There is heresy in the church. There has always been heresy in the church. We have always been under pressure to compromise with the world, and become good citizens: in this time this means that we become good feminists and social justice warriors,, even if it destroys the church we belong to.
And it does. It does. I know liberal congregations, and there this bloke, who is now in his mid 50s, is young. We have forgotten eldership is something you give to men with experience, and who can lead.
I’ve never attended a church in which any MEN under the age of 45 or 50 were elders. Generally, about half of the elders were retired men, often over the age of 70. Men whose children are grown simply have more time to serve, and more life experience as well.
When I was a Presbyterian, the elders set a rather aspirational budget each year, and if the tithes and offerings fell short at the end of the year, I’m pretty sure they made up the difference out of their own pockets. Very few single women under the age of 35 would be of any use whatsoever in that situation. In what sense is anybody under the age of 35 an elder? A person that young isn’t old enough to be principal of a high school.
One of the reasons that you want the older people is that old farts, a status I pray I achieve, no longer care as much for themselves. Their kids are grown and gone: their wives have daughters and sons to stay at. My old man says that he may be jailed… and his only fear is for Mum. He’s bolder than I am, but he’s now in his eighties. The young think about their mortgages.
Thinking about the challenges facing the church today, it occurs to me that the Gospel Coalition crowd and similar groups are not a very effective spokesmen for Christianity. Why? Precisely because they are too secure. People like John Piper and Tim Keller are rock stars and presumably quite wealthy. (Even if they haven’t monetized their fame, they easily could). Also, some of the older crowd are clearly sailing into the sunset of retirement. In short, these guys have little at risk personally, so they have no credibility when they tell Christians to stand up and be counted and to take tough stands.
By contrast, the apostles were on the front lines of persecution. Paul literally wrote some of his letters from prison. When a guy who’s been stoned, beaten, etc. and who is in jail tells you to stand firm, he’s got credibility doing it.
So in my view it’s critical for pastors who aren’t famous and who aren’t financially set to speak out. By publicly laying it on the line and putting their trust in God, not the size of their bank account, that’s how they earn credibility in speaking out (with help from the Holy Spirit of course).
Our role is to stand fast. to not move. To let the sea of our society break against us, and be broken. We are to be granite: the surf must break on us, not sandstone, which the surf will erode.
And this takes experience. Paul was writing from Prison, for he had planned to visit the Corinthians, and considered a letter a poor substitute for a meeting. And in this we see some important theology. From the context, it’s clear that he had, again, been jailed.
For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. For we are not writing to you anything other than what you read and understand and I hope you will fully understand—just as you did partially understand us—that on the day of our Lord Jesus you will boast of us as we will boast of you.
Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace. I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia, and to come back to you from Macedonia and have you send me on my way to Judea. Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to the flesh, ready to say “Yes, yes” and “No, no” at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
(2 Corinthians 1:12-22 ESV)
We are to be simple, and clear and plain. We are not to be of the world. Our church is not either the progressives nor the Tories at prayer. We are to speak the gospel, particularly the bits we don’t like. We are not to be like the world.
This is getting easier. The world is embracing evil, and any person who can remember what truth, and beauty, and honour is now stands out.
So do not fall into the use of progressive langauge nor the heresies of the progressives. You can spot this by their lies, and their language.
As the Church of Jesus Christ enters its third millennium, women continue to heed the call to transform the Church and the world in the name of the One who names us and claims us all for witness, mission and earth-shaking transformation.
As much as he was a product of his era-one admittedly marked by gender, class, religious, and community exclusion — Jesus Christ brought to us a ministry of transformational invitation. The Living Christ invited — and still invites — to a common table of grace, justice, and power, people who had never before been invited to the religious power tables, including women, cultural and religious minorities, social outcasts, and disreputable community sinners.1 And women, in claiming their voice in the new faith movement ignited by the Messiah, became leaders in expanding that movement and in pushing further for inclusion of Gentiles in what was then viewed as Jesus’ renewal of Judaism.
The above is heresy, and an official document of the US Methodists, which is a church that has cut itself from the gospel. Firstly. look at the language. All the neo-Marxist dog whistles are there: Gender, class, the idea (an old lie) that this time we can be new because it is a new century or new millennium.
Then the lies. That Christ had women as disciples is true. That he had notorious sinners repent, also true. But they were no longer whores or tax collectors. And the apostles were… male. All of them.
And the final lie: that Christ was limited by his culture and time. It is akin to saying the cross only spoke to Jews, or peoples of the Roman empire, or that the words of God are relative. It is heresy piled on heresy, disguised by the modern version of polite speech. By worshipping the current gods of inclusion, diversity, and the powers of this time the church is no longer salt, no longer light, but a pitiful, flavourless instrument of damnation.
It may have the form or religion but lacks all saving power. So men with balls and a backbone have left it to the girls. And now, I predict, the girls will be leaving, for they know their need for succour, healing, repentance and reconciliation is not there.
We cannot be part of this power structure. We cannot be part of this world. We must not be the ocean, we must be the rock.
So leave those congregations that preach progressivism. Find the churches which cling to the gospel. They now are unfashionable and called cultic. You will be warned against them.
For this elite will pass. Do not join them.