Post-modern idealism is heretical.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I was reading an article yesterday on what has been called post-modernism. It’s a trend that has been affecting our society since the 1990’s. Post modern people think everything is relative and that there are no certainties anymore. What one person experiences, thinks, and believes is just as important, valuable, and truthful as what the next person experiences, thinks, and believes. The hope is that if enough people adopt a post-modern attitude then we will be able to solve all of the conflicts, divisions, and disunity in the world. In other words, an enlightened post-modern humanity can become its own Savior.
And that’s precisely the trouble with this kind of thinking. Christ becomes redundant. He is no longer the Savior of the World, but only another religious teacher. We replace Jesus with our own philosophical and cultural ideals. We idolize humanity and discard the divinity of Christ.
It’s called ‘heresy’ which is a word that post-modernists abhor. How can anyone be called a heretic, they protest, when no one knows the absolute truth? And when people like me write about the insidious nature of heresy in our church, culture, and society, we’re accused of being narrow-minded, arrogant, and insensitive to this post-modern phenomenon that is circulating around the world.
But here’s my two cents on the whole issue: the World has constantly sought to diminish, dilute, and discard God’s Word. Jesus was crucified for His absolutist ideas and uncompromising teaching. The First Christians were persecuted and martyred for their unconditional beliefs and unwavering loyalty to Christ. Do we honestly believe that we know better than those who walked and talked with Jesus? Are we saying that our post-modern views are more valuable than Christ dying on the Cross?
The Word of God, as the writer of Hebrews states, is living and active. It cuts through our post-modern idealism and narcissistic society. It penetrates our self-absorption and disturbs our one world philosophies. It challenges our cherished ideals and upsets our self-centered 21st century sickness that heretically separates us from God. We don’t like it; we fight against it; and we defiantly won’t embrace it.
But when post-modernism has turned to dust, God’s Word and Christ’s Gospel will remain. And so long as the wheel of Time turns, people of all ages, cultures, languages, and races will come to Christ and accept Him personally as their Lord and Savior. Heretics may come and go, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Christ of History and the Savior of the World. Kingdoms may rise and fall, ideas and philosophies may emerge and diminish, but Your Gospel and God’s Word endures forever. Forgive us for embracing false ways and preserve from allowing heresy to harm our faith. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to email@example.com.