Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Faulty Theology Leads To Faulty Thinking

One of the many blog I read is titled "The World From Our Window". One of three men who regularly contribute to this blog is Mike Hess. He wrote this:

"The statistics are read over and over to us again - 3,000 churches closing their doors each year, armies of pastors leaving the ministry each year either due to sin, spiritual burnout or church negligence. Parishioners not sharing their faith with their neighbors, being anemic with their knowledge of Scripture, wanting the church to adopt the philosophy of "relevance", turning to secular and unbiblical secular psychology to diagnose their sin problems and eventually relying on meds and newfangled ideas concerning human behavior instead of dealing with the core issue of sin. Problems are there and it is not difficult to take notice. What is happening? Where did we go wrong?

For starters let me just say that all is not lost. The resurgence of [edit] young fundamentalists/evangelicals has had an enormous impact on a younger generation being absolutely convinced about the sufficiency and authority of Scripture and the absolute sovereignty of God. Many have also become disillusioned with the "felt needs" and "self-esteem" approach to church programs that mislead others into thinking that they are in need of a greater self-image and a greater self-worth.

However, many of the weaknesses that we see today in the lives of the average evangelical American church goer is not a result of fewer programs, less contemporary music or their felt needs being neglected. I would submit that most of this is the natural result of a solid theological ground work not being laid in the believer's life.

ALL OF LIFE IS CENTERED ON THEOLOGY!!! What we believe about God is essentially the most significant aspect of our lives. That alone is the core of who we are. Not our possessions, charisma, social standing or influence. Hence, when we neglect this all important subject, then we naturally neglect the most instrumental tool in growing our people in Christ and having them "rooted and built up in Him".

A poor theology is evident on how a Christian handles the problems of life. A poor theology is exposed in how many believers today look for churches - their needs being looked at first instead of their gifts being given and offered to a local body of believers. A poor theology is reflected in a marriage where the roles of both husband and wife are confused and misplaced. A poor theology becomes evident when young people have the idea that fun is a means of becoming godly and will somehow prepare them for the inevitable trials that life will bring their way. A poor theology is buying into the mindset that a secular based (with Christian icing) 12 Step program can replace the biblical model of progressive sanctification that depends on the Holy Spirits guidance and power and the absolute sufficiency of God's Word.

All of this to say that we need to be encouraged to NOT run from God-centered theology and somehow keep that for the intellectually qualified. No, this is for EVERYONE! Get yourself a good systematic theology. Make it a part of your devotional life and let a God-centered theology give you an unquenchable thirst for God Himself."

Pastor Steve says:

Biblical Christianity is not something that we pull out on Sunday and stow away the rest of the week. If you claim the name of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, that relationship MUST impact every aspect, every moment of your lives.

I have been challenging the folks in our church that we must work out our theology to its logical conclusion. So many people have theology that, taken to it's logical conclusion, is nothing but a house of cards. It falls apart and leaves them empty. Trial and tragedy come into their lives and there theology tells them that they don't have enough faith or its bad karma or just offer it up for penitence. Where is the hope in that?

Faulty theology leads to faulty thinking. What say you?

I Remain,
Pastor Steve


Steve Cox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Cederquist said...

Thanks for the Encouragement and insight. So What steps are u taking practically to make this not happen in your church!

Dan Versteeg said...

If all of life is centered on theology, then today's theology is focused on living in the moment. Steve, you've heard me refer to it as "people who are so focused on being happy that they can't find happiness." Happiness comes through discipline and restraint. It's kind of interesting the founding fathers of this country settled on "pursuit of happiness" in the Declaration of Independence. Why not "life, liberty and happiness?" People in pursuit of happy will adopt any "theology of the moment" if they think it will make them happy. However, the lack of constancy of thought and conviction, leads to unhappiness. Sometimes being told no, may not make us happy, but it does lead to happiness. You're a good man Steve!