I'm just back from the Presy College mission in the southern highlands of NSW - Bowral, Mittagong, Moss Vale. Had an interesting time. And my evangelistic talk last Sunday went very well - thanks for your prayers.
Steve North, the minister for these churches (yep - one guy, three churches - busy man!) loves Jesus, loves the Bible, and is totally clear about calling all people to follow Christ. That’s why he invited a Presy college mission in the first place.
But some parts of the southern highlands are still in the shadow of Liberal theology. As in so-called "Christian" theology that doesn't believe the Bible. Therefore, it doesn't believe the unique divinity of Christ, doesn't believe that humanity, by our wickedness, have alienated ourselves from God (“sin”), doesn't believe that God is personally affronted by that alienation (“God’s wrath”), doesn't believe that Jesus, by his death & resurrection, has achieved a unique, perfect reconciliation of humanity and God (“the atonement”), doesn’t believe in the need to abandon other belief-systems – including belief in yourself – to receive the benefits of this reconciliation (“repentance”), and everything else that Christians have historically believed.
Therefore, I don’t think Liberals have the right to call themselves Christians. They certainly have a theology – they have an understanding of God – just not a Christian one.
The result is… Liberal theology becomes boring! Yes, that’s right – boring!
Since Liberals don’t believe the Bible, they instinctively fill the void with something else. In the southern highlands, some church members – who have grown up under the influence of Liberal theology – view church the same as a gathering of friends. They’re not outsider-focused at all. Newcomers disrupt the comfortable gathering of old friends, you see. They really do wish newcomers would go away and leave them alone. They’re not interested in spending money to reach out to the community. They want to spend money to make the church building look nice.
That is so boring…!
I also met some teenagers, who’ve been taught by Liberals. These teenagers see church as totally irrelevant to modern society. And no wonder! What they’ve been taught is so… boring! It’s vague stuff about finding meaning for yourself in life, and some sort of “spirituality” or something. I couldn’t actually pin down what they’d been taught about God. It was really vague. I’m not surprised. Liberals aren’t sure what they do believe. All they know what they don’t believe – all that narrow-minded fundamentalist Biblical stuff. So these teenagers were really hardened against God, the church, the Bible, Jesus, and Christians. Because to them, they were all really, really boring.
The gospel of Christ crucified is so-o-o-o-o-o-o much more exciting. Don’t you think?