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捍卫福音的长期抗战(第一集)麦克阿瑟(陈鸽翻译)8-20-2018

(译者注:根据作者原意,我附加了小标题,帮助读者理解)

 从起初,使徒时代开始,忠心的圣徒就奉命为福音的真道竭力地争辩,而最激烈的战斗总是产生在有形教会的里头,就是发生在那些声称忠于基督的人当中。这是因为有史以来对福音真理最大的威胁,从不是源于无神论者和公开的反对者,却总是来自于教会内部有影响力的名望人,他们一呼百应,说出悖谬的话来扭曲福音(徒20:30)。从最早期的新约教会开始,我们就看见了这个事实:不仅从保罗对以弗所长老的临别话语中,而且在他对提摩太和提多的谆谆告诫中,更在基督写给(启示录2-3)七个教会的书信中,都不约而同证明了这一点。

 教会竟出内奸


        当我在神学院中学习教义和护教时,我本以为:我是在用圣经的真理装备自己,去抵御从外界而来的猛烈攻击。当时,我还以为,我要反驳无神主义,要防备世俗文化、并要抵挡来自于娱乐业、学术界和各个领域、从教会以外而来的、对福音的种种威胁。

 没想到,当我步入全职服事之后,过了一段时间,我才恍然大悟:原来对圣经真道的最大威胁,往往都是来自于那些自称“圣徒相通”的圈子里面的,而且这是一场一波接一波、连绵不断、冷酷无情的持久争战。回顾教会历史,我意识到原来这是正常现象,神的教会无时无刻不受到各种各样错误的教义、有害的方法、有损的做法、怪异的想法、有毒的思潮、和假冒的师傅的干扰,并且随之产生了严重的分裂或灵性的毁坏。

 家族争战历史

 回想起来,的确,最大的麻烦都来自于教会内部的,其实,我不应该感到吃惊,因为我出生在牧师的家族。我父亲是牧师的儿子,我爷爷也是个牧师,他们父子都是历史宗派传承的一部分,是“美国浸信会”(AmericanBaptist Church)的成员。

 当我十多岁的时候,我的祖父就回天家了,他一生牧养教会直到见主面。我父亲离开了那正在下滑、堕落、妥协的“美国浸信会”,另买下了一家倒闭的路德会教堂,在那里重新建立了一所独立教会。

 圣经权威之战

 之后,我父亲在自由派和基要派的冲突当中,斩钉截铁,立场坚决。当时争战的焦点是圣经启示和权威的问题。我父亲总是温柔却果敢地捍卫神所启示的全备话语,为此,他与留在“美国浸信会”的老朋友们一刀两断,然而他对圣经纯正教义的忠诚却没有丝毫动摇。他一路鼓励我,从我十几岁中学开始,到我读大学,后来读神学,要学习并且获得一切有必要的教导和证据,用以捍卫神的真道,并抵御现代派和自由派的攻击。

 虽然我父亲是一位慈爱的牧师,但他同时也是一位认真、无畏、老练、严谨的卫道者。

 我信圣经默示

 到我神学院毕业时,我已对圣经的默示和无误,建立了坚定不移的信念。我的信仰牢牢扎根于圣经本身的见证上:因圣经有改变生命的大能,它细节上的精确是经得起考验的,它许多的预言都已准确地应验了,以及神自我启示中绝对荣耀的彰显、等等,都肯定了圣经的权威性。用《西敏信仰告白》(1.X)的话来说,我读圣经时听到的是在“圣经中所说的圣灵”。

 神学院里“闹鬼”

 在神学院读书时,我曾写论文维护圣经的权威,我甚至在富勒神学院(FullerSeminary)展开辩论,反驳教职员工罗杰斯(JackRogers)和麦克金(DonaldMcKim)所提倡的错谬的圣经观。他们对《圣经》的真实性和无误性都妥协了,声称圣经大致是神所启示的,但否定圣经确实是神的话语。他们还辩称圣经中可能有“技术性的错误”,尽管如此,它仍是上帝所启示的“活生生的见证”。

