- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 1
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 2
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 3
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 4
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 5
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 6
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 7
- The Church and Its Orthodoxy (Conformity) Toward War: Part 8
My conclusion to Dr. Robert Moyer’s pamphlet could have very easily been the introduction, because I am not as interested in proving Moyer wrong as I am in getting at the truth. It is not the refutation of Dr. Moyer that I am primarily interested in; he is just one of the overwhelmingly large numbers of Christians who have bought into the great lie that we can worship God, but keep Him on the sideline, while we continue construction on our personal City of God. Mr. Moyer only exemplifies to what degree men will go to avoid having to really serve a living God.
The early Christians of the first three hundred years had the unique opportunity to hear from those who knew first hand, and up close, what Jesus, Paul, Peter, and the rest meant by their writings. The Apostles taught many of these ancient believers in the school of Christ; and it is refreshing to find continuity in their beliefs, humbleness in their attitudes, and a stoutness of spirit to lay down their lives for those beliefs. But, it is equally sad that today we hear little or nothing from them, while modern evangelicals, fundamentalist, and progressives compete for recognition of their own polluted theology, which have no resemblance to the early Church and consequently to the Apostles or Christ.
If the ancient Church spoke clearly and with such continuity, why are they so ignored? Wouldn’t it seem logical and even necessary to consult their knowledge when things get confusing as to doctrine and church order? The answer to that question is the essence of this series of articles. If we would obey Christ’s command to go back and do our first works over again would we not discover the filthiness of our corruption in the process? If we would just ask ourselves what Jesus and the Apostles meant in their many writings, that have caused so much division, wouldn’t reason dictate that we look at those who were familiar with the individuals who penned our New Testament and their early followers?
The Stress of Confusion
Is there anyone left who is unaware of the great stress that is on the world and Church today, and the increased stress that has filtered down to the home? The feeling of unrest and agitation is everywhere. This national and personal unrest, in the words of Scripture, is rebellion against God. It is not so much the unbelievers who are the problem, it is the professing Church, who say they believe, and then deny, by words and actions.
Having been directly involved with war and its consequences, the stance taken by Christians, against the teachings of Jesus, is especially repugnant. Not that I can’t have sympathy for their plight, but in the light of the readily available writings of the first and second century Church, it is uncalled for. The ministers of so many local congregations who guard their people from these truths, for the sake of “Reformed” or “Emerging” or “Progressive” theology, passed down for our edification, will have a great test to suffer, when once they face their Maker.
It is now my intentions to break into your private world and to violate long held beliefs, and to offend unyielding sensitivities, and to open a door into another world and to put stress on your habitual ways of thinking about life and service to God, and to force your minds to consider the integrity of the bridges you have built, whether they will hold up under the weight of a supernatural God.
The whole landscape of "truth" is changing before our very eyes. Those things that were held by our fathers, and the assumptions we have made about our nation’s founding and its defense have been magnified beyond reality. This inflation is not new; truth and devotion to God have always caused problems for men in their estimation of the cost related to service. But, this question of truth is now under full blown attack by the very ones who were, in the past, the protectors of truth. The theology of the liberals, in the 30's and 40's were held at bay, and their poison refuted. But, there are new liberals, (even among the conservative) who are young, and fly below the radar, and have successfully infiltrated the mainstream of modern Christianity. And, consequently, the whole question of truth and devotion needs to be reexamined to determine just where the wall of protection has been compromised; the old answers simply will not due; the climate is too harsh, and the danger too real.
To reexamine truth one needs to have a foundation from which to begin, and that is where Christ, the Apostles, and Ancient Christianity, come in. How valid are the things we say we believe? What are those beliefs based on? Where did we get those beliefs? Is there such a thing as truth today? And, if so, how do we sift through all the contrary and conflicting ideas of truth? Whose truth is "truth?" And, if we discover truth, what effect does that have on our lives? The beginning is where it all starts, and there can be no truth without an accurate account of the beginning, of our posterity, the foundation of truth, and a knowledge of the foundation of all the pretenders.
