Saturday, September 6, 2014

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME PART 3 - CONTRA MUNDUM....OR PREACHING PABLUM?

STATUE OF ATHANASIUS, BISHOP OF ALEXANDRA
Contra Mundum is not a Nicaraguan freedom fighter of the 1980’s against the Marxist Sandinistas. Contra Mundum are the two Latin words which preserved Biblical Christianity during the 4th century against the creeping heresy which almost won the hearts and minds of the people of that day.  Contra Mundum means “against the world” and is associated with the great hero of the Faith – Athanasius, the powerful Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt (296-373).

Before he became Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius was the second in command of this powerful church under Bishop Alexander. The Christian church had just come out of the great persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian and Constantine was now in power. After Constantine came to faith in Christ, the persecution of the Body of Christ stopped, but the war was on for the soul of the Christian Faith. One of those who fought against Biblical Orthodoxy or Accuracy, was a minister named Arius.  Arius was like the Gnostics of old, or the modern day Jesus Seminar crowd; Jehovah Witnesses; Mormons or others today, who questioned the Deity of Jesus Christ – the God Who became Man. 

Not only was Arius like some of the ‘cultural Christians’ we have today, his teaching was more dangerous. What made it dangerous to the souls of many was his easy “tickle the ears” so-called “doctrine”. Arius popularized the teaching that “sure Jesus was Divine (or from Heaven) but Jesus was not one in substance with God the Father”! This is a direct contradiction of Scripture where Jesus Himself said “I come from the Father, if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father as well” (quote verse). Arius’ heresy went further to say that Jesus was simply “A Son of God”. That indefinite article “A” makes a tremendous and potentially fatal difference to the soul who believes in the Arian theory!

For, if Jesus was just “A Son of God”, it means He was created and not the Creator. This is the essence of Mormonism, which teaches the fatal error that Jesus and Lucifer were both created. Jehovah Witnesses say something similar. Liberal mainline protestant churches also deny not just the Deity of Christ but they deny the Virgin Birth and some, go even further, by denying the Resurrection. Arianism is alive and well today and not just in the liberal “churches” but in the Emergent Church as well.

Athanasius fought Arian tooth and nail, in defense of the Gospel. This was important as Emperor Constantine had just lifted the persecution of Christians, so Sola Scriptura was the next battle up. The Apostle John warned the Body of Christ that the spirit of anti-Christ, two hundred years before, was already in the world and Arius exhibited this to the max.  While this heretic was winning over multitudes to his side, Athanasius stood strong, along with his senior Bishop Alexander (of Alexandria!). It had gotten so bad, even the Emperor Constantine had to get involved.  Even Constantine saw this was going as the Roman Empire was heading into a danger zone, whereby, Biblical Christianity was at stake.

As he fought and argued against Arius, Athanasius was told by a close friend by a close friend that it seems that the entire world was against Athanasius. When a man of God stands firmly on the Word of God, and follows the Holy Spirit to proclaim the truth of Christ, he usually goes against the culture and congregations of the so-called church.  So, being the authentic man Athanasius was, when told the entire known Roman Empire world was against him, he replied “THEN IT IS ATHANASIUS AGAINST THE WORLD”!!  In the language of the day – Latin – he said “CONTRA MUNDUM” (against the world).

Do we have men and women today who will stand for the Truth, CONTRA MUNDUM? We do….and most of them are paying a heavy price in the underground church of China and in the Islamic countries of the Middle East.  In the western world, the so-called “civilized west”, the remnant is a lot smaller than you would think.  Survey after survey has shown that less than 10% of people who call themselves Christians are Biblical Christians (i.e. saved!).  It gets worse every time George Barna or the Pew Research Foundation comes out with a survey. We already saw that over 90% of American pastors (Barna, August 1, 2014) care more about marketing; attendance and tithes than teaching Truth.  So if they are more “CON MUNDUM” (with the world), what in the world are they preaching and teaching?

Well, given the lack of true Disciples of Christ in the modern North American evangelical church, it is obvious Pablum Preaching is king. Even so-called “bible-teaching” preachers who say they’re preaching from the Bible are doing surface preaching aimed primarily at self-help and “feel-good-the-rest-of-the-weekism”.  I have seen it myself. The lack of going deeper into the wonderful riches of the Word of God seems to be an anathema to most of these well-trained seminary grads, who know better and have no excuse. But the fear is so strong of either losing their 501 C3 Tax status or losing attendees to the church down the street, they hold back. After an extended period of holding back, Pablum preaching eventually becomes second-nature.

Contra Mundum means preaching Jesus Christ the Creator, from Genesis to Revelation.
Pablum Preaching is …er…well, “we believe in God, but also in evolution”..
Contra Mundum means preaching six actual days (Yom=1 day) of Creation
Pablum Preaching says well, “He didn’t really mean one 24-hour day. One day could have been days, or months or even years….”
Contra Mundum means preaching repentance before forgiveness of our sin.
Pablum Preaching says nothing about sin “because we don’t want to talk about anything negative”
Contra Mundum means preaching the Holiness and Awe of God.
Pablum Preaching says “it’s not really about God, it’s about YOU and how you feel, then makes God happy”!
Contra Mundum means preaching the Virgin Birth, sinless life, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Pablum Preaching says “Jesus is a good moral teacher and only said “judge not less ye be judged”.
Contra Mundum means standing for God’s definition of family, marriage, an orderly society and righteous living.
Pablum Preaching says we have to be tolerant of any configuration of relationships and forget what some old Book says…because “Jesus never said anything about xyz….”
Contra Mundum means preaching the Full Counsel of God that a person must be born again to be allowed into Heaven.
Pablum Preaching says “a ‘Good God’  will never send anyone into hell….so quit judging me.
Contra Mundum means being a Disciple of Christ is taking up your Cross and living a life committed to the Life and Teachings of Christ
Pablum Preaching says “God wants you to have the best of everything now – best house, best car, best of health…and all your bills paid. So just think positive, name it and speak that prosperity into being”.
Contra Mundum preaches about the Coming Day of the Lord, the approaching Judgment and the Sign of the Times.
Pablum Preaching says “ignore those whacko fundamentalists. None of that is true. You deserve the best and love is all you need….imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try!”
Contra Mundum means what the Bible says – that JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
Pablum Preaching and 57% of young ‘evangelicals’ say there are other ways to heaven besides Jesus, and who are we to question another person’s faith….as long as they are sincere.

There is coming a day when the current dividing line will come to a head, in one place – in front of the Throne of Christ.  Scripture warns that those who teach will be judged at a much higher standard than everyone else. Woe to those who not only neglect the Full Counsel and preach pablum, but ignore the Persecuted saints because their persecutors belong to a favored religion of the western elites. At the same time, the rewards at the Bema Seat of Christ for men who stood against the world – Contra Mundum – like Athanasius; Patrick of Ireland; John Hus; Luther; Wycliffe and Tyndale; Wesley; Whitefield; Tozer; Zacharias; MacArthur...and men like David Wilkerson, Paul Washer, Johnny Hunt, Ronnie Floyd, Franklin Graham and Pastor Saeed will be great!

Glory to God! The Lord reigns!
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