Archive for May 10th, 2008

I took the time to read the Evangelical Manifesto this morning. It is remarkably different from the one being read over at CRN and other self-proclaimed ODM sites. For example, here are two of the bedrock beliefs of the EM I read:

First, we believe that Jesus Chrsit is fully God become fully human, the unique, sure, and sufficient revelation of the very being, character, and purposes of God, beside whom there is no other god, and beside whom there is no other name by which we must be saved.

Second, we believe that the only ground for our acceptance by God is what Jesus Christ did on the cross and what he is now doing through his risen life, whereby he exxposed and reversed the course of human sin and violence, bor the penalty for our sins, credited us with his righteousness, redeemed us from the power of evil, reconciled us to God, and empowers us with his life — from above.

We therefore bring nothing to our salvation. Credited with the righteousness of Christ, we receive his redemption solely by grace through faith.

The other manifesto apparently claims that Biblical Christianity is NOT the only way and also argues for universal salvation. Would somebody please send me the url so I can read this one as well.

 

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As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, it means to show false piety or righteousness, to be hypocritically religious or devout. Why does this adjective seem to be particularly apt in describing Ingrid’s response to Rick Warren’s invitation to attend Saddleback’s upcoming Purpose Driven Church conference?

To begin with, let’s assume that Ingrid was given permission to publish this invitation on the Internet. Let’s assume that she was not trying to gossip about this invitation and further her own claim as an online “discernment” force to be reckoned with.

Let’s also assume that her failure to at least thank Warren for the kind offer to pick up the tab for travel and conference expenses was . . . an oversight on her part and not indicative of a severe lack of good manners. Let’s even assume that she is right about being able to assess what Saddleback Church and Rick Warren are all about without having to actually go to Saddleback.

And finally, let’s assume that her assessment of Warren and his teaching as being “unbibilical” and having caused untold damage to churches nationwide is also correct. Although I do not agree with these assumptions, they are not the reason why I have concluded that Ingrid’s piety has to be called into question.

I call her piety into question because her refusal to accept this invitation for the reasons stated belies the fact that she is using the Word of God to model her behavior in this matter. As evidence of this, consider Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. Jesus did not turn down an opportunity to break bread with those he disagreed with, viz., the Pharisees. Their notion of legalistic perfection and outward appearances represented everthing that Jesus had come to denounce but that did not stop him from accepting a dinner invitation. We are not told why he accepted Simon’s invtation to dinner but maybe it was because he knew there would be an opportunity for conversation, an opportunity to teach another lesson about forgiveness, an opportunity to reach another heart.

Ingrid is apparently disinclined to follow Jesus’ example in this regard. She is too self-righteous, too holy, too pure to reach out to the ones she disagrees with, the ones who according to her, are promoting egregious error and in danger of eternal hell fire. Is she at all concerned about their eternal destiny? As a Christian, full of truth, why wouldn’t she jump at the opportunity to engage in a conversation that might produce repentance and a reversal of eternal fortunes?

Hence the charge of sanctimony. Her so called piety is nothing more than a sham for all to see. I challenge her to go to Saddleback, have a conversation, and if nothing else, share her light with the misinformed. Who knows, maybe one of the E’s in PEACE might come to stand for Evangelism. That wouldn’t be a big stretch Ingrid. After all, it is one of the 5 purposes of the PD paradigm.

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