Monday, March 19, 2012

Israel, churches, during the judges

There is a tremendously sad statement that happens in the judges and really in nowhere else, "In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." Judges 17:26, 21:25

As I thought about this it became clear to me that because there was no king everyone decided what was best for themselves. There was no standard, no meaningful enforcement or national standard, so as a consequence everyone was their own king. Now, it wasn't really that there was no ruler, it was just that the mob ruled, or the local strong man ruled, typically by oppression and cruelty.

This is life in the Church of Christ. Everyone believes what is right in their own eyes.

When Campbell and Stone picked up anchor and launched away from the traditional creed based denominations they intended to forge the bonds of unity between presbyterians and baptists, "let's just focus on what we have in common." But pretty soon, with no guardrails or moor to tether their theology to, they began to drift, with the final result being that creeds and confessions became their enemy.
Everyone believes what is right in their own eyes. Some are open theists, others Pelagian, Liberal, or outright heretical as it strikes their fancy. Most speak nothing of the Spirit and few understand the cross other than it has the power to save those who believe. They speak of the Bible as fascinating stories with important moral lessons, but rarely of the inerrant word of God breathed out and handed down without error by the Apostles.

And so, because there is no standard of confession to train young minds to, they learn that everyone is for himself. The story will end the same way it did with Israel.  In the beginning they did what was right in their own eyes and in the end the best were deported to safety while the rest were obliterated. The Lord will save the Lots among His faithful and take away His lamp-stand from among the rest. Without them even being aware of it. This is a call to prayer.

1 comment:

April Miller said...

This is a very sobering post, Phil. But I think you are speaking God's heart for our age. I think it is hardest to live as a Christian right now than ever it was before. I realize that history has its cyclical pattern, and there is "nothing new under the sun", but living in our age as Christians (in America) is mentally and spiritually straining.