Zev Porat

Saturday, January 24, 2015

LET THE GAMES BEGIN! "Isms" and "Schisms" in the last day's church

Fundamentals of the Christian Faith
From P.B., a long time PNN contributor

There are an awful lot of isms and schisms surrounding religion in the modern-day world.  Unfortunately, Christianity has failed to avoid this trend.  I guess that shouldn’t surprise us since the New Testament reveals many of the isms and schisms the Apostle Paul was up against, and that was almost 2,000 years ago.  We are very slow learners.

For me, there are three fundamentals of our Christian faith from which we must not deviate.  They are:

(1) The Bible is the only infallible Word of God, 
(2) Jesus is God in the flesh, born of a virgin,   
(3) Jesus is the only way to salvation.

We all know the Bible deals with many issues such as murder, sexual impurity, greed, gossip, pride, and the list goes on. On these topics, the Word of God is explicitly clear as to what we should believe and how we should conduct ourselves as children of God.  On some topics, however, the Bible gives us information, and we are expected to use the entire Bible to interpret exactly what a particular scripture means.  For example…scriptures concerning the Lord’s Supper reference eating flesh and drinking blood.  We all know that is symbolic, not literal.

This brings me to my point. The founder of PNN (ppsimmons News & Ministry Network) has a new book entitled Final Warning:  Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation.  Let the games begin!

Because the book’s author doesn’t adhere to a particular view of eschatology…when will Jesus return, when will the church be raptured, when will the bowls of wrath be poured out, etc. -  people of opposing ideas have launched a critical campaign against the author. And the truth of the matter is this, even though the author strongly believes in his message, you will find him stating in his book, “I pray I am wrong.”  Wow!! Wonder why those with the opposing viewpoints aren’t willing to consider that they might have a few things off target as well?

And consider this, if the book’s author is correct, Christians won’t get discouraged if life gets tough.  If however, the opposing view is incorrect, what will happen to weak Christians who think they should never  be faced with massively intense persecution?  I pray they won’t become discouraged and renounce their faith. Additionally, how do we explain this manner of thinking to Christians the world over who are already facing massively intense persecution, beheading, rape, torture, and imprisonment - solely because they are followers of Jesus Christ?

So here’s my take on the matter.  First, we need to remember what the prophet Samuel told King David…you have caused the enemies of God to show contempt for the Lord (2 Samuel 12).  As Christians, as long as we are sticking to the facts about what God clearly says in His word, perhaps we should be a little less critical of opposing viewpoints, especially on matters where the Bible seems to not nail down a truth.  And maybe we should consider using only the Word of God to interpret passages that seem unclear or confusing. Who needs the world to rip us apart when we do an excellent job on our own? And with every gouge, we make a relationship with Jesus Christ less attractive to a lost world.  And secondly, we need to remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6).  Our enemy is Satan; God’s enemy is Satan.  And Satan wants to destroy Christians.

I’m calling on the PNN family to pray for the men and women on the front line taking hard stands for the truth of God’s Word.  Pray for them to be strengthened.  Perhaps like Aaron and Joshua who held up Moses’ arms when he grew tired (Exodus 17), maybe our prayers can uphold and sustain these men and women who are under attack, sadly but often, by other Christians.  

 And the worst part of the whole matter is this: Jesus is the Way to salvation NOT dogmatic eschatological viewpoints. As the author of Final Warning has said on many occasions - it was dogmatic eschatological viewpoints that nailed Jesus to the cross in the first place. Jesus simply did not fit the "view" of the coming Christ to which the "religious elite" had dogmatically adhered.  Now that is something to consider, wouldn't you say?

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