Monday, February 6, 2012

Evangelical Leprosy

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD). It’s a blight on evangelicalism. It really is a disease inside the Christian Church.

Let’s take the idea one word at a time.

Morals. Lists of rights and wrongs made up by every individual person to live a good life. No drugs, no pre-marital sex, no cursing, no alcohol, yes church, yes trying to be kind, yes being a ‘good’ person. The church, meeting place, is teaching how to have a better life, and be a better you, and managing debt well, and have a better marriage/parenting/spouse/fill-in-the-blank-here.

Therapy. We all know this one. There’s no guessing what it’s about. Making us feel good about who we are and what we’ve been/are. No pushing to change only the desire to see just a few more 'how to’s' added to the list of morals from above because hey, God loves you.

Deism. Deism is the belief in a Supreme Being who created the universe. But deism is nowhere near Christian. Deism holds that this Creator created then left us to play everything out. The clock-winder-god. He wound the clock and now it sits on his mantel only to be glimpsed when wanted. This is not Christianity. Not. At. All.

Morals won’t save you.

Therapy won’t make you well.

Deism doesn’t do anything.

Morals won’t save you because you can’t be good enough (Romans 3).

Therapy won’t make you well because pride kills (Psalm 31; 59:12; Prov. 8:13…).

Deism won’t save you because it is absolutely void of the Gospel.

Let this be crystal clear. The cross is central to the Christian faith. Jesus is what separates Christians from all other religions. To call deism ‘Christian’ is like calling a mouse an elephant and the moon the sun. 1) It is a lie. 2) It is a blatant disregard for the way God has made things. 3) It is pure ignorance.

It’s why we preach the Gospel. It’s why we talk about the brutality of the cross and the glory of the resurrection. It’s why Christianity is Jesus and not morals or therapy or deism.

Quite frankly - I'll go Puritanical in my speech here - this way of teaching (MTD) needs to die. Pastors who preach this will be welcomed into hell by the screams of their congregants, I don't doubt this. "Whoa, that's a little harsh Sam." I'd agree with you, if it wasn't the glory of God and the saving of souls at stake. Wishy-washy belief makes for non-commital people which causes heresy that is not Christian.

And this heresy staralizes people to the Gospel, because why would a 'good person' need saving?


DC said...

Great thoughts, and it is certainly a prevalent happening in our "meeting places." However one cannot forget that family life and other every-day problems that we face and seek "therapy" for are perfect spring-boards to gaining more depth into the Gospel. The Cross is not meant to be doctrine-changing. It's meant to be life-changing. There is nothing in your article that I think denies this. Just wanted to point out the balance.

Jason Elder said...

Loved it. Even liked the tag "damn it" lol. But did you mean "sterilized" in that last sentence?