Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Devotional: Tertullian: A Braveheart Warrior in Heretical Times

Romans 2:8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (NIV)

For a long time, I have wanted to read the works of an ancient presbyter called Tertullian. He lived during the second century AD and spent most of his life fighting the heresies that were prevalent in the Early Church. His writings laid the foundation of much that we believe in the church today. He was a warrior for the faith and he influenced a whole new generation of church leaders, who went on to strengthen Christianity and protect it from the false teachings of the Gnostics.

In my heart, I feel that there is something gravely wrong with the Western Church today. We have gone down a path that leads to a dead end. For decades, I have heard people say that the church needs to be more inclusive, politically correct, and tolerant of other people’s life styles in order to be accepted by the world. But if this is the case, then why is Western Christianity dying?

Even in our own denomination, the PCUSA, diversity is worshipped and glorified as the best way to keep us relevant in society. But if this is true, then why has our denomination declined by over 15% in the last ten years? If embracing the new culture is meant to be the panacea to keep us strong, then why are PCUSA congregations diminishing in size, influence, and relevance?

This is why I am reading Tertullian. He was a man of his times who confronted the heretical threats to the church. In reading his works, I personally hope to find a way to counter our Christless culture and find the right path for the church to grow, be more influential, and make a positive impact in society.

I am working on an online study series of Tertullian’s works, as well as a parallel 21st century apologetic to confront the new heresies in the church today. If you would like to sign up for the online study, then send me an email at Traqair@aol.com . Write "Tertullian" in the subject line and I will get you signed up via the church’s webmail. If you would like to see what the apologetic looks like, then please visit my wordpress blog at http://stushie.wordpress.com/

Prayer: Lord Jesus, these are confusing and conflicting days for Your Church. We are being crushed by society and ignored by our culture. We are trying to please everybody, forgetting that we should only please You. Forgive us for taking the wrong path and help us to return to Your Highway. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

Stushie writes the daily devotional "Heaven's Highway", as well as illustrating the political cartoon on "Pushing the Envelope."

2 comments:

CS said...

Stushie:

As I suspect you already know, the answer to the question you pose lies within the question itself.

You write: "Even in our own denomination, the PCUSA, diversity is worshipped and glorified as the best way to keep us relevant in society. But if this is true, then why has our denomination declined by over 15% in the last ten years?"

The answer to this decline is:
"In the PCUSA, diversity is worshipped and glorified as the best way to keep us relevant in society. THEREFORE, our denomination declined by over 15% in the last ten years."

Jesus did not come to be relevant. He came to die for sinners. As God, HE is to be worshiped and glorified. The purpose of the church is to proclaim the Gospel. Nothing comes before this. When we get off the Gospel and Christ, we are no longer his church.

Let us resolve "to know nothing...except Jesus Christ and him crucified." 1 Cor 2:2

-Chris Sicks, Alexandria Presbyterian

Stushie said...

Amen, Chris!