Ons hoor dit baiemaal: 21ste eeuse gelowiges kan nie meer die ‘antieke wêreldbeeld’ van die Bybelse tye aanvaar nie, en daarom moet die geloof meer ‘rasioneel aanvaarbaar’ gemaak word vir die 21ste eeuse (postmoderne?) ‘gelowige’.
Die twee beste voorbeelde wat vandag onder die spervuur is, is:
a. ons kan nie meer aan ‘n letterlik-historiese ses dae skepping (Gen.1-3) glo nie.
b. ons kan nie meer glo dat Christus volkome mens én God is nie, uit ‘n maagd gebore is, wonderwerke doen, uit die dood opgestaan en na die hemel opgevaar het nie.
En, daarom moet die Christendom nou ‘n ander Gods-, Skrif en geskiedenisbeskouing aanleer as die een wat die Christelike kerk deur die eeue bely het. Die nuwe geloof moet gebaseer wees op ‘n evolusionisties-modernistiese lewensbeskouing.
Nie die mens moet in sy woorde, dade én denke aanpas by God en sy Woord nie (2 Kor.10:5,6), nee, die Bybel moet aangepas word by die mense se denke en dade. Daarom dat die mens, baiemaal ook die kerkmens, vir hom predikers begin versamel wat sal ‘preek’ wat hy wil hoor (2 Tim.4:3,4).
Die volgende aanhaling antwoord hierdie eeu-oue sinkretistiese dwalinge treffend (en met die aanhaling kan ek ook sommer die boek in sy geheel aanbeveel, ek hoop om in ‘n toekomstige skrywe meer oor die boek te sê):
“All historic creeds and confessions affirm belief in the ontological Trinity. All of the cults deny it. Christians admit the Trinity is beyond human ability to understand, but they do not regard Trinitarian theology as unreasonable. With Martin Luther they contend, “it is not Christianity which needs to be made reasonable, but reason that needs to become Christian.” Regeneration by the Holy Spirit imparts faith to believe mysteries that human minds cannot fully comprehend.
Rejection of the Trinity and the two natures of Christ is characteristic of the Anti-Christ (2 John 7-11). Arianism and Unitarianism are not versions of Christianity but competing religions. Fallen reason is their authority, and they arrogantly judge God’s claims about himself. Arianism, in both its cultic and ecclesiastical expressions, is a rival to genuine Christianity.” (James McGoldrick, Christianity and its Competitors: The New Faces of Old Heresy, Christian Focus, 2006: 114; beklemtonings bygevoeg – slc)
By daardie lys van kultusse, kan die Nuwe Hervorming beweging/netwerk gevoeg word, wat ‘n evangelisasie terrein is, nie ‘n wetenskaps-terrein nie.
Soos Luther dit sou stel, die nuwe hervormers benodig nie nog ‘historiese bewyse’ (evidentialisme) nie, ongeag dat al die getuienis reeds daar is. Hul probleem is hulle onderdruk daardie getuienis in ongeregtigheid, en verruil God en die waarheid vir hul eie god, hul sondige gevalle verstand en scientisme (Rom.1:18-32): die mens wat God probeer wees met sy rede as bron en toetssteen van alle werklikheid en denke, die mens se rede wat sal bepaal wat reg en verkeerd is, los en in stryd met God se Woord (Ps.1:1,2).
Wat nodig is vir hulle en elkeen van ons, is bekering en geloof, sodat ons deur die Heilige Gees en Woord kan glo en weet wat ge-openbaar is aangaande die werklikheid van die ongetwyfelde Christelike geloof (2 Kor.5:17):
“Want ons wandel deur geloof en nie deur aanskouing nie.”
Die sondige verlore mens se probleem is nie dat hy nie deur die Gees van God kan verstaan nie, maar dat hy nie wil verstaan nie, en daarom verwerp hy op ‘n irrasionele onlogiese opstandige ongehoorsame wyse die Woord van God. Jes.66:2 is vir hom ‘n steen des aanstoots.
Christus het ook daarop gewys dat wonderwerke en liggaamlike historiese opstandings op sig self ‘n mens kan oortuig nie. As jy God se gesag verwerp soos ge-openbaar in sy Woord, dan sal geen ‘letterlike opstanding’ jou tot die waarheid bring nie (Luk.16:30,31):
“Maar hy antwoord: Nee, vader Abraham, maar as iemand uit die dode na hulle gaan, sal hulle hul bekeer. Maar hy sê vir hom: As hulle na Moses en die Profete nie luister nie, sal hulle nie oortuig word nie, al sou iemand ook uit die dode opstaan.”
Sien ook die volgende preek oor hierdie twee verse:
Hier is ‘n paar aanhalings:
“Now, you see what the rich man is saying from @#!*% – “If the Scriptures are the only thing that you are going to give my brothers, well … I had them, and what good did they do to me? They did not change me.” In fact, he is saying in @#!*% , deep within his heart: “It is perfectly understandable that I didn’t believe and that they don’t believe – all we had was the Bible. I know my brothers; I am aware how they live; I know where they are going. The Bible is not going to touch them – those kinds of men need something more.” In effect, he is saying: “It is excusable; if only I had seen a miracle that thrilled me, I would have believed. If a man had been raised from the dead and spoken to me, then I would have paid attention. If I could have gone to a meeting where amazing things happened, it would have been different. But all I had was the Bible. The Bible!”
