Featured Top
Periodic Reminders

Half the Old Testament is the word Remember. No, that’s not true. It’s 48%. I just rounded up. As Israel forgot, so do we. Today’s insert is a simple reminder of some of the standards we work to maintain as we sing for the Lord. My prayer is that you […]

Read More »
Post Archives
Categories
Subscribe to Posts

Please type your email address to subscribe to new posts.

Recent Sermons

Classic Christianity (updated)

November 20th, 2012


Classic Christianity

Hebrews 13:8

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever.”

We live in remarkable times.  The e-communications era has not only made it much easier to find things easily which once were very time consuming, but it has also provided a means for the cornucopia of variant and culture-driven religious upstarts to promote their own philosophies.  To these people, the plainly dressed truths of classic Christianity are dated, stuffy, overly cautious, too preachy, judgmental and boring.  These proponents of “neo-Christianity” are unaware that they are comprised of just the same crowd of people Paul encountered so long ago in Athens; they spend “their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing.” (Acts 17:21)  Not long ago religious radio man Harold Camping was telling his diminishing band of adherents that the rapture of the saints would definitely occur on the May 11, 2011.  He said that if he was still around on May 12 then it meant that he was unsaved!  Though it was possible that the Lord would return on that day, it was just as possible that he would have come before that, or after.  One would think that after the many embarrassments of all those many religious prognosticators who’ve stumbled before him, that Camping would have learned. Classic Christianity has always preached the possibility of the imminent return of Jesus Christ, while at the same time recognizing that the date of his return would not be revealed beforetime.  Even Paul himself wrote of his hope of the return of his Saviour during his lifetime.  The Pagan Mayan culture and its calendar have been in the news; the message being that the end of the world is not May 11, 2011, but maybe sometime in 2012.  Why?  Because, said some, the Mayan’s calendar ends at 2012!  Maybe they just got tired of chiseling by then.  Maybe the calendar man died.  Classic Christianity stays with the always relevant Word of God which states, “but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Mt. 24:36)

The advertisement goes out for “Contemporary Worship styles,” and the Mars hill people Paul spoke to 2,000 years ago show up again now.  They sit and stand and sway and hum as a pretty average “worship” team bang their drums and pick some pretty average licks on their electric guitars.  Then a young urban-cool looking fellow, in the latest fashion brand blue jeans and a fashion tee-shirt strolls up, sits on a stool, and “shares.”  Some, maybe a lot, of what he says is not objectionable; but what is not said—what is never mentioned and what is avoided—is where the greater damage is done. The word “contemporary” was carefully chosen.  It suggests the desire of the promoters to keep up with the current trends and fashions of present culture.  The real time effect and impact of “Contemporary Christianity” is found in a root of its own descriptive word. It is temporary.  “Contemporary Christianity” in its fever to keep in step with corresponding culture has two unchanging problems: 1. It’s always a step behind, and 2. It’s continually having to change.  No wonder its temporary!  Classic Christianity, by contrast does not attempt to mimic the surrounding culture.  Classic Christianity frames its choices regarding, direction, walk, conduct, associations, music, dress, amusements, etc. by application of biblical principles which are plainly defined.  The “Relevant Religion” movements that come and go are by nature confined to the confusion engendered by their insistence that nothing is absolute.  Contrary to the worldly religious philosophers of today, we can trust our souls to an absolutely perfect and wonderful Saviour, and a perfectly preserved Bible!

Some time ago I confronted a Contemporary Christianity “frontman” who was promoting a religious rock, rap, etc. concert in our area.  The poster he sent promoting it was a dark themed dismal piece of work depicting several groups.  Their demeanor, countenances and appearance gave no perceptible indication of any desire for godliness, hope light or good.  There was virtually no difference in the groups on this religious poster and any of the ungodly pagan groups who are advertised on billboards and in the media when doing their concerts at the various nightclubs and other such venues in the area.  When I pointed this out to the promoter, he became quite angry and responded by suggesting that I was a cult leader who kept our congregation in bondage.  So much for his supposed desire for “unity.”

 

Setting Classic Christianity alongside Contemporary Christianity reveals some very stark contrasts.  Consider some of them:

Classic                                                          Contemporary

Christ-oriented                                                                Culture-oriented                        

Focused on the will of God for men                       Focused on perceived needs of people

Desirous of a distinct identity                                   Desire for “relevance” to current culture

Guided by the Word of God                                       Guided by “what works?” pragmatism                           

Experiencing God’s grace                                           Misappropriating God’s grace

Historical                                                                           Modern

Tethered                                                                             Loose

Committed to preserving truth                                Given to change

Convinced of absolutes                                                           Suspicious of absolutes          

Willing to sacrifice for righteousness                   Willing to compromise for “harmony”

Willing to identify sin biblically                              Wanting to redefine sin culturally

Giving/Sacrifice/Surrender                                     Sharing/partial temporary changeable commitments

 

This last contrast may be best illustrated in the differing approaches to missions work. With historical Christianity, churches send, and the missionary goes to the field to live.  There he stays, lives, works and serves among the people he is called unto.

Contemporary Christianity raises funds for group trips—two or three weeks in some foreign field—holding concerts etc. and then returning home.  Missions trips end up being more about the group going for a few weeks than the people on the field.

In our Classic Christianity model, missions work centers around gospel preaching, winning the lost, baptizing and discipling the saved, and establishing autonomous churches.

We don’t need a Christianity defined by people who want to be conformed to the culture.  We should be recognizing by now that this was a failed experiment.  You need look no farther than the disgusting and immoral works of the Trinity Broadcasting Network and it’s leaders to see that.  TBN is headed by two charlatans: Paul and Jan Crouch. These religious frauds are products of the contemporary charismatic movement and have ridden its wave to use corruption and religion as a means to riches. Their own granddaughter, Brittany Koper, once a rising star employed in the TBN conglomerate, has filed suit against TBN, documenting as much as $50,000,000.00 in donor funds being spent on personal luxuries for Crouches, as well as among high level employees.  The Crouches and their organization have covered up numerous episodes of drunkenness, rape, homosexual relationships and misappropriation of funds within TBN.   The Crouches own numerous mansions around the world, private jets, multiple luxury cars and etc.  A staff of highly paid crooked lawyers is able to keep litigation tumbling around in the legal system while the fraud goes on.   TBN took in nearly $80,000,000 in donations from ignorant gullible donors, and another $60,000,000 for selling airtime in 2010 alone!  That 140 million dollars a year is not going for the kingdom of God but to the kingdom of TBN. Those who thought they might reach the culture by conforming to it have instead been swallowed up and absorbed by it.

By contrast, Classic Christianity has a timelessness about it.  It is not generational, does not have “target demographic groups,” is not constantly seeking the embrace of the world.  Classic Christianity rejects the ungodly notions promoted by the Paul and Jan Crouches and the Joel Osteens of this world, that life is about the acquisition of riches and that our best life is now.  We look for a better city, a better country, a heavenly kingdom.  We recognize that we are stewards of all we have, and that God is the owner.  We are learning to be content in whatsoever state we are as we learn how to abound and how to suffer need.  We esteem the riches that are ours in Christ to be a far greater reward than the pleasures of sin for a season.   We have made the choice for “Classic Christianity.”

 




Leave a Reply