 阳奉阴违窝藏

 后来,当哈伯德(Donald Hubbard)担任院长时,我和其他一些福音派领袖一同应邀,就圣经启示和无误的问题,对富勒神学院的行政人员、教职员工、和董事会员发表讲论。这是他们董事会中一些有负担的会员主动提出的请求,因为,虽然教职员工的领导对董事会声称:他们的教导是绝对正统的,但是,当董事会员在学生和教授当中调查时,发现其实非正统的思想,早已在富勒的课堂上,被大力的推广开了。

 我一直都认定《圣经》的辩护是一场毕生的战斗(的确如此,我活到老打到老),但我起初却没有预料到,甚至没有留意到,对福音真道最具破坏性的攻击,会是一波紧接一波、如浪潮般无止息的攻击,而且主要不是来自于世俗的怀疑者和好斗的不信者,而几乎全都是来自于教会内部的,并且是全方位的攻击。

 律法主义之争

 我当牧师没多久,就受到极端基要律法主义者的攻击,因此我被推进了一场争战,就是靠行为的自义与基督里的自由之间的冲突当中。在那之后,又有一股来自相反方向的攻击,就是有人声称:福音呼吁不信的人悔改和顺服基督为主,这本身就是一种法律主义的形式。我就写了《根据耶稣的福音》一书作为回应,当这场争论加剧时,我又写了第二本书《根据使徒的福音》作为回应。

 灵恩运动之战

 接着,有人发起了一场迎合的运动,为要保守福音派接受五旬节派关于圣灵、属灵恩赐、和圣经持续启示的观点。我牧养的教堂离加州范纽斯的圣公会(EpiscopalianChurch in Van Nuys)很近,那是“灵恩运动”的发源地。为了反驳他们,我就写了《灵恩大混乱》一书,其中一部分记述这场运动是如何将许多的假师傅和异端的思想带进主流福音派教会的。

 心理治疗陷阱

 我们还为了维护《圣经》的充足性而争辩,竭力地反对心理治疗侵入教会(他们的混合主义试图将基督教义与心理学关乎人类斗争的许多不敬虔的预设思想结合起来)。有段时间,那些自以为是的心理专家在教会里面大行其道,几乎无孔不入,严重地搅扰了福音的发展,这些人轻看圣经的真理,认为圣经已经落伍了,所以不足以解决人类深层的心理问题。他们确信,一个人若没有从心理学入门,甚至不可能开始走上成圣之路。为了抵挡这个趋势,我就写了一本书面回应《我们在基督里的满足》。

 教会“增长”骗局

 在那些年间,更有另一种很微妙、但却很吸引人、同时也非常危险的趋势正在在福音派中稳步地逐渐扩散,就是所谓“敏感于慕道友”的教会成长运动,其实这是一种道地的实用主义哲学。跟从了这一“增长”模式的教会,轻弃圣经的教导和教会的讲台,取而代之地,他们多用“属灵”娱乐的心灵鸡汤来吸引会众,把服事的重点从培训教内的圣徒,转移到赢得教外的群众。其结果是:神的百姓得不着造就,生命就不能长进。

 有几个“巨型”教会脱颖而出,成了典范,其它各地的小教会就争相效仿。结果,无数的小教会都失败了,甚至在他们采用这种“增长”模式的时候反倒关门大吉了,但仍有几个讲究实用主义的年轻领袖,借着流利的口舌和投机的手段,看见他们教会惊人的暴涨,甚至人数高达万人,这就制造了一种假象,好像这种崭新的教会增长方式点石成金。于是我对症下药,写了《以福音为耻》一书破析了这个问题。

 全面持久抗战

 我提说这些书,不是毛遂自荐,炫耀我的成就,而是为要表明:我最出名的论战著作都有一个基本目的:它们都是为了驳斥教会的内奸对福音核心信仰的狡猾攻击而写成的。这些书跨越了我一生的服事,说明了我要表达的意思,即圣经权威的斗争是一场危机四伏的长期抗战。我从未想成为一个争议性的人物,但我的良心和我对圣经的委身,催逼我不得不为那从前一次交付圣徒的福音基本原则去竭力地争辩。

