Compromising God’s truth for intellectual,
socially-conscious, scientifically sound, modern worship
for growing congregations, not spreading God’s Word.
Christians today may hear stories about how the simple message of Jesus and the apostles was corrupted by second-century intellectuals, anti-Nicene church fathers and beyond, and think, BALDERDASH!, or some such incredulous response. How could Yeshua’s truth and those of the first-century “New Testament” church be changed without people noticing?
Well, force was one way. There were several “schools” of Christian thought/practice (four, at least) in the first century or two, but might makes right, and some voices were elevated to supremacy by harassment, expulsion, threats, physical intimidation, and even violence. This brand of “christian” belief eventually won the day and resorted to destroying any evidence of dissent such that we have virtually no written documents from these “heretics,” except in the scathing responses to such schools and their advocates by the “majority” school, the Latin school.
Compromising God’s Truth for Social Acceptance
This is beyond dispute, and is evidenced by the standards of that group continuing in virtually every denomination on the Earth today which identifies as Christian. But beyond this historical reality, look around you today. Has there been any shift in church doctrine in your lifetime? Any concessions to, say, science, or intellectualism, or external pressure from changing social values, even from the far Left? Have you seen it? Christians and whole schools of thought, even institutions, who have integrated, say, a form of evolution into their set of beliefs, for fear of looking uneducated, or backwards, or flat out stupid? Or concern about increasing “inclusiveness” in bowing down to the spirit of today’s politically-driven cultural norms? Hmm? Sound familiar in any way? To have seen these shifts just in the short span of your lifetime?
How about the turning of what are claimed to be “worship services” into concerts, carnivals of entertainment meant to “reach out” to the modern entertainment-age culture, a younger crowd, and a more hip community. All this, to avoid the Scarlet “B” of the dreaded, church-roll-shrinking label of “boring?” To turn services into un-serious, people-oriented, happy-happy-happy experiences, compromising God’s truth and the actual business of true worship: the magnification of the mighty works of the Creator of heaven and earth, his great plan for our restoration, and the gravity of his Son’s completion of the costly sacrifice for the redemption of mankind? Seen any of that?
The “Acceptable” Doctrine of the Early Church
Now imagine the late-1st and 2nd-century intellectuals, educated heavily in philosophy, wishing to look advanced in knowledge so they wouldn’t appear like unto the unwashed masses with their simple, uneducated, even ignorant faith in the revealed word of YHVH, the clarity of the message of Christ and his hand-picked apostles, meeting in homes without honor or distinction, living in abject humility and obedience, blissfully unaware of the wisdom of man, which had been so ingrained in the widespread Greek culture surrounding them on all sides. Did you know that the word philosophy means “love of knowledge?” Not love of God, or love of God’s enduring word, or love of Yeshua.
Imagine these men in full control of the trajectory of the early-church’s “acceptable” doctrine. Imagine these men stamping out any competing, woefully ignorant voices, of simplistic believers who were too dumb to grasp the complexities and explanations of what God’s word REALLY meant through the lens of knowledge or the modernity of thought which was leaving the unsophisticated participants of the home-church behind. How much of an embarrassment they were to the classically-educated members of the establishment clergy.
Intellectual, Socially-Conscious, Scientifically Sound, Modern “Worship”
Shift gears now, and try to imagine what would happen if the new church were being established today through some accident of time by the “evolution in some form is okay,” “God will accept those with unrepentant lifestyles HOSTILE to his Word,” “Jesus was a Socialist,” “Genesis is a metaphor,” “Science is trustworthy,” “Abortion is okay in moderation,” church leaders today.
What do you think this newly-established church would look like? Like the simple, undiluted Gospel of Yeshua and his original followers, requiring simple child-like faith? Like a faithful rendition of God’s character as displayed in the old-covenant Hebrew scriptures? I think it rather unlikely.
Jeremiah 6:16 –
Thus says Yahweh, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.'”