H/T to Job at Jesus Christology who posted this series this evening. John MacArthur is one of my favorite preacher/teachers and once again in this series Pastor MacArthur "unleashes God's truth one verse at a time" as he answers these questions: "How do we contend for the truth? How do we preserve the truth? How do we protect the church and the people that are coming to the church desiring to know the truth? How do we protect ourselves? How do we survive in increasingly apostate times? And Paul, of course, told Timothy at the end of his life that evil men will grow worse and worse. And Paul indicated in his letter to the Thessalonians that the apostasy would escalate as you got closer to the end. How do we survive? How do we protect the truth? How do we engage in a triumphant battle in the midst of apostasy?
He discusses the lack of discernment within the church:"Why is there such a lack of discernment? Reason number one, because there's a weakening of doctrinal clarity and conviction. A cheap gospel, as it's called, easy believism, tolerance, unity, openness, there is a negative attitude toward being narrowed toward being doctrinal. There's even a negative attitude towards saying this is a true interpretation and that is not. It seems like everybody is entitled to his own spin on everything. The church has been invaded with liberalism, psychology, charismaticism, politicism. It's forced its way into the church and, of course, whenever error wants to find a place in the church, it has to find a way to get rid of dogmatism. The only way that error can be accepted in the church is if people are no longer going to hold a doctrinal standard. And so that's what happens. These forces that are outside the Bible demand acceptance, demand a place in the church and so they push dogmatism aside. The emphasis in the church then goes from preaching doctrine to the mind for the purpose of people giving greater glory to God through His Word, to inducing pleasant emotion, pleasant feeling, good feeling, fun, personal comfort, etc. Worship descends from singing truths about God, lyric-centered music full of theology, to that Seven-Eleven music, seven words repeated eleven times which is dominated by volume, rhythm, harmony, to induce warm, fuzzy and sensual moods. So you have a weakening of doctrinal clarity and conviction. People don't know what doctrines they believe, they're not clear on them and they don't have convictions about them. (this is why so many in the body of Christ support Barack Obama-CBW's words not John MacArthur's)
Pastor MacArthur aptly describes this as "Spiritual Terrorism" he says: "Failure to confront spiritual terrorists destroyed the church at Pergamos, they allowed some who held the teaching of Balaam, they allowed some who held the teaching of the Nicolaitans and it destroyed the church and the Lord says, "If you don't repent, I'm going to come quickly and make war against you with the sword out of My mouth." It destroyed the church at Thyatira because they tolerated the woman Jezebel who taught the people to commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. As I told you, it destroyed the church at Sardis and soiled their garments. And on the other hand, there was the church of Smyrna in Revelation 2 that maintained its purity and the church at Philadelphia that maintained its purity and God promised them a blessing. Churches that stop spiritual terrorism at its border by profiling them, understanding who they are, protect themselves and then face the incredible responsibility to give those same terrorists the gospel. To this we are called, to this great challenge."
What a powerful message. What are you going to do? Pick up your cross and follow Christ or mind your business as you strive for tolerance and political correctness?