 当前更大挑战

 这周三,我将继续并总结这个回顾,并解释当前福音派对“社会正义”的痴迷与其它所有论战的共同之处。然后,我将开始解释为什么我深信这最后一轮有关“社会公义”的高言大智,比任何近年来其它的争议,对福音的清晰性和核心性,构成更加紧迫的危机和致命的威胁。

 

麦克阿瑟(8-20-2018)

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英文原文如下:

The Long Struggle toPreserve the Gospel, Part 1

 by John MacArthur

Monday, August 20, 2018

 From the earliest days of the apostolic era, faithful Christians have been called upon to contend earnestly for the truth of thegospel. The hardest battles have taken place within the visible church, among those who claim fidelity to Christ. That’s because the greatest threats togospel truth have not come from atheists and other overt adversaries, butalways from influential voices that arise within the church who speak twistedthings (Acts 20:30).The evidence that this was happening in the very earliest era of the New Testament church is seen not only in Paul’s parting words to the Ephesianelders, but also in his admonitions to Timothy and Titus, and in Christ’sletters to the churches in Revelation 2-3.

 When I was studying doctrine and apologetics in seminary,I thought I was equipping myself to defend biblical truth against an onslaughtof attacks from the world. I envisioned answering atheism and confrontingthreats to the gospel that would arise out of secular culture, theentertainment industry, the academic world, and other places outside thechurch.

 Sometime after I entered full-time ministry, it dawned onme (to my profound shock) that the greatest threats to biblical truth typicallyarise from within the fellowship of professing believers—and it is a relentlessparade of attacks. Looking back through church history, I realized that’s howit has always been. There has never been a time when false doctrines, harmfulmethodologies, unwholesome practices, bizarre beliefs, poisonous ideologies,and false teachers weren’t troubling the church of God—often with seriouslydivisive and otherwise spiritually destructive results.

 In retrospect, it should not have been a surprise to methat the worst troubles come from within. I was born into a pastor’s home. Myfather was the son of a pastor. Both were part of the historic denominationallandscape of planet church. They were in the American Baptist Church (ABC)denomination.

 By the time I was a teenager, my grandfather was inheaven, having served as a pastor until the day he saw the face of Christ. Mydad left the faltering, compromising ABC to plant an independent church in abuilding sold by a failing Lutheran congregation.

 My father took his stand in the liberal-fundamentalist conflict. The issue then was the inspiration and authority of Scripture. My dadwas bold and relentless, always with grace, to defend the Bible as inspired byGod in total. He was cut off from lifelong friends who stayed in the ABC, buthe was never divided in his loyalty to the true doctrine of Scripture. He encouraged me as a teenager, as a college student, and as a seminary student tolearn and acquire all the doctrinal and evidentiary proofs necessary to defendthe Word of God against the modernist and liberal attacks.

 Although he was a loving pastor, my dad was also anearnest, relentless, skilled, and thoughtful defender of the Bible.

 By the time I finished seminary I had my own settled convictions about the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture. My beliefs wereshaped by and solidly anchored in the testimony of Scripture itself—affirmed by the evidence of the Bible’s life-changing power, its accuracy in all detailsthat are subject to examination, the precise fulfillment of so many of itsprophesies, and the sheer glory of God’s self-revelation. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith (1.X), what I hear when I read my Bible is “the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture.”

