I was reading this morning - something I really enjoy doing. The author was talking about "Modernism" and "Postmodernism" as it applied to the life of faith. He pointed out that modernism did it's best to destroy Christianity by applying different "modern" ways of thinking to the Bible and to the Christian faith. I can see that. As I went through my undergraduate work at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, I learned that way of thinking. Much of what the Bible attributes to Jesus was said to have been written by His followers and not really what He Himself said. (Talk about bunk! That is just the devil's way to try to destroy the beauty of our Lord and the salvation He brings to us.) But at the time, I bought into it hook-line and sinker. In the end, though, modernism becomes bankrupt and having taken away all there is to hold onto by destroying the very Word of God, it leaves people empty, searching and wondering what life was really all about.
After Modernism destroyed the faith, postmodernism has stepped in and tried its hand at answering the really big questions of life - who am I? Why am I here? Is there something for me to hold onto in life? Or is it just hopelessness?
Unfortunately, postmodernism has begun to tear apart what was left by modernism. The really big question is the one that Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" And postmodernism answers the question with a simple, "Whatever you want it to be." What? How is that possible? What postmodernism says is simply, "That might be true for you, but it isn't true for me." It leaves it up to the individual to decide what is truth and what isn't. That sounds really good, until you run smack dab into someone who is adamantly opposed to what you believe. You might be a strong advocate of being "green." (Which, by the way, is the way that God would have all people be - it's called being a good steward of creation.) But then you run into someone who really can't stand being "green" and thinks it is a waste of time, effort and money. Who is right? Who should be listened to? The answer - neither one. You need to decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. You need to decide if being "green," great. If you decide to waste the resources of the world, great. There is neither a "right" or a "wrong" in the issue.
What is that? That is so bogus. Yet, this even carries over to the Christian life. How many times have you heard it said, "What does that text mean for you?" That is a good way to get discussion going in a Bible class but in the end, the question is not "What does it mean to you?" but the question is "What is God saying?" The bottom line is not what I want Scripture to say but what is God saying in Scripture. That really is the problem with the Emergent Church. (If you don't know much about it, don't spend too much time on it. I have and I find that it is just another way that the devil has come out to try to dilute or destroy the message of the Gospel.) When you read Rob Bell ("The Velvet Elvis" for example), he comes out sounding very Christian. Yet, when I was reading that book, there was something that just ate away at me. There was something wrong with his writing. I finally figured out what it was. He was recasting Christ, justification, sanctification, Scripture and a whole host of other doctrines to fit what he wanted. And in doing so, he truly was changing the face of Christianity. Is it for the better? No it isn't. In fact what he is doing (and what many in the emergent tradition are doing), is creating God and Christianity to fit their own thoughts and lives. They are leaving behind truth for their own brand of "truth." Which is just the Father of Lies leading people astray once again.
What is truth? It isn't what you make it. It is what God makes it. It is found in Scripture - and not in your interpretation of Scripture. The truth that God brings is pretty clear. What makes it muddy is the sinful self, the sinful thoughts, the sinful desires of each and every one of us. If truth is left up to us, there will be no truth. If the teachings of the faith are open to what we want them to be, there will be nothing left. Satan is laughing all the way to hell. And he is taking many souls with him, souls that are lost because some preacher or some well meaning Christian said to them, "What I think is..." It isn't what I think. It is was God says. Period.
Pilate wondered what truth was. Truth was standing right in front of him and he was too blind to see Him. Truth is right there in front of you. Truth is Jesus Christ. Truth is justification by grace through faith. Truth is God's Word. Truth is truth, plain and simple. Postmodernism is destroying truth. And many Christians are merrily strolling down the emergent path to their destruction. God, save us from ourselves!