17 May 2013

When the Church exalts "friendship with the world"

Every Friday, to commemorate the stellar contributions to internet apologetics and punditry made by our founder and benefactor, Phil Johnson, the unpaid and overworked staff at TeamPyro presents a "Best of Phil" post to give your weekend that necessary kick.

This excerpt is from the blog back in February 2009.  Phil points out the disastrous consequences of Evangelicalism ignoring the warning of James 4:4.

As usual, the comments are closed.

William Butler Yeats wrote a poem shortly after World War I called The Second Coming. Despite the title, it was a very pessimistic poem. Yeats was observing the rapid dissolution of society, and he foresaw nothing but certain doom. An unbeliever, he dreaded the idea of Christ's Second Coming because he saw in it nothing but the end of the world.

As he looked at the dissolution of the social order, Yeats wrote,

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And at the end of the poem, he pictured the coming day of doom as a

". . . rough beast, its hour come round at last,
slouch[ing] towards Bethlehem to be born."


As we look at the state of Christ's church worldwide today, we see an even more frightening prospect. By and large, the church has fallen in love with Gomorrah, and has veered off that direction in a dead sprint. Christians seem as if they are on a collective quest to see how much of the world they can absorb and imitate. Instead of trying to win the world the way Christ commanded, the church seems determined to see how much like the world she can become.

It is a safe bet that whatever is popular in the world at the moment will soon be embraced by the church. Virtually all of today's secular fads will have Christian counterparts tomorrow. Seriously: there are even several "Christian" nudist colonies. Evidently there is no worldly novelty that someone, somewhere won't try to drag into the church.

For more than four years here at PyroManiacs we have been pointing out laughable examples of how the contemporary church has played the harlot with the world. When you listen to the rationale of people who advocate worldly innovations in the church, they invariably insist this is the only way to reach unbelievers.

Under pretexts such as "contextualization," "missional living," and "relevance" an unbridled willingness to accommodate Divine truth to human preferences is now going on virtually unchecked in the modern and postmodern evangelical movement. Multitudes of Christians today think it is their prerogative to mold and shape everything—worship, music, and even the Word of God itself—to the tastes and fashions of the world.


That kind of thinking is all too typical. Until Christians recover their convictions and their passion; until we realize that the gospel itself is the power of God unto salvation; until we quit tinkering with the message to try to accommodate it to the tastes and preferences of every subculture; and until we give up these foolish efforts to make the gospel "appealing" and concern ourselves with proclaiming it accurately and making it clear, the church's impact on the world will continue to diminish and the world's influence will continue to define what the church looks like.