Monday, May 23, 2011

Loosey-Goosey Christianity

Last Friday, I mentioned I had read an editorial in USA Today about the future of faith in America. The author, Oliver Thomas, said the new generation’s faith is becoming less creedal, in favor of experience and relevance. According to Thomas, “the days of orthodoxy [a prescribed set of beliefs] are numbered.”

These are the same people who say they are “spiritual but not religious” (see my blog post “Burger King Spirituality,” June 11, 2010).  They say they want a faith that is unbound by doctrinal restraints—and a God who is not so uptight, one they can relate to. While on the surface it might look like a good thing that the new generation wants to experience God, the fact is, what they are really doing is replacing faith with feeling—relation over reason. Even the author, whose sympathies for the new generation were quite apparent, referred to this new style of Christianity as “loosey-goosey.”

As I read the article, two things struck me. First, an article ostensibly written about Christian faith had no mention of Jesus. And second, it seems to me it is yet another proof that Christianity is under attack by “deceitful spirits” and “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). To the Thessalonian Christians Paul wrote there would be a time of “falling away” [apostasy] before Jesus' return. Jesus had previously warned this deception would be so severe that even the 'elect' would be mislead (2 Thess. 2:3; Matt. 24:24). Watch and pray. With the recent publication of Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins,” suggesting that a loving God would never send anyone to hell, it appears the apostasy is rapidly approaching.


  1. Greg,

    The letters to the Seven Churches, found in Revelations 2 & 3, seems to provide some clarity for the issues the Church is facing. Regarding adhering to orthodoxy, the Ephesian church had it all dialed in. They had the pedigree of having had first Paul, then John, and finally Timothy as pastors of their thriving congregation, and changed the whole city by their godly lives and activities. Yet their security became entrenched in their belief system and name-dropping, and they ended up distancing themselves from the Savior that inspired their faith and activity.

    The congregation in Pergamos was commended for their devotion, but needed the stern warning from their Lord about how their emphasis on devotion apart from truth blinded them to the damnable heresies that crept in to their midst. They failed to have truths in place that distinguished true believers from wannabees- with-private-agendas.

    Pergamos had the "loosey-goosey" brand of Christianity and they heard loud and clear the opinion of their Lord what He thought of this approach. Ephesus, on the other hand, championed the cause of orthodoxy like none other. Yet they had ended up assuming their right beliefs and the good deeds that emanated from them qualified as true devotion to their Savior and Lord. He had to confront their erroneous assumptions with the truth that they had "lost their first love."

    Perhaps the church here in America, of which you and I are a part of, needs to reconsider both the warnings against these errors, as well as the promises to the Church if she overcomes. One will address our beliefs; the other will address our devotion. And if we heed His Words they will indeed be "spirit and life." (Jn.6:63)


  2. Throughout church history, beginning with the early churches and up to the present time, there have been many "movements" away from the bible as the source of truth and life. There is 'nothing new under the son.' But with each new challenge to the Scriptures, there must be those who stand up for truth and fight against heresy. Here we are - among that remnant. God help us!