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Posts Tagged ‘absolute truth’

I recently saw a quote which I believe beautifully encapsulates the prevailing spirit that hangs over the western religious landscape.  The words were attributed to Bishop John Shelby Spong, and though I was not able to confirm that they were his, they did seem to be indicative of what I know of his particular worldview.

Ostensibly, he said, “I do not think of God theistically, that is, as a being, supernatural in power, who dwells beyond the limits of my world.  I rather experience God as a source of life willing me to live fully, the source of love calling me to love wastefully, and to borrow a phrase from the theologian, Paul Tillich, as the Ground of being, calling me to be all that I can be.”

I believe that many who would heartily endorse these concepts would also count themselves as “Christians”.  Still others might not find these ideas particularly troublesome, despite their distinctly anti-Christ nature.  The author embraces a nameless, faceless, person-less power, who will not contradict his sense of what is right, or hold him accountable in any way.  Indeed, he’s found a god who will empower his sense of “self” instead of demanding that he die to it.  This would seem to go well with much of what passes for “Christianity” in the west.

Recently, the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University published findings from their survey of over 1,000 “Senior Pastors”.  According to their results, one third of the pastors believe that “good people” can earn their way to heaven, that the Holy Spirit isn’t a person (just a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity), and that having faith matters more than which faith you have. 

Perhaps more alarming, is that almost 40% of the evangelical pastors surveyed believe that there is no absolute truth, and that individuals “determine their own truth”.  It’s impossible to reconcile that paradigm with a Jesus who claimed to be the truth (John 14:6), and who declared that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb.13:8).  The overarching conclusion of this survey was that only about 37% of US based pastors hold a worldview that might be considered “biblical”.

Within this off-brand of “Christianity” (i.e. Humanism dressed in religious garb), which doesn’t include the fundamental principle of taking up our cross and following (i.e. dying to self), Christ becomes little more than a tool for our endless pursuit of happiness.

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Immovable

Though there are many who claim to know me

There are few who’ve ever seen my face

Though there are many who claim to seek me

There are few who are willing to turn or listen

*

Though I am very old,

I am not concerned about being out of style

And while I am set in my ways

I cannot validate your accusations of intolerance

*

Indeed, I am unyielding

But what is the value of a sword that bends at the armor of its adversary

Or a shield that succumbs to a fiery arrow

Or an anchor that lacks the strength to grab hold

*

My pillars were built to protect you

But you flee them as though they were a cage

My wings were meant to shelter you

But you prefer the cover of darkness

*

I come to set you free

But find you ensnared in a lie you’ve named “freedom”

Without me, you are a prisoner of your own mind

And a slave to your selfish impulses

*

My banks were meant to bring you cool fresh water

But you’ve chosen to live within a swamp

You’re waist deep in your own filth

And sick from drinking of the mud

*

It is my heart to help you

But I cannot waiver to your will

*

I am not compelled by your eloquent arguments

Nor manipulated by your tears

I am not impressed by your tantrums

Nor am I swayed by the latest opinion poll

*

I am not damaged by your slander of my character

Nor offended when you “dislike” my status

I am not lonely when you “un-friend” me

Nor intimidated when you picket outside my door

*

You can choose to ignore me

But I will not go away

You can choose to disagree with me

But it only makes you wrong

*

“I Am” the “Truth”

I was in the beginning

I will be in the end

And I will not be moved

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