You receive not the ancient, but the Modern Mystics, as the best interpreters of Scripture. And in conformity to these, you mix much of man’s wisdom with the wisdom of God: You greatly refine the plain religion taught by the letter of the Holy Writ [the Bible], and philosophize on almost every part of it, to accommodate it to the Mystic theory.
The names and issues change, but here we see that Wesley could well be commenting on that sad spectacle of religious revisionism that is predominant in many of the Christian mainline churches in the West today, a revisionism that seeks to rewrite Scripture in its own image. The old preacher in Ecclesiastes was certainly correct in his assertion that there is nothing new under the sun.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let that person be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let that person be under God’s curse! Am I now trying to win human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any human source, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
—Galatians 1:6-11 (TNIV)
Here you have it. Here is the existential choice each of us must make, intentionally or not. Either the Gospel is what it claims it is or it is a farce and a sham. If it is the former, we have no right to change what is from God nor do we have any basis for trying to do so. If it is the latter, then let’s forget about it and eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we will all be dead.
For me and my household, we choose to believe that the Gospel is what it claims to be. What about you and yours?
For those of you who have not had much exposure to the brave new world of religious revisionism that is killing off huge chunks of Christian mainline churches in this country, check this out. Make sure you read the entire piece on which Canon Harmon is commenting before you read his gracious analysis, otherwise you’ll miss the punch line. Alice in Wonderland indeed. Choose this day…
Hat Tip: T19
Update: The original author has weighed in on the discussion thread. Check it out.
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
and make me love thee as I ought to love.
I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
no sudden rending of the veil of clay,
no angel visitant, no opening skies;
but take the dimness of my soul away.
Has thou not bid me love thee, God and King?
All, all thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
O let me seek thee, and O let me find.
Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh;
teach me the struggles of the soul to bear.
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh,
teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
Teach me to love thee as thine angels love,
one holy passion filling all my frame;
the kindling of the heaven-descended Dove,
my heart an altar, and thy love the flame.