Monday, May 19, 2014

Total Depravity is Salt

Growing older now I see that the biblical doctrine is not merely for Calvinists, it's for everyone.
This doctrine is the guard that stands at the door to the jail. It's the bar on the door keeping the burglar out. But mostly, it's salt, cleaning the wound of human pride, preserving the church.

Without this doctrine in place a church begins to appeal to the culture in an attempt to stay relevant and attractive. They put on the clothes of the generation around them to look normal, so that the people around them would not be turned off by a strange and different institution, but would instead feel comfortable and at ease. This is what liberalism was, it bent toward the culture and dressed up (or down rather) to it and in the end apostatized. This is what happened to the Willow Creek gang going all in for the aging boomers, and ending with social justice. It happened at breakneck speed with the emergent crowd. In every case the church sought relevance by sounding like the culture, by contextualizing like the culture, and then, by becoming no more than the culture.

It is for this reason that Total Depravity is absolutely necessary if the church is to survive more than a generation. A pastor who doesn't hold to it is a pastor that wants to ultimately shepherd his people out the door. Which just goes to show that God put all these doctrines in there and they must be believed, even the unpleasant ones. Failure to preach them all and hold them dear comes with a high price: the dissolution of the local church body.

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