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Tuesday
Nov122013

Countless Cooing Amen Corners

John Gresham MachenEarly in the 20th century, Princeton theologian John Gresham Machen noted that liberal theologians in his day had “… lost sight of the very center and core of the Christian teaching….the awful transcendence of God.” In 1976, historian Paul Johnson (confirming Machen’s assessment) made this observation:

“In the last generation, with public Christianity in headlong retreat, we have caught our first distant view of a de-Christianized world, and it is not encouraging.”

Both Machen and Johnson could see the handwriting on the wall. Obviously today, the sightless and trendy theology that Machen took note of at the beginning of the 20th century (and what Johnson later confirmed) has continued. The inevitable and predictable slide down the slippery slope of theological mushiness and incoherence has accelerated until today an unbiblical, earth-bound and “world-friendly” gospel has climbed to the top of the charts. It’s a hit, and our culture has been more than happy to give it a “sure-hit” rating of “10”.

It’s got a good beat, and it’s easy to dance to.



“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” —James 4:4


BEWARE

Countless Cooing Amen Corners


If you keep the gospel friendly,
You’ll have crowds who all agree,
Countless cooing “Amen corners”
Praising your veracity.

You’ll be loved and you’ll be lauded,
You’ll be popular and more!
You’ll have folks who want to meet you,
And admirers at your door!

You’ll be called on for opinions,
And, you know, it won’t be long
‘Til the “new truth” that you’re preaching
Will attract The Broad Way throng.

You’ll have talk show cameras streaming,
You’ll be famous, in demand!
You’ll have status…recognition!
With a Gospel simply grand!

Liberal scholars will commend you
For your pragmatism, sir!
Yes, you’ll feel their smug approval
As you teach what they prefer.

But a caution, friend….. A warning:
Some things you must NEVER do:
Don’t delve deeply into scripture,
Doing so could ruin you!

Don’t tell folks about the “sin” part ,
Instead emphasize “No hell!”
If you bring up condemnation,
Man, your schtick won’t really sell!

Keep your preaching wishy-washy…
Be “emergent”…aim to please!
Preach like Jell-O instant pudding…
From the pulpit shoot the breeze.

Keep it upbeat… inoffensive!
Compromise and keep it Lite!
Ego-boosting’s what you’re there for,
Concentrate on their delight.

Don’t bring up those ten “commandments”,
Oh, my goodness, Heavens NO!
“Godly sorrow”? …Just don’t go there,
If you want your church to grow.

“Fear of God?”….Good grief! Avoid it!
And "Repent!"'s a No-No, too!
Never mention words like “Holy”….
I fear if you do, you’re through!

Make your points with flair and gusto!
At the same time keep it vague.
Doctrine’s nothing you should fool with,
Just avoid it…like the plague!

If the message that you’re preaching
Isn’t causing happy smiles,
If the grins just aren’t forthcoming,
Then it’s time to change your style!

Keep things simple…People like that!
Shallowness has deep appeal!
Truth is NOT the bottom line now …
Teach them all just how you feel!

If your message isn’t “clicking”,
Share more anecdotal tales…
Give ‘em narratives more soothing.
(Fluff like that will never fail.)


BEWARE

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing…” Matthew 7:15

AW Tozer

"The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted."
—A.W. Tozer


“All men will hate you because of me…..A student is not above his teacher.”
—Matthew 10: 22…24