Tuesday, July 03, 2018

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology" Part 3


In this last post on the matter of “fake news” and its comparison to “fake theology” (Part 1, Part 2), I would like for us to consider what impact that “fake theology” ultimately has on a church.  When Murray takes an interlude in one of his chapters about truth, he wrote that truth has a tendency to create trouble.  The trouble the comes with biblical truth is that it demands something of every person—a demand to yield desires and their desired identity to what God is calling for.  In fact, John captured the words of Jesus when he said, “everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37).  “Fake theology” will never make such a vigilant, sobering call because it CAN’T!!!!  “Fake theology” is literally the opposite of what God has spoken and even demanded of this fallen world of mankind.  The curse of sin is death and yet “fake theology” wouldn’t dare to tell anyone that even if they were to ask the question as to what the penalty of death really was.  “Fake theology” leaves a lot of casualties and spiritual fatalities in its wake.  What I have been keenly aware of is the fact that for the most part, the results of “fake theology” flies under the radar for several years before its effects are seen in the veering away from biblical truth and standards that have been forsaken.  The Emerging Church (Part 2) seems so far removed from us at this point and some may not even remember the foothold it gained in a group of pastors not too much younger than I am more than a decade ago.  I had some acquaintances who bought into it completely and their lives and ministries are either entirely shipwrecked or they have become enemies of the cross as Paul described them.  But the real problem is the “fake theology” that the EC managed to weave into the church that has now become very dominant in the thoughts of far too many Millennials.  The all-inclusiveness they were pushing in areas of doctrine, questioning the authority/inerrancy of Scripture, “lifestyle” differences, and social action has created so much chaos in the minds of people that biblical truth bounces off of their hardened hearts as they cry out for their particular social or political cause. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology" Part 2


In the last post, I recommended a book by Abdu Murray Saving Truth:  Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-TruthWorld, that Pastor Tony Mansinho had sent to me.  Murray’s first chapter really struck me in the fact that just as “fake news” has played a major role in shifting a lot of public thinking even though it isn’t true, “fake theology” has enormous eternal consequences due to its lack of truth as well.  There was another matter brought up in Murray’s chapter “Confusion and the Church:  Seductions of a Post-Truth Mindset” when he described that almost immediately after the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that legalized same-sex marriage another article got widespread dissemination throughout social media.  The article claimed a lawsuit was pending that would outlaw the Bible as hate-speech in the US.  Murray said that when he started reading and digging into the story, he described that it only took about three minutes to get to the root of the details and discover that this was an error that was being passed around as the truth.  The short of it was the case had been immediately dismissed because it had no basis in the law.  Murray put it in the category of an “alarmist” untrue story that had kernels of truth which it went far and wide on social media.  It is doubtful that very few really got to the truth of the matter.  He noted that this kind of thing makes Christianity look bad especially when we know that Jesus is the very core of all truth (John 14:6) and yet we who should be following him aren’t very careful and discerning about what we teach, preach, speak, or share with others.  Murray wrote that this creates a culture of confusion in the church. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology"


I have no idea how I managed to get into the good graces of Pastor Tony Mansinho who pastors Calvary Apostolic Church in Pittsburgh, PA.  In about a five-month period, he has sent me more than 50 books that have been of excellent quality and not just fillers for a bookshelf.  He has also shared several pics of his personal library and it is composed of a wide range theological works that I am confident would be stimulating to any pastor-theologian.  One of the books that he sent me was by Abdu Murray, Saving Truth:  Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-TruthWorld, published by Zondervan.  I was not familiar with this author but once I started reading, the compelling nature of it did not allow it to be easily put down.  As I read, highlighted and made marginal notes, my mind began to run down the proverbial rabbit trail. 

Murray spends time developing and proving the fact that the American church has lost its ability to think critically which in turn has greatly affected her ability to discern.  Furthermore, we are not only living in a post-modern generation but a post-truth world.  “Post-truth” was the 2016 Word of the Year which was selected by Oxford Dictionaries.  It means “relating or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”  Murray notes that this word actually had its origin in 1992 but by 2016 the usage of this word had ballooned 2000 percent.  He then made the connection to the last presidential election in 2016 and how that “fake news” ramped up a very emotionally charged run for the White House that resulted in what very few thought could happen.  The facts were dismissed for the sake of the personal agendas touted by politicians and their party affiliations.  Murry points out that this is the spirit of the age.  It has created a horrible atmosphere for our country that I do not recall ever having been present.    

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Old Man Pentecost

The New Year, 2018, has brought along its share of nostalgia, hope, and a bit of retrospect as to how far down the road I have come.  Some of the looking back could be due to a pretty significant health event that I endured this past July although thankfully I have made a near full recovery.  Even though I spent a number of years working in the medical field and was constantly made aware of the fleeting nature of life in others, it was brought home to me in a far more serious way when I was on the other end of a surgeon’s care.  Perhaps another reason that 2018 is a significant time for me is because it is the year that thirty years ago, I along with my wife were compelled to make a decision that entirely changed the direction of our lives.  In 1988, I attended my first Because of the Times, which is a minister’s conference hosted by the Pentecostals of Alexandria and led by Senior Pastor Anthony Mangun. 

"Fake News" & "Fake Theology" Part 3

In this last post on the matter of “fake news” and its comparison to “fake theology” ( Part 1 , Part 2 ), I would like for us to conside...