The Present Truth: State of the Church

This blog describes the “State of the Church” taken from Martin Murphy’s book, The Present Truth.

The more I look at the church the less I see of the church.  The more I look at the American culture, the more I see the church.  It has not been too long since the Fundamentalists led the march to recover Christian ethics in a pagan society.  Recover what?  How can something be recovered that never existed?  Untangling the facts from the fiction in the nineteenth and twentieth century church will be a noble task for the next generation of Christians.  Today I’m not so much interested in how we got here.  My interest is on the current state of the church. With the risk of being called a pessimist, I will lay out what I believe to be the current state of the church at the beginning of the 21st century.  The church is polarized.  Theological ignorance abounds.  Utilitarianism is the trend.  Ecclesiastical intrigue is common as Sunday school.  God’s law is horribly misinterpreted.  Moralism replaced justification by faith alone.  Yet the “church” pretends to be one big happy family.

America is at war.  The battlefields are raging with issues such as abortion, women’s rights, gay rights, racial discrimination, education and list goes on and on.  The sociologists and theologians refer to these issues as “cultural wars.”  These cultural wars demonstrate the Achilles heel of a democratic society.  Every man, woman, and even the children want to control the circumstances of their lives and the world around them.  If people feel violated, they cry, “I’m a victim.”  Victimizationalism is the public outcry reflecting the ungodly therapeutic influence in America.  The basic assumption behind victimizationalism is the goodness and worth of self.  It is built on the unbiblical notion that “I am and there is not one else besides me” (Isaiah 47:10).  This unbiblical destructive worldview essentially says, “When something bad happens to me it is the fault of someone else.

The healthy church must have a source of authority.  Something or someone must have the final word for any controversy.   or the Christian, the Bible is that final source of authority.  The truth contained therein is not subject to contradiction.  It is not relative truth.  It does not mean one thing to one person and something else to another person.  The Bible presents only absolute truth.  To reject the Word of God is to reject the authority of God over your life and eternal destiny.

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