I am listening to Todd Friel’s lecture 56 of Drive By Discernment. The theme is, “How people and movements can drift away from the truth”.
Art Azurdia was the speaker in this particular lecture and he talked of Dr. Paul Hiebert.
Dr. Paul Hiebert was a Doctor of Missiology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and missionary for 6 years under the Mennonite Brethren Board of Missions. Azurdia explained,
“Hiebert said that the first generation of Mennonites were a people preoccupied with the Gospel and concerned with some social responsibility. The second generation of Mennonites assumed the Gospel, and became increasingly absorbed with social responsibility. The third generation of Mennonites abandoned the Gospel and was consequently altogether was completely preoccupied with social responsibility. Preoccupied. Assumed. Abandoned.”
That pattern reminded me of the verse in Revelation 3:15-16,
“‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Hot. Lukewarm. Cold.
(Preoccupied. Assumed. Abandoned.)
I wonder where you believe we are in that pattern? Azurdia’s answer was, “Any fair assessment of the evangelical community at least in the United States would have to say, using by description Hiebert’s Mennonite-isms, we are at that second stage of assuming the Gospel, and only one generation away from abandoning it.”
He went on in the lecture to describe the many churches he has guest preached in have had a long absence of preaching about sin. If there is no talk of sin, the Gospel is not presented, Azurdia said.
Just because a sermon or conference or gathering mentions Jesus, does not mean that the Gospel is presented. Azurdia asked, “How does it happen that the Gospel of Jesus Christ gets lost inside of a ministry that at least by confession proclaims its intention to promote the glory of God and the conversion of the nations?”
Jesus asked, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”” (Luke 18:8b)
Come soon, Lord Jesus!