An exercise in cluelessness
Clark Cowden, just like most Presbyterian PCUSA pastors, simply does not understand the essential issues facing this denomination. On his Presbyterian Global Fellowship blog he basically argues that the PCUSA problem is that they simply do not understand our new culture. Once we do understand this new culture (postmodern) we need to adapt and do church differently (key word missional). He gives an aside to critiquing marketing (yet uses marketing analysis to analyze the problem with the denomination) and comments that we don’t need to change a theology that has basically worked for 2000 years (not that it is true and meets reality). His arguments are inconsistent, illogical and fallacious. I assume he is criticizing churches that remain formal and traditional, yet it is difficult to understand exactly where his criticism lies.
One of the hallmarks of evangelicalism has been its willingness to adapt its form (almost to a fault) to better connect with their culture. This is why we see such a great variety of worship styles within churches. One of the hallmarks of liberalism is that its message has mirrored high secular culture, rejecting all aspects of orthodoxy. Whom then is he criticizing?
Missional? What exactly does this mean in his context? Is he referring to the emerging churches emphasis on orthopraxy (doing good works) and rejecting orthodoxy and doctrine? By missional does he mean communicating the exclusive message of the gospel for the salvation of people who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior? It is very difficult to know.
Why does he not address the 800-pound gorilla in the room? Why is there no comment on the fact that the denomination at every level is absolutely and completely infested and infected by people who deny the core tenets of the faith? Why is this not addressed as the crucial issue and the major problem that is causing many to leave the denomination and others to avoid it?
Does he not believe that the gospel message is utterly compromised by those who exist in every level and in every committee who deny the faith by their theological position? He writes about the issues of General Motors and how they are awakening to the reality of the market only now. But now imagine having people who believe in Toyota and Honda and reject nearly everything to do with GM, who are in charge of running GM. Is this not a better analogy of what is going on in the PCUSA. Why should people who do reject the position that Jesus Christ is the true and only Way, Truth and Life and no one comes to the Father but by him; now work missionaly to communicate that message? Of course they wouldn’t and they don’t. They preach a pluralistic message of good works, good feelings, community and unity. It is a secular message, that saves no one. True mission cannot exist when non-believers are put in charge.
My friends we cannot compromise the truth and we must never minimize the truth. Light cannot exist with darkness. Our message in the PCUSA is constantly compromised and undermined by a pathetic theology that regularly runs away from Orthodoxy. How can we expect the Lord to bless us, as we regularly undermine his truth?
I noticed that Clark Cowden avoided using male pronouns for God. What a shame considering how the revealed Word of God refers to God. But, I guess he is being creative and culturally relevant in a missional way.
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