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修整窄门(麦克阿瑟)9-12-2018 陈鸽翻译

译者附加小标题)

 掺水的隐秘“福音”

Diluted Secret Gospel

 一个大为删减并模棱两可的福音版本,已经迷住了今天的教会。当一位有名望的、所谓的基督徒宣称他的信仰是他“个人的隐私”时,我们就看出这一点来了。

 让我提醒你,如果你的信仰是“私事”,那就不是基督教信仰。这许多人所发明的、那秘密的信仰,使他们无法得到赦免,也不能得到拯救。耶稣说:“凡在人面前认我的,我在我天上的父面前也必认他。(太 10:32)如果你不能放胆在众人面前提说基督的名,你又怎能放心相信他正在为你忠心地代祷呢?此时,如果你仍以福音为耻,就表明很可能你没有真信。诚然,得救的信心是隐藏不住的;这信在你身上应该是最昭然若揭的。

 自然神学足够了!?

Natural Theology’s Sufficiency

 还有人更进一步公开地和稀泥、搅浑水,他们意图推平天堂的窄门,重建一个更容易、更宽广的、进入上帝永恒国度的入口。今天,有一种越来越盛行的观念,通常称之为“自然神学”,指的是人类不靠上帝的启示或正统的信仰,天生就有认知上帝的本能。他们推理,不需圣经赐的智慧,我们就能够藉着大自然界对神产生足够的认识来满足神对信仰的要求。

 否认基督排他性

Denial of Christ’s Exclusivity

 在我们这多元化、后现代的社会里,这样的理论肯定很受欢迎,这也是可以理解的,因为它将世上所有虚假的信仰体系与基督的福音相提并论,似乎信啥都一样。此外,它更否定了基督的排他性,这是世人一向不能容忍、并越来越不能容忍的概念,但这概念却得到教皇保禄二世(PopeJohn Paul II)的大力提倡。

 天主教皇开后门

The Pope’s Backdoor

 200012月,在圣彼得广场三万多群众的面前,他(教皇)说:“福音教导我们,那些按照八福生活的人:即那些灵里贫穷的人、清心的人,和那些以爱心忍辱负重的人,必得进入神的国。”[1]

 条条大路通罗马

All Roads lead to Rome

 我们知道,天主教已经拒绝了圣经中唯独因信基督得救的道理,然而,他敞开天堂的大门如此之广,甚至连天主教体系的靠行为得救都被废掉了。若异教徒靠着自己的善良正直就可以得救的话,那么,罗马的圣礼,包括教皇本人都成了可有可无、完全没必要的了。

 奎福特的支持者

Peter Kreeft’s Supporters

 另一位天主教作者奎福特(Peter Kreeft)也在他写的书《合一的圣战》(EcumenicalJihad)中说:只要肯努力真诚地寻求神,那么无论是天主教徒、基督徒、佛教徒、甚至无神论者都可以进入天堂。这简直离经叛道,但更不可思议的是,福音派领袖巴刻(J.I. Packer)和寇森(Charles Colson)竟然还乐意支持奎福特的异端邪说。


 葛培理的“大天堂”

Billy Graham’s Wide Heaven 

很不幸,各种关乎救恩的歪理已经成功地渗入教会。1997年的电视节目“全能时刻”中,电视布道家舒勒(RobertSchuller)采访了世界著名的基督教布道家葛培理牧师(BillyGraham)。以下面是他们谈话的摘录:

葛培理说:“……我想每个爱基督、认识基督的人,不论他自觉与否,都是基督身上的肢体。而且我想,我们不会看见一个轰轰烈烈的大复兴,突然间把全世界的人都带到基督面前……神今世的旨意是:他正在呼召世人归入他的名下,不论他们来自于回教世界、佛教世界、基督教世界、或不信神的世界,他们都是基督身上的肢体,因为神已经呼召了他们。他们可能还不知道耶稣的名,但他们心中知道他们缺少一些东西,因此转向了他们所有的光,我想他们是得救的,他们会跟我们一起在天堂里的。

 舒乐追问说:我是否听你说:既使一个人生长在黑暗中、从来没有机会接触圣经,也可能有耶稣基督进入他的心中、他生命中,是吗?我是否正确地理解你所说的话呢?

