Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pagan Leaven in the Church

"O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins."
- Psalm 79:1 

I believe in the covenantal continuity between Israel, under the Old Covenant, and the Church under the New. For example, we have Paul referring to the Church as the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews calls the Church both Mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem in Heb. 12:22. Both analogies are repeated by the Apostle John in the Revelation (Rev. 21:10).

While Asaph was surely referring to pagan invasions of the land of Israel, there is clearly a typological relevance to the Church in our own day.

Liberalism has so permeated the mainline churches, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), that false professors are found at every level, whether in the general membership, or in the courts of the church. Men (and women) in the pulpit vehemently deny the divine authorship and inerrancy of the Bible. Some cast aspersions on other fundamental beliefs, such as the deity of Christ, the sinfulness of man, or the holy justice of God that sends some to Hell. The general membership consists of those who know nothing of sorrow for their sin or the exaltation of forgiveness in Christ.

Even among evangelical Presbyterians, where the faith is still known, though sometimes in a stunted form, the traditions which made reformed churches into great powers in reformation and missions have slidden into irrelevance, or even active dismissal.

Lost is the Spirit that once animated Jenny Geddes of Edinburgh, Scotland, to throw a stool at the minister of St. Giles Cathedral, when he began to read from the new Prayer Book. "Villain!" she shouted, "dost thou say mass at my lug [ear]?" The ensuing riot guaranteed that the Prayer Book was never read there again. That was in 1637, the beginning of the Covenanter period.

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