Tuesday, October 24, 2006

"Pietism & Pragmatism: The Demonization of the Intellect" Part III

The motto of pragmatism is, "Does it work?". Therefore we have to be careful of what we mean by the word "work". If by "work" we mean that we are getting what we want then Christianity has a great deal of competition. I’m sure that for Tiger Woods, Buddhism is "working". I’m sure that for Tom Cruise, Scientology is "working". I’m sure that for Prince, Jehovah’s Witnesses is "working". The question is not whether something or some faith is "working", but is it true? Word Faith/Prosperity teaching is obviously working for the Copelands, Dollars and Prices of the world (pun intended), but it is not founded in a faithful exposition of Scripture. Therefore, by definition, it is not true.

It is not my intention to completely condemn pragmatism. Again balance is required. Living by the Word of God does bring about concrete results. Pragmatism in union with prosperity teaching, however, violates Scripture by disregarding context and treats it as some sort of recipe book for personal gain. Under this paradigm, God is reduced to a genie and the individual’s will is supreme. Health, wealth and happiness are all in the power of the individual’s tongue and the only reason anyone does not experience this is due to a faith that is not strong enough to make them come to pass.

Pragmatism of this sort makes one ripe for the enemy’s deception. Satan will go to any length to keep us out of the will of God. If that requires giving me a 4000 square foot home, he’ll do it. If that requires giving me a brand new 2007 Mercedes, he’ll do it. If that means hooking me up with Beyonce, he will do it. And I can "bless God" all I want to, but I will still be outside of His will and in sin. Every experience may be real, but every experience is not necessarily biblical.

Faith as Scripture defines it, is not a force we learn to master in order to shape our own reality. It is not what we use to manipulate God into giving us what we want. Faith is trusting God with the totality of our lives; the parts we like as well as the parts we do not like. We live reassured by His gracious acts throughout Scripture that He will use the good, the bad and the ugly of our lives to conform us to the image of our Lord Jesus and lead us safely to His side for all eternity. May it be our goal as His faithful children to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." II Peter 3:18


B. L. B. B!

(Be Like the Bereans, Baby!)

Information for this blog was obtained from the following: "Christian Apologetics"(1976) and "Systematic Theology"(2002) by Dr. Norman Geisler, and "Fit Bodies, Fat Minds"(1994) by Os Guinness.

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