Over the last year it has become harder and harder to have a conversation about faith. I have felt a hardening of positions on both sides. we see this in politics too. On the faith side, it stands out to me that more and more, we feel as if we may suffer some fallout from sharing our faith and the Gospel. Not outright persecution but blowback from differences in opinion, and a general feeling that we need to keep it to ourselves.
What Jeff shares in the article below is something I have felt to varying degrees over the last couple of years. It’s roots come from the doctrine of the Emergent church. The ideas are infecting our chruches and leading many off the narrow path. We need to pray that through us planting seeds, God can pull them back onto the correct path.
Maranatha – Come quickly Lord!
By Jeff Patty
I had a short discussion the other day with a co-worker concerning Biblical matters. It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. It became a little heated, but the co-worker seems to like heated arguments, and he seems to be more desiring to push peoples’ buttons than usual. I believe the reasons are twofold. One, he has a liberal view of Christianity, and two, he has a liberal view of politics. And as the election gets closer, he gets more aggressive and outspoken about all his liberal beliefs.
I like my co-worker; he’s funny and can be caring. And I also love and care for him as a person. But, his liberal views of the Bible and his liberal interpretation gravely concern me. You see, he claims to be a Christian and seems bold at times in proclaiming it. And at times he will say things that I totally agree with and it seems like he’s getting a grasp on the Word. But then he’ll start talking to someone, and it’s so unbiblical it’s scary! Yet he’s convinced he’s right and he’s convincing others at work that don’t know any better that he’s right. Something I like to say about people who treat the Word like this is, “They treat the Bible like it’s a salad bar. They take what they want and leave the rest.” This perfectly describes my co-worker.
I’ll give some examples of what I’ve overheard and even had brief discussions with him about. Once I heard him say very boldly that, “The book of Revelation is a pile of horse****!” Another time he said, “John the Revelator must have gotten ahold of some bad mushrooms on the Island of Patmos, because he was crazy! He believes prophecy is total nonsense. And the other thing of great concern, he has no problem with profanity, especially using the Lord’s name in vain. I don’t know how many times a day he does, I just know that I hear every form of it at least two dozen times each day at work. Minimum! It’s the same as you or I saying, “and, or but, or the” while making a statement. And he never shows any remorse or guilt for the profanity. The only thing I’ve ever known him to show guilt for is gossip. Which is good, and it’s something we all probably struggle with to some degree and should feel guilt for and ask forgiveness for but the profanity isn’t an issue for him.
Neither is sexual immorality. He is a big supporter of anything and everything homosexual. He’s single and has never been married and he’s in his early fifties. I’ve even heard him state a couple of different times that he still hopes to meet someone and get married someday and he knows God has someone for him whoever HE or SHE may be. The first time I heard him say that, I convinced myself that I didn’t hear him right. He wasn’t talking to me, I just overheard him, and so I dismissed it. The second time I heard him; there was no mistaking what he said. This is one of the scriptures he leaves out or throws away, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)
He listens to and follows a couple of famous pastors or, “Life Coaches” as they like to be called today, that feed people what I like to call, “Cotton Candy and Kool-Aid.” Fluff. Even though I would never introduce him to the following people, he would love the “Religious Left” teachings of Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. My co-worker hates the Jews for “occupying the Palestinians’ territory,” and he believes God is a God of love and would never send anybody to Hell. And at other times he even says there is no Hell. So if he ever becomes aware of McLaren and Bell, he’ll have their collected works. Both of these men are a big part of the emergent movement that is destroying Christianity. McLaren and Bell are the types of teachers spoken of in 2 Peter 1:1-2: “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (KJV)
He recently recovered from lung cancer and it almost appears that he was miraculously healed. He claims it was through the power of prayer. Maybe it was, I don’t know. He says he must have a purpose, that’s why God has spared him, more than once. He’s had a lot of other close calls. Maybe. But I can’t help but think: maybe he was spared to deceive people. You see, I believe that Satan has the power to heal. He tries to imitate God. They’re pale imitations for sure, but he is able to imitate to some degree. A fascinating and frightening book that I highly recommend is, The Beautiful Side of Evil, by Johanna Michaelsen. In it she talks about when she was involved in the occult with a psychic healer and learning the craft, and how she witnessed many healings of individuals. Some were healed for only short periods of time, others for very long periods of time. Even before she became born-again she felt an evil presence during these sessions. Once she was saved she knew the healings were demonic. Now I’m not saying my co-worker is possessed, but I do believe that because of his preaching of another gospel, he could be being used to lead people astray. “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Gal 1:6-9 (KJV)
Like the “Religious Left,” my co-worker seems to have an animosity towards anyone who exposes conservative Christian values. We’re seen as hateful, intolerant and judgmental. And it’s not just him but anyone else with his worldview. I’m convinced that this type of attitude and treatment will become more pronounced and accepted in the near future. I believe the day is quickly coming when it will be dangerous for a true believer to voice his or her convictions in this country, even in a small town like mine.
I haven’t written this article to judge my co-worker or belittle him. I’m sincerely concerned for his soul. He truly believes he is saved yet, the evidence suggests otherwise. I fear he has a false sense of security. And what really bothers me is, in my experience, these are the types of people that are the hardest to reach. If it’s someone who maybe isn’t necessarily an atheist, but they don’t claim to be a Christian, you can present them with the Gospel. Build a foundation. But for someone who believes they are a born-again Christian, whether through heritage or just saying it, it’s hard to say anything that doesn’t offend them or put them on the defensive. I will readily admit I have a hard time knowing how to talk to this particular co-worker and anyone else of a similar mindset. Where I work, and the area where I live, it is populated with a huge amount of people with this mindset, yet their lifestyle isn’t remotely Christian. Quite the opposite. But they believe they have secured a home in Heaven. Maybe I’m naive. Maybe it’s this way everywhere. I fear that it is. It’s a symptom of the condition of our churches. Churches that are all too willing to feed on cotton candy and kool-aid.
I will pray for my co-worker and others like him, and try to set a godly example and be a good witness. That may be more effective than words.
Click on the article title for a link to full original referenced article.
In Romans 10 Paul lays out how salvation is open to all, Jew and Gentile. He writes:
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:4-5
What he is saying is now it is not about works or how closely to a “T” you follow the law. But that it is through God’s gift of grace through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is really that simple, and yet a hard step for some of us.
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9
Christ is the narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14), through faith in Him you will be saved. It is the only “works” that God requires for eternal salvation.