Paul's Passing Thoughts

Christianity and Islam: The Pot Calling the Kettle Black?

Posted in Uncategorized by pptmoderator on January 9, 2015

DyerHanging

Originally posted March 10, 2014

Many relate to my personal testimony; despite my best efforts, I have been for the most part at odds with church. Julia Duin noted in her book Quitting Church that she has always sensed that something is fundamentally wrong with the Evangelical church.

I wonder if that mysterious fundamental reason has come to light. Note this statement by Al Mohler, arguably the most influential Evangelical of our day:

Niebuhr’s fifth model is where he seems to be pointing us, that is, to Christ the transformer of culture. These are the conversionists, and they are far more hopeful than the dualists. They understand the distinction between Christ and the culture, but they also understand that it is the mission of the church to transform the culture with the claims of Christ. We continually hear this kind of language: “Let’s go out and redeem the culture. Let’s go out and conquer the culture in the name of Christ. Let’s transform every dimension of the culture, whether the media and the arts, or business and finance, and let’s subdue them to the claims of Christ. Let’s have a more Christian military and a more Christian realm of arts.” This leads to a very progressive impulse, one which looks to a better world and a better condition if we will only do this. It promises transformation, hopes for cultural redemption, and leads to Christian activism. (Preaching the Cross: chapter 3, subheading; Niebuhr’s Treatment of Christ and Cutler, Niebuhr’s fifth model).

What a minute. Is this not the exact same vision as Islam? Moreover, do Muslims understand this better than most Christians? When Christian missionaries travel abroad, are they perceived this way whether they know it or not? When we hear of Christian missionaries being murdered or detained for “conspiracy to overthrow the state,” we immediately assume that’s a crock. Well, maybe not when you consider what the Crusades were all about coupled with this contemporary dominion mentality among leading Evangelicals.

Furthermore, Al Mohler is far from being the only one propagating these ideas. This same idea is the theses of Paul David Tripp’s book Broken-Down House. Many examples could be given, but I will not belabor the point past the following notation by blogger Joel Taylor:

While filming a promo in Dubai (UAE) for the new student missions conference, CROSS, John Piper (standing in front of the Burj Khalifa tower) makes this statement:

“And that tower and this city are coming down!”

Was that a wise thing to say while standing on United Arab Emirates soil? I wonder how the Arab people would understand his remark if they saw this?

It probably wouldn’t surprise them. The American church was founded on the Reformation, and many of its European stalwarts had their own standing armies. And ok, we have much spiritual tyranny and a divine right of kings mentality in the church today; ya think? If they muse about bringing down the Burj Khalifa tower what do you think they will do to you if you ask too many questions?

So this explains everything. It’s really not about the gospel. It’s not about making disciples, it’s about globalism. Making “disciples” is not the primary goal, it’s only a small part of a much larger vision. The whole idea that people can only find salvation in the “local church” is the ploy that funds the global vision while Christians believe it’s about the gospel. We are encouraged to bring people to church to get them saved for that very reason. It also brings to mind all of the hoopla about “lone rangers” who are not “under the authority” of a local church.

Do I think this clarifies the mission of home fellowships? Absolutely.  Do you want to make disciples? Or do you want to fund world dominion? Christ’s mandate to the assemblies was to make as many disciples as possible before Christ returns. Why? Because He is not calling on Christians to renovate the earth—He is going to come back and blow up the whole thing and start over.

This is a short post, but one that opens up a very wide avenue of considerations. “There is no perfect church”:  that’s not the issue; the issue is the fundamental mandate. That’s not merely a question of perfection, but the difference between eternal investment or a complete waste of time and money.

paul

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