Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Ecclesiology of the Postmodern Movements

The soteriology (doctrine of salvation) of the Postmodern Movements is man-centered and not God-centered, and is at its root either Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism, denying the fallenness of man or affirming that man has fallen but not completely. In essence, both Pelagianism and semi-Pelagianism, claim that man isn't really all that bad and he just needs a little help. But that isn't what the Bible teaches on the subject! The Bible teaches that man is "dead in trespasses and sin", "there is none good, not even one", and "no one can come to Me unless it is granted to Him by My Father." So in the foundational doctrine of salvation the Postmodern Movements depart from the Word of God which is the first symptom of apostasy.
What one believes about soteriology will affect their ecclesiology (doctrine of the church). In their attempt to "give man who isn't really all that bad the help that he needs," the Postmodern Movements of our day highjack God's design for the church and defile themselves with the world which is the logical and second symptom of apostasy. These apostate movements have no idea what God's design for the church really is! But do we really expect them to understand ecclesiology when they don't understand soteriology? Having departed from God's Word in soteriology they have departed from God's Word in ecclesiology and are defiling themselves with the world.
God reveals His design for His church in His Word. For a sound doctrine of soteriology one needs to study the book of Romans and for a sound doctrine of ecclesiology one needs to study the book of Ephesians. In Ephesians we come to understand that God's design for His church is the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. We also come to understand what an equipped saint is like - "As a result (of being equipped), we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14). And we also have the picture of the equipped saint as one that has on the full armor of God - "so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:11-12).
This is not the goal of the Postmodern Movements in ecclesiology! Their goal is to "be like the world to win the world" and use every "gospel gimmick" under the sun to bring people to church. They believe that the church is the "evangelizing place of sinners" rather than the "equipping place of the saints." The evangelizing of sinners is primarily to take place by the equipped saints as they go into all the world.
You cannot equip the saints while evangelizing sinners - the saints have already been evangelized and that is why they are saints. You cannot evangelize sinners while equipping the saints - sinners have not been evangelized and therefore cannot be equipped. The church is not the evangelizing place it is the equipping place so that equipped saints go and evangelize sinners. To do so means that one is entering enemy territory and he or she must be properly equipped for the battle that will ensue. That is God's true design for the church.

2 comments:

Strong Tower said...

"The church is not the evangelizing place it is the equipping place so that equipped saints go and evangelize sinners. To do so means that one is entering enemy territory and he or she must be properly equipped for the battle that will ensue. That is God's true design for the church."

One of our greatest errors is we have forgotten this. The pride that is seen in the pomo/emergent churches is that they are rife with the idea tha everyone has a valid say as to what is truth. The position that says all opinions are equal end up having nothing to stand on when those waves come.

I think you are right about the coming apostasy. It really is happening before our eyes. There is a disregard for soteriology because there is a disregard for doctrinal surety and steadfastness. So it makes sense why so many do not know what proper ecclesiology would look like. And it makes sense why they are lured in by what to the mature believer is obviously not sound ecclesiology. It is typical of our day and age, though. What we are contending with is a society that has moved into the Nietzche phase. The nonchallant, flippancy, and careless attitudes are the result of an overweaning pride of the last generation's belief in self-edenic restoration.

That dream has failed and though this generation's children strive for the ideals they really have lost the hope of any reason why. At least their parents or grandparents held that the ideals were real. Therein lies the problem for the church. We are in that nihilistic phase that says what is the use, nothing ever changes, so what does it matter what kind of church we have?

We have this promise though, that when the enemy comes in like a flood the Lord will raise a banner against him. Which makes it all the more important that we are diligent to teach correctly and not be persuaded to tone it down.

The Spokesman said...

The pride that is seen in the pomo/emergent churches is that they are rife with the idea tha everyone has a valid say as to what is truth. The position that says all opinions are equal end up having nothing to stand on when those waves come.

This also violates sound ecclesiology. As the equipping place of the saints the church deals in sound doctrine as based on careful and accurate study and proclamation of the Word of God. The church is to be the "pillar and support of the truth", preaching the word in season and out of season.