We think we can do it.

“Theologically, the emerging church must wrestle with what the Scriptures say God has revealed about the uniqueness of Jesus in relation to the world’s religions.  Why must we wrestle with this question?  Because instead of helping people find their way home to Jesus as the only one who can save, we often put up barriers to belief by the way we communicate what Scripture reveals.”  John Burke, Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches

 And then it struck me.  We think we can do it.  We (that is modern man, emerging church man) thinks that we are more responsible for the salvation of man than we actually are.  I think that so much of this boils down to a combination of man-centered theology, as opposed to a God-centered theology; and a poor understanding of the total depravity of man, and his need for the Holy Spirit to work in man.

“but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”  1 Corinthians 1:23-25

and consider the warnings of John about the false prophets: 

“for many false prophets have gone out into the world…. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them.”  1 John 4:1,5

There is considerable danger in trying to preach a gospel that is relevant.  The world just might gobble it up.  This growth though, may not be an indication of anything more than the world loving a worldy doctrine.  God’s Word is folly to man.  Those who preach it will be persecuted (is the servant above his Master?) 

“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”  2 Corinthians 2:15-17

The fragrance of death??  We are not commissioned to preach a gospel of warm fuzzies.  We are not commissioned to preach a gospel that is relevant, or speaks to our culture…. We are called to preach Christ crucified.  To say that man, in his total depravity, is sinful to the core, and needs a Savior.  Without Christ’s blood, you are going to hell.  God, so far above man, is worthy of all glory, laud and honor.  He is holy, and beautiful, awesome and worthy of praise!  He cannot look upon your sin, but in His mercy sent His Son!  Man needs God.  The fundamentals of our situation have not changed.  And, when we have preached Christ, we must also acknowledge the need for the Holy Spirit to regenerate those who hear the gospel.  Trust God for the increase!  Sow, and reap, and pray that He, in His sovereign goodness, might reach out, and awaken the hearts that you touch, that are dead to Him! 

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ken Silva
    Oct 23, 2007 @ 20:06:01

    Verity,

    You said: “I think that so much of this boils down to a combination of man-centered theology, as opposed to a God-centered theology; and a poor understanding of the total depravity of man, and his need for the Holy Spirit to work in man.”

    Precisely. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Ryan
    Oct 25, 2007 @ 13:14:58

    It was pretty cool how God placed you in B&N’s with such timing. I’m glad you were there to speak a word of warning concerning RB.

    I almost didn’t talk to you Tuesday night. It’s pretty cool when I listen to the Holy Spirit. He has a unique way of making things turn out wonderfully, lol.

    Keep on serving the Lord and living the faith which you described in your previous post.

    Reply

  3. Verity
    Oct 25, 2007 @ 20:06:56

    Ryan – it is interesting how life is like that some times! God has a really unique way of working. Thank you for taking the time to talk. It was encouraging to hear you guys as a group reaching out to those who have questions about God – keep me posted on how that is going!

    Reply

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