Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Modern Church: Autobot or Decepticon?

This post is a continuation of the previous post concerning how a Biblical church has to better communicate unchanging eternal truths to an ever-changing culture. In discussing this I can think of no better example than the recent movie “Transformers”. You know the plot: alien robots morph into Detroit’s latest auto innovations while trying to either save or destroy mankind. Actually, I loved the movie.

At the heart of the Autobots was an unchanging identity, an unchanging form and an unchanging mission. However, outwardly they had the ability to morph into any situation without changing who they really were inside. The Apostle Paul was sort of an Autobot Apostle of the ancient world while becoming “all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.” 1 Cor 9:22 What a heart! He was still Paul. I do not think his goal was to be all things to all men. He just wanted to reach and save some.

Concerning Transformers and machines many of us have taken something apart only to reassemble it with a few parts surprisingly left over. In cartoon fashion we wish the thing would still work without these parts, but we soon find out that it was not meant to be. Those parts had a purpose, and it is best to let them stay.

Many Christians are excited about new progressive ways to reach the lost, and in doing so they aggressively disassemble archaic religious practices only to reassemble them into something understandable. This can be useful, and I do it myself. Some go a little further and attempt to disassemble the church itself thinking that it too is an archaic hindrance to reaching people. This is already dangerous ground and the risk of amateurish mistakes runs high.

Then there is the radical who thinks that the message itself needs to be disassembled and reassembled. The result of this – and it is happening right now in Evangelical Christianity – is that the reassembled form has a lot of parts left out that for some reason did not seem to fit the new and popular paradigms. Well, these parts that have worked for many millennia also have a purpose, and the organism will not work without them. The authority of Scripture, the Virgin Birth, the very tenants of our faith are under attack from within.

This is not the Autobot Apostle Paul church that wants to see men saved by progressive outreach, but it is the Decepticon church. It is at its core humanistic and heretical. It is deadly. It is poison. I hate to even post about such things, but something must be said. There are certain truths that need to be dusted off from time to time, and here are a few.

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Gal 1:6-8

I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. Rev 22:18,19


Denis said...

Wow - i love it. Thanks for the post. thank you for the truth.

Anonymous said...

Mike Watkins -
My name is Mike Watkins. I appreciate your insights. I am a Pastor in Antigua, Guatemala struggling with many of these ideas that you target, first hand.

Thank you for your challenging thoughts.

Mike Watkins said...

Dear Mike,

Thanks for the note. I was excited to stumble upon your blog recently. I guess that this kind of thing does not happen too often, two different Mike Watkins who are missionaries and write blogs.

I agree that the subject matter in my recent post is troubling to many believers, but I also have hope that the Lord will bring correction where needed. There are many who use creative methods to advance the gospel, but here are also a few tares who go beyond and even question scriptural truth.

I pray that things are going well in Guatemala. As in all places the cry is for more laborers. God bless.