*by Wes Moore
Today represents the most powerful day in Christianity, and, quite possibly, in world history. For, on this day, Christians across America celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
While there are some in the American church who will deny Jesus’ physical resurrection, for the most part, this doctrine remains intact across the evangelical landscape.
But not for long.
A Sign of Trouble
Though things might seem well for the Resurrection, below the surface the ground is shifting to allow for an all-out assault on this critical doctrine.
A couple of years ago, I read an article that made what I had thought was only a future, theoretical possibility—that our compromises on the foundational elements of the Bible could eventually lead to a compromise of its central doctrines[i]—a concrete reality.
An article entitled, “We Are All Hindus Now,” appeared in Newsweek in 2009.[ii] This article makes the case that the average American today thinks more like a Hindu than a biblical Christian.
Lisa Miller, the author of the article, wrote, “But recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, ourselves, each other, and eternity.”
She sites examples like the growing number of Americans, and even evangelicals, who believe that many religions can lead to eternal life, and the increased number of Americans who are “spiritual, but not religious,” seeking spiritual fulfilment outside of church.
What does this have to do with the Resurrection?
Miller’s final example has to do with the perceptions of what happens to a person when they die. Traditionally, Americans have held to the Christian truth that their bodies and souls are eternal. One day the body we have now will be resurrected, reunited with their soul, and judged.
Not so anymore, claims Miller. “So here is another way in which Americans are becoming more Hindu,” she observed, “24 percent of Americans say they believe in reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris poll. So agnostic are we about the ultimate fates of our bodies that we’re burning them—like Hindus—after death.”
Now, here’s the kicker. To close the article, Miller quotes a so-called religion expert from Harvard University, Diana Eck. Here’s what Eck says, “I do think the more spiritual role of religion tends to deemphasize some of the more starkly literal interpretations of the Resurrection” [emphasis mine].
In other words, as people move further and further away from the Bible, they see more and more of the Bible’s teachings—even the Resurrection—as more metaphor than literal truth.
Analyzing What’s Happening
Let’s take a deeper look at the point Miller and Eck are making. First, ask yourself why people are rejecting the Bible’s teachings in the first place? What reason do people have for thinking the Bible isn’t right?
Is it not, for the most part, an apologetics issue? For the last fifty years, Satan has used every question under the sun to undermine the Bible’s credibility. The gospels, miracles, hypocrisy, God’s existence, death and suffering—his list of targets is virtually endless.
One of his most successful strategies has been to undermine Genesis through secular science. Television, movies, the media, and public education are rife with evolutionary content, which constantly undermines the Bible’s accuracy and authority.
This endless attack on the foundations of the Bible has convinced many that the Bible simply isn’t true, and, therefore, freed them to accept any philosophy they desire—including Hinduism.
Furthermore, our own people have given aid to the enemy by compromising the plain meaning of Genesis by incorporating all or part of evolutionary dogma into the teachings of the Bible.
This distrust of the Bible’s foundations has finally percolated up to surface and is now threatening one of Christianity’s core teachings: the Resurrection.
Is Jesus’ Resurrection really in question?
“But,” you say, “this study is talking about our resurrection, not Jesus’.” Is it, really?
Why do we believe we will be resurrected? Is it not because Jesus Christ was resurrected first? If our fellow Americans doubt our resurrection, do you not think they doubts his? Of course, they do!
And did you notice the language Eck used in stating her objection to the Resurrection? Notice how she wants us to “deemphasize some of the more starkly literal interpretations” of the Bible.
That sounds almost exactly like the language used by those within the church who compromise Genesis, doesn’t it? I’ve often heard them say, “Genesis isn’t meant to be taken literally,” or “You take Genesis way too literally.” I wonder if I should take them literally when they say that.
The End Game
Once again, we’ve created our dilemma. Our failure to stand on the truths of the Bible and teach those truths aggressively has pushed the lost out the door of the church and into the arms of a false belief system that will eventually lead to their damnation.
Further, in our efforts to “save” the gospel by avoiding “secondary” controversies, like defending Genesis, we have actually sown the seeds for the rejection of its most central teaching—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The lesson here?
Don’t compromise the straightforward teachings of the Bible, whether in Genesis or anywhere else. God has put given us his entire Word for a reason, and we simply aren’t wise enough to change it. In the end, we can do more harm than good, and even give up something as critical as the Resurrection.
Who knows, thanks to us maybe one day they’ll call Easter Sunday, Hindu Reincarnation Sunday. I’m sure Miller and Eck would be proud.
[i] This has been taught by many biblical scholars, especially those in the creation movement.
[ii] You can read the actual article here:http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/08/14/we-are-all-hindus-now.html. All quotations in this article are from this source.
*Wes Moore is a conservative Christian author and speaker, and the founder of Evidence America, an apologetics and evangelism training ministry. Wes is the author of Forcefully Advancing, a book designed to equip the average Christian to engage the lost; The Maker, a futuristic apologetics novel; and The Spiritual Top 50, a non-fiction apologetics book designed to help Christians answer the questions their lost friends are asking. You can learn more about him at www.wesmoorenow.com.
by Wes Moore
Is God a she? Why does God let us suffer? Was the Jesus story borrowed from other cultures? The questions about spiritual things abound in our skeptical age. Can we really trust the Bible as the true word of God? How can we answer those who have been raised to doubt the faith we hold dear?
The Spiritual Top 50 provides short, easy to understand answers to fifty of the most common questions asked in the culture about God, Jesus, the Bible, truth, science, and the church. Not only will these questions help the believer be sure Christianity is true, but they are written so they can easily be shared with a non-Christian.
Not only does The Spiritual Top 50 give answers to common faith questions, it also provides contemporary evangelism strategies based on Wes Moore’s popular book, Forcefully Advancing. These strategies will teach you how to befriend the lost, understand their issues and objections over time, give them answers to their questions, and present the gospel to them.
And if that’s not enough, The Spiritual Top 50 will give you Wes’ “7 Laws of Apologetics” and “7 Laws of Evangelism,” two lists of foundational principles to guide you as you engage the lost and overcome their barriers to faith.
Why wait? Make The Spiritual Top 50 part of your outreach toolbox today!