Search This Blog

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Tale of Two 'Christians'.

Consider the following two stories.

'Christian A' - had believed he had been saved in Jesus Christ but his walk with the Lord had been dry and lacking conviction. It was as if he was just going through the motions of Christian life - church going, prayer, Bible reading, church activities and trying to live as a Christian would. One day, after many years, and now a senior citizen 'Christian A' came 'alive' and was fully appreciative and energized in his Christian life.

'Christian B' - had believed he had been saved in Jesus Christ and was active in all Christian interests and church life. One day he gave Christianity away, citing difficulty in accepting two chapters of the Bible as his reason.

There is a common thread between 'Christian A' and 'Christian B'.

For 'Christian A' his life had become routine and dry until he looked in his DVD library, pulled out a DVD (of which he had no idea how it got there) and watched it. The DVD was called "A Question of Origins" which presented a Biblical Creationist perspective on the origin of life. The content of the DVD was convincing and gave him a lively appreciation of his Lord's office as Creator. Suddenly, any doubts he might have had about the reliability of the Bible evaporated and he was refreshed with new life in Jesus Christ. This has been demonstrably noticeable among his family and friends.

For 'Christian B' his life upon 'accepting' Jesus Christ as Saviour seemed to him and all around him that of a Christian. However, there was an area where Jesus Christ was not Lord of his life. It was the question of Origins and the world's view on this subject which ruled this man's life. He could not accept the Genesis 1 and 2 account of Origins. Eventually, he came to realize he could not accept the Bible and it drove him away from Jesus Christ.

'Christian A' was a Christian all along. 'Christian B' is now either very badly backslidden or never was a Christian i.e. he only came close to Jesus Christ and then moved away.

There are many so-called Evangelicals today who persist in presenting only a crucified Saviour and the fruit of their labour are 'Christians' engaging in mental gymnastics trying to hold onto Jesus Christ and the world's view of Origins. They have not accepted Jesus Christ in all His offices because there has been no genuine requirement from many within the Church to do this. Some will go on but some will be choked out.

The late Ernest Reisinger, Pastor Emeritus, Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Florida, knew something of the failure to preach the reception of all of Jesus Christ. In an article for Banner of Truth in July 1992 under the title "Lordship, Experience and Interpretation" he said:

"Many say, 'When I was young I accepted Christ as my personal Saviour and that experience had some influence on my life for a time, but I did not really live an active Christian life for years. Later I was taught that Christ must be my Lord and that the problem with my defeated life was because I had not submitted to Christ as my Lord when I trusted him as my Saviour. So I did just that - submitted to Christ as my Lord. Since that experience I have been living the Christian life on a different plane.'"

Later, Reisinger said:

"We all know Christians who give every evidence of being born again, yet they know nothing about the theological term 'regeneration'. Their experience is better than their understanding. John says in his little epistle, 'He that has the Son has life.' When we have Christ we have him in all of his offices - all of his person and all of his saving work - though one may not ever fully understand it."

Reisinger acknowledges that we need to be careful that there will be those who have bowed to the Lordship of Christ but don't actually understand they have. However, he also asserts there are those who have no cause to believe they are Christian at all. He goes on to say:

"I am sorry that the phrase, 'trust Christ as your personal Saviour', has crept into the Christian church in the last hundred years and has become common in present-day evangelism. It did not come from the New Testament, the apostles, the respected Church Fathers or the Reformers. It is not found in the Westminster standards or in the old Baptist Confessions. You will not find it among the great preachers of the past - men such as Bunyan, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, etc."

Sadly, the Episcopalian (Anglican) Diocese of Sydney is rife with a deficient presentation of Jesus Christ. Both 'Christian A' and 'Christian B' were communicants of the Diocese and the Diocese has not handled either communicant well. The new vitality of 'Christian A' is being stifled because of a fear of Biblical Creationists while 'Christian B' is just a memory of confusion and disappointment without solution.

So-called Evangelicals within the Diocese should remember that those who receive Jesus Christ are to receive Him in all His glory as Lord, Creator, Prophet, Priest and Saviour.

Sam Drucker

1 comment:

sam drucker said...

The blog was too long as it was so I am taking the opportunity to comment here that 'Christian B' is like Charles Templeton who had been a leading evangelist contemporary with Dr Billy Graham.

Templeton too was much influenced by the world on Origins. He consulted others, including Dr Graham, but they were no help to him. Eventually he left the church and became a strong comfort to Atheists.

At least 'Christian B' and Charles Templeton could see the incompatibility of Genesis 1 and Evolution. They were too consistent in their thinking and unwilling to engage in any exercise of mental gymnastics to synchretize both concepts.

They are far from the only people to walk when the world's view on Origins had so much prominence in the mind.

Sam Drucker