Monday, August 14, 2006

Are Evangelicals Forgetting the Gospel?

We can't do apologetics unless we know what it is we are defending. Is the Gospel, whose rational and intellectual defense we take, a Gospel of right beleif? Is it doctrine that saves us? Is it keeping rules that saves us? I find more and more that the Evangelical world seems to be opening up to a creeping cancer that teaches that the Gospel is a matter of holidng right doctirnes (beyond the basic "doctrine of Christ") and of rule keeping.

During this past week, since before the week end, about last wednesday, Ive been invo;ved in something new, arguing with fundametnalists. Why did I break my own rule and argue agaisnt the fundies rather than ignoring them? Becasue they were caght up in the machination of a certain band of trollish types who were doing nothing more than plugging their pet doctrines (such as YEC) rather han doing apologetics. This was on the apologetics board, so I decided to give them a real run for teir money. I have never been so disillusioned.

These guys were worse than any atheist every thought about being. I had two issues:

(1) I beileve in evolution and it is not a challenge to my faith

(2) I am not na inerrenist (no verbal pleanry inspriation) and I believe there are better models.

It was not three posts before one of them sent me a private message saying I am the spawn of satan. I got no rational discussion out of them at all. Here is an examlpe of the most rational end of the discussion:

Meta: Paul says "bring my coat form Troaz," why would God insprie himj to forget his coat?

Fundie: to show that he's human and makes mistates. (of course if he's human and makes mistakes why draft him to write half the NT? So he can forget his coat but he can't mistake anything else, what purpose does this serve? No answer).

Meta: why did the earth sit around for 3 millions years doing nothing before man was put on it? (rare fundie theory that "the eart was without form and void" means the earth became wihtout form and void.

Fundie: God did this to let the oil take time to develop so we would have oil to use!

Meta: why do that when he could give us solar panels and avoid all the fossil fuel problms?

Fundie: (evokes mind of God chestnut--can you believe it?)

Meat:"all scripture is God breathed" doesnt' apply to the NT because it didn't exist when Paul said that, so show me a verse that says the NT is inspired.

Funide: I did, 1 Tim (same passage)

Meta; how can this apply to the New Testament when it didn't exist when Paul wrote this?

Funide: you are over intelleualizing, you are trying to use your mind to undersand God.

That's the best they did, the rest of it was about I'm creating antoher Jesus, I'm preaching another gospel (that of evoulution--even though I said nothing about evolutino being necessary for salvation). I'm in great danger of hell fire because it's so unholy and evil to say that every single word in the bible isn't inspried.

I said say well have you gone to get Paul's coat from Troaz? Of course those words aren't inspired. but when me doing it I'm "picking and choosing what I want to believe."

I have never seen such rampanet disregard for logic and such vile charactor assasination. I would sure have hoped that Christians would do better than that. Most were agreed I lost my salvation by not believing in verbal plenary inspiriation.

They also seem to assocaite liberal theology with immorality. It seems being al iberal is just an excuse to screw. I keep asking, where's that libratine lifetyle? How come those jerks in seminary didn't tell me how to get into it?

I see this all over the net. Carico voices it well, in exhibiting this tendency:

Galatians 1:9 "As we have already said so now I say again: If anybody is preaching a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned."

And no one was preaching that man was created from apes before Darwin came along. And I won't even give someone the time of day who claims that the gospel that people accepted back then was that apes created man. There is not only zero evidence for that, it is another fabricated story.

2 Peter 2:3, "In their greed, these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping." And the notion that God didn't create man out of the dust of the ground but instead man was an accident of apes is most assuredly made-up

He's trying to say that my belief in evolution is another Gospel. But that would not follow if he did not already think that the Gospel the way it should be is a matter of holding a certain range of ideas including inerrency and creationism.

Originally Posted by GeneZ
You forgot one.....

1 Timothy 6:3-4
"If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions

In a super long post I already demonstrated that the Gospel is not a matter of keeping rules, it is not a matter of having a right set of beliefs (other than beliefs immediately pertiannig to who Jesus was and what his death means for us soeteriolgoically). That means evoltuion is not part of the Gospel and holding to it is clealry not preaching anther Gospel.

This may come as a schock to many but I am an Evangelical: believe in Evangelizing, and I hold to the five points (except inerrency but I still hold to inerrency, just my style of it). No one really trys to listen hard enough to figure I mean by the things I say so I'm not surprized that everyone has missed this. So I'm a liberal Evangelical!

So let's examine Galations 1.

Galatians - Chapter 1

Gal 1:1 ¶ Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead

He's already preached the Gospel in the opening line! Reusrrection is part of the "Gospel" not "another Gospel."

Gal 1:2 And all the brethren which are with me,
¶ unto the churches of Galatia:

Gal 1:3 Grace [be] to you and peace from God the Father, and [from] our Lord Jesus Christ,

Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:

Right there in that simple sentence he tells us exactly what the Gospel is. Thsi is the standard (ala Pauline style) of what we are to judge "another Gospel" against!

Incredible such a simple sentence and tells us exactly what we are suppossed to be about!

Gal 1:5 To whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gal 1:6 ¶ I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

what is this other Gospel? we shall see it is
(1) holding to a certian set of doctrines as pimary and soeteriolgoical which add to the Gospel that has been preached

(2) rule keeping rather than Grace.

Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

that perversion is gonig to take the form of saying we must keep the Moseic law. So that' the rule keeping that I find is every moer so being preached among Evangelicals as fundamental to salvation.

Gal 1:8 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.

does that say "if we or an angel from heaven tell you to believe in evolution? or does it say "if we or an angel form heaven tell you the Bible is not inerrent?" why not? Why in this whole discourse on what we should believe and the false gospel being preached does he totally omitt any ideas about inerrency of the Bible?

Gal 1:9 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 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Gal 1:11 ¶ But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Funny he doesn't say "I read it in the inerrent Bible." It was revaled to him through persona experince

I'm going to skip to chapter 2 for brevity sake

Gal 2:1 ¶ Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with [me] also.

Gal 2:2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.

Gal 2:3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Gal 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Gal 2:5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Gal 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person for they who seemed [to be somewhat] in conference added nothing to me:

Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as [the gospel] of the circumcision [was] unto Peter;

Gal 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles

Gal 2:9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we [should go] unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.

Gal 2:10 Only [they would] that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.

Gal 2:11 ¶ But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.

Gal 2:12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

Gal 2:13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.

Gal 2:14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Gal 2:15 We [who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,

So he finds a social dimention to the Gospel; The aplication of the Gsoepl to the real wrold deals with how we treat people and impossin legalistic rules upon them is hypocracy.

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Gal 2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Here he's saying the Gospel is a matter of the Spirit givnig us power to live right, not a matter of beleving the right doctirnes or keeping rules.

Gal 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

so that pretty much says that keeping rules is anti-thetical to the true Gospel.

belief of doctrines is a rule keeping. to say "you must beleive inerrency and creationsm" to be saved is rule keeping and it is living under law, it is another Gospel. That doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong to believe those thing. that's a matter of personal preference, of consciousnece. But to imposse it as "the Gospel" is an-ath-ema!


P.S. (an after-thought) said...

If one tries to have a "discussion" with the JW's, well, that is impossible because they define words differently than other Christians do. And, it seems, from reading quite a few blogs, that many of the so-called conservatives can't really defend their positions without name-calling and other forms of il-logic. I posted about that here:


I think that this reflects a major gap in the public school system, that it isn't teaching critical thinking skills. And, perhaps, in the conservative churches (and chruch schools) that may be teaching that questioning isn't wanting to learn more and inate curiosity, but rather doubt, which is, apparently, a form of sin.

Aside from that, I can't help but wonder what these people are afraid of. We are commanded to tell people about the Gospel; we are not commanded to convert people. So if we aren't converted (in their definition) why is this such a threat?

If you have any links to good discussion of some of the more conservative viewpoints, I'd sure be open to reading them. My faith doesn't shrink from new ideas.

As I say on my blog banner: God gave us minds: Let's use them!

J. Archer said...

Some CF names there. :D

Meta: Paul says "bring my coat form Troaz," why would God insprie himj to forget his coat?

ROFL!!! I absolutely love how hilarious you can be on 'serious' topics.

I agree that fundies can be worse than the worse atheists. It's absolutely horrific.

On the issue of educational instutitions not ending up with people who can think, an educator wrote a pretty poignant email to JP Holding, I quote here:

If you have some thoughts on how we can go about pressing for teaching people to think, I'd love to hear them. (

J.L. Hinman said...

you got me man. I'll give it some,, know,...thought.

Daniel Detroit said...

The true gospel is forgotten and not preached according to the purpose of God in this crooked generation. I declare the one and only true gospel, that the Christ, Jesus, died for our sins according to all the scriptures, he was buried and He rose again the third day according to all the writings of the prophets. (Luke 24, 1 Cor 15:1-6) And well spoke the Holy Spirit concerning this generation, "All the prophets prophesy falsely and the priests bear rule by their means and my people love to have it so."

Daniel lang
From Mt Clemens, MI outside of Detroit