The Great De-Commission

One of the most convicting things about pluralistic Christians is how radically their actions differ from their professed beliefs.  Oh, we are all hypocrites at times, but their hypocrisy is foundational.

A pluralist is one who believes that all religions (or at least most of them) lead to God, and that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. 

Now anyone who has actually read the Bible should realize that you can’t take it seriously and conclude that Christianity teaches that all paths lead to God.  The Old Testament has countless warnings and consequences about following other gods, and the New Testament teaches 100 times directly or indirectly that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  Just open the book anywhere any see what I mean.  Pluralism just doesn’t make sense in light of the Bible.

To paraphrase something Edgar recently mentioned, try to imagine this conversation:

Pharaoh: We both worship the same God, so what’s the big deal?

Moses: Oh, good point.  Never mind about that Exodus thingy.

But here is where their hypocrisy is most evident.  If they really believed what they taught, then they would sent out reverse missionaries on a “Great De-Commision” to tell Christians (and other religions, for that matter) to worship whatever god the local culture follows. 

After all, if all these paths lead to the real God, then repenting and trusting in Christ is just a preference, not a requirement.  Why should anyone endure suffering for the name of Christ if religions such as Hinduism and Islam are merely different roads to the same place?

But these people never send out reverse missionaries.  They just sit in their churches either not really believing in Jesus or being too afraid to preach the truth.  They don’t obey the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.), but they also don’t implement the Great De-Commission, which would be the logical conclusion of their worldview.  They don’t tell go through the world telling people that all religions are equally valid paths to God and that you should just follow the practices of your local culture.

“Pluralistic Christian” is an oxymoron.  It mocks the cross.  If these other paths are adequate, why did Jesus have to suffer and die as He did?  It mocks the martyrs and the persecuted church.  If Hinduism, Islam, etc. are just as valid and we have as much to learn from them as they do from us, as some Liberal Theologians have been known to say, then why are these “fools” suffering for Christ around the world today and why have so many risked or given up their freedom, health and lives throughout history?

If you have supported “pluralistic Christianity” in the past, then I urge you to repent and speak the truth from now on.  If you can’t stand up and say that Jesus is the only way, then Christianity may not be for you.

35 thoughts on “The Great De-Commission”

  1. The Pharoah – Moses conversation was classic – very funny!

    When someone says all religions lead to God -I like to say “Your exactly right, they do. Some will meet God has Father, and the rest will meet Him a Judge.”

    nice job!

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    1. Hi DJBA — of course, please link all you like. In fact, anyone is welcome to link at any time. Friends have permission and enemies don’t need it 😉 .

      I was re-reading part of your book as I was working on the forward and it got me thinking about this topic.

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  2. “But these people never send out reverse missionaries.”

    What? Progressive denominations have stopped trying to proselytize with their missionaries YEARS ago. Look at Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ). They make no efforts to convert people.

    “One of the most convicting things about pluralistic Christians is how radically their actions differ from their professed beliefs.”

    All the progressive Christians I know never profess a belief in the Bible so I don’t see how there is a contradiction. If you don’t believe in the Bible, how is it hypocrisy?

    “If Hinduism, Islam, etc. are just as valid and we have as much to learn from them as they do from us, as some Liberal Theologians have been known to say, then why are these “fools” suffering for Christ around the world today and why have so many risked or given up their freedom, health and lives throughout history?”

    Because progressives believe that those people who have died did so for something more than their theology.

    “Now anyone who has actually read the Bible should realize that you can’t take it seriously and conclude that Christianity teaches that all paths lead to God.”

    Define “seriously”. Do you mean “literally”?

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    1. “Now anyone who has actually read the Bible should realize that you can’t take it seriously and conclude that Christianity teaches that all paths lead to God.”

      Define “seriously”. Do you mean “literally”?

      Joanne, do you seriously need me to define seriously? Please go read your Bible. Start anywhere. Then see how many times it refers to there being just one God, how it is profoundly bad to worship other gods, how it teaches explicity that Jesus is the only way to salvation, how none of it really makes sense to consider that there are other gods who could be worshipped, etc.

      Because progressives believe that those people who have died did so for something more than their theology.

      Really? How noble of you progressives to know what these people “really” died for. You see, historical records indicate that they died for not worshiping Caesar, for converting from Islam because they trusted Jesus as Lord, etc. And the people getting their homes burned in India and getting thrown in jail aren’t experiencing that because they claim that Jesus is just one other God to worship.

      All the reasons I’m aware of for Christian martyrs past and present are tied to their theology. I am very interested in the facts supporting your opinion that they died for reasons other than theology. And if you really loved them, wouldn’t you try to convert them from those beliefs as well?

      What? Progressive denominations have stopped trying to proselytize with their missionaries YEARS ago. Look at Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ). They make no efforts to convert people.

