I was watching a theological liberal do his usual false teachings on this thread and noted with amusement how the atheists cheerily agreed with his religious views. I pointed out that both should be concerned over that. If they agreed on their favorite sports teams that would be fine. But if an atheist or someone from another religion agreed with my foundational points about God I’d be very concerned.
Yes, militant atheists can be annoying, but I’ll take twenty of them over a fake Christian any day. At least the atheists are fulfilling their job descriptions and there is no confusion over roles. But the fake Christians really confuse the discussions and fuel the atheists’ false assertions that disagreements within Christianity mean that the religion can’t be true. Their argument fails on many levels, but the actions of the false teachers give them ammunition. That was a key theme on the link above: “Christianity must be false because Christians disagree.”
Of course, Christianity clearly predicts divisions:
- Many warnings of false teachers and many references to the importance of sound doctrine.
- The fact that Christians learn more over time — “milk/meat,” growing in knowledge (Philippians 1:9), etc.
- God’s guidance about disputable matters in Romans 14 and elsewhere reveals that He knew we’d have disputable matters and gave us guidance in how to handle them.
- Some people think they are saved but aren’t (“I never knew you” from Matthew 7, testing your salvation in 1 John, etc.)
- We are told not to violate our consciences, so people are right to worship in denominations that align best with their views on non-essential issues.
Based on that, if all Christians agreed on everything then that would be evidence that the Bible’s predictions failed. The essentials are what divides Christianity from other religions: Jesus deity, his exclusivity, etc. You can’t take the Bible seriously and miss those, which is another way of highlighting false teachers. Example: The fake at the thread thought I was wrong to say that Christians must hold the view that Jesus is the only way to salvation. My point was simply that if the Bible mentions it 100 times then it seems like something Christians should agree with.
Christianity has fought a two-front war from the beginning: Persecutors on the outside and false teachers on the inside. Things haven’t changed, so we need to be on guard for both.
I think the bigger enemy is inside.