Monday, November 07, 2005

Emergent Blather vs. Rejected, Slain, Raised

The Emergent Church and all of the modern manifestations of neo-evangelicaldom preach a new gospel which is not The Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is a new generation that is intentionally being lured into emerging theologies which blend mysticism into Christianity to create an entirely new "orthodoxy" of Brian McLaren and others.

Dr. Francis Schaeffer's written works intellectually and theologically stood against the German existential philosophies. He also challenged eastern mysticism during the era of the 1960s and 1970s. His works are even more relevant today as hybrids of these "emerging" orthodoxies are rising mightily to threaten the very foundation of Christianity.

The Word of God, in its true orthodoxy, possesses the potential to demolish every starry speculation and mystical mantra being marketed by the mystical-driven church.

For an excellent critique of Brian McLaren and his book A Generous Orthodoxy visit and read Bob DeWaay's article, "Emergent Delusion."

An Example of the Old Orthodoxy

For Herescope readers' edification, here is another morsel of meat, a commentary by Dr. Francis Schaeffer on Romans 6:4a, Romans 6:6a, Galations w:20a and Galations 6:14 (see Scriptures below) from a chapter in True Spirituality entitled "The Centrality of Death."

“Now the death of the Lord Jesus is absolutely unique. It is substitutionary. There is no death like Jesus’ death. There is no parallel death to Jesus’ death – this must stand as absolute in our thinking. His substitutionary death on the cross, in space and time in history, had infinite value because of who He is as God. Thus nothing need be added to the substitutionary value of His death, nor can anything be added. He died once for all. Having said that as forcefully as we can state it, we add that nevertheless in Luke 9, verses 22-24, we find that Christ puts forth a chronological order. In verse 22: ‘The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.’ The order is in three steps: rejected, slain, raised. This speaks of His coming unique and substitutionary death; yet this order – rejected, slain, raised – is immediately related by Jesus Christ Himself in verses 23 and 24 to us, the Christians. ‘And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself (renounce himself), and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’ Here Jesus takes this order that was so necessary for our redemption in the unique substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and applies it to the Christian’s life. The order – rejected, slain, raised – is also the order of the Christian life of true spirituality: there is no other.

"If we forget the absolute uniqueness of Christ’s death, we are in heresy. As soon as we set aside or minimize, as soon as we cut down in any way (as the liberals of all kinds do in their theology), the uniqueness and substitutionary character of Christ’s death, our teaching is no longer Christian. On the other hand, let us remember the other side of the matter. If we forget the relationship of this order to us as Christians, then we have a sterile orthodoxy, and we have no true Christian life. Spirituality in any true biblical sense will come to an end.

"Jesus is talking here about our death by choice in the present life. He applies it to a specific situation to make it more concrete. ‘For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels’ (verse 26). The Bible is not speaking of some romantic feeling, some idealization, some abstraction. Jesus carries this concept of facing the rejection, being slain, down into a very practical situation: facing an alien world. It is the saying ‘no’ to self when our natural selves would desire acceptance by the alien world – a world in revolt against its Creator and our Lord. As we look at the New Testament as a whole, we find that this command of Christ is not limited to one situation; it is that which is to be the whole mentality and outlook of the Christian’s life. What is being presented to us here is the question of the Christian’s mentality in all of life, and the order stands: rejected, slain, raised. As Christ’s rejection and death are the first steps in the order of redemption, so our rejection and death to things and self are the first steps in the order of true and growing spirituality. As there could be no next step in the order of Christ’s redemption until the step of death was taken, so in the Christian there can be no further step until these first two steps are faced – not in theory only, but at least in some partial practice. Rejected, slain." (Dr. Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality, Crossway Books, p. 221-222)
The Truth:

"Romans 6:4a: We were buried with him by baptism into death

Romans 6:6a: Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him

Galatians 2:20a: I am crucified with Christ

Galatians 6:14: But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom 9or whereby) the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." (Ibid, p. 215 [italics added])

More on this topic tomorrow. . . .