WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
THE SIN OF THE RELIGIOUS SMORGUSBORD
On Public Television Black host Travis Smiley interviewed Black musician D’Angelo. In the course of the interview Smiley mention that he knew Deangelo came from a Pentecostal background by listening to his music. (Both Smiley and D’Angelo were Pentecostal youth; D’Angelo’s father a minister.) D’Angelo said he had used the Pentecostal method of emotional arousal in his music.
In 1963, when I was apprehended, the Holy Spirit revival was still in its early stages and in search of a Holy Spirit worship service a group of newly converted, “Spirit-filled” Christians attended a Pentecostal church. We were enchanted with musical efforts to induce the presence of the Holy Spirit; with seekers (often women) lying flat on the floor slain by the Spirit; with tongues and sometimes interpretation; with miraculous healings; and with revelations that sometimes rang true and sometimes did not. It was at once both exciting and blessed.
As the movement spread to mainline churches it became more restrained in its physical manifestations and more pronounced in a musical genre. New songs were written and became popular while preaching began to dwell on promises of blessing. As the requirement of obligation was dropped the Great God of All Creation and His Son, King Jesus, became servants to His subjects who sought His blessing and sold the Christian religion to others as a religion of love and blessing. This religion of blessing without obligation became extremely popular and grew quickly.
I have not listened to D’Angelo’s music but his latest hit is entitled “Black Messiah”. It received rave reviews. D’Angelo told Smiley that he and his musical group often pray before going on stage.
I have great respect for Rev. Chuck Baldwin. He is a brilliant preacher, politician, and patriot who has spent years attempting to awaken the American Christian Church to its duty to demand righteousness in our nation. His well-written articles have been reprinted far and wide and he has a sizeable following both for his written material and his church in Kalispell, Montana,
However, Baldwin and I are far apart in our understanding of proper Christian theology. Baldwin is an Arminian, antinomian, dispensationalist; which means he believes in (at least the partial) autonomy of man as opposed to the sovereignty of God, he believes that Biblical Law has been replaced by Natural Law, and in an heretical, lawless doctrine of Jewish separation in a segmented history.
In the United States the relationship of Christianity to the Bible is similar to the Government’s relation to the Constitution. Christian Churches pay very little attention to the Word of God and the Government pays very little attention to the Constitution.
It is difficult in our time to determine what is expected of a Christian. How is he to worship? How is he to behave? Is he to depend on a sovereign God or is he expected to act as he sees fit? What church should he attend? Is there a true church and an heretical church? What is the role of government? What is the relationship between rights and duties – how does it relate to Christianity?
The Christian Church has been associated with Love. God has been defined as Love. And, yet, there are few Americans who understand the Biblical definition of love. The Church needs to define it. What is Love?
Are Christians against abortion because the Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill”? Is
“Thou shalt not Kill” a legal command? If so, is objection to abortion “legalistic”? Is murder O.K. if one believes in Natural Law? Animals do kill each other.
These are some of the questions that plague Christians and often the answers are either missing or senseless. The Natural law Pastor Baldwin promotes Is vague and non-specific. It leaves the door wide open to human manipulation with the frightening evil it brings. From the Fall human nature has been evil and when law is derived from the human intellect serious problems quickly occur.
Evangelical and Charismatic churches are antinomian, they believe God’s Law was given for the Jews and is no longer valid. Most of these churches are also dispensational they believe God’s relationship with His people changes in different time segments. Most converted Christians in America are without a palpable guide for behavior. Some rely on the Ten Commandments but a pit of uncertainty results in a variety of sinful assertions and actions.
In his article entitled “The Collapse of Christianity in America” Pastor Baldwin writes concerning the Church, “First, it became legalistic and Pharisaical. Then, it became materialistic and self-centered. And in the process, it left millions of people in this country totally repulsed, not only with the Church, but with Christianity itself.” He believes millions of people have been injured by “legalism” and no longer want anything to do with the Christian Church.
It is an interesting fact that Islam is the world’s second fastest growing religion after Christianity. Islam comes with Sharia law, a system that is in some ways similar to Biblical Law. It has been subjected to enough denigration and propaganda to scare people but even with this severe legalism it continues to grow. It is also a fact that atheism is actually the fastest growing religion. Read here. People like to be entertained but they also want to know how their Creator wants them to behave. It isn’t legalism that prevents the rise of Christianity!
When D’Angelo and his group pray who do they pray to? Do they pray to the God of the Bible Who provided His Law as a guide to the behavior of His chosen people? Do they pray to a God who claims the ONLY channel to the Father is through the Son or do they pray to a god of their own design, a Dispensational god who has been constructed by the minds of men. Maybe they have constructed their own god who accepts abortion and homosexuality. Does that god hear their prayer?
It is hard to know which god is being worshiped in America. Individual Christians decide they believe some of the Bible but not all. Different religions emphasize certain passages and ignore others. Some Christians paste on bumper stickers that say “God said it and I believe it”; but do they really believe it when they discarded portions of God’s Word as if His morality changes with the times? Have they forgotten that He is God and He does not change?
Using God’s Law as the standard of behavior is not legalism. The Law does not provide salvation. We are saved by Grace and forgiven by the Blood of Christ. The Law provides a righteous standard for life and conduct, a standard that is pleasing to God and beneficial to his people. The authenticity of God’s Law has never changed. His Law is part of His character and those who discard it discard obedience which is the closest thing to God’s heart.
Pastor Baldwin is evangelical and believes along with famous Evangelist Billy Graham that Christians are responsible for choosing God. He believes this in spite of the fact that in the Bible God always does the choosing. Please understand, blessed reader, if we are not chosen and instead we decided of our own volition to “come to Christ” God is no longer sovereign but must wait for our decision before we can be converted. That is blasphemy!
In addition to all this Dispensationalists are convinced that this is a Jewish era and that the Jews are still God’s chosen people. They ignore the Diaspora and the divorce that took place when the Jewish Savior was rejected and murdered by the very people He had come to save. Without an iota of justification they bring Israel and the Jews back as the apple of God’s eye. They ignore the plain fact that the Twelve Disciples replaced the Twelve Tribes and Christians henceforth became God’s chosen people. By doing this they gut the Christian religion with a deadly heresy and put the United States of America under God’s judgement.
This is where we are as Christians in America. This is why ministers fail to confront evil in the Church and in the government. This is why Christians are divided and weak. We have forsaken the true religion of Christianity and taken up false substitutes. We have allowed impostors to dictate our doctrine and we have distorted the character of the One True God. It is this sin that is the source of the confusion that has overtaking us.
It is not the duty of Christians to make the Gospel attractive. Our duty is to obey God’s Commandments and preach a Gospel that encompasses the whole Bible. The Gospel is not esoteric; it is easy to understand. Pleasing God is not a mystery. Sinful men distort the plain desires of God’s heart they complicate the duties of Christians and preach sinful sermons that conflict with His Will and mislead His flock.
Evangelism and conversion is the beginning of Christianity; not the end. When the Law and obedience is ignored converted Christians are unable to please God. The entire Bible is about obedience and there is no obedience without the Law. The Bible is not about promises and gifts it is about obedience and the blessed results it produces. The Law is of utmost importance because without it the blessings of the Gospel elude God’s people. Obedience both blesses the people and pleases God.
The Christian Church, its ministers, and its congregation is responsible for the fall of our nation It is time for self-examination and repentance – time to seek His blessing through obedience