EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

POLEMICS (CIVIL WAR): The Forgotten yet NECESSARY Battle WITHIN THE CHURCH

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 2, 2008

Here is an excerpt from one of many brothers in Christ who are seeking to awaken the Body of Christ to the REALITY OF HOW MANY PLACES WITHIN THE CHURCH ARE BEING TAKEN BY STOR…..from the INSIDE OUT.

Christian Apologetics and Polemics: desparately needed!

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I’m sure all of you who have taken a stand against the tide of neo-heretics, false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing and the likes have been accused of being a “heresy hunter” at some point and in some form. In case you didn’t know it, that’s a deragatory term. But if they only knew. So we’ll attempt to bring some light to this misunderstanding.

Those who eschew our passion (and perhaps even methods) to combat false doctrine, believe prayer is the panacea for all of the church’s challenges. As one writer argued, “praying is the only thing we can do”. Not only that, but some of our critics believe we are just being mean spirited, hateful, callous, and cruel to call into question and biblically examine the words and activities of these people. That, they believe, is not being “loving”.

Some have even went so far as to call these heretics, wolves and false prophets our “brothers and sisters in Christ”. The more we expose these man-made idols, celebrity hirelings and spiritual thieves, the more their silent but adulant fan(antics) will come out of the woodwork to defend them.

Considering that, the church is in dire need of both apologetics and polemics to assist the Body of Christ in resisting error and apostasy. While apologetics, via sites like CARM and Apologetics Press are well established, we are lacking in the polemics area.

Since its inception, GCM Watch has employed the polemic approach to aggresively confront the gay christian movement and expose t?he spiritual thievery and doctrinal error so dangerous to the historic Christian faith. But is that “excessive force”

Polemics, according to The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, is a theological approach ”which is concerned with the history of controversies maintained within or by the Christian Church, and with the conducting of such controversies in defense of doctrines held to be essential to Christian truth or in support of distinctive denominational tenets. ”

While both are necessary, they do differ. Apologetics defends historic Christian faith from external attacks, while polemics defends the faith against internal attacks. Polemics is a proactive resistance to doctrinal error rather than a reactionary response to it. It has been noted that theoretically there is no distinct department of theological polemics; but practically there is a very real need of an independent branch of this nature.

In his masterful exposition on the subject entitled “The church’s need for polemics in a postmodern world”, D. Massimo Lorenzini explains that “The current culture has experienced a paradigm shift from modernism to postmodernism. Truth is dead and intellectual anarchy reigns.”

The attempted assasination of truth is an ongoing struggle within the church. Millions are being duped by false movements led by charismatic sounding charlatans who appeal to the carnal man’s desire to live good without God’s moral restrictions.

Lorenzini’s attack on postmoderism’s influence on the church is right on. And that was a decade ago. Now, things are decidedly worse in this quagmire where right is wrong and far too many Christians are so passive and biblically illiterate, the false prophets are having a field day. The answer? A radical return to sound doctrine. He further notes:

Postmodernism has brought society from an age of reason to an age of relativism. The only thing postmodernists cannot tolerate is intolerance. The only absolute truth they believe is that there is no absolute truth. People create their own “truth” and all “truths” are equally valid. The result of all these equally valid “truths” is known as pluralism.

The influence of postmodernism can be seen in the church in various areas and to varying degrees. One area is theology. Theology has classically been made up of three major branches: dogmatics, ethics, and apologetics/polemics. The fact that the average Christian, and minister, does not know what these words mean illustrates the point all the more. Dogmatics is the study of Christian doctrine or theology. Dogma is that which is considered absolute truth. The postmodern attitude toward dogma is seen in the bumper sticker that reads, “My karma ran over my dogma.” Dogmatics, or doctrine, is not popular because truth is not popular anymore. While 88 percent of those in evangelical churches say the Bible is the infallible Word of God, 53 percent also say there is no such thing as absolute truth!2 Ethics is the study of moral values and practices. It is the application of dogmatics. Apologetics is defending Christian truth before unbelievers. If Christians do not believe in absolute truth, then it is no wonder that they do not engage in apologetics. Polemics is defending Christian truth within the professing church.

Under the broad heading of postmoderism are several false movements. The gay christian movement is one of those whose Christian flavored doctrine is more like a deadly viral infection for the church. Lorenzini says there is a much larger consequence resulting from the absence of polemics in the church:

If the church does not engage in polemics to define the truth within its own ranks, then it will lose the current window of opportunity to bring the gospel to the lost. Failure to recover the authority of Scripture will result in the culture’s increased confusion, despair, and disintegration. Society will long for order more than truth and may turn to any source of authority to bring order. This situation could very well be setting the stage for the end-times scenario taught in the Bible. This scenario includes a world ruler (the antichrist) who will lead the world into a global government, economy, and religion.

