I don’t rely on the USA Today for my news or opinions, so I missed this snazzy little article the other day proclaiming that a great “revelation” has occurred in American churches that is bringing “joy and happiness” to millions! Sadly, this revelation is being met with “resistance and retrenchment” by others though, throwing a real wrench in the works.
The great discovery, according to the article, is that although we have been sincere in our beliefs, we have been misguided into actually accepting everything the Bible teaches. The author of course, pulls out all the usual Old Testament examples, citing that we no longer impost the death penalty on adulterers or Sabbath breakers. It’s not that the Bible isn’t clear, it’s just that it’s been wrong this whole time. In this case, the revelation spoken of is simply a cultural shift that says we are more enlightened now than we were then.
If we believe the Bible has been wrong on things… and if it’s taken us 2,000 years to figure it out… then what else has it been wrong about? This is the direction we are heading. The small crack is going to bust the whole thing wide open if we start interpreting scripture according to the cultural beliefs of the past decade. I saw three separate articles at Easter arguing that the physical resurrection is just semantics and we need not believe in it literally. Man is trying to fit the Bible into his own world instead of seeing the world through the Bible. The arrogance breathtaking.
Are we that bored with the truth and saving power of Scripture that we need to reinterpret it? What a depressing thought.
The idea that we must be constantly evolving and changing… it’s taken over every corner of our thinking. On the surface, it’s true: we grow, life’s seasons come and go, people develop and change and that’s a beautiful thing. But growing in Christ and adapting like a chameleon to an ever-changing culture are not the same thing.
Politicians conveniently ‘evolve’ their opinions according to the current polls. The beliefs of a decade ago no longer suit their needs, so they change them. I read an embarrassingly terrible take yesterday on Twitter that said “that’s why Jesus wrote in the sand!” and I nearly choked to death on my toast.
Jen Hatmaker announced yesterday that she went back and deleted “ignorant, inappropriate content” from her blog that she wrote years ago. She lamented the idea that she once had such bad ideas and has now deleted them from the inter webs so as to appear less ignorant and more woke. I don’t know what those ideas were, but given her current trajectory into all things progressive, I’m sure they were probably just more mainstream traditional Christian beliefs. What a huge burden it must be to need to approval of the masses so badly. Of course, we all have things in our past we would love to hit the delete button on… but our motives matter. Confession and repentance before God (and sometimes man) are a healthy thing, if we truly have sinned. Backtracking because you value the feelings of man above the holiness of God is not only unnecessary, but a heartbreaking move away from truth and freedom.
One of the most impactful things I have been learning the past year is that there needs to be a steadiness and consistency to our Christian walk. This doesn’t mean life is dull, stagnant, or perfectly-ordered. It doesn’t mean I am anti-progress. It means that I have to be the same Jesus-follower on my worst day as I am on my best day. When culture decides to make blanket-statements about Christianity, I will return to the source Himself before I bow to the opinion du jour. Again, I ask the question: when did holiness become something that has to be tweaked or adjusted to everyone’s preferences?
When I read in a mainstream newspaper the proclamation that joy comes in reinterpreting the Bible and realizing it’s been wrong all along, I shudder. Let’s not forget that although the author claims traditional churches are ‘hemorrhaging’ followers, it’s the denominations that have abandoned Biblical teachings that are almost extinct themselves. People still desire solid teaching, and a church that aligns itself solely with culture isn’t a church.
There’s a reason Jesus told us to “be alert and of a sober mind” and there’s a reason we are told “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Peter 5:8, 1 Corinthians 14:33). Our joy comes through obedience and faithfulness to Scripture. Our freedom comes by following the narrow way.
Have you ever seen an untended vine? It grows wildly in all directions and bears very little fruit. Untethered progress yields a huge mess. Allowing Christ to grow and change us, like a careful vinesresser, setting our direction and pruning where He sees fit, makes all the difference.
Stay faithful. Remain anchored. Rejecting the Word and trying to make progress happen without Jesus is a recipe for a compromised and fruitless life. Let the world spin, let them reject the idea of steady and sober living… let them march forward into oblivion if they want. The Jesus kids will be right here where we always are… in the careful hands of the vinedresser, growing and progressing as He sees fit.