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捍卫福音的长期抗战(第二集)麦克阿瑟(陈鸽翻译)8-22-2018

译者附加小标题)

 我周一(八月20)博文的重点,集中在过去几十年福音运动中的争战和冲突上,这些冲突促使我不得不口诛笔伐来捍卫福音。我写的不是一份详尽的争战史,若要一一细说,恐怕太过繁琐。

 和稀泥

 福音派整体而言,一直表现出一种令人忧心、愿意妥协的心态,或者说没必要地“和稀泥”的心态,他们甘心混淆各种问题,但圣经对这些问题却是直言不讳、毫不含糊的。

 例如,尽管圣经清楚说:我不许女人讲道,也不许他辖管男人,只要沉静。(提前2:12),但多年来,福音派领袖一直还在争辩:妇女是否有资格成为教会的长老或牧师。许多人宁可放弃圣经的原则,屈从于文化的偏好。在许多其它的问题上,他们也做了类似的妥协。有人试图重新定义夫妻性别的角色和家庭正常的功用,还有人似乎想要修改或干脆忽略圣经对离婚和再婚的教训。

 性解放

 更叫人痛心的是,有些福音派人士开始借用世俗化的道德逻辑,把美国的性革命合理化。这些年来,福音派对婚外情的立场渐渐让步、不断放松,直到最近,很不幸地,几位大嗓门的(包括一些德高望重的教会领袖)也开始考虑采纳新潮的观念,例如:男女性取向、性别流动性、变性和同性婚姻。这些老一代信徒做梦都没有想过的问题,竟然进入了现代教会争论的议程当中。然而,最不可思议的是,此时此刻,还有人打着“社会公义”的旗帜,正在积极推行一个运动:他们要重估、甚至放弃教会正统的婚姻观,来包容现代性开放的各种男女关系(同性恋、双性恋、变性恋)。

 赶时髦

 为什么这么多福音派信徒如此明目张胆地妥协真道呢?答案很简单。当一个教会完全沉浸在迎合文化的努力中时,这是它理所当然会采取的步骤。这几十年来,有一种流行的观念,即教会必须与世俗最新的时尚挂钩,或和学术顶尖的思潮接轨,这样,教会才能赢得社会、得着人心。为此目的,教会就放弃了正统的敬拜模式,甚至往往,传统的敬拜形式完全不见踪影了,取而代之的是摇滚乐会的形式,以及从世俗娱乐界借用的一些东西。为了得到文化更广泛的接纳,教会不惜抄袭世界盛行的风俗,随从转瞬即逝的潮流。

 下坡路

 在我写的《以福音为耻》一书中,我警告了这是一个滑坡,因为这世界不仅满足于教会反映它的风格而已,更要求支配教会的实质;这看似没完没了地福音派的妥协已充分证明了这一点。许多信徒早就相信:他们必须先要满足了世人的要求,才有机会传福音给他们听。于是,福音派风格的教练,随心所欲地与世界同流合污了。教会既彻底采用了世界的方法,如今就不得不接受世界的信息了。

 被接纳

 这些持续妥协之间的共同点就是实用主义*,这是一种通过功利主义的手段,来赢得世人的接纳、认同、支持、尊重的一种渴望。这一代的福音派,全然醉心于这个博得世人称赞的罪孽之中,似乎他们已经上了瘾,且病入膏肓、难以自拔了。真的,这正是我所担心的那种实用主义,它将人们引向我周一博文中所提及的各式各样、偏离福音的旁门左道上去,它如今已渗透了教会的文化,最终必导致灾难性的后果。

 每一个从纯正福音教义偏离的运动,都是为了要寻求在文化界中更广泛被接纳,这是福音派一直都在积极倡导的。我曾指出一些福音派引进的错误(对慕道友的让步、灵恩运动的爆长)。他们认为只要行之有效、能够得人,就一定方法正确、教义无误。还有一些错误(如:对心理疗法的接纳、合一运动的离经叛道,再加上近来关乎“社会公义”的花言巧语)都反映出一种害怕,害怕被现代人轻看,被视为落伍、视为不文明、不智慧、不先进,跟不上时代。

 快跟上

 “社会正义”(在世人的词汇中)意味着文明先进的政治理念,例如:身份政治学、种族批判论、财富均衡论、还有一些激进的社会主义政策。这些理论,首先在世俗的高等学府中普及并广传,如今更在文化界,被视为公认的智慧结晶、和主导的文化理念。对提倡“社会公义”的社团而言,如今正在追求文化先进的福音派已经落伍了。我深信他们主要的动机是务实、跟风。

 假疫苗

 服事的成败,不能用数目多少或民意调查来决定。“所求於管家的,是要他有忠心(林前4:2),而不是“有名望”或“跟时尚”或“发横财”或其它。若聚会出席的人数,成为一个人衡量工作果效的标准,那么,他就会不择手段来达到目的,只要他的方法成功地吸引群众的赞赏,就可以被合法地接纳。这一概念,几十年来,一直都在向福音派主流直接注入毒素。

 请想想:宣教专家和教会增长大师们,一直都在告诉教会领袖,他们需要对社区中不去教会的群众进行普查,找出令他们对教会反感的原因和感兴趣的诀窍,然后以此满足他们。换言之,要让民意测验告诉教会当如何传道、该教导什么、不该说什么、做什么、等等。

 离谱吗?