 While in seminary I wrote papers defending the Bible’sauthority, and I even debated at Fuller Seminary against the corrupted view ofinerrancy put forth by two of its faculty members, Jack Rogers and DonaldMcKim. Theirs was a defective view of the Bible’s truthfulness, claimingthe general thrust of Scripture is inspired but not the very words (ipsissimaverba). They argued that there may be “technical errors” in the Bible, but itnevertheless is a “living witness” to what God has revealed. Together with someother evangelical leaders, I was invited (when Donald Hubbard was president) tospeak to Fuller’s administration, faculty, and board on the issues ofbiblical inspiration and inerrancy. This was requested by concerned boardmembers who had been told by faculty leaders that the views being taught atFuller were perfectly orthodox—but when they spoke to students and othermembers of the faculty, those board members were hearing that unorthodox ideaswere indeed being aggressively promoted in classrooms at Fuller.

 I had always assumed that the defense of Scripture wouldbe a lifelong battle (and it has been). What I did not anticipate, or evennotice at first, was that the most damaging attacks on gospel principles tendto come in relentless waves and not mainly from secular skeptics andcontentious unbelievers, but almost routinely from within the church—and fromall sides.

 I hadn’t been serving as a pastor very long when I was attacked by legalistic fundamentalists, and therefore was thrust into aconflict between works-based self-righteous religion and liberty in Christ.After that, an attack came from the opposite direction, claiming that gospel preaching that calls unbelievers to repentance and submission to Christ’slordship is itself a form of legalism. I wrote The Gospel According to Jesus inresponse, and when the controversy intensified, I wrote a second reply, TheGospel According to the Apostles.

 There was also the campaign to gain conservative evangelicals’ acceptance for Pentecostal views on the Holy Spirit, spiritualgifts, and continuing revelation. The church I pastor is a short distance fromthe Episcopalian Church in Van Nuys, California, where the charismatic movementhad its inception. I wrote Charismatic Chaos in part to chronicle how thatmovement resulted in an influx of unorthodox ideas and false teachers in theevangelical mainstream.

 We fought for the sufficiency of Scripture against theintrusion of psychotherapy into the church (attempting to integrate Christiandoctrine with a horde of ideas based on godless presuppositions about thereasons for the human struggle). For a time, the evangelical movement was besetwith, and almost overrun by, self-styled experts who belittled biblical truthas unsophisticated and inadequate for helping people with their “deep”psychological problems. They were convinced that sanctification couldn’t evenstart until a person went through the foyer of psychology. Our Sufficiency inChrist was my written response to that trend.

 Throughout all those years, another somewhat subtle butvery appealing—and very dangerous—trend was steadily gaining influence among evangelicals. It was the rank pragmatism of the so-called “seeker-sensitive”philosophy of church growth. Churches that followed this pattern moved awayfrom biblical preaching and doctrinal instruction and generally used entertainmentlaced with spiritual-sounding themes as a means of drawing crowds. The stresswas on reaching the “unchurched” rather than training believers for ministry.The result was that people remained untaught and did not grow spiritually.

 A handful of megachurches stood out as models thatsmaller churches everywhere attempted to imitate. Although countless smallchurches failed and even died when they adopted the model, a few glib, youngleaders became very skilled at the pragmatic approach and saw their congregations grow to unprecedented sizes. Some of them numbered literally inthe tens of thousands, giving observers the impression that this novel approachto ministry was reaching people on a huge scale. My book Ashamed of the Gospel analyzed and confronted that issue.

 I have referred to those books not for the sake ofself-promotion but to show that my best-known polemical works all have onebasic aim: they were written to respond to subtle, in-house attacks on coregospel convictions. The fact that they span my whole ministry illustrates whatI mean when I say, the battle for biblical authority rages constantly and onmany fronts. I’ve never sought to be a controversialist, but my conscience andmy commitment to Scripture compel me to contend earnestly for the bedrock principles of the gospel delivered once for all to the saints.

 On Wednesday I’ll continue and conclude this retrospective with an explanation of what the current evangelical obsessionwith “social justice” has in common with all of those other issues. And I’ll begin to explain why it’s my conviction that much of the rhetoric about thislatest issue poses a more imminent and dangerous threat to the clarity andcentrality of the gospel than any other recent controversy evangelicals have engaged in.

 

John MacArthur

关于作者: 陈鸽

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