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Kingdom Living

The Gospel is Not Double-Minded

by Nathan Ogden

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Last Sunday, our Senior Pastor, Greg Worley preached a provoking message about a subject that God has been dealing with my heart and mind about for some time. It was amazing to me to see how that God, through His Spirit, will often have the same concerns shared in leadership’s hearts, as to what their aim and focus needs to be for His beloved people. The subject matter of the sermon and my thoughts of late specifically deal with the practice of trying to reconcile world views, systems of thinking, and conventional wisdom with scriptural truth.
There has always existed a stark dichotomy between the way the world thinks and the truth of scripture. In short, there is no way to reconcile the two or combine them into a hybrid gospel or truth.
It doesn’t matter how much the world, or worldly-minded so-called Christians want to inflate the scriptures by trying to create hyperbole, allegory, metaphor, or even introduce quasi-scientific thinking (such as injecting evolution into creation stories of Genesis) in the end it will never join together. The world view of the inspired writers of the bible is understood to be one that believed and was grounded in the reality of the supernatural and the consistent understanding and demonstration of the power of God and the supernatural realm here on Earth.
It is the departure from thinking and understanding, along with the institutionalization of Christianity, through western culture, philosophy, and world views that have, over generations, minimized the supernatural nature of Christianity itself. Those things we don’t understand, or do not see, we conveniently stuff away into small theological boxes while at the same time not realizing in doing so, we turn the whole existence of Christianity into a giant Jenga game. In fact, the wisdom of the scriptures teaches in the first chapter of James that not being resolute in our belief of the scriptures in their infallibility and the God of the scriptures creates an unstable ground for Christians to stand on.
To paraphrase the first chapter of James verse eight, a double minded person or a person who shifts from believing one thing to another concerning the biblical truth of God, is unstable in all their ways.
Yet, here we are in modern Christianity seeing the Church conflicted within its universal body over issues that the Word of God has settled from generations, but because of fear or a desire to be accepted or pleasing to the world, it has opened doors to question established truths of the Word of God and even scriptural doctrines. I believe that James writes about this very thing in chapter two when he makes the analogy of a faithful wife and an unfaithful wife. In a marriage, the commitment must be absolute for there to be perfect monogamy. When we accept other sources as wisdom and truth but those sources violate the Word of God, we are opening ourselves up spiritually and taking in information intimately into our hearts and minds that can lead to a perverted belief system and perverted truth.
James 4:3-5
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
3  [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.
4  You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.
5  Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?
In this passage of scriptures there is a lot being said, but at the core of what James is saying is this truth; that when we try to introduce worldly culture and wisdom into church culture and scriptural truth, we are setting ourselves up for disaster and destroying the very foundations of our belief system.
This reminds me of the description of the feet and legs of the statue Daniel describes in his vision in Daniel chapter two; the statue’s legs were of iron and the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay.
The symbolism here shows two very separate materials that have no way of binding together and basing the iron on the clay shows not only is there no way to bind the two materials, there is also no way to create a solid base for the entire statue to stand. This insinuates that the whole structure would topple over without being propped up.
We are living in a time when the foundational truths of Christianity are being challenged and undermined by secular humanism and secular worldviews. We live in a time where many Christians have no idea what the Word of God actually says, having done no reading or studying themselves, instead being hand fed through sermons, self-help books, and anything secondary or tertiary to the Word and knowledge of God directly. As believers we must unabashedly, with wisdom, speak the truth in love, whether it costs us our reputation, our job, or even friendships. We know that there is a line being drawn in the sand for those that love this man Jesus and those who do not, scripture makes this evident.
We have seen an increase of many who become apostates, walking away from their faith and the truth of the Word. Now is a time for us to become resolute in these absolute truths; that being a Christian is not simply a moral code, that being a Christian is a supernatural existence dictated by the Spirit of God marked with signs, wonders, miracles and power, and that the Word of God is irrefutable, immutable truth that must be professed by believers and must stand alone without the injection of worldly knowledge, conventions, or philosophies.

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