Truth is Truth

"You, O LORD, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me." - Psalm 40:11 This is a sometimes monthly column concerning the truth of Christ Jesus and the issues that face our world as published in various newspapers and journals by Pastor Dave Seaford. You can return to the home page of the church by going to:

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Location: Redway, California, United States

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Crippling Christian - and other fun

When I was growing up there was something sacred about the Church and the Christian faith. Pastors were held in high esteem and their work was considered of great importance. A generation or two before that the Puritan thought still remained and the gentlemanly hobby of most people, whether a farmer or a professor, was the serious study of God’s Word, theology and righteous living. It was a time when faith dictated our culture, instead of the culture dictating our faith. …a time when technology brought about more thinking rather than less, and the passions of our faith were not compartmentalized for Sunday morning worship. It was a time that was so clear cut, that when you used the word “truth” everyone knew what you meant and there was no room for two or more truths that stood in diametric opposition to one another. It was a time when my grandfather, who only had a third grade education, knew the difference between a truth and a lie, and one definitive statement could not be sold by the best salesman, as both true for me and untrue for you. In fact, even the thought of such a thing would have just been considered silly and contrary to common sense and natural science.

Today, our culture, specifically guided by our educational system, has bought into the idea that a person’s preferences dictate their truth. It is with great sadness that I report to you that this philosophical quicksand has been successfully implanted in many of our churches as a form of progressive theology and cultural sensitivity. But no mater how you sell it, this gentler, more palatable form of social (if not socialized) religion, can in no way be found to resemble anything in the historical teachings or actions of Jesus Christ.

It has become a blood sport to cripple the best of Christians and to kill the wounded. …and this sport has not been restricted to being “played” outside the walls of our churches. Twisting truth to cripple the best of God’s children is not only politically correct in the world, but has become the warped work of preference inside the local church walls. Ripping scripture from its context is used to justify these local crucifixions as if to say that the price our Lord paid was not sufficient and that these that don’t meet up with the preferences of some, are not just to be admonished, but are to be nailed to their own crosses. Indeed we are killing the wounded and wounding first, in order to justify our killing.

In the end the love of Christ is lost in the preferential lust of the bloody flesh and needed sense of personal success on the religious battlefield. This has driven our Christian ministries inward as we seek to isolate and save the weak before the devastating and proven deadly blows of the “good church goer,” who would sacrifice all that is genuine ministry on the alter of his own self preservation (or the preservation of denominational traditions).

I would that I could insight every Christian to righteous living dictated by the Truth, who is Jesus Christ. His foundations are never found in the shifting sands of relativism, rationalism nor religion based on feeling good about ones self. It is time that we return to the One who changes human hearts, rather than seeking to change His word’s meaning to meet our likes or to protect our own reputations. Man’s attempts to change God, is nothing more than man’s attempts to be God. But herein lies the difference in today’s religion and yesterday’s faith – we have imported into the church, the new age, humanistic idea of our worthiness to be our own god. In the process we have found the truth cumbersome and ineffective at supporting our godliness. Certainly, the physiologist’s tell us, the healthiest thing to do is “diversify” the truth, thus invoking the psychological tactic of protecting our own self image at any cost.

The Bible plainly warns us of this time: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3 – 4).