Cul­tural move­ment of pro­gres­sives

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - CHURCH - JIM DUN­CAN Moun­tain Bi­ble Church, Jacket, Mo.

The pro­gres­sive move­ment is mov­ing at an ever in­creas­ing pace to­day.

The move­ment is thus de­fined by dic­tio­nar­ies as: “a per­son or or­ga­ni­za­tion ad­vo­cat­ing or im­ple­ment­ing so­cial re­form through law, or new, lib­eral ideas.” The move­ment be­lieves that only man-made laws or man’s so­cial re­form can im­prove the hu­man con­di­tion. There­fore, only man’s thoughts are con­sid­ered, and only those thoughts that are con­sis­tent with the so­cial re­form con­cepts the move­ment has em­braced.

Be­cause of the con­cepts they have adopted they have made them­selves the war­riors for so­cial jus­tice, fight­ing pri­mar­ily against Chris­tians who hold his­tor­i­cal Bib­li­cal views. They con­sider these his­tor­i­cal Bib­li­cal views as com­ing from op­pres­sive men who made them­selves “clob­bers” of cer­tain groups of peo­ple at var­i­ous times in hu­man his­tory. In all of these ar­gu­ments, the Bib­li­cal views are never con­sid­ered as hav­ing their ori­gin from God him­self. In fact, most of the true pro­gres­sives DO NOT BE­LIEVE in a per­sonal God who gave His Son to die for our sins. There­fore, there is no sin, only acts that so­ci­ety de­ter­mines detri­men­tal to the hu­man con­di­tion. Again, the mind of man (and only

the minds of those in­di­vid­u­als who are highly en­light­ened — which leaves out most of us (in their mind)) de­ter­mines what is good be­hav­ior and what is bad be­hav­ior.

There are some so-called “Chris­tian” groups that have joined the pro­gres­sive thought be­cause pro­gres­sives point to what they call abuses against se­lected por­tions of so­ci­ety who are not al­lowed to ex­er­cise their choices of life, just like ev­ery­one else. Any true Chris­tian in heart will never like a group be­ing sin­gled out or abused. So, for­get­ting any ad­mo­ni­tion from God about hu­man be­hav­ior, they are sucked into the bat­tle against his­tor­i­cal Bib­li­cal views.

To try to bring some clar­ity of un­der­stand­ing into this mud­dle­ment of views of the hu­man con­di­tion, we need to re­turn to the be­gin­ning. And there are mul­ti­ple viewpoints about our be­gin­ning.

What is truly re­mark­able is that when we in­ves­ti­gate the many vary­ing cul­tural back­grounds around the earth we learn most have some kind of cre­ator be­gin­ning. Some kind of god chose to cre­ate man, and each cul­ture con­sid­ered them­selves that god’s fa­vorite. The one cul­ture that holds the old­est book cre­ated (which re­veals cre­ation’s be­gin­ning) is the Jewish/Chris­tian cul­ture. But for cen­turies, there have been in­tel­lec­tual elit­ist who scoffed at that old book (The Holy Bi­ble) claim­ing that most of it was writ­ten after the time of Je­sus Christ. Many of them were si­lenced when in 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were dis­cov­ered. Among those scrolls were the Book of Isa­iah, the Book of Daniel, and other large frag­ments, all which dated long be­fore the time of Christ. That meant the prophe­cies of the com­ing of Christ Je­sus were all writ­ten hun­dreds of years be­fore the time of Je­sus, ev­ery prophecy be­ing ac­cu­rate in all de­tail. Only a Cre­ator God could have known and re­vealed this knowl­edge to the men who wrote it down. In other words, it wasn’t men who were au­thor­ing the words, it was God him­self.

There are many other arche­o­log­i­cal finds that give proof of the Go­dau­thor­ship of The Holy Bi­ble, oth­er­wise known as God’s Word. If a per­son sin­cerely wants to know if God’s Word is truly what it says it is, there are sev­eral resources avail­able (one such re­source is “Ev­i­dence that De­mands a Verdict” by Josh McDow­ell). I long ago re­searched the proof of that for my­self from ev­ery re­source I could find and could write a doc­toral the­sis on the sub­ject. But that is not my aim here.

God’s Word it­self starts with these words, “In the be­gin­ning God….”

Those words come from what is called the Old Tes­ta­ment, but the New Tes­ta­ment re­it­er­ates this truth: “In the be­gin­ning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the be­gin­ning with God.”

As we read on in the first chap­ter of John (from which comes our New Tes­ta­ment truth) the Word spo­ken of is Je­sus. In other words, Je­sus is the Word, He is God, and He was at the very be­gin­ning. It is clear that God was at the be­gin­ning, His Word was at the be­gin­ning, and Je­sus is the very em­bod­i­ment of that Word.

The Word of God ex­udes from God the Fa­ther, and God the Son. In the very first chap­ter of God’s Word it says, “Then God said, … and it was so.” God speaks and what He speaks oc­curs, comes about, is Truth. The Truth He speaks is not sub­ject to cul­ture or man’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the hu­man con­di­tion. He spoke this Truth be­fore man’s ex­is­tence and His Truth is not open for a cul­tural de­bate, since man’s cul­tural de­bate is of­ten si­lenced by some new dis­cov­ery, and God’s Word has never been si­lenced by true dis­cov­er­ies. The Word of God re­vealed to us in The Holy Bi­ble has proven to be true de­spite the per­sua­sive words of in­tel­lec­tual elit­ist, who them­selves will al­ways be si­lenced by the Truth re­vealed. All of which clearly shows that God is the Au­thor of the Word of God, and not man, and so var­i­ous pas­sages in the Bi­ble can­not be called “clob­ber pas­sages” of man, since man is not the au­thor. In fact, since God is the au­thor, I would not want to be one who speaks that de­mean­ing phrase against the work of God, nor be the one who sets about to change the words to fit “our cul­tural un­der­stand­ing.”


Editor’s note: Jim Dun­can is the pas­tor of Moun­tain Bi­ble Church, Moun­tain, Mo. He may be con­tacted at P.O. Box 146, Pea Ridge, AR 72751; or by tele­phone at 417341-8504; by e-mail at james. ah­scrolls@wild­ His Web site is james­dun­can­ This col­umn was orig­i­nally pub­lished Jan. 21, 2015.

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