land.

Then God drops on them laws about accidentally killing your neighbor’s goat, dimensions of the ark of the covenant, how to assemble the tabernacle, and on and on to such detail.

Doesn’t God know how “plot” works? Get to the story! Let me know if they make it or not! It’s like reading Moby Dick. Captain Ahab is put on hold while Melville discusses breeding habits of whales.

Apparently, and you may not know this, God did not write the Bible to inspire my life. Seriously, He didn’t. I always thought He did until I read the Book.

God wrote the Book so I could know who He is, what His plan is, what His people are here for and how His people are to glorify Him. My life is not the center of the universe, tabernacle dimensions make that point clear.