Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Banishing Sinners but Welcoming Heretics

Let me say up front that the management of any medium presenting itself as Christian is welcome to decide who should or should not be interviewed by any of the staff.  Public service spots are welcome to help understand local government agencies and officials or various ministries.

In the same way Bible teachers should be interviewed to draw out solid Biblical teaching and application.  (Those who are in Christian media take note.  The format works.)  There is also a benefit of interviewing those who consider themselves orthodox but are not.  I have heard excellent interviews of authors and teachers being asked to explain why that person is pursuing a certain course.  This is usually followed with commentary by someone who understands the issues needing to be addressed offering correction for the errant teaching.  This format is good and productive for the consumer.

Having said this, I must highly object to a recent interview by a host of a local Christian radio station of one member of the singing group Phillips, Craig, and Dean as if they were fellow brethren in Christ.  These men are heretics—pastors who do not believe in the Triune God as defined by the Nicene Creed.  These men are not worshiping the same God as true Christians, but a completely different god.  Their god is one in both being and person, manifesting himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as the need dictates.  Christians hold that God is one being having three persons.  The difference is major and worth fighting over.  In the fourth century Athanasius fought for the truth of trinitarian doctrine for years though exiled repeatedly.

How could the station authorize this interview the way it was presented?  The obvious answer is two-fold.  First, this is primarily a music station.  As a result, they are expected to interact with any nationally known figure whom might be in the area singing Christian music.  Second, there is little or no discernment within the organization or its parent.  The station promotes itself as being uplifting and family-friendly.  Whatever therapeutic notion or sentimentalism which draws or keeps listeners will be used.

Are station personnel obligated to interview these people?  No.  As a matter of fact, this same station has banned singers from the playlist for falling into sexual sins.  The message is that the act of a person who sinned badly cannot be tolerated, yet doctrine that can lead straight to hell is not an issue.  This is alarming and wrong.  Where are our priorities?

Perhaps I should not be so critical.  After all, the station is just reflecting the state of the American church and reacting to the market forces of the local membership rolls.  Isn't that a sad thought.  But rather than dwell on spiritual apathy, the proper response is to continue teaching sound doctrine.  The more who are able to rightly divide the word of God, the better the condition the local church.

Fight the good fight.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Well said!

The same problem exists with so-called Christian bookstores. They are not required to carry any particular books, yet they are nothing but minefields of aberrant and heretical teachings!

Too many pastors are also afraid to name names from the pulpit for fear of offending someone in the congregation. Isn't amazing how Jesus and the apostles didn't seem to have that fear?

Karen said...

Perhaps the problem is the lack of biblical teaching/preaching and so many Christians don't know when something is in error. It's easier to drink milk ladled out by any Tom, Dick or Harry, than feed on the meat of the Word. And heaven forbid Christians actually study the Word or check to see if what is preached or sung is biblical.

Karen Norton said...

Too often it is assumed that if a song is on a Christian radio station, book in a Christian bookstore or preacher/teacher in church or on TV that all of those people believe the Bible and hold it as absolute Truth. And as we all know their assumptions are WRONG! There is a distint lack of discernment in the body today. We believe and ingest anything/everything as long as it has the "christian" label. We assume ti must be good for us.

Steve Bricker said...

Wow, three comments!

Glenn: I had not thought about bookstores in this regard, because I was concentrating on the audio medium, but that is correct.

Karen: sound teaching is certainly lacking, and the fix is multi-fold. Pulpit ministry, Sunday School, Bible Studies, etc. all need to have their quality raised.

Karen N., a.k.a. my favorite (and only) sister: There is a lack of discernment, partly because sound instruction is lacking, but also because so many Christians are lazy or distracted.

Karen Norton said...

In the movie "Little Shop of Horrors" a plant falls from outerspace. As it grows it's mantra is "feed me". (Yes, in the movie the plant talks.) That seems to be what has happened to many in the body of Christ. They want to step up to the buffet for instant gratification at the cost of quality of food that is to nourish their spirit/soul.

Because we want it our way & want it now we have lost the joy and wonder in study to discover who God is and what He says. Too many will invest in work, sports, hobbies, but God and His precious Word are left by the wayside.