Lets just put this on the table, clearly displayed. I have a unique understanding of intellectualism and Christianity. To date, I strive to understand and maintain an open mind towards secular studies of science, psychology and sociology. I love reading, understanding what drives social interests and where society is ‘at.’ I’ve played the part of the ‘intellectual’ debating sciences, religion and of course sports. I can hear the reader now, “That’s great Adam, but why do we care?” It’s not about me, that just a baseline card to start on before laying out the rest of the article.
I’ve been on a Facebook sabbatical, because at this point Facebook has become more of prayer request board than any sort of communication device, at least from my people. We use it to promote lots things but in reality my peeps from years past just keep my prayer list full. They don’t know it, I read the things that they write, the pics they post and the events they go to and I know what is going on. I used to live that life. I know where they are and it burns inside of me. I know the emptiness that they feel and I understand that need to fill the emptiness with some sort of intellectual bolstering. I want desperately for everyone to see the real Jesus. Not the pastors and the churches that get all sorts of media attention.
Some people might or have called me a bit of an extremest about doctrine and theology. I already admitted that I love reading and learning and I have some set beliefs on doctrine, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t change. That doesn’t mean that I’m not open to understanding why people are drawn to certain churches or pastors. Here is where I start having an issue. The media, specifically the liberal media loves to point out churches that have some ‘wack’ thought processes or massive issues deeply in them. Generally, the mega churches and of course the Catholics. After they post an article or run a story about “the church believes,” the outpour of prayer requests starts coming in. Hundreds of people start commenting falsities about Christianity and seemingly are fine rolling around with false conclusions about God and the church.
I blame the ego of men in the Church
That’s right. I don’t blame Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Wordsworth, or Darwin (who was a theist). They played a prominent part in the downfall of the Christian influence and opened up doors for communication that the Church couldn’t handle. They provided a solid foundation for intellectualism and Pantheism. The response of the church? Well let’s see what we have running around in the very loosely based Christianity umbrella. Mega church pastors that are rolling around in 14 million dollar houses, claiming anything but Jesus. Anyone who is actively proclaiming the Word of Faith movement is actively participating in pantheism. It’s not just the word of faith movement, the Catholics are continuing a tradition of hiding sin within the confines of the Vatican and allowing priests to continue to minister the word of God after having sexual relations with children. It’s sad, and it’s damaging to the very fabric of the testimony of the church. If you think that’s harsh and it hurts to read, I hope that you understand it comes out of a love for Jesus and his bride. In our extended church family we had to deal with infidelity within the staff of the church. Leaders, sinning and they are going to continue until they are dead, they are blinded by their own personal idolotry.
Men are going to continue to sin. Sanctification should be happening and the leaders of the church have to address sin.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23 ESV)
Does that make the church irrelevant in today’s society? In some sense it actually makes the church more relevant, because the church can teach what Christianity is all about. Grace. Far too long, the church has made laws and constitutions to hold their congregations back from the moral underlying of society. The church can call on grace, call on Jesus to help repair those whom are broken with the understanding that all have sinned, not just the outsiders of the building. This is not to say that we as Christians shouldn’t strive towards Jesus, never taking out eyes off of the cross, but it’s relieving to know that you don’t have to be perfect. That the church can release itself from some of the dogmatic rulesets that have been self imposed. We as Christians should engage the world as Christians, as humans that have sinned, will sin and want deeply for the Holy Spirit to continue to press out our natural state.
This kills much of the sounding board for pseudo intellectualism and secular reasoning. The church shouldn’t feel the need to combat science with theology. Science has continued and will continue to edify the great word of God. We don’t have to create a societal divide based on what we know as truth and the process that continues to prove the truth. Jesus called us to arms, commissioned us to speak boldly all that we have been taught. Our mission shouldn’t be to win the intellectual skirmish, but the war for souls.
The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)
So how do you win the war on ideology, intellectualism and pantheism?
I believe and will continue to attempt to walk out how to walk out some extremely hard truths for people to believe. Charles Darwin once said,
“I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men”
Why would we expect the cultures that we are in to blindly follow anyones lead? Jesus called us to teach His truth, to speak about His life, death and resurrection. Imagine if the presentation of the Gospel would have been something that Charles himself had been taught. Imagine if we put our ego’s down, pride being much of the root of sin, and walked out what Jesus called us to walk out. Christianity as a moralistic ruleset is dead. It started out as dead and is dead. Christianity as a lifestyle, Jesus as a savior and an understanding that moral codes and laws bring death. I’m with Mark Driscoll on this.