Is The Sky Falling? [2]

I hate those seven part posts about one topic that no one wants to read all the way through but the author, so I will stop here with part two. (You can read part one here.)

How does the Gospel address the issue of pluralism? Not with truth, but with The Truth.

I know many out there say they reject the idea of "truth." But take the time to talk to people and you are likely to find they do believe some things are inherently right or wrong. The Gospel doesn't simply call them liars or inconsistent, but rather shows them a Truth that goes beyond the popular rhetoric of the day. The Gospel reveals the Absolute Truth - Jesus the Messiah. The Gospel steps above the conversation most people are having;  Is there truth? Is truth absolute? We often talk about truth as if it is something that exists apart from God. I listen to the debates and hear Christians often talking to others as if truth is synonymous with "family values" or the platform of a political party. But Jesus didn't talk about truth this way. For Jesus the Scripture was "truth" (Jn. 17:17), and above that Jesus himself was "The Truth" God revealed for the salvation of his people (Jn 14:6; Heb. 1). And the beautiful thing about this Truth is that he is much more than an ideology, or a list of rules. He is not a system. He came as truth and lived among sinful, broken, hurting people as truth. He affirmed the distinctions of right and wrong not just by speaking about them, but by stepping into people's lives and uncovering them with his own life.

Concerning pluralism's danger to our churches, I'll borrow an approach used by another pastor and say that I hope our churches have some pluralism in them. If we are being the people God wants us to be, penetrating the culture with the Truth, some will come into our midst bringing the philosophies of the day with them. This, in some ways, should be normal. Of course this does not mean we embrace the error, but through the process of making disciples the error is defeated. This is why Paul told the young emerging pastors of his day to hold fast to the doctrine they had received, and to watch for those who come with opposing doctrine (See 1, 2 Timothy and Titus). Through the teaching of "doctrine that conforms to godliness" (1 Tim. 6:3) we make disciples that not only confess truth, but demonstrate it.

There may have been a day when most people were satisfied with clearly articulated propositions and logically tight systems of thought, but the younger generations today will not be satisfied with that unless it gives birth to something living and real. They want to see it in people's lives. Like Paul, they would rather have faith that "adorns the doctrine of God our Savior" with righteous behavior (Titus 2).

Pluralism is one danger among many that the church will have to deal with, and I do not see it as dangerous as other philosophies, for it is so clearly at odds with the Gospel. Perhaps more dangerous, and harder to see is the truncated, political version of the Gospel that comes from many of our pulpits and leaders. Even more frightening to me is the suburbanized, comfortable version of Jesus that creeps its way into our midst and even into the way we disciple others.

In the end, what will save us is Jesus and his Gospel.