You Can't Pick and Choose

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I was listening to Glenn Beck the other day on the radio. Millions of people were inspired and invigorated by his recent rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington as he challenged us to be a nation of people of character. He had many good things to say. But one thing he is not--he is not a theologian and he needs to stop pretending to be because while on the surface his message seems God inspired, a further look reveals his theology does not line up with the bible that he claims to believe in.

What bothers me about Glenn Beck and his message is his public statement that it is okay to believe in Jesus apart from his miracles and simply believe in just his teachings. This is a very dangerous message. He often refers to Jesus as one of many great teachers and leaders like Mohamed, the Dali Lama, Buddha, and Joseph Smith, to name just a few. The truth about scripture is that to follow after Christ means that you take the whole package. You can't pick and choose the parts of him that you don't like. In Titus 1:16 Paul warned Titus against such teaching when he said, "They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good." And again in 2 Timothy 3:5 Paul says, "having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." Strong words but wise ones we would do well to heed.

The very essence of who Jesus is lies in the biblical truth that he is both fully God and fully man. Without both you have nothing. To reject that he is fully God is to reduce him to a mere human being like you and me. This brings doubt on his death and resurrection and his ability to conquer sin and death for us. Without his full and complete divinity we lose all eternal hope and we have no meaning and purpose beyond this life. Being fully God is what sets Jesus apart from all other great teachers, prophets or gods of this world. Jesus is the only one who laid down his own life to take it up again for our sin and He is the only one who is sitting at the right hand of the Father. Contrary to what Glenn Beck teaches, you can't throw out his miracles because that is the core of who Jesus is. To do do so is a fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3:5 quoted above and to claim to be a follower of Jesus apart from his full divinity is to be a follower who has an outward form of godliness but a lifestyle that denies his power. Paul warns us to have nothing to do with such people no matter how much good they may do, be they politicians, talk show hosts or pastors. In 1 Timothy 4:1 he says, "The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons." He goes on to tell Timothy in verse 6, "If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed."

It is crucial in these last days that we be people who are students of the word of God so that we won't be led astray by teachings and words that sound good but in reality are far from the truth. We must take care to follow Paul's admonition to have nothing to do with such teachings and those who teach them. Our eternity depends on it.

1 comment:

Free Child said...

Thanks these words are quite an encouragement...

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