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See? I’m not the only one.

From Phil Johnson:

The evangelical movement right now, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is in a spiritual condition not very much different from the medieval church just before the Protestant Reformation. Think about it. Luther had to deal with Tetzel, the charlatan fund-raiser who went through Europe promising people miracles in return for money so that the Pope could build St. Peter’s church in the Vatican. We’ve got at least a dozen Tetzels appearing daily on TBN, promising people miracles in exchange for money so that Jan Crouch can make the sets of their television studios gaudier than any room in the Vatican while she adds enough pink hair extensions to rival the Dome of St. Peter’s.

The medieval church was overrun with superstition and ignorance. We’ve got people reciting the prayer of Jabez every day who are convinced that it’s a magic formula that will bring them wealth and good luck.

The medieval church had Leo X and Machiavelli. We’ve got Bill Gothard and Gary Ezzo.

The medieval church saw a decline in doctrine and morality in the church and a corresponding increase in corruption, scandal, and man-centered worship. All of that is true today.

Worst of all, in the medieval era, the gospel was in eclipse and people were so woefully ignorant of biblical truth that men in Martin Luther’s time could complete seminary and enter ministry without ever having learned “the first principles of the oracles of God.” We’re well on the road to that same situation today. Many seminaries are deliberately eliminating biblical and theological courses and replacing them with courses in business and marketing. And Christian leaders who call themselves evangelical are actually encouraging these trends.

And the solution isn’t to be more conservative, more hard-core, more punishing. Frankly, that’s as pagan as anything.

5 thoughts on “See? I’m not the only one.

  1. Correct — remember too we have those preachers who do not preach the Gospel much, if at all, because they don’t feel “qualified enough” to do so … if the pastor does not feel qualified enough, who will teach it then?

    Dumbing down and watering down the Gospel is not the answer either. Neither is the feel-good, everything-is-okay-as-long-as-we-all-love-one-another message. :-/

    We are in need of reformation, and it is usually preceeded by corruption or incorrect teachings/practices in the church. We need to reform back to Scripture, to dig in and prayerfully study His Word and prayerfully discern where it is we need to be.

  2. Yes, yes. Reforming back to Scripture!

    It’s just a surprise to me that we think that harshness is the answer to wimpiness. It’s the old permissive-punitve see-saw. While you’re enduring hyper-permissiveness in your neck of the woods, I’m seeing the opposite. And Christ just gets left out completely.

  3. Wow…that last paragraph was powerful…wow. Off to ponder…

    On a side note, I love the new look of your blog…to come here and see my dream town is well…wonderful.

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