Evangelical Manifesto – Part 3

Short on time today (I hear many sighs of relief whooshing through cyberspace. 😉 )

I thought I’d focus today on a part of the Evangelical Manifesto I find refreshing and honest. The second section addresses purpose number two: We must reform our own behavior. Here’s one portion I found insightful:

All too often we have trumpeted the gospel of Jesus, but we have replaced biblical truths with therapeutic techniques, worship with entertainment, discipleship with growth in human potential, church growth with business entrepreneurialism, concern for the church and for the local congregation with expressions of faith that are churchless and little better than a vapid spirituality, meeting real needs with pandering to felt needs, and mission principles with marketing precepts. In the process we have become known for commercial, diluted, and feel-good gospels of health, wealth, human potential, and religious happy talk, each of which is indistinguishable from the passing fashions of he surrounding world.

There’s more.

All too often we have set out high, clear statements of the authority of the Bible, but flouted them with lives and lifestyles that are shaped more by our own sinful preferences and by modern fashions and convenience.

And more, but I’ll let you read it on your own.

My thought is, maybe this call to reform should really be a call to repent. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had leaders like Jeremiah to stand before God and confess, though he himself wasn’t even in Jerusalem when the sins he repents of were committed. I am not saying the leaders should act like a priest confessing the sins of the people. But that example … I think it is powerful. It says, This sin breaks my heart and I can only weep before God for His mercy over us and beg for revival within the Body of believers because I love the church and I love God and do not want to see this heinous fractious behavior continue.

That’s what I think anyway.

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Published in: on May 14, 2008 at 1:26 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. “My thought is, maybe this call to reform should really be a call to repent.”

    Indeed. You know, over and over again I hear things about “the church” so I know there are some who need a spiritual overhaul. If repentance is current and operating in a body of believers, it produces reform wherever it’s needed. Repentance is at the root of reform.

    I don’t have the patience or energy to read the Manifesto, Becky, especially since, like you, I didn’t recognize the contributors which made me instantly skeptical–can’t help that.

    These two quotes are worthwhile and summarize the behavior of some in the church today who don’t walk deep in the faith and seemingly want to write their own stylistic interpretations of the inerrant Word of God.

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  2. You ought to watch the “revival hymn” on youtube – it reminds me of the power of the old preachers. Sometimes I think those days are gone when I see the soft-padded Christianity of today – more of a self-help type of hypnotherapy than true Biblical religion!

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  3. Nicole, today I found the place where those in agreement signed the document, and there are names there of people and institutions I know and respect. Still, there are others significantly absent.

    I chose not to sign, although I think a lot of it is good. I couldn’t sign, if for no other reason, than the statement what they believe about the Bible is too weak. Plus, I think no where is the doctrine of sin spelled out, though they allude to it frequently. In this day, with humanism rampant and the believe in the goodness of man most prevalent in our society, I think one integral Christian distinctive should be what we believe about human nature.

    BTW, there is a short 5-page version you might have time to read. That’s the one I initially downloaded and printed out. Then when I decided to write my reactions here, I thought I should know a little more. I took time last Sunday afternoon. Was a nice quiet time to think anyway.

    Becky

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  4. Andrew, I’ve been privileged all my adult life to sit under the teaching of Bible believing preachers, so I can only imagine what you may have experienced.

    I will say, in this day and age, we have incredible access to great preaching, on the radio and on the internet.

    Two I would recommend are Alistair Begg at Truth for Life and Chuck Swindoll at Insight for Living.

    Becky

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