 葛培理回答说,是的,因为我是这么信的。我遇到过世界各处、住在蛮荒之地的人,他们从未看过或听过圣经,也没听过耶稣,但他们心里头信有个神,也试图过一个出淤泥而不染、与周围社会分别为圣的生活。

 舒乐满脸微笑,说:太棒了!我真高兴听你说这样的话!神的怜悯真是广大啊!

 葛培理回答说:是的,神的确心胸宽广。”[2]

 平诺克的“超宽容”

Pinnock’s “Super Tolerance”

 关于这所谓的“神宽广的怜悯”,平诺克(Clark Pinnock)写到:

 “我们对待其他宗教的方法,应该由赞赏着手,而不是从批评开始,只因我们的传统,而不是我们的神学,拦阻了我们对别人的欣赏。留心听沃伦(MaxWarren)的话,他说:要记得,神从来没有在任何时候、任何国家,不为自己留下了见证。当我们接触一个与我们信仰不同的人时,我们应该本着一种期盼的心态去了解上帝是如何在对他说话的,以及发现在这场相遇中,我们对上帝的恩典和慈爱有什么新的理解。当我们接触另一个民族、另一种文化、宗教时,我们的首要任务是脱去我们的鞋子,因为我们即将进入之地是神圣的,否则我们就会践踏人类的梦想。更严重的是,我们可能忘记:上帝在我们未到之前就已先来到此地了。”[3]

 平诺克(Pinnock)这样总结了他对基督排他性的蔑视,说:“上帝之道所成就的救赎,远比第一世纪在巴勒斯坦发生的事迹要多的多。”[4]

 雷蒙:未知的基督

Raimon’s Unknown Christ

 这种观点也是雷蒙(Raimon Panikkar’s)所写的《印度教未知的基督》一书的基本理念(这书名本身就很奇怪)。书中,雷蒙说:“真正善良的印度教徒以及真正善良的基督徒都蒙了基督的拯救。不是通过印度教或基督教本身,而是通过他们的圣礼,并最终通过运行于两种宗教中的神秘因素。”[5]

 这样的例证,不胜枚举。似乎,无数的“牧师”和教会领袖都相信:新约的福音太狭窄了。所以,他们不再尽忠传讲神话语的真道,反而徒然想要另找出一道通往天堂的后门。

 然而,这样的尝试,公然违背了圣经的明训。因此,我们不得不起来捍卫基督的排他性,以抵御从教会内部所产生的、不停的攻击,而且这个运动非但没有退潮,反而在今天这后现代的环境中,更加速速盛行开来。在如今这个人人都以纵容为美德、以自我为真理,却反感绝对真理的文化中,基督教必须能够回应对福音的各样攻击。好,我们下次再谈。


 约翰麦克阿瑟

(改编自“好消息”)

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Renovatingthe Narrow Gate

by John MacArthur

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

 A radically abridged and ambiguous view of the gospel hascaptivated the church today. We see this whenever a prominent professingbeliever says his or her faith “is a very private thing.”

 Let me suggest to you that if your faith is “a privatething,” it’s not the Christian faith. That personal, secret faith so many haveconcocted grants them no access to forgiveness and has no capacity to save.Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will alsoconfess him before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).If you can’t even muster the temerity to speak the name of Christ in public,what confidence can you have that He is faithfully interceding on your behalf?If you’re ashamed of the gospel, it’s a strong indication that you have yet tobelieve it. True, saving faith must not be hidden away. It ought to be the mostpublic thing about you!

 Others are more overt in their obfuscation, intent onbulldozing heaven’s narrow gate and creating an easier, wider point of ingressto God’s eternal kingdom. Today there is a prominent and surging belief, oftenreferred to as “natural theology,” that suggests man inherently has the abilityto reason himself to God—apart from any divine revelation or formal religion.Supposedly, man is able to discern enough about God from the natural world tosatisfy any divine requirements for faith, without any insight from Scripture.

 That theory is understandably popular in our pluralistic,postmodern society, as it puts all the world’s false religious systems on aseemingly equal footing with the Christian gospel. Moreover, it assaults theexclusivity of Christ, which is consistently and increasingly an intolerablenotion to the world. And it was promoted by no less than Pope John Paul II.

