It’s been said that “he who marries the spirit of the age soon finds himself a widower.” Good point. There are a lot of theological widowers, divorcees, and remarriages among the post-Christian Christendom lately. I can barely keep up.
I think of it another way: one of the fastest and surest ways to get wet is to step off the dock into an untethered boat.
Last year, the Presbyterian Church (USA) rejected a popular contemporary hymn because it included a line about the wrath of God. Can’t have a wrathful God! Whomever he/she/it/xe/xer/xem might be, that being(s) is/are not angry. Removing the idea of an angry God also paved the way, with smoothness and comfort, for the decisions made this year. The fearful prospect that God might not approve needn’t trouble the PCUSA, as their Deity is never upset about anything (except, of course, all things not Marxist or Green).
Having the fear of God out of the way, 2014 followed was a breeze. Not being known (at least in recent memory) of being overly concerned about Scripture’s word on most matters, the same church assembly voted to embrace and conduct same-sex marriages. Less covered in the news, but just as pitiful, is the denomination’s desire to “endorse Kermit Gosnell,” in its resolution to not assist children born alive after failed abortions. So all that stuff (murder and sodomy) that brings judgement (recorded in the Bible) is no longer a big deal, since the Bible is not a big deal.
I could ask, “who are these people, who do they think they are?” but the answer is clear that it is the story of all shrinking mainline denominations, when they are commandeered (stolen, really) by theological liberals (to get a grasp of this phenomenon, read up on the life of J. Gresham Machen here). This was planted well over a hundred years ago, and is bearling bitter fruit in our generation. For his resistance, Machen was defrocked by the Presbyterians in 1935. His crime was that he was a believer. Read his seminal, Christianity and Liberalism (1926). It reads like a book written yesterday.
There is a race to the bottom, Biblically, theologically, spiritually, ethically, and politically among the mainline denominations and many evangelicals. But unbelief, and its assured consequences, faithlessness and apostasy, surely follow.
Like stepping into an untethered boat from a dock: push away from Scripture, and at the same time, reach toward an ever-changing spirit of the age, and you’re all wet.