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    by Fred Price

Standing Firm In The Truth
Date Posted: July 10, 2009

Any number of people today have made it their mission and ministry in life to debunk the gospel of Jesus Christ; cleansing it of its “mythology,” misguided theology and misapplied doctrine, i.e. Author Bart Ehrman (Thoroughly refuted in “Misquoting Truth” by Timothy Jones), Rowan Williams – Archbishop of Canterbury – leading, outspoken liberal theologian and an honorary White Druid, and Author Dan Brown of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ (To name just a few of the more “famous” or easily recognized.) Some seem determined to destroy the principles our faith is built on while others merely strive to make the story of the Christ more inclusive and tolerant and thus more accepting and acceptable.

Disappointing? Certainly. Surprising? Not really. For in this age of political correctness and universal acceptance, mixing the profane with the holy has become the norm. Jesus knew this would happen, warning us to prepare for times when many would turn from the true faith – a time of deceitful speech and false prophets. Correspondingly an increase in wickedness will lower the standard of genuine loving acceptance and real tolerance expressed in the gospels of Christ. (Matthew 5:44) “…but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:10-13

This should not surprise us, as truth has always been – and always will be – challenged; our Old Testament forefathers dealing with men of like character throughout their journeys. For those who believe in all gods can accept anything and everyone except the man who says there is only one. “But there were also false prophets among the people (of Israel), just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them… Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of the truth into disrepute… these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings… by appealing to the lustful desire of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity…” 2 Peter 2:1-3,10,18,19 There will however, be consequences to this challenge of truth. “They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done.” 2 Peter 2:13

Fighting words? Maybe. But this battle is for the mind and soul of man. “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world… We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (See also Romans 12:2; 2 John 2:16) The new millennium ushers in a time of struggle for Christianity; a struggle for its soul. It’s not the first time, the church periodically experiencing times of ridicule and agonizing self-examination. This is a natural, healthy process, though seldom enjoyable; as we are compelled to question and re-affirm who we are – what we believe – the reliability of our doctrine and the scriptural weakness of some of our tradition. We being largely responsible for much of our own chastisement as we have become lax in faithfulness and overly accepting of practices foreign to Christian principles; or stridently lash out at those we don’t understand. In both extremes, we fail those who need us most.

Truth is – the gospel won’t be accepted by everybody. We must strive to be relevant to all people in the situations we find them in (1 Corinthians 9:22), but Christianity is too exclusive in it’s declarations to be totally acceptable or completely inclusive. Foundational truths of Christ are stumbling blocks to many. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus being, “…the exact representation of (God’s) being...” “Salvation (being) found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven…by which we must be saved.” John 14:6; Hebrews 1:3; Acts 4:12 Believing him a prophet or good man embodying life’s best ideals is not enough. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my father in heaven.” And what is that will? “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” Matthew 7:21 & John 6:29

Much of our struggle originates within the church itself; depicted as a contest of conscience between reasonable, tolerant, inclusive progressives and intolerant, rigid, unreasonable conservatives. Led by pastors, priests and theologians – deemed Christ’s ambassadors – many never-the-less practice a form of godliness even as they deny it’s power (2 Timothy 3:5), always learning but unwilling to acknowledge the truth (2 Timothy 3:2). As such, they have become irrelevant to many and an excuse for others to avoid real commitment. They allow that He has a certain goodness, displaying the possibility of godliness in all men while disputing his unique God-likeness. His words, while commendable, have no pre-eminence over any others. Yet the scripture they are charged with sharing proclaims, “In the beginning was the Word,… the Word was with God, …the Word was God…Through him all things were made;… In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” - “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, … full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-5,14

Check back next week for more encouragement on standing firm for truth.

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Biography Information:

Fred Price - married (49 years), father of two grown children, grandfather of six.

Fred retired earlier this year after 42 years as a factory worker.  He has always had a heart for young people and the challenges they face today.  Over the years Fred has taught Discipleship Groups for High School and college students.  

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