Monday, July 9, 2007

Mr. Chambers on Modern Christendom

The following is from Mr. Chamber's book The Highest Good:

We have, as Christian disciples, to continually recognize that much of what is called Christianity today is not the Christianity of the New Testament; it is distinctly different in generation and manifestation. Jesus is not the fountainhead of modern Christianity; He is scarcely thought about. Christian preachers, Sunday school teachers, religious books, all without apology patronize Jesus Christ and put Him to one side. We have to learn that to stand true to Jesus Christ's point of view means ostracism, the ostracism that was brought on Him; mots of us know nothing whatever about it. The modern view looks upon human nature as pathetic: Men and women are poor ignorant babes in the wood who have lost themselves. Jesus Christ's view is totally different. He does not look on men and women as babes in the wood, but as sinners who need saving, and the modern mind detests His view. Our Lord's teaching is based on something we violently hate, that is, His doctrine of sin; we do not believe it unless we have had a radical dealing with God on the line of His teaching.
Remember that a disciple is committed to much more than belief in Jesus; he or she is committed to the Lord's view of the world, humanity, of God, and of sin."

The keynote of Modern Christendom that Mr. Chambers points out is its removal of Christ's doctrine of sin. This removal creates a vacuum: if sin is nonexistent, then why did Christ die? The main voices of Modern Christendom answer as follows:
  1. Prosperity: Jesus died to free you from poverty and sickness.
  2. Social: Jesus died to educate the poor, end world hunger, and cure AIDS.
  3. Love: Jesus died because God loves you...and that's it (no atonement, no repentance).
  4. Liberation: Jesus died to free you from your oppressive masters (whether they be a government or institution).

All have to fill the empty space left by removing the doctrine of sin, and all produce a gospel that is half-hearted, political, violent, and heretical.