Longing For Acceptance: The Relativism TrapDan Waite
"Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUS- NESS. Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land" (Jeremiah 23:1-8).
Frequently things often do not occur according to one's expectations, primarily because those expectations are set too high and too often, they are set on the wrong standard. Myriads of individuals, longing to meet expectations, spend days, weeks, months and even years striving for something unattainable. Many sincerely believe that doing something notable leads one to a higher spiritual plateau. These types of individuals choose to follow the deception of a false standard-the standard of worldliness and "Christian" humanism. Some would dare say history is a record of ill-maintained expectations. A published historian has declared, "The only thing we learn from History is that we do not learn from history" (La More). Things, whether buildings, thoughts, or even convictions, will ultimately deteriorate over enough time without meticulous maintenance. Knowledge of history is not the panacea to future success, but knowledge and acceptance of His Story is the genuine path to true success (Joshua 1:8)!
God's Two Standards
God has given two standards: The Living Word and The Written Word. One must exalt The Word Incarnate and The Word Inscripturated. Scripture teaches that man will stand in Christ's righteousness or remain in Adam's fallen state. However, some will insist on embracing the thought and theories of yesterday as a standard. The theological mood of yesterday was tolerance, acceptance, respect for the thoughts and the ideas of man, and the disregard for the Heart and Mind of God! Faith in the Book and the Blood is the only remedy needed. It is because the LORD Incarnate lives that believers can have faith-for without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). One can have faith in the Living Word because of the preserved Written Word. In this present age, the Written Word has revealed the Living Word. Today's Church must exalt the Written Word rather than deny its existence. With God's Holy Book as the Standard, why then should one long to go back to the problems of yesterday that have carried us to the dilemmas of today?
One certainly remembers that during the forty-one year reign of King Asa-- the great-grandson of Solomon-King Asa's kingdom coincided with seven unique regimes in the ten Tribes of the North (Jeroboam, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Omri, and Ahab). Scripture reports, "And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father" (I Kings 15:11). Asa demonstrated a tremendous amount of faith when the enemy overwhelmingly encompassed him. One might recall that King Asa requested Zechariah and Obadiah teach the people during part of his reign. Asa was convinced that the WORD OF THE LORD was the answer! Upon the death of Asa, his son, Jehoshaphat ascended the Southern Throne. A newly developed league between Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, and the husband of Jezebel, Ahab King of Israel, brought the commanders of this fragmented country into a joint military campaign in Ramothgilead.
Consulting the Lord
Before this engagement, Jehoshaphat asked Ahab for the opinion of a Prophet of the LORD. Among many words that Micaiah, the LORD's Prophet, said were ". . . I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd . . ." (2 Chronicles 18:16). What happened to this Nation? Why were they scattered? They had no shepherd! Had no one retained the responsibility of keeping, watching, and guarding? Had they stopped resting in GOD's Word and started wresting it?
Is it not apparent that Israel's condition has not changed much since the days of Jehoshaphat and Ahab? Unfortunately, others, who grasp and accept the essential concepts of the Gospel, find themselves in a scattered herd as well. Why is this? They have no shepherd with a sword to keep, watch, and protect. Denial of the preserved text appears to be the mood of the day. The powerful "Book" touched the heart of wicked King Ahab. Recall these words, "And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? Because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house" (I Kings 21:27-29). If Ahab responded to the Word of God, why do the modern day thinkers refuse to do so?
Indeed many today have shepherds who criticize the Word of God and twist the Scripture to authenticate nebulous thoughts. The Hebrew word behind the English word "shepherd" first appears in the fourth chapter of the first book of the Bible, "And she again bares his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground" (Genesis 4:2). This son of Adam, later murdered by Cain kept the sheep. The Hebrew word behind the English word for "sword" first appears in the third chapter of the Book of Beginnings, "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life" (Genesis 3:24). Note the Sacred Text states one Sword and three or more Cherubim. God's Inspired Sword ought to be feared and reverenced for its power and might in these last days. The Shepherd and the Sword must function together in these days of apostasy to keep the sheep; and often they do not! The symptoms of modernism now plague the circles once occupied by sound defenders of the Scripture. Failure to treat such blight will result in premature defection from the Sword. The modern church needs a shepherd who uses the Preserved Sword to teach, protect, keep, and guard the sheep. Nations do not send troops into battle without the proper weapons. Moreover, solders do not use weapons they do not trust. Today's shepherds must trust and have confidence in their Sword.
All too often, the pastor does not use the
Scripture to teach, protect, guard, and keep the sheep, but will
peddle some form of psychology. Does not Scripture declare: "For
the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any
two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12). Why is it then that the pastor
given the responsibility of upholding the effective power of the
Words of God ignores and denies its credibility--either directly
or indirectly? One reason might be that during his formative
years he witnessed the Words of God belittled and still sees it
being torn to ribbons by men who he holds in high regard even up
to this present hour. Gibson states, "Instead of trembling at
the Words of God the modern day textual critic is trite with the
Words of God" (Gibson). Let the pastor be encouraged to study
the Bible and preach the truth. Reflect upon the following
verse, "And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the
spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). The pastor's
duty is explanation of the Bible text and not to create
applications. In this day of relativism, one must be encouraged
with the genuine Preserved Bible. One must pray for pastors that
they will study, defend, and proclaim the entire council of God.
The Preserved Written and Living Word of God ought to be
ultimate authority in pulpit and pew! Shatter the chains of