Saturday, January 12, 2013

Evangelicalism Lacks Discernment

John MacArthur makes the point that the church today (or in 2006 when this was written, and it is still very timely today) struggles in part because it it very light on the Biblical discipline of discernment of truth from error. We don't like confrontation, so anyone who brings up the fact that some are teaching blatant falsities is seen as more problematic than the false teachers.

Evangelicalism is Fighting For its Very Life

The bible warns of increasing deception and of wolves
that will come in sheep's clothing. Is the church prepared?
A well known pastor had this to say about modern Christianity: It seems to me that if any one problem out strips all the others in the church, it is the utter lack of spiritual discernment; the ability to discern truth from error regarding God and the things of God.
The church today has boundless credulity (they'll believe virtually anything). And the result is, the modern church is filled with: bad decisions, faulty reasoning, superficial understanding, shallow knowledge, and wide-spread ignorance. Collectively, those things have added more anguish to the church throughout her history, than all the persecutions combined.
Jesus said that "wolves" would "come in sheep's clothing". The Apostle Paul said, "Grievous wolves will enter in, not sparing the flock". Paul wrote to Timothy and said as time goes on "evil men will get worse and worse, and deception will increase." Paul again said, "there will be doctrines of demons that will lead people astray". To put it mildly, there is a world of chaos and confusion in the church today.

We cannot, therefore, believe for a moment that everyone who claims to be "in Christ" and to "speak on behalf of Christ" is speaking the truth. Distinguishing truth and error has become vital to the 21st century Christian.

Yet, despite that, there is a greater than ever lack of discernment in the church today. And it is showing up in all kinds of different ways. The undiscerning contemporary church, for example, has often rejected Darwin and Huxley but accepted Freud. It has often rejected doctrine and favored and embraced so-called "unity in our relationships", as if that were the priority. It has become fascinated with entertainment and bored with exposition. It has been enamored with feelings, and undervalued clear thinking.
As a result, evangelical Christianity, and listen to this, is fighting for its very life. And our time cries out for people with discernment, with the ability to tell the false from the true.
-- John MacArthur

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