St. Stephen's Musings

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:: Tuesday, December 17, 2002 ::

The Saga Continues

Remember last week I wrote about a pastor who lied to his congregation about a woman dying in a car accident to prove a point about sincerity?

Well, fueled by the incident, a friend of mine who attends that church has decided to step down from a leadership position and has left the church! The decision has created chaos in his marriage because his wife is still very much devoted to the pastor and the church.

My friend and his wife met with the pastor last week and my friend was told that the "people of the Orthodox religion" have "opened up a Pandora's box" by their influence in their life and have "brought a bad spirit into their house." The pastor continued, saying the Orthodox do "have a relationship with Jesus Christ but are deluded to be so exclusive."

Needless to say, my friend was furious. If doctrine doesn't matter, and all that counts is your sincerity, why are the Orthodox so evil?, he asked. "Anything that brings confusion or anxiety to your life and marriage must be a 'bad spirit.' the pastor said.

"But what if God is leading me into greater truth?" asked my friend.

"Doctrine doesn't matter," the pastor matter of factly replied.

"But if doctrine doesn't matter, then on what basis can you judge my search for truth or the Orthodox Church?" countered my friend.

The pastor said, "Because those who claim that doctrine matters and that they have the 'right' doctrine are by nature judgmental and exclusive."

Stunning......a Christian pastor (who is very big on missions work!) who claims that truth is nothing more than sincerity and that what you believe about reality has no bearing on your salvation, the way you should life your life, or anything at all. If this is true, what do you have to offer the "non-Christian" world? Why would they listen to you? This is the classic materialist argument that says with the authority of absolute truth that "There is no absolute truth."

Is this what postmodern Protestantism is coming to? A TOTAL repudiation of truth as an objective reality rooted in Jesus Christ who is Himself THE TRUTH?

In many ways there is no escaping this black hole of epistemological madness if 'sola scriptura' is the only bedrock you have. There are no weapons against which we can fight postmodern nihilism and relativism except Holy Tradition and the life of the Church. And, ironically, even Scripture tells us this (1 Tim. 3:15, Matt. 16:18 etc...)

I'm sure there will be more to this story as time goes on....please pray for my friend and his wife.

:: Karl :: 9:14:00 AM [Link] ::

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