Post-modernity has found a welcome home in Western culture and its tentacles have wrapped even around the church. It is evident in the utter aversion that even some of my most beloved, soundly orthodox, and biblically grounded brothers have to the exposing of and separation from significant departure from the Scriptures in the teachings of some of our contemporaries. The great sin today is not calling God a liar or treating His revealed Word carelessly, but even disagreeing with someone or challenging their views!
How foolish of us! Why should the exposing of the wolves among the sheep be sad for us? To say that it accomplishes nothing is rather silly in my opinion. We desire that Truth might be preached and held in high esteem. How else is error revealed except by contrasting it with Truth? There are certainly spiritual matters which are of little importance in comparison to the core of the message of the Gospel: that God is holy, that we are sinful and in need of a redeemer, that Christ has given Himself as a sufficient and effective substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, and that we must repent and are saved by grace through faith in Christ.
How long we cut our hair or what style of music we listen to may well be important issues to tackle, but they are vastly inferior to issues of doctrines of salvation and of the Scriptures themselves, and I think that the vast majority of us would agree that hair and music are not issues which give us anything close to reasonably justifiable grounds for excommunication or disassociation.
Epistemological, hermeneutical, and soteriological issues, however, are another matter entirely. When someone starts preaching that Jesus name is not the only name under heaven by which we must be saved they have departed from the Truth. When someone starts preaching that the Bible is not clear and that we need to have a “conversation” to figure out what God really said (“Indeed, has God said. . .”) they have departed from the Truth. When someone preaches that we cannot really know Truth and that all truth is relative, they have departed from the Truth.
The only grief we ought bear when men such as these are exposed for what they really are is that they have departed from the Truth in the first place. It is indeed sad that they have rejected the Gospel that was handed down to the saints, once for all. We cannot remain faithful to the Gospel while we continue to entertain the intimacy of fellowship with ones such as these. They lead men astray. We, on the other hand, must strive to preach to the world the absolute truth of Christ crucified which alone has the power to save.
I’m not looking to pick a fight, but neither am I going to back down from the robber who assaults the church with clubs of extrabiblical doctrine and humanist idolatry.
Mark Driscoll recently named names at the Convergent Conference. You can listen to the podcast in its entirety here. It’s the podcast entitled “Convergent Conference – Session 3” and it’s a rather in-depth exposition on the theologies of some of the Emergent Church’s leaders. About 14 minutes in is where the topic turns specifically toward them and (even primarily I would say) their ideas. A lot of people are upset that Mark would essentially call these men out as heretics. They wring their hands and cry “Division! Division! He’s being divisive and isn’t unifying!” To which I would respond with God’s command to the Corinthians:
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.
We are to unify with believers and in Truth, not error! We are not to unify with those who reject even the very basic tenets of our faith and embrace such lawlessness as post-modernism as the basis for their worldviews. We are, in fact, called to separation from such men.
Our methods may change, for we live in a world where the most effective “language” of preaching Christ crucified may change with the cultural language of a given people (Paul on Mars Hill, for example). But the immutable Word of God remains forever the same. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the only thing that saves the fallen sons of Adam, and it is the only message we ought ever preach to the lost. It is the power of God for those who are being saved.
My dear brothers and sisters, I implore you: preach Christ or else do not waste your breath. Preach Christ or nothing at all.