Friday, April 18, 2008

A Return to the Reformed Church

This quote from Albert Mohler has caused me to ponder the individual/personal religion that we promote in the American church.

The shift from morals to values in the church is a sign of the Christian abdication of moral leadership. When the church joins in the affirmation that all moral issues are matters of purely individual concern, the salt has lost its savor. The reduction of morality to values was a hallmark of the 1980s, when progressivist educators pushed this agenda in the public schools. Throughout the educational world, "values clarification" exercises became the order of the day, with children and teenagers encouraged to invent their own individualistic systems of morality and to "develop" their own values. Since these are individually determined, no one can be right and no one can be wrong.

We can blame the school systems, and they do bear some of the responsibility, but we must also look to churches for the breakdown in our moral system. Churches long ago erased the concept of discipline and accountability within the faith community and began emphasizing faith as a personal decision. Liberal Christians refuse to emphasize any objective truth out of respect for the personal convictions of others, but even in the evangelical church, our focus on a personal faith in the Lord has caused many evangelicals to abandon the community concept of the church as Christ instituted it. Though the church is made up of individuals, it is one corporate whole.

Though our eternal salvation is dependent upon a personal decision and a personal faith, we must emphasize that faith is more than personal. The Christian faith must be a community faith in which we all participate through accountability and mutual submission to the Word of God and to one another. Morality is never a personal decision, it is enforced by a community and/or society. We need to recover biblical morality and combat the concept of personal values. The value or lack of value an individual places on an activity does not make it moral, morality is an objective standard to which individuals should be called within the confines of a faith community.

The reformers saw the church this way, we should too!

Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: