Is postmodernism really bad for the Church?

Started by AudioArtist, October 20, 2010, 10:02:46 am

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AudioArtist

I went through a period of being very impressed by folk like John Piper, Paul Washer, Mark Driscoll, Tim Conway, and other modern calvinist/reformed types. And I'm not here to judge them, and I still think one can learn from them and that God is using them - but they are flawed in their approach to many Christian issues, just as any human is. I only say that because I myself was once very excited about this movement and something about how it conducted itself made it seem beyond reproach in my mind - and it made me arrogant and critical towards the more gentle, calm, postmodern and polite charismatic Christianity that I was surrounded by. In fact, I began to (wrongly) think all other strands of Christianity were man-centered and laced with cowardice. But I began to realise that just because something is offensive to many, hard-hitting and brash doesn't mean it is always true, and Paul himself was often polite and respectful and even - *controversial* - culturally sensitive, and the epistles often advocate the same out of us. Of course I know there is Biblical sanction for occasional times of rebuke and for being 'hard-hitting', but many young folk into radical Christian movements take that as the only signal for truth (at least I know I did.)

The blunt, dogmatic and negative manner in which postmodernism is addressed by most non-liberal protestant Christians isn't very helpful in my opinion. I'm starting to think that our postmodern climate has done more good for the Church than bad. It's given way to a beautiful shake up and shattering of all our man-made defences. Now, subjective spiritual experience can be brought back to their rightful place in the journey of the faithful. They were never supposed to be drowned under a list of doctrinal absolutes or a fear of heresy. Now, the Christian is stripped of all intellectual, philosophical, theological and political arrogance and can be a child, his hands open in expectation towards Heaven. Now, the power of God is needed more than ever.

What do you think?

sharonl

Not too familiar with the names you speak of - but do realize that our beliefs have been watered down to make room for politically correctness. Some pastors are being forbiden to speak what the Bible says about certain subjects in fear of their church being taxed by the government - we are in a brainwashing mode these days and we have to be bold and hold tight to our beliefs.
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bill16652

No matter what Gods word will come to pass and the bride will emerge bictorious!  The word tells us that many will be decieved in the last days

Pete

I suppose that would depend on how you define "postmodernism".

Most definitions of postmodernism that I've seen indicate relativism and the rejection of an objective truth.  It's the idea that I'm OK, you're OK, we're all OK.  Unfortunately, some of the Church has embraced this type of postmodernism, and I would say that is not a good thing at all.

OTOH, while I still fully recognize that there is an objective Truth, I also recognize that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20).  This is not to suggest that people can just go on sinning so that grace can abound (Romans 6:1-2).  However, what has changed in me is that I have realized it is not my place to judge and condemn people for their sins.  Jesus did not come to the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved (John 3:17).

When I would watch Paul Washer's videos, there was an incredible amount of condemnation coming from him.  It seemed to me like his goal was to see how long and loud he could yell at people and tell them that all the many ways that they were wrong and going to hell.  This seems remarkably contrary to the Truth that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4).  It also seemed to me like he thought the only way to get people to change was for him to berate them until they conceded that he was right and they were wrong.

Clearly, someone yelling at the top of their lungs is going to cause more of a scene than ministering to people in Love.  And so there arises this idea that Loving people where they are at is "weak" and "ineffective".  But nothing could be further from the Truth.  In fact, it's exactly what Jesus did.  Take for example the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus didn't condemn and berate and yell at her.  He simply said to her, "Go and sin no more".  Grace through an objective Truth.

A few years ago God spoke to me and said, "It is not your responsibility to make people believe."  While that has not changed my views on what I believe, it certainly has changed my view on how I approach others.  Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples by our Love for one another.  Therefore, my goal has been to be an example of His Love to others.

Because of this, I've been accused of being "weak", "wimpy", "wishy-washy", "mealy-mouthed", "politically correct" and much worse.  I believe that there is nothing more powerful than the Love of God, but I've found that not many people really believe that.

The only One who can cause real and lasting change in a person is God.  I believe we need to understand that and focus our efforts there.  All of our yelling and carrying on won't change a thing.

So I'm not "postmodern" in the traditional sense of the word.  In fact, I think I'll have to coin a new term to describe my beliefs; "petemodern"  ;)

O0
"There is no charge for awesomeness -- or attractiveness."

jiminpa

Quote from: Pete on October 20, 2010, 11:52:08 am
I suppose that would depend on how you define "postmodernism".

Most definitions of postmodernism that I've seen indicate relativism and the rejection of an objective truth.  It's the idea that I'm OK, you're OK, we're all OK.  Unfortunately, some of the Church has embraced this type of postmodernism, and I would say that is not a good thing at all.

OTOH, while I still fully recognize that there is an objective Truth, I also recognize that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound (Romans 5:20).  This is not to suggest that people can just go on sinning so that grace can abound (Romans 6:1-2).  However, what has changed in me is that I have realized it is not my place to judge and condemn people for their sins.  Jesus did not come to the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved (John 3:17).

When I would watch Paul Washer's videos, there was an incredible amount of condemnation coming from him.  It seemed to me like his goal was to see how long and loud he could yell at people and tell them that all the many ways that they were wrong and going to hell.  This seems remarkably contrary to the Truth that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4).  It also seemed to me like he thought the only way to get people to change was for him to berate them until they conceded that he was right and they were wrong.

Clearly, someone yelling at the top of their lungs is going to cause more of a scene than ministering to people in Love.  And so there arises this idea that Loving people where they are at is "weak" and "ineffective".  But nothing could be further from the Truth.  In fact, it's exactly what Jesus did.  Take for example the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus didn't condemn and berate and yell at her.  He simply said to her, "Go and sin no more".  Grace through an objective Truth.

A few years ago God spoke to me and said, "It is not your responsibility to make people believe."  While that has not changed my views on what I believe, it certainly has changed my view on how I approach others.  Jesus said that we would be known as His disciples by our Love for one another.  Therefore, my goal has been to be an example of His Love to others.

Because of this, I've been accused of being "weak", "wimpy", "wishy-washy", "mealy-mouthed", "politically correct" and much worse.  I believe that there is nothing more powerful than the Love of God, but I've found that not many people really believe that.

The only One who can cause real and lasting change in a person is God.  I believe we need to understand that and focus our efforts there.  All of our yelling and carrying on won't change a thing.

So I'm not "postmodern" in the traditional sense of the word.  In fact, I think I'll have to coin a new term to describe my beliefs; "petemodern"  ;)

O0
As usual, what Pete said...  ...and...
I have huge issues with why contemporary reformation theology is not an oxymoron to start with.  The reformation was a movement from semi-Christian paganism toward scriptural accuracy, so why are we stepping back to square 2 and not moving centuries forward with scriptural accuracy? 

Second, while I am not familiar with everyone mentioned, the two I do know something about have no business being above reproach, and in fact, are doctrinally worse than the opponents they are so happy to criticize. 

Every time I hear some neo-reformationist attack Joyce Meyer for keeping a PORTION of her OWN money I want to scream.  All of them together don't give as much financially to the Kingdom of God as she and her husband do alone.  Not to mention that she teaches walking more with God and they teach dead accedemics.  Same thing concerning WoF, and I have my disagreements with WoF.  You can be the word's greatest Bible scholar and still go to Hell, but if your relationship with God is right your eternity is with Him no matter how many doctrinal points you miss. 

I used to worry and stress and strive to "do my part," never believing that I had done enough of "my part."  Now I see my part as casting it off on Him, doing what I believe He is giving me, and letting it just be His problem.  I don't have to fix everything, but I get to work along side of God.