      I know! That’s the problem! But thanks for conceding it. A random reader might think my post was a big straw man. Even non-believers like Racing Boo seem to scratch their heads over these progressive views (my apologies if I misunderstood his comment).

      All the progressive Christians I know never profess a belief in the Bible so I don’t see how there is a contradiction. If you don’t believe in the Bible, how is it hypocrisy?

      Again, thanks for the concession. If you look around the world today and examine history you’ll find that most Christians have trusted that the Bible is the word of God. I know that is a foreign concept in progressive churches, but that just proves my point that they claim the name dishonestly.

      And my point about hypocrisy wasn’t about the Bible (at least in this post), it was about how theological Liberals don’t try to persuade Christians to convert to the religion of local cultures to avoid harm. If progressives care about reducing suffering that would seem to be a natural thing to do.

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  3. “but that just proves my point that they claim the name dishonestly.”

    That’s a circular argument. You assert that they claim the name dishonestly based on your literal reading of the Bible. Not all Christians hold to a literal reading of the Bible. There is a wide range of views on how the Bible should be read ranging from strict literalism to simply a historical document. Literalists don’t own the word Christian, despite your protestations to the contrary.

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    1. Joanne, don’t you know that I won’t let you get away with the “literalist” straw man here? Someday it would be fun to go through the Bible verse by verse with you all and watch you squirm as you try to rationalize away literally (heh) thousands of verses.

      Followers of Christ “own” the name Christian. You all teach the opposite of what Jesus does on virtually everything — his deity, his exclusivity, Heaven & Hell, marriage, our sinful nature, his views on the Old Testament and so much more, so I don’t see how you can claim to follow him. Even the verses that you take “literally” you rarely get right (see the post about “the least of these.”

      I wish you all would be honest and just come up with a new name for whatever your religion is. But then you’d lose the money and influence, eh?

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    2. If I may…

      Neil isn’t making his claim on a “literal” reading of the Bible, he is making his claim on an “accurate” reading of the Bible.

      Fortunately, when it comes to understanding what Scripture is articulating, we have centuries of compiled Jewish commentary on the Old Testament, combined with centuries of compiled Christian commentary on the Old and New Testaments.

      It’s one thing to claim, as disbelievers and others have, that “The message is not true and I do not believe it.” It is quite another thing to claim to be a Christian and say, “The message is whatever I say it is.” How fortunate are we that, after 1900 years of the New Testament and millennia of the Old Testament that liberal Christianity finally came along and got scripture interpretation right for the first time.

      Doesn’t that strike you as just slightly odd and possibly incorrect?

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    3. So your “Christian” religion is just so much mindless fluff.

      There’s only so much of the Bible you can dismiss as allegorical and metaphorical. Much of the Old Testament may fall into that category, but the best available evidence tells us that Jesus Christ was a real, historical character. If you have reached the point where you reject the things that the founder of Christianity said that make him unique among religious teachers, then why not reject Christianity altogether? Do you really think that the nice warm fuzzy things Jesus said and did make him unique? The so-called “Golden Rule” is usually attributed to his older contemporary, Rabbi Hillel. No. What made Jesus unique, and what most likely got him killed, was that he claimed to be equal with God.

      As believer, or non-believer, or whatever it is that you are trying to be, you need to make a decision on Jesus, particularly if you identify as his follower (you know, Christian). I’m not talking about the false trichotomy of C.S. Lewis. The choice is clearer than that. Either Jesus was who he said he was (or who others later claimed he was) or not. If he was, you and I are both in serious trouble. If not, why are you calling yourself a Christian? Is it a tradition that you can’t let go of, that you find comforting, or is it that you might lose a position you have in life, or in your church?

      It seems to me very much as if these “churches” exist for purely political, or perhaps tax reasons.

      Maybe I’m thick but I just don’t get it.

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      1. And I’m a Zoroastrian. I have no idea what that is, but when filling in forms that ask for my religion, it just sounds so much cooler than “Catholic” or “Protestant”.

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  4. “Confused atheist here. If you don’t believe in the Bible, what is it that makes you a Christian?”

    I’m an atheist, so I certainly don’t claim the name “Christian”. I’m speaking about my Progressive Christian friends who have sincere religious beliefs.

    “There’s only so much of the Bible you can dismiss as allegorical and metaphorical. Much of the Old Testament may fall into that category, but the best available evidence tells us that Jesus Christ was a real, historical character.”

    That’s true but it certainly doesn’t add any evidence that the Bible is an accurate description of either Jesus’ life or beliefs.

    “It seems to me very much as if these “churches” exist for purely political, or perhaps tax reasons.”

    I think that can be said for all churches, regardless of their theological persuasion. Organized religion is all about power and control.

    “Neil isn’t making his claim on a “literal” reading of the Bible, he is making his claim on an “accurate” reading of the Bible.”

