(This is Part 3, the final poll in a 3 part series. Please see older posts on this blog for the results of the previous 2 polls)
The results of the previous two polls in this series have been tallied and voting is now closed on them, but only on those two polls. Voting will remain open on all other polls. Thank you to all the readers who participated in those polls. This will be the final poll in this series, the result of which should give us a good idea what the most controversial subject being discussed among Christians today, is.
The previous polls which I am referring to here were “What do you think are the four most controversial THEOLOGICAL issues being discussed among Christians today?” and “What do you think are the four most controversial CULTURAL issues being discussed among Christians today?. As I said I would, in the article which accompanied both those polls, I have combined the winning results you voted for of those two polls into one final poll here.
Anyone can vote in this poll, even if you did not vote in the previous polls. This is also a multi-choice poll, you may vote for the four issues you regard as the most controversial.
Please refer to the article accompanying the previous two polls if you would like further information regarding the nature of and reasoning behind the content of the three polls.
The ten issues included as choices in this poll are the ten most voted for issues from the previous polls (the top 5 from each group).
Copyright © For the Love of His Truth 2008 – 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this page or its images may be reproduced without Grant and Elmarie Swart’s express consent. See our contact us page for email details.
only an American could understand the poll, it’s so intricate.
I am interested as to why you say only American’s could understand this and what makes it intricate ?
Thank you for pointing that out.
That is why we Amphlimokadains and Zirtupikonese place polls like these – for the American market only – to make sure the rest of the world remains oblivious to what we are asking. I have heard from a reasonably reliable source, that the Americans sell textbooks which explain these things to other mere mortals like us…
I think it’s actually all boiling down to Biblical hermeneutics – how we read the Bible. Gay marriage, which is certainly the West’s biggest debate, boils down to that; religious tolerance does too; evolution (a complete waste of time to debate) and of course the ongoing soteriological debate (something much more edifying to talk about) all do as well.
Personally I have no interest in the one world order conspiracy theories or evolution. I feel that these are two areas where Christians get sidetracked and often lose the point. When we use the book of Revelation to try and discover who will begin some mysterious one world order (something generally considered evil by American conservatives because many erroneously feel that democracy and capitalism is from the Bible and don’t see that Jesus was never into politics) we lose the point of the book. Again, though, this will boil down to how we read the Bible, which I feel is the single most important debate that needs to take place in the next few decades.
It is true that hermeneutics plays an imperative role in how we understand, or misunderstand, the Bible. In the modern and post-modern seeker friendly and emergent church, the unfortunate inclusion of philosophical, social and pre-suppositional hermeneutics has brought a shroud of controversial darkness over traditional biblical hermeneutics. While eisegesis runs riot, exegesis is frowned upon as being way too fundamental for the charismatic experimental church-goers. One of the points in a prior related poll was whether biblical inerrancy is currently a controversial issue for discussion amongst Christians today. It is a point which also shares relevance to your comment. Therefore, we are presented with at least two problems regarding the reading of the Bible:
By far the most destructive of these, is a subtle lie which is sadly being promoted from post-modern, name it and claim it, seeker friendly, signs and wonders, prosperity, emergent, NAR, ecumenical and other similar pulpits around the world. That is, the heretical and clearly demonic teaching that the truth in Scripture is relative to the understanding of the reader. In other words, there exist different truths for different people, depending on how the person is ‘led’ to interpret various Scriptures. The very definition of truth excludes the possibility of there being more than one. But, of course that truth is, in itself, way too exclusive for the preachers who are poaching for fame and fortune in the biggest single marketplace in the world – the realm of the spiritually unregenerate.
These heretical teachers do not deliver messages which are true to Scripture, although they vehemently try to create the impression of being spirit-led. Granted, by and large they are led by a spirit, but the crucial question remains as to which spirit they are being led by. Rather, they act out emotive performances which are appealing to the listener, by deftly sidestepping the Truth. The influence of the man with the microphone can be quite overpowering and extremely persuasive, to those who are blinded to the truth.
If, for example, the teacher were to condemn gay marriage to the fullest degree, in accordance with Scripture, he would certainly lose massive support in his popularity stakes. According to daft reasoning, the excuse is held forth that, by speaking out unambiguously against abominable practices such as homosexuality, those who need to be converted could be alienated. The truth of the matter is, were conversion of the sinner to take place under a belief system which portrays a tolerance to homosexuality, it would be conversion to a false gospel. Of course, he also portrays the lie that he has the ability to bring about the conversion of the sinner and that God requires his assistance to ‘channel’ or to be an instrument in generating a belief of the Truth of our Saviour in the unregenerate.
Similarly, were the proponents of the watered down gospel to apply biblical standards regarding tolerance toward false religions, he would lose many potential customers. Customers, that is, not believers. A short day-trip around Gauteng will lead one to hundreds of very successful “churches” where the social gospel is preached at every sermon. Alternatively one simply has to click onto any of a number of channels on DSTV to receive advice on how one should go about earning the favour of other members of society, conduct Christian business, treat one’s spouse, bring about social change, etc.
Another failure on the part of our post-modern preachers, which has contributed largely to the controversies, is the wholesale discounting of actual Bible reading. In this instance, it is not incorrect hermeneutics which is to blame, but a complete absence of hermeneutics or exegetical teaching.
A direct result of this has been the fallacy of evolution becoming intertwined in the understanding of lost congregants. Opinions held which promote ideas such as God having created all things through the process of evolution, are commonly gaining acceptance in post-modern circles (refer to a previous discussion we had re: evolutionary Christianity). In attempts to appear more tolerant, loving and non-judgmental, the error is left unattended to by the false preachers.
The Genesis account of creation having taken place during a literal six days is being sneered at in the false “church”, not because scientific proof exists for the occurrence of evolution, because it doesn’t, but rather because it has been preached from pulpits and gulped down by a gullible and unsaved congregation.
Soteriological teaching is yet another victim of the alternative gospel being preached in, dare I say, most churches. While biblical doctrine is clear and unambiguous, works based salvation in which the extent of man’s free will is overplayed, has become another controversial subject. The very heart of the Gospel, the raison d’etre of the New Testament, is ripped to shreds by false doctrine. This, however, is not so much a modern development and has plagued the church since the first century. Through this, the very work of the Holy Spirit has been wrenched away by pride-filled men, who have created for themselves an ideology which places enormous worth on the sinner’s ability to influence his own salvific position.
Due to the fact that being a good Berean is not an absolute requirement of most congregations;
Due to the fact that heretical teachers have no checks and balances in place to oversee whether their flocks are being Bereans;
Due to the fact that adoring and idolizing congregations are encouraged to NOT test everything in the Word, but rather to rely on feelings and perceived spiritual experience…
…controversial issues are condoned and encouraged to overthrow essentials of the Faith.
How we read the Bible, and whether we actually continue to have it read in the emergent church, is as you rightly say, a huge issue confronting true believers today, and will be more so for those born of the Spirit tomorrow. I certainly hope that it does become an even greater debate in the near future, as you think it should and, in so doing, it draws more people out of the false church and into the Light of the singular Truth.
Thanks once again for your contribution.