 In December 2000, before a crowd of more than thirtythousand people in St. Peter’s Square, he said, “The gospel teaches us that thosewho live in accordance with the Beatitudes—the poor in spirit, the pure ofheart, those who bear lovingly the sufferings of life—will enter God’skingdom.” [1] We can concede that Catholics have already rejected the biblicalteaching that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But flingingthe doors of heaven open so wide renders even the Catholic system ofworks-salvation null and void. If heathens can be saved merely by living goodand just lives, Rome’s sacraments—along with the pontiff himself—are utterlyuseless.

 In fact, author Peter Kreeft (also a Roman Catholic),says in his book Ecumenical Jihad that Catholics, Christians, Buddhists,Muslims, and even atheists will be in heaven if they earnestly sought to findGod. However, the biggest shock from Ecumenical Jihad is that evangelicalleaders such as J.I. Packer and Charles Colson were happy to endorse Kreeft’sheresy.

 Tragically, these divergent beliefs about salvation havesuccessfully invaded the church. In a 1997 episode of his TV program Hour ofPower, the televangelist Robert Schuller interviewed world-renowned Christianevangelist Billy Graham. Here is an excerpt from their conversation:

 Graham: “I think everybody that loves Christ or knowsChrist (whether they are conscious of it or not), they’re members of the bodyof Christ. And I don’t think we’re going to see a great, sweeping revival thatwill turn the whole world to Christ at any time. . . . God’s purpose for thisage is to call out a people for His name. And that’s what God is doing today.He’s calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from theMuslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or thenon-believing world. They are members of the body of Christ because they’vebeen called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know intheir heart that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to theonly light that they have, and I think they’re saved and they’re going to bewith us in heaven.”

 Schuller: “What I hear you saying is that it’s possiblefor Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they’vebeen born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that acorrect interpretation of what you’re saying?”

 Graham: “Yes it is, because I believe that. I’ve metpeople in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have neverseen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they’vebelieved in their hearts that there was a god, and they’ve tried to live a lifethat was apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.”

 Schuller: “This is fantastic! I’m so thrilled to hear yousay this. There’s a wideness in God’s mercy.”

Graham: “There is. There definitely is.” [2]

 Regarding that supposed wideness in God’s mercy, ClarkPinnock writes,

 In our approach to other religions, we ought to beginwith appreciation not with criticism. Only our traditions prevent it—not ourtheology. Let us heed Max Warren: “We remember that God has not left himselfwithout witness in any nation at any time. When we approach the man of a faithother than our own, it will be in a spirit of expectancy to find out how Godhas been speaking to him and what new understandings of the grace and love ofGod we may ourselves discover in this encounter. Our first task in approachinganother people, another culture, another religion, is to take off our shoes,for the place we are approaching is holy. Else we find ourselves treading onmen’s dreams. More seriously still, we may forget that God was here before ourarrival.” [3]

 Pinnock sums up his low view of Christ’s exclusivity thisway: “God the Logos has more going on by way of redemption than what happenedin first century Palestine.” [4]

 That perspective also underlies Raimon Panikkar’s bookThe Unknown Christ of Hinduism—a bizarre enough title in itself. In this book,Panikkar says the “good and bona fide Hindu as well as the good and bona fideChristian are saved by Christ—not by Hinduism or Christianity per se, butthrough their sacraments and, ultimately, through the mysterion active within the two religions.” [5]

 On and on it goes. There seems to be no end of pastors and evangelical leaders who believe the gospel of the New Testament is too narrow. Instead of faithfully preaching the truth of God’s Word, they vainly attempt to identify a back door into heaven.

 Such attempts openly contradict the clear teaching of Scripture. So here we are, forced to defend the exclusivity of Christ againstconstant assaults from inside the church. And the movement is notdiminishing—if anything, it’s quickly growing in this postmodern world, wheretolerance dominates and everyone has a right to his own truth. In a culture that rejects absolute truth, Christians must be able to answer these attacks on the gospel. And we’ll consider that next time.


(Adapted from Good News)

关于作者: 陈鸽

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