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Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Skid Row"

Those who declare themselves Evangelical but are, in fact, faux Evangelicals because of their trust in the world ahead of the Word of God on Origins delude themselves into believing all is well. They need to get their bearings by comparing the position they take and that of those who have gone before them.

An article which appeared in Torch and Trumpet in October, 1970 describes the experience of a young man in Germany at that time and gives clear insight into the church's march into declension. We take up his story after he has set the scene of his attendance at Kirchentag, a huge church convention attended by some 20,000 over a period of four days and by special request the Confessional Movement included the topic 'Streit um Jesus:

"This was meant to allow the discussion in depth of the newer theological approaches to Jesus, the denial of his divinity, the question of the reliability of the gospel accounts regarding him, and other matters. A panel of three proponents and three opponents of the new theology presented their viewpoints and engaged in debate. The Confessional Movement, by the way, had consented to be present at the convention only if opportunity for this kind of discussion would be provided. They had boycotted the meetings held two years previously when it was detected that modernist tendencies were in control.

As it turned out, the topic as indicated drew the largest crowds. No less than 8000 people braved the heat of these summer days and attended the discussions pertaining to the Person and Office of Christ. One of the first church papers the present writer ran across in Germany, called Church and Man, August 1969, commented rather sourly on this achievement. They called this whole discussion a question of Rechthaberei [I am right and you are wrong], and changed the title of the topic from Streit um Jesus [Struggle About Jesus] to Streitereien um Jesus [Petty Quarrels About Jesus]. This is a rather clear indication of how this discussion struck the editors of Church and Man. After all, were there no more important questions to discuss than the divinity of the Saviour and his atoning work?

The above reaction to the discussion of such a vital subject as the Person and Work of Christ is typical of the conflict situation in which the German Protestant church, and not only that church, finds itself. Another vivid indication of this conflict is a full page ad which the Confessional Movement published in many daily and weekly papers during the 1970 passion season. The tone of this moving manifesto is robust and prophetic. It decries first of all what the document calls the 'breach of the dam', namely the despising of the moral order, the rejection of authority and the loss of norm-consciousness which characterizes our times. The document deplores the fact that governing church bodies do not wish to utter an unambiguous 'no' to the disturbing tendencies of our day. By refusing to do so, thus the document maintains, the church has lost its credibility in this world.

The manifesto furthermore points an accusing finger at the widespread use of historical-critical methods in the interpretation of the Bible methods which, so it is pointed out, are often based on philosophical rather than Biblical presuppositions. This method has been guilty of proposing hypotheses as scientific facts and has thus reduced the Biblical tradition to a mere heap of ruins. Other parts of this courageous document speak of the decline in ecclesiastical journalism. There has been a surrender to the 'both-and' spirit. Error and truth are printed side by side. The document also refers to many future ministers who appear no longer to have a living personal relationship to the Bible as God's Word but consider the Bible to be nothing more than a discussion partner. These same aspirant ministers, so the document charges, are out to restructure the church, which will result in its destruction."

With such a threat to the survival of the Church in Germany one is left to wonder what would be the outcome there and the rest of Europe? Fast forward to 2011 and eavesdrop on a conversations between so-called Dutch Christians and a BBC journalist here and you will get a devastating perception of the state of mainstream church in The Netherlands and potentially much of Europe.

The first successful insurgency for the historical-critical attack on the Word of God well more than a century ago was the Old Testament, particularly Genesis, but you see that this 'Cancer' will not contain itself to the Old Testament. It is the entire Word of God it seeks to destroy and Christianity with it. Faux Evangelicals today who have capitulated to the world on Genesis have set the foundation for a later generation to reach the state of disbelief described here in Germany forty years ago and in The Netherlands today.

Sam Drucker


John said...

The Dutch church reads like a joke, kind of a rather badly written Monty Python skit.

Speed dating? I bet you the next thing they'll try is to turn the church into a brothel on Friday nights

sam drucker said...

And here in Sydney an eclectic little group of professing Episcopalians is meeting to affirm doubt in the Word of God rather than encourage faith in the Word of God.

Alas, it's pretty much one way traffic.

Sam Drucker