I have been a Christian since 1974. Before that, I was not just an unbeliever, I laughed at Christians as mental weaklings who needed a crutch, and I thought they were self-inflicted cripples. I will not go into my conversion, but I will just say that it was not by choice and that I was a cripple. My growth has been up and down during those years and it was only eight years ago that a decided change came over me that has allowed my eyes to be opened to a side of Christianity that I never knew existed. From the very beginning I studied the Bible, went to school, read the New Testament in its original language, served in different capacities inside the organized Church, understood apologetics and evidences, and could shove an unhealthy dose of the Bible down people’s throats with the best of them. We went to Church three times a week, Marilyn was a stay at home mom, and we sent our kids to Christian schools. I went the extra mile in honesty and work ethics, and ministered to the poor when necessary. We always paid our tithes and applied all our Christian learning to business. I believed I had all the bases covered.
When I saw my family slowly deteriorating in front of my eyes, I couldn't understand what was happening. I had done everything the Lord required, what more could He possibly want? The answer came as a distinct impression, more like a brand that was burnt into my mind. "You have taught your family how to live, but you haven't taught them how to die." That answer has set me on a course to question every aspect of my life, what I believe and my relationship to the Lord, and to discover true truth.
Eight years ago everything I ever thought I knew fell under the microscope, and what I found was amazing. Although I was like every other Christian at the time, once truth entered, everything changed, and it was very painful, but it was good, and it was right, and it was the answer to most of my questions.
I am not claiming to have all the answers, to be completely healed, or to put myself in the position of a prophet, or to elevate myself in any way above another. I only want to earnestly contend for the real truth of the Gospel, life in general, and to help ease the stress of life in the 21st Century. If this is the century of change, let it be for the better, and let it be for the truth, because there is one truth beyond question, some day we must all die.
Know Why You Believe
The vast majority of those who call themselves "believers" know little of why they believe. It is not enough to know what you believe; you must know why you believe it. Most have caught their belief system, worldview, and truth, like they catch a cold, through contact with their environment; they have inherited their belief system, and accept it without ever testing it against the facts. To claim to be a cradle Christian is a prescription for failure. Truth is not a relative term that conforms to our prejudices; it is an absolute, just like pure black and pure white. Black can look black, and white can look white, and they can both be corrupted, and we may never know, unless put to the test. The Book that claims to hold the truth, directs us to examine ourselves daily, to be sure we are in the truth, and that some impurity (lie) has not crept in. Take a quick look around you and you will readily acknowledge that if there is such a thing as truth it is well concealed and diluted.
If we claim to have truth, and someone else claims to have a conflicting truth, like Dr. Moyer, we cannot both be right; we may both be wrong, or one may be right and the other wrong, but we cannot both be right, it is impossible if the truth will remain the truth. Philosophers and religions have argued about this forever, so what makes me think the problem can be solved? Am I smarter than philosophers or theologians? No, I am not. Trying to discover truth in this day and age may be like trying to take yeast out of bread, because the Bible illustrates that that is how it got there in the first place; "a little leaven (yeast) leavens the whole loaf." Leaven is yeast. A little yeast will work its way through a lump of dough and corrupt the whole thing. Yeast causes disintegration, corruption, decomposition, and it works slowly; look at our world today? We did not get to where we’re at overnight, and merely going back to Calvin, Luther, or the Pope, will not do. Removing the yeast may be difficult, but we are required to acknowledge the infiltration and recognize the results, the removal will be an extraordinary feat. Finding the truth in our own lives begins with honest self-examination, and the examination of the words spoken by Jesus and the Apostles, and the things we have blindly accepted as truth, and the things we base our lives on, and doing as the Lord requires, “your first works over again.”
Over the past 2000 years yeast, leaven, compromise, lies, and a lot of gray area, has been added to what was once pure truth, and we have accepted it without examination, and it has become, who we are. It runs our daily lives, it makes our decisions, it causes wars, it destroys homes, it is black and not white, and a million shades of gray, and a million ways to disagree, and a million ways to justify anything a man or woman wants.
I believe a day of national, and international, testing lies just a short distance ahead which demands preparation. This is primarily my reason for writing.
I am 65 years old and what I am saying I do not say lightly. I am not a Dooms Day Prophet, or a conspiracy theorist; I am a realist. Something unsettling is in the air – wars, rumors of wars, violence, earthquakes, tsunamis, flood, drought, political unrest, conflict everywhere, nuclear disaster, solar flares, and economic meltdown; and the band plays on.
This Titanic we call Earth is sinking.
“As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man, They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27).
If it is still called “Today” then it is not too late for action. If the vast majority of preachers are advocating “Just War,” self-defense, and overcoming evil with evil, and stand against the Biblical teaching of non-resistance to evil, then Christians are in serious trouble. Mr. Moyer now knows the truth; the question is, do you know the truth? and if not, what will you do about it?