Malcolm Muggeridge is attributed as saying, “new news is old news happening to new people.” The writer of Ecclesiastes declares:
“Is there anything of which one might say, “See this, it is new”? Already it has existed for ages Which were before us.” (Ecclesiastes 1:10, NASB)
Humans seem to repeatedly fall into the same traps.
This morning in my Bible reading, I find the words of Jeremiah 5:31 anticipate what I’ve observed happening in the church at large. Rather than submitting to the word of God, many pastors and theologians stand in judgment of Scripture.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” (Jeremiah 5:31, NASB)
Through Jeremiah, God warned the nation of Israel that many of the prophets were providing a false security. They predicted peace and security, contradicting what the true prophets were saying. Rather than calling the nation to repentance and submission, they validated what the people wanted to hear.
Jeremiah tells us that when they do this, they are operating under their own authority though they claim to speak for God. Does this sound familiar? It should.
Today, we have pastors and theologians who are willing to set aside 2000 years of church tradition and the clear teaching of Scripture on issues such as marriage, family, morality and what it means to be a follower of Christ. When they do this, they are like rogue ambassadors misrepresenting the king who sent them.
Why do these pastors and theologians distort Scripture? Jeremiah tells us that in his day they did it to please the people. These prophets gained popularity and all the social and economic benefits that come with it. One can assume that the motives are similar today.
Judge or submit
We have two options with regard to Scripture. We can either stand in judgment of it or we can submit to it. In the end it comes down to a decision as to where the authority lies. I can assume that authority or I can submit to God’s authority. The one thing that is certain is that we cannot share it. A decision has to be made as to who is in charge.
The modern false prophets, like their predecessors, reap the social and economic benefits of reshaping their message to meet the expectations of the society. The problem is that those expectations cannot change what is really true and what is really false.
The real question
At issue what really is true as opposed to what we want to be true. I want to say that all behaviors are acceptable and that it doesn’t matter how one lives. But that is in contradiction to the truth. Behavior does matter. God has spoken and we ignore his speech to our peril.
The prophets of tolerance and acceptance are those who offer a band-aid as a cure to cancer.It may make it look better but it doesn’t cure the core problem.