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It's Time For A Change
© 01.03.21 By D. Eric Williams

To say it has been a difficult year is an understatement. Regardless of one's view of the seriousness of the COVID-19, lock-downs, masking, social distancing and media fixation on the SARS CoV 2 have burdened us all. It is no secret I maintain a (healthy) skepticism of the accepted narrative concerning the "pandemic." Nevertheless, refusing to embrace the COVID status quo is not a denial of the suffering caused by the novel coronavirus. Many in Idaho have felt the sorrow of losing a loved one during this year of the COVID.

Through it all the single, unchanging, abiding light has been Jesus the Christ whose name is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). The Bible tells us, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). No matter what we go through, Jesus remains a gracious savior, a bastion of strength for his chosen ones.

It is interesting the bold statement of Jesus' divine nature in Hebrews is followed by an admonishment to avoid "various and strange doctrines" (Hebrews 13:9). In the first century, many of the "various and strange doctrines" where attempts to "Judaize" the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ. If we understand the context, we recognize the writer is reminding his audience that the truth of God has never changed; the traditions of men at the core of first century Judaism were a perversion of Yahweh's ageless truth. They were a denial of the incarnation and the promises of God finding fruition in Jesus (Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 1:68-74, Romans 15:8, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Galatians 3:16-18 and so on).

The assault upon biblically sound Christology continues. It used to be that non-Christians who considered themselves "spiritual" would talk vaguely about God but would avoid the topic of Jesus like the plague. After all, the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ alone demolishes strongholds of human salvific contrivances. You cannot be equivocal about Jesus – unless you ignore the Bible and recreate him in Man's image. A persistent element portrays Jesus as Harvey Milquetoast rather than the conquering king but generally, the unregenerate have chosen to simply dismiss Jesus from their ideology rather than grapple with his claims. That seems to be changing; it seems a pseudo-Jesus is emerging in popular culture.

The pseudo-Jesus is concerned about the poor but enjoins confiscatory taxation to ensure equitable distribution of wealth. The pseudo-Jesus espouses racial equality but preaches identity politics as the solution. Pseudo-Jesus promises peace and protection but only though acquiescence to a Leviathan State. Unfortunately, many who call themselves Christians are the first to proclaim the pseudo-Jesus.

A recent survey conducted by the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University discovered the woeful condition of American Christianity. For example, of people who claim to be Christians:

52% reject absolute moral truth.
61% do not read the Bible daily.
43% believe Jesus sinned.
43% do not believe in a God-given purpose for humanity.
75% believe people are basically good.

These are just a few of the shocking findings of the study. Is it any wonder a pseudo-Jesus is acceptable to many who call themselves Christian?

For years I have been writing and speaking about the need for solid Bible teaching in the church. There is a second necessary component if we hope to turn the tide on the degradation of the church. In addition to sound teaching there must be consistent discipline. Those who reject sound doctrine must be admonished once, twice and then a third rebuke in the form of excommunication. This may decimate the membership rolls of some churches; it is necessary in order to purify the church. we cannot tolerate false doctrine in the church. Certainly we give room for the process of spiritual maturation but it is the duty of pastoral leadership to carefully shepherd the flock, admonishing and exhorting the people of God toward Christ likeness. Leaders must possess the wisdom to recognize rebellion masquerading as confusion.

Until we are willing to do the hard work of bringing our life and arena of activity under the lordship of Jesus the church will remain a feeble participant in the public square. The world is rapidly falling into ruin. This is not inevitable. Indeed the Bible tells us the kingdom of God in Christ will triumph. It may not be in our time but it will happen. If we hope to be part of the future solution instead of the present problem we must take decisive steps today.

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