The conclusion? Polemics must be revived and employed in the church. False prophets are already outgunning the average Christian with a toxic mix of misinterpreted scripture and self centered philosophy. But even with the need to confront biblical error within the church, attention must be given to intent

Regarding Apolegetics/Polemics, I honestly never knew the distinction between the two (As far as what the actual term “polemics” meant). However, I’ve always realized that there is a need for both.

If you get a chance, have you ever considered investigating the book “The Truth War” by John Macarther? It deals with the very issue (especially on the EMERGENT CHURCH, which is heavily immersed in error due to the attempt of trying to be RELEVANT to the Post-Modern Culture & in the process becoming just like it)…….& the analogy he gives of the situation really strikes out to me.

In a war, it’s not just a matter of EXTERNAL ENEMIES from other countries that’s a danger……but of people who are spies, double or TRIPLE AGENTS, shadow operations combatants, and terrorists that are involved as well since they serve to undermine the organization from within, whether through corrupting good officials in the organization, sending false information, or sabatoging things………and that is the role that heresy/false teachers have always played…and is perhaps an even GREATER THREAT.

If I’m not mistaken, it’s funny that the Apostles seemed to always be more on guard against that than those coming against the church from outside….for persecution has always streghtened the church. It was COMPROMISE, however, that always weakened it….

On the FLIP SIDE, there’s always the danger that in fighting a war against terrorists you end up becoming a DANGER YOURSELF, whether it be through doing your own thing and becoming a “rouge agent” who submits to no one or who gets involved in “friendly fire” against one’s allies/develops a “the ends justify the means” mentality because there is good coming out of their actions despite how some of it may go against the other instructions they were given…..

and that’s something that many discernement ministries have fallen into: COMBATTING ERROR but doing so at the expense of loving others, working with those who fight error because they don’t theologically believe the same as they do 100% or doing so for the WRONG REASONS……

I did a post on the issue if interested:

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/19/the-new-phariseeical-movement-in-the-club-or-not/#comment-225

Either way, there’s always going to be WAR IN THE HOUSE OF GOD…..and as GM’s post makes clear, there’s not just EXTERNAL WAR TO TAKE PLACE, but CIVIL WAR WITHIN THE RANKS AS WELL.With the war analogy, makes it seem even more relevant as to why we’re called to be SOLDIERS in the Word of God:

  1. 2 Timothy 2:2-82And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 5Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.8Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,

As Brother GM said to me on the subject,

  1. Another problem or misconception about polemics is that you are attacking a brother or sister. They are right we dont attack fellow brothers and sisters who have made a mistake. We lovingly correct them by showing them what the Word of God says about their issue. And if they are truly brothers and sistes in Christ, they will be convicted and repent.
  2. However heretics, wolves in sheeps clothing, and false prophets have no intention on repenting. They are double agents and they can only operate within the body portraying themselves as “fellow believers” so as to escape correction under the guise of love.Bishop Yvette Flunder’s infamous line (which is a glaring example of this) is “we need to have a non-punitive discussion on sexuality”. The BIBLE is a punitive book against ALL sin as you noted Christine. There is no way for us to make something that is an abomination, not an abomination. To do so would delete the reality of sin and thus the need for repentance.This same thread of thinking is in most of these postmodernist influenced Christian movements.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NASB)20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”–

21which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith Grace be with you.
We are in a war…..AND we CANNOT AFFORD TO BE the pacifists CONSTANTLY DESIRING the want to proclaim peace and blessings. As GM said, “This is a false prophecy and not from God. We are under sustained attack and there can be no real peace until we earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints””

.For an excellent article on the subject of the Truth Battle, I’d encourage everyone to investigate this

Also, I highly suggest that people consider investigating these articles:

http://cicministry.org/radio_series.php?series=judging

http://www.watchmanmag.com/0202/020212.htm

 

http://www.watchmanmag.com/0202/020212.htm

 

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue99b.htm

 

 

 

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue30.pdf

 

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue31.pdf

 

And to add, WANTEd TO add these Scriptutres as well, (seeing that many times those in discernment ministries try to approch the adressing/correcting of error from a physical standpoint….words, speeches, arguments, etc…..and completely forget that the war we’re in is SPIRITUAL PRIMARILY, Ephesians 6, WHICH is why we need to have the wisdom/power of God in front of us…and why we need to be PRAYERFUL AT ALL TIMES)

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
2 Timothy 2:15-26Jude 1:17-23 A call to persevere

17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20But you, dear friends, BUILD YOURSELVES UP IN YOUR MOST HOLY FAITH AND PRAY IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.. 21Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

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