Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hmmm, Evangelical

Hmmm. I am not sure. I am not sure if I can still identify with being evangelical or pentecostal. Do not get me wrong, I still believe the Bible is the rule for faith and conduct and is inerrant. I still believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for today. I have the following reasons why I am now hesitant to being given that label...

  1. They limit the gospel to the unsaved, there is more law rather than gospel preached to Christians. I guess that is the problem, there is misunderstanding as to what the gospel is.
  2. The preaching focus is what you must do; what God has done or will do is put on the background. All now is left up to you.
  3. Even the worship choruses centers on YOU. The songs are about your love, your dedication and your good will towards God rather than God's love, commitment and good will towards the sinner.
  4. The Lord's Supper and Baptism are considered mere symbols, and again focuses on what you ought to do. For example, Baptism is your first step to obedience, the Lord's Supper is your observance. The Lord seems absent in the practice of the sacraments.
  5. There is too much theology of glory rather than theology of the cross. The focus is bring heaven now here on earth. You can have a good time here on earth and then in heaven too.
  6. There has to be something new and "cutting edge of the HS" every couple of years. Ten years ago there was the "holy laughter", then "the prophetic", and now there is PDL.
  7. Most modern day evangelical/pentecostals do not know the Apostles Creed, the Lord's Prayer and the Ten Commandments. No systematic catechising.

These are just a few that make me think. Could this be because most evangelicals/pentecostals are non-confessional, i.e. they follow no confession of faith? They do have statements of faith, but such statements are very brief leaving other Bible issues wide-open. Consequently, there is a misunderstanding of the gospel because it is not emphasized in most preaching event. The message is more tilted to what you must do or how you do this or that etc. It is too Arminian and revivalistic with loathing for reformation teaching.

It is strange because the word "Evangelical" was first used by the Lutheran Protestants to signify that they were "evangel" or gospel oriented. Yet today evangelicals are unaware what the reformers taught, if not indifferent to them. Today you mention Luther or Calvin's insight to an evangelical/pentecostal and you get a silent reaction. Either they do not know them or they are taught to avoid them like a plague. There are now two types of Evangelicals , either they are -confessional or non-confessional! I think I like to be lumped w/ the first -with the confessional group since I follow a confession. Start here and please consider what I say. Let me know what you think.


Matt said...

Lito, I don't know if I am able to post here yet. This is a "test" response.


joel said...

True, there was a time in the not-so-recent past when it was mostly us-centred - our love, our worship, our faith... However, to the credit of most, there now seems to be a trend back to God-centredness. Perhaps a case of the pendulum swinging back to right itself. Only problem I see is when it over-corrects and swings too far the other way! Not to worry. History proves that the balance is always sought. People surrendered and submitted to Almighty God will inevitably strive to do His Will. And what we perceive as something irreparably wrong is something God will use to achieve His plans and purposes. All things working together for the good, perhaps not in our lifetime or even the next. But definitely to achieve God's Master Plan of salvation of all mankind through Jesus Christ.'s ultimately God in control as we indeed submit to Him. So it then turns full circle into praising worshipping and honoring Him. Hallelujah!

L P Cruz said...

There are many faulty theologies of evangelicalism today such that the "me" or "I" centeredness is just the manifestation of this. I think it is because evangelicals have spurned the wisdom of the Reformers.