If there is an undoing of modern Christianity, it has to do with the same kind of predilection for morality over absolute trust and faith in God's Word. In other words, the Word of the Lord remains the domain for relevance and reason to exercise its magisterial authority but there is no room for those who disagree with the great agenda of morality. GLBTQ rights, the cause of the poor, a green perspective on life, preservation of the earth over the use of it by mankind, population control and abortion -- these are all some of sacred dogmas of progressivism about which no disagreement may be tolerated. But you can disagree with the Lord, with His Word, and reject or reshape it to your desire without offense (except to those who take His Word seriously).
It comes as no surprise, then, that Cardinal Blaise Cupich, commenting on a statement in the Chicago Sun Times (August 24, 2017) wrote:
Some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don't actually have a kind of faith system that they believe in. But, in their activity, the way they conduct themselves, there's a goodness there. It might not be articulated in a faith context like my own, but there's a goodness there that is a witness that encourages me.Cupich is not speaking of Christian doctrine but of good works, not of faith but of morality, as the chief barometer of Christian health and life. How long before we end up at the "no creeds but deeds" idea of the past? All of progressive Christianity is headed in this direction. No denomination is immune. There are Lutherans who, like Cupich, are all aglow over the anonymous Christians who have no creedal confession or a defective one but whose voices echo all the right causes.
When this takes over we will be back where Israel was. We will have so misunderstood the Lord as to be unable to recognize Him. And then when we proudly display our works to Him, He will surely insist that He does not know us. For the Gospel cannot be equated with passion for the causes du jour but with the kerygma, the content of the faith, creedal and confessional. We were determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. That is what St. Paul wrote so long ago. For modern day liberal Christianity the crucifixion has taken a lower place to good conduct. It is the new but false orthodoxy that was Israel's undoing and will surely be ours unless we repent.
Pastor Peters wrote:
"There are Lutherans who, like Cupich, are all aglow over the anonymous Christians who have no creedal confession or a defective one but whose voices echo all the right causes."
Many of those same naive Lutherans will look around and wonder why their congregations are nearly empty, despite all of the time and effort spent imitating Evangelicals.
Hmm... «all some of sacred dogmas of progressivism about which no disagreement may be tolerated.» But I see no link between all those topics. Should we add the end of slavery to that list?
When you say: «But you can disagree with the Lord, with His Word, and reject or reshape it to your desire without offense (except to those who take His Word seriously)», this seems to echo the Richmond Statement: «That as the supreme lawgiver and judge of man, God is infinitely just and wise in all decisions, and is essentially irresponsible for the reasons of his conduct in the moral government of the world—so it is culpably audacious in us to question the rectitude of any of those decisions—merely because we do not apprehend the inscrutable principles of such wisdom and justice.»
I agree with you that the Gospel is about the kerygma, the content of the faith, creedal and confessional. However, what I also see is that «the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.» Whatever the topic. Even in the case of human dignity, I would side ten times better with secular pro-lifers (who have real arguments), than with Christian pro-lifers. By the way.
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