Lesson 6: Laws of Creation – Insider Knowledge

In the last lesson I suggested when “The Plan for Salvation” reduces salvation to a four-step technique, it becomes part of the Fundamentalism movement. Although we usually associate fundamentalism solely with the claim that the Bible is free from error, it actually was a 20th century attempt to reduce Christianity to its basic teachings. I argued this reduction loses some important and even central parts of Jesus’ message. The same thing is going on with the second feature of a modern lifestyle based on bad doctrine. It reduces religion’s function to revealing “The Laws of Creation”. Let me use the extreme example of the televangelists once more.

About 25 years ago, a sociologist and I watched religious television for a week. Although the televangelists claimed to be Bible-centered, they only cited a few passages all week. These are still the basis of the “Laws of Creation” a) Agricultural passages about growth are the proof texts for “Seed Faith”. It asserts all life is based on planting seeds to which God gives growth. If you do your part by planning a seed, God then will do his by providing what you need. b) Matthew 18: 19. “If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father” serves for “The Point of Contact”. It maintains if only one other believer agrees with you, God will give whatever you want. Televangelists are willing to fill this role by touching your prayer request or by sending you prayer cloths or oils they have handled. Of course, they will accept your seed money as well. Compare Richard Robert’s Statement of Faith with the Apostles’ Creed to see what Fundamentalism and “Laws of Creation” do to Christianity.

The “Laws of Creation perversely twist traditional natural law by defining success by this world’s standards. This self-centeredness is obviously obscene when a televangelist preaches, “The Prosperity Gospel”. It more muted when traditional congregations become little more than self-improvement centers, preaching wellness. In both God’s laws are resources for solving all of your personal problems, whether health, family, and finances.

A problematic lifestyle results which assumes:

1) education will solve everything. Sin becomes ignorance and error rather than willful rebellion and disobedience. You go to church to get insider knowledge, the secret knowledge classically associated with the Gnostic heresies. Kenneth Copeland once explained his father who tithed remained poor, because he did not know the information needed to claim his bank account in heaven.

2) having insider knowledge enables you to control God who is an automat or a machine rather than a living person. God is as predictable as the law of gravity, He must obey the laws. If you set the process in motion, he is obligated to keep it going. A great deal of modern proclamation begins with an implicit attack on Justification by God’s Grace. Gone is God’s free gift and Christ’s redemption.

3) Christianity is conservative rather than creative. It looks backward to preserve rather than forward to redeem. Lost is love as a creative way to solve life’s complex problems and build a better world. You never hear about sharing your finances, forgiving your neighbor, or returning good for evil. Coral Ridge’s politics call for a national establishment of religion just as much as Islamic fundamentalism.

Although television ministry is crude about it, a great deal of contemporary Christianity is just as obsessed with the legal rather than the loving nature of the faith and ends up with the same problems. Discussion of faith too often concerns litmus tests for determining who is and who is not a true believer. Most boil down to accepting particular legal positions on abortion, ordination of women, the salvation of other religions, human sexuality, or anything else on the cutting edge of society.

Here are some questions to contemplate: Do televangelists do anything good? Can the Christian faith be proclaimed over electronic media? How are the poor blessed (Matthew 5) if God want us to prosper? Is Christianity by nature conservative? Is prayer striking a bargain with God? What is sin in the modern world? Careful with last one; it will come back to bite you.

Roberts Statement of Faith
http://www.orm.cc/?page_id=20
http://www.orm.cc/?p=1263 prayer cloth

Kenneth Copeland
http://www.kcm.org/real-help/article/get-your-mind-harvest

Benny Hinn You must co-operate
http://www.bennyhinn.org/articles/articledesc.cfm?id=6102&ps=financialfreedom&hb=YL2008_FinancialFreedom&pid=58

Kennedy at Coral Ridge
http://www.coralridge.org/equip/10TruthsSeries/10%20Truths%20About%20Americas%20Christian%20Heritage/default.aspx
http://www.coralridge.org/equip/10TruthsSeries/10%20Truths%20About%20Christians%20And%20Politics/Default.aspx

Tags: , , ,

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top