 难怪,如今不去教会的世人,自视能够准确的告诉教会她该相信什么、该如何运作、和如何教导。

 也难怪,那些经历了几十年福音派实用主义、如今长大成人、进入教会领导阶层的人,如今深深相信:理所当然,基督徒必须倾听世界的声音,同时也必须表达世界的愿望。这算什么荒唐呢?


 —————————————-

 原文如下:

 The Long Struggle to Preserve the Gospel, Part 2

by John MacArthur

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

 Monday’s blog post focused on some of the past few decades of conflicts within the evangelical movement that have provoked me to preach and write in defense of the gospel. It wasn’t an exhaustive list—that would betedious, I suspect. Evangelicals as a group have shown an unsettling willingness to compromise or unnecessarily obfuscate all kinds of issues where Scripture has spoken plainly and without ambiguity.

 For example, despite the clarity of 1 Timothy 2:12 (“I do not allow a woman toteach or exercise authority over a man”), leading evangelicals have been debating for several years whether women qualify to be elders or pastors in thechurch. Many capitulate to cultural preference rather than submitting to biblical authority on this and other similar issues. Some have tried toredefine the role and proper functioning of the family. Others seem to want todeconstruct—or simply ignore—what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage.

 More disturbing yet, over the past few years someevangelicals have begun to borrow moral rationalizations from secular culturein the wake of America’s sexual revolution. For years there has been a slow butsteady softening of evangelicals’ stance against sex outside of marriage. Morerecently, and more ominously, several vocal evangelicals (including some inpositions of leadership or influence) have been tinkering with novel ideasregarding gender fluidity, sexual orientation, transgenderism, and homosexualmarriage. Those are issues that generations of believers would never havedreamed of putting on the table for debate or redefinition in the church. Butat this very moment there is a burgeoning campaign to reconsider and abandonthe church’s historic stance on LGBT issues under the banner of “socialjustice.”

 Why have so many evangelicals openly embraced suchcompromises? The answer is very simple. It’s the next logical step for a churchthat is completely ensnared in efforts to please the culture. For decades thepopular notion has been that if the church was going to reach the culture it firstneeded to connect with the style and methods of secular pop culture or academicfads. To that end, the church surrendered its historic forms of worship. Inmany cases, everything that once constituted a traditional worship servicedisappeared altogether, giving way to rock-concert formats and everything elsethe church could borrow from the entertainment industry. Craving acceptance inthe broader culture, the church carelessly copied the world’s style preferencesand fleeting fads.

 In my book Ashamed of the Gospel, I warned that this wasa slippery slope, because the world would not be content for the church merelyto reflect its style—it would demand to dictate the substance as well. And theseemingly endless parade of evangelical compromises bears that out. Manybelievers have long been convinced that they first have to give the world whatit wants in order to have any opening for the gospel. Evangelical style coacheshave heedlessly followed wherever the world leads them. Having thoroughlyabsorbed the world’s methods, the church is now being forced to adopt theworld’s message.

 The common link in those continual compromises ispragmatism*, driven by a desire to reach the world and win its support andadmiration by utilitarian means. Evangelicals of our generation seempathologically addicted to the sin of desiring the praise of men. Indeed, thatis precisely the brand of pragmatism that I fear points people down nearly allthe paths of departure from the gospel mentioned in Monday’s post. Today it haspenetrated deep into the culture of the church, and the end effect is disaster.

 Every one of those deviations from sound gospel doctrinehas been driven and advanced by evangelicals seeking acceptance in the broaderculture. Some of the errors I have singled out (seeker sensitivity and theexplosive growth of the charismatic movement) have been promoted byevangelicals who think that whatever attracts the world must be the rightdoctrine or strategy. Other errors (the embrace of psychotherapy, theecumenical drift away from Protestant principles, and—yes—the recent rhetoricabout “social justice”) reflect a fear of being thought unsophisticated or outof step with contemporary “wisdom.”

 “Social justice” (in the world’s usage of that term)entails political ideas that are deemed sophisticated—namely, identitypolitics, critical race theory, the redistribution of wealth, and other radicalor socialist policies. Those ideas were first popularized and propagated in thesecular academy, where they are now regarded as received wisdom and have becomea dominating part of popular culture. Evangelicals who are chasing the cultureare latecomers to the party of those who advocate “social justice.” And I’mconvinced the dominant motives are pragmatic.

 In ministry, success cannot be measured numerically or bypopular opinion. “It is required of stewards that they be found faithful” (1 Corinthians4:2, ESV)—not “famous,” “fashionable,” “filthy rich,” or whatever.If attendance figures are someone’s gauge of effectiveness, there’s literallyno end to the crazy schemes that person will try to legitimize — as long as theschemes are successful in drawing appreciative crowds. That idea has beeninjecting poison directly into the evangelical mainstream for decades. 

 Consider this: The maestros of missionary and churchgrowth have been telling church leaders that they need to survey the unchurchedpeople in their communities, find out what it would take to get them interestedin their churches, and then give that to them. Let opinion polls tell thechurch how to preach, what to teach, and what not to say or do.

 Is it any wonder that the unchurched world now expects tobe able to tell the church precisely what she should believe and how she shouldfunction and teach?

 And is it any wonder that people who grew up throughseveral decades of evangelical pragmatism and have now come into leadershippositions in the church are absolutely convinced that it is essential forChristians to both heed and parrot the world’s wishes?

 

关于作者: 陈鸽

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