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Why orthodoxy?

A common question posed by skeptics and non-believers is why we Christians insist on religious orthodoxy. Aren't other things like "love" (whatever they mean by that) more important? Well, true Christian love without a proper foundation is hollow. Christian living without a proper foundation is pointless. In fact, without orthodoxy (proper belief) and orthopraxy (proper lifestyle), it is no longer biblical Christianity, but a human-made religion, an idolatry, a god of one's own making.

This is the case if we deny that God is transcendent, holy, beyond our understanding; all-powerful, all-knowing; immanent and ubiquitous and omni-present, always at hand and near us at the same time he is transcendent; that he exists as a trinity of Father, Christ, and Spirit, which is how he revealed himself to us; that he is love and loves us, but is very unhappy with how we ignore him and how we treat him and how we treat each other; that Christ as God died for our sins so we could be saved thru him and him alone; that Jesus meant what he taught; that God reveals himself in his word and by his Spirit to us; that he made us for himself; that we ought to live for him.

If one denies the basics of Christian orthodoxy and orthopraxy, then one's God is not really God, but a fanciful creation of one's imagination. Such attempts are common in newer derivative religions, in liberal theology, and in neo-gnosticism (a la The DaVinci Code). Liberal theologians like the controversial Bishop Spong attempt to recreate God in their own image, based on current pop philosophy and attitudes of the zeitgeist and secular presuppositions. Real truth is sacrificed for a sort of "truthiness" - something that sounds truth-like for today, but isnt'. Bishop "Sponge", for example, believes in God not as an external theistic reality, but some sort of inner "reality" or inner experience. Their religion thus has no universal validity. It will have to be reinvented every time a new paradigm shift occurs in modern thinking. It has no validity for those who lived before it or those who will come afterwards. It is only valid for Westerners of his generation. It is a god made to suit their desires and pop philosophy, a hollow, fluffy, feel-good pop religion, which fails to really challenge people or present them any spiritual reality.

It is a form of idolatry, like a cult with a newly invented god. It is little different than ancient pagans creating gods in their own image - weak, impotent, sinful deities, who as a result could offer no real help to the worshipers of the idols. Likewise, the god of modern liberal theology or DaVinci Code neo-gnostics appeals to human pride, rather than confronting themselves and challenging people with God's diagnosis and cure for their human condition.


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