A friend just sent me a magazine article written by Andrew Sullivan titled: “Christianity in Crisis: Forget the Church. Follow Jesus.” And here are four reasons the article is awful.
1. Dismissal of God’s Authoritative Word. The first clue that he’s way off base is when he starts citing Jefferson’s reduction of Scripture as heroic. Apparently, the writer’s modern sensibilities are more authoritative than the revealed Word of God.
2. Liberalism. It’s just liberalism– he’s trying to find a kernel of truth by peeling away the husks of “myth” and “legend.” And like most liberals, he’s glaringly inconsistent. In one section he outright denies the validity of the New Testament writings. In another he says he believes in Jesus’ divinity and resurrection. Why he picks and chooses certain doctrines and dismisses others is beyond me. In reality, Andrew Sullivan is the author of Andrew Sullivan’s religion. It’s made in America. Assuredly, divine revelation didn’t bring him to his conclusions. And whatever they are, they don’t represent authentic Christianity, no matter how loudly he says they do. Christianity stripped of its fundamental doctrine is not Christian. Which brings me to my next point:
3. Christianity without doctrine? He’s a walking contradiction. In his final paragraph he writes of Christianity, “when politics and doctrine and pride recede, it will rise again.” I’m all for politics and pride receding, but doctrine? He just spewed four pages of “doctrine.” False, damnable doctrine, but doctrine nonetheless. He’s rigidly dogmatic about denouncing dogma. He’s indoctrinating his audience with an anti-doctrine agenda. That’s one of the (many) big problems with post-modern Christianity– its own premises undercut its propositions. Sullivan takes on the unenviable task of staying Christian without believing any doctrine. A nutty thing, I know.
4. An Attack Against Christ. Satan’s grandest schemes are against the church, and this article leads a frontal assault on the bride of Christ. It is like Satan to use a man who calls himself “Christian” to attack Christ’s body. The church (per Ephesians) is at the center of God’s plan, and as far as Scripture is concerned, the church is the manifest presence of Christ on earth. An attack against the church is an attack against Christ. These “I like Jesus, but not the church” movements undermine authentic Christianity. Beware of them– many of them have jettisoned essential doctrines and embraced some that are vaguely identified with Jesus. But they’re not Christian– and the reason they’re so insidious is because they retain the label.
Christianity is not in crisis. Andrew Sullivan is in crisis. The Jesus he has manufactured is a product of his own imagination. When the real Jesus returns to judge the world, Sullivan won’t be able to hide behind his high-brow essays. Unless he repents– and I hope he does– he will face God unforgiven. As for now, don’t buy his pick-and-choose “Christianity.” It has about as much saving power as Buddha.