That is what many people say still. “You don’t expect the world to be attracted by the Bible, by preaching the Scriptures, by texts outside chapels, and verses on railway station hoardings, and tracts with Scriptures on them, and memorising the Bible, and lessons from the Bible to children in Sunday School, and camps where young people are taught the Bible, and conferences where the Bible is proclaimed. You don’t expect people to be attracted by that? We need concerts! We need drama! We need costumes! We need bands! We need choreography! Bring in the drums and the synthesizers. Send for the clowns! Then the people will come. We need superstars and celebrities to
give us their testimonies – not just the Bible alone!” But, you see, Abraham was unyielding. “The Bible is sufficient,” he said.”
“Abraham was saying words to this effect: “Do you want your brothers to see a miracle? Your brothers have got a miracle; they have in their hearing at every visit to the synagogue Moses and the prophets. They may purchase for themselves Moses and the prophets. They may read and memorise Moses and the prophets.”
We who live twenty centuries later have more, having the Gospels, the Acts, the letters and the book of Revelation. These new covenant writings are the miracle which leads the church into the new millenium. When I take this Bible in my hand, I am holding a mighty work of God. I have something absolutely unique. Here is something miraculous in its independence of thought, in the comprehensiveness of its theme, its utter and invincible confidence that it is the most relevant word to my own life and to that of every man. Sometimes in moments of doubt our minds must rest in this – “I have the Bible”. I have this great intrusion from heaven, this Book that comes from another world in which men may hear the unique utterances of the Son of God. I have read much of human literature at its best but I find here in this Book something that is discontinuous with everything else. Here is a book which is absolutely unique.
The Bible is a Word from God that knows me, that describes me, that searches me, that finds me. The Scripture speaks to man’s deepest needs. Here are words that contain concepts of unsurpassable grandeur, in words that are invincible in their sheer originality. Every Sunday when gospel churches meet they do so around this miracle. Every single service has at its centre this miracle – not just those red letter Sundays when everything is just right. Not merely when the Holy Spirit comes, convicts and moves, but every time we are gathered in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and this Book is in the centre of our gathering then we are meeting in the presence of a miracle. Do you say you want a miracle and then you will believe? Well, here is a miracle!
Abraham says “No!” to signs and wonders as the means of saving sinners today, because here is the Bible and it is a miracle. “So then, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Roms. 10:17). Abraham knew that this was the Divine method. So then, you must go to a church where there is a man sent to preach the Word of Christ. That has been and always will be the means of saving anyone. Not since the apostolic age has a single person come to faith in Christ through seeing someone raised from the dead, but millions have become believers through hearing the Word. Abraham knew that all the children that were now there with him in the presence of God had been saved through the Bible, and that the millions more who would join him there would get to heaven in the same way. It was the Scriptures which made them all, “wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). God in mercy has said: “I have as many people coming into the kingdom as the sands on the seashore – they are all going to share heaven with me. They are corrupted rebels. They provoke me dreadfully, but I will forgive their sins, and I will do this for all who have believed in Jesus Christ. And this will be the way – by bringing my Word to them. I will send them a Christian neighbour; I will put them in a university and there they will meet witnessing students. I will work through a member of their family, or through the woman who works in that office with them, and I will bring them all to a congregation where they will hear the Word of God preached.
That is the way I will rescue them from @#!*% . They do not have to be scholars to understand the Scriptures, but I will open their understanding to know the way of salvation through faith in Christ as that is found so plainly in the Bible.” “The testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple.” Ordinary folk can read or hear this message of the Gospel and understand it. It tells us that we deserve eternal @#!*% because we are sinners, but Jesus, because he loved us, died for us that we might be saved. We have that message. If men will not listen to it they will not be convinced even if God should change teeth fillings from amalgam to gold.”
“The rich man was an ignorant man when he lived in this world. He was still an ignorant man in @#!*% , and God says: “He that is ignorant let him be ignorant still.” He never faced up to the reality of the human condition. He thought all that would be needed was a miracle, some resurrection from the dead and that then people would believe. He was always wiser in his own eyes than God, and never acknowledged the hostility that still existed in his heart to Almighty God. He snarled, “Who is the Lord that I should obey him?”. People do not want the Bible because the one who speaks to us in its pages is the Lord Jesus Christ. It is always so inconvenient to bow the knee to serve and follow Him. It will mean that we must take up the cross every day and deny ourselves and walk in His steps. That is the reason why men do not believe in Him, not because of lack of evidence, not because of the inadequacy of the Bible, not because of no miracle workers in this century, but because men do not want God. It was the people who saw Jesus’ miracles who cried “crucify Him”. The nine men who were healed of leprosy could not be bothered to give any doxology to the Lord. God has given this Word as a the means of sinners’ salvation. Then let us be satisfied with it, heed it and obey.”