Some were wondering what I was going to say to my church since my Monday meeting. Well here is the letter for all its worth.
“During our conversation Monday, Pastor you had said that you sense that I was not feeling any better about the whole thing. Well, you were right. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that I just wanted to agree and have peace in the class. I don’t understand it. I went and did what I promised and look into the whole emergent conversation (movement, church) and I still did not find any reason to believe they are headed for Truth. (name left out for a reason) said that I just don’t understand what they are saying when they say things like
“…I heard one well-known Christian leader … say it like this: The traditional understanding says that God asks of us something that God is incapable of Himself. God asks us to forgive people. But God is incapable of forgiving. God can’t forgive unless He punishes somebody in place of the person He was going to forgive. God doesn’t say things to you—Forgive your wife, and then go kick the dog to vent your anger. God asks you to actually forgive.
And there’s a certain sense that, a common understanding of the atonement presents a God who is incapable of forgiving. Unless He kicks somebody else.”
or things like this
“The fact is that the cross isn’t a form of cosmic childe abuse – a vengeful Father, punishing his Son for an offence he has not even committed….Such a concept stands in total contradiction to the statement ‘God is love.’ If the cross is a personal act of violence perpetrated by God towards humankind but borne by His Son, then it makes a mockery of Jesus’ own teaching to love your enemies and to refuse to repay evil with evil ”
I think it is clear on what they are saying. They do not believe or understand in the doctrine of salvation. I will let John Piper tell you what it is
God did not ordain the cross of Christ or create the lake of fire in order to communicate the insignificance of belittling his glory. The death of the Son of God and the damnation of unrepentant human beings are the loudest shouts under heaven that God is infinitely holy, and sin is infinitely offensive, and wrath is infinitely just, and grace is infinitely precious, and our brief life—and the life of every person in your church and in your community—leads to everlasting joy or everlasting suffering. If our preaching does not carry the weight of these things to our people, what will? Veggie Tales? Radio? Television? Discussion groups? Emergent conversations?
God planned for his Son to be crucified (Revelation 13:8; 2 Timothy 1:9) and for hell to be terrible (Matthew 25:41) so that we would have the clearest witnesses possible to what is at stake when we preach. What gives preaching its seriousness is that the mantle of the preacher is soaked with the blood of Jesus and singed with fire of hell. That’s the mantle that turns mere talkers into preachers. Yet tragically some of the most prominent evangelical voices today diminish the horror of the cross and the horror of hell—the one stripped of its power to bear our punishment, and the other demythologized into self-dehumanization and the social miseries of this world.
The whole thing causes me to think of Galatians 1:6-9
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble 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 the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”
I guess I am tired of this “conversation” and it does not seem that I am going anywhere with it. I will not be showing up in Sunday School at all but I have not made up my mind about leaving the church altogether yet. I could not be silent about what my heart wanted to say. So I said it. I am willing to talk but not willing to budge on the issue. Thank you so much for listening.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
Pray for me during this time.