—J. Gresham Machen, "What is Faith", 1925
J. Gresham Machen saw the easy-breezy relativism train coming down the track of 'The Church of the Great Whatever' almost 100 years ago. Today, the train has pulled into the Post-Modernist station where the “All aboard!” call has gone out to young and old alike. It is today fashionably billed as a spiritual “freedom train”, but what it is in actuality is nothing more than a one-way, non-stop, express ticket to the ”fun-filled”, wide open spaces of Chaos and Confusion where human pride, emotion, and nebulous “feelings” fuel the loco-motives of man.
“Truth” is no longer considered a legitimate destination, and arriving at “The Truth” has been declared an altogether inappropriate goal, a frowned-upon enterprise.
Never mind what Jesus said:
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
We, of course, know better today.
In the meantime the happy-go-lucky, multicolored theological “freedom train” rocks along merrily through the smiley-faced countryside…a train fueled by deep misunderstanding, shallow emotion, good intentions and bad theology.
(Toot- toot! Ding-ding!)
There’s No Line You Ought to Toe
Listen up, and listen closely…
We all know God never “spoke”,
Keep your train of thought in neutral…
There’s no Law we can’t revoke.
You decide what’s best for you, sir…
God’s commands are out of date…,
Just ignore the ones you want to.
They no longer carry weight.
There’s no need to pay attention
To those verses that offend …
You may strike them from the record,
Make your own up!…Just pretend!
Look, if God’s Word makes you nervous,
If it causes you unease…
Exercise your moral option,
Then, sir, do just as you please!1
Yes, delete what now upsets you,
Just embrace what makes you smile…
Disengage from awkward “sin-talk”,
Then hook-up with what’s in style!
After all, who wears the pants here!
Who’s the potter at the wheel?2
Stand up proudly!....Do your OWN thing!
Do exactly what you feel!
There's no Word you need to honor,
There's no Creed that's truly "true",
Scripture isn’t really “sacred”…
All that now is up to you!3
There’s no Law you ought to follow,
There’s no line you ought to toe….
No Commandments to disturb you.
And, of course, no hell below.
There’s no evil Satan prowling,4
There’s no Tempter, there’s no sin,
There’s just lack of education…
And that’s right where WE step in!
There’s no Plumb Line to adhere to,
No apostasy to see.
There’s no guiding Light or North Star…
There’s no coming wrath to flee5.
There’s no spirit realm to speak of…
(We’ve heard that’s just metaphor.)
There’s no risen Christ we know of
Who’s been knocking on your door6.
There’s no reason for repentance7,
We’re not THAT bad, after all !
We’re all here just work, work, working,
Trying to forget the Fall.
Lord, have mercy, please, upon us…
Father, help us seek your Face!
Please forgive this inclination
That we’ve shown to cheapen Grace.
Help us see Truth in the darkness
Of this pit we’ve fallen in8…
Father, please remove these blinders
That keep us from seeing sin!
Take us to the Cross of Jesus,
And there put us on our knees…
Help us see the sin within us,
Give us, Lord, your Kingdom Keys!9
“Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
—Matthew 16: 17-19