    Another straw man argument. An “accurate” reading can be one that rejects entirely the claimed accuracy of scripture.

    “If you look around the world today and examine history you’ll find that most Christians have trusted that the Bible is the word of God.”

    This one is a complete straw man. Early Christians had no Bible. During the VAST majority of Western History only the elites were literate. Only during the last 200 years has Christianity adhered to Biblical literalism. In fact, it wasn’t really until the Protestant Reformation that the Bible became valued in Christian practice and tradition. And even then it wasn’t uniformly accepted. Quakers and other groups rejected reading the Bible seriously and would value reason and tradition over it.

    “Someday it would be fun to go through the Bible verse by verse with you all and watch you squirm as you try to rationalize away literally (heh) thousands of verses.”

    No rationalism needed, Neil. I reject each and every verse outright. 😉

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    1. So let me get this straight. You’re an atheist, who has progressive Christian friends, whatever that means, and you’re defending their beliefs; you don’t know what those beliefs are, but you do know they’re sincere. And you don’t seem to think much of their church’s motivations either.

      So here’s a suggestion, for what it’s worth. Take each friend, person by person, and say, for example: this is my friend Andrea, she believes we should do whatever we can to help the poor and I support her in this. And this is Derek, he gives much of his free time and finances helping out in a soup kitchen.

      There’s nothing those hypothetical people do or say that makes then uniquely Christian, so why identify them as such?

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      1. Because they adhere to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as they understand them. Again, the word “Christian” does not mean one who believes in the Old and New Testament.

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      2. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

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  5. The problem with your progressive Christian friends is that they think that religious beliefs are different than normal beliefs. In short, they think that religion is about their personal preferences – they pick and choose what they like.

    For authentic Bible-believing Christians, it’s all about the evidence.

    By the way Joanne, I also think that morality is not rationally grounded on atheism. On atheism, morality is just personal or cultural preferences that vary arbitrary by individual or by time and place.

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  6. “In short, they think that religion is about their personal preferences – they pick and choose what they like.”

    Wow, so you didn’t pick your version of Christianity? Were you forced to convert? How sad. 😉

    “For authentic Bible-believing Christians, it’s all about the evidence.”

    The same is true for progressive Christians as well. They simply use a different authority (reason, logic, science) and reject relying on scripture to inform their Christianity.

    Ultimately, the word “Christian” does not mean one who adheres to the Old and New Testament. It means a follower of Christ. I don’t see the contradiction.

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    1. Ultimately, the word “Christian” does not mean one who adheres to the Old and New Testament. It means a follower of Christ. I don’t see the contradiction.

      Perhaps you would see the contradiction if you knew the correct answer to this question – Who wrote the Bible? A Christain would tell you the Truth, God did. How do Christians know God did? Let’s see… the tomb was empty justs for starters Joanne. If you disput this historical fact, I assume you are prepared to explain away 2000 plus years of history, for both Christ’s followers and His enemies make the same thing historical claim.

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    2. Uhm…wait!! If your friends neither believe in the Bible nor in it’s authenticity or accuracy (however you want to put it), how exactly are they following Christ? I mean, if it’s not Bible for them, what else do they follow to follow Christ?? Just confused!

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  7. Liberal churches (like the UCC, etc.) are houses of humanism, on which they base their “missions” programs – humanitarian aid support. Nothing more; nothing less. Be nice to people so you can feel good about yourselves and use the name “Christian”.

    The problem is that it’s an incomplete gospel. The REAL Gospel (and btw, Matthew to Revelation I counted well OVER 100 verses that directly or indirectly confirmed that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation), is too inconvenient for them.

    Humanism with a thin, Christian-flavored coating is so much neater and easier.

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    1. Yes, humanism is a good description and it is easier. No risk of persecution there.

      If they just called themselves the Rotary Club or some other name I’d appreciate the honesty. Nothing wrong with good deeds, of course, though their “good deeds” often involve taking your money to give to others. And they claim the name of Jesus to advance oxymoronic same-sex marriage, abortion, etc. That’s like claiming the name of Mohammad to sell bacon.

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  8. There is a bit of a distinction between subscribing to Jesus as the sole means of salvation, and evangelizing in a loving, positive way on the one hand,
    and being the 1Cor13 type who is hard to be around about it.

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  9. Progressive denominations have stopped trying to proselytize with their missionaries YEARS ago. Look at Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ). They make no efforts to convert people.

    I had to revisit this one to point out the absurdity of Liberal Christians. They pridefully and willfully withhold the Gospel from those who need it, because they have made up a universal truth that you shouldn’t try to change the religious views of others.

    As bad as that is, notice their hypocrisy in whose religious views they do try to change: Those of real Christians! Think about it: Liberal Christians go to great lengths to change the religious views of real Christians. But if trying to change someone’s religious views is wrong . . .

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