We must make the Gospel story intelligible to contemporary man. A reinterpretation, a liberated Gospel, a modernized, demythologized version of the Ancient Scriptures is imperative. Yes, our church has 'come of age' we will evangelize, we will grow because our gospel is pertinent to where mankind stands today.
Sound familiar? I hope not. You see Secular Humanism has changed its methodology somewhat. No longer content to sit outside the gate and throw verbal bullets at the adherents of theism, the Secular Humanist desires subtle, deceptive infiltration of the Christian community. He smiles as he sits in the modernized church. The beautiful, decorative building with man's ingenuity and creativity so apparent. A miracleless, super-natural-less, powerless gospel whispered from the pulpit; yes, the Secular Humanist is smiling.
Are these familiar phrases: "The board will make the decision" "The board will meet..."? I know what you're thinking. You're wondering why I'm so captious, carping over a mere term. Bear with me a moment and we'll explore this term and its consequences. Our brotherhood takes pride in the Scriptures being our standard of authority, so naturally I turned to them for verification of this term. The term appears once in the New Testament: "And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land" (Acts 27:44, AV). Perhaps here there is some symbolic justification for our use of the term "board." We shall rest firmly upon "the board" treading water until we come to heaven's shore. Of course, such symbolic interpretation must be uniform, leading us to reinterpret Jesus' words, "Now hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (Mt. 7:5, AV). If we take "beam" to mean a large board we have biblical authority to remove "the board" in order for the congregation to see more clearly. Now we know that symbolic interpretation of these verses is not proper exegesis, leaving us with no biblical justification for the term (nor function of) "the board." Where then did the term come from? We purchased the term from a western concept called the corporation. And we paid a great price for the term. We sacrificed the right for congregational approval of all matters, great and small. The Secular Humanist is smiling. What better way to infiltrate a Christian community than to change 1st century Christianity into the image of the mighty corporation.
The next step is the decisive step. Once the corporation image is intact, the Secular Humanist has room to work. Over a period of time the congregation learns to rely more and more on the decisions "of the board." In time, "the board" gains complete control. Decisions are no longer made by the spiritual awareness of the whole congregation. Instead, a few men, having proven their ability for success in the secular world, are given complete control. The Secular Humanist's smile is growing larger.
The Secular Humanist should have slaked his thirst for infiltration at this point. But don't count on it. His ultimate goal is to place a few liberal thinkers in key positions on "the board." Men who have "come of age" who have shed the skins of mythological supernaturalism. A few individuals, full of charisma, who find their way onto "the board" can change the restoration of 1st century Christianity into a search for new frontiers. The result is always the same, instead of a zealous, evangelistic minded congregation you have a congregation of apathetic, complacent followers of "the board."
No, my friends, we need not change 1st century Christianity into the image of the corporation, nor do we need a reinterpretation of the Gospel to coincide with post-scientific ideology. We need to speak boldly as Paul did, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" (Rom. 1:16, NIV). We need to allow Jesus to remain at the head of the body, working through the congregation as they endeavor to seek his will through His word. We need not quibble over terminology, yet we must consistently recognize the fact that terminology determines function. And our function is that of the body of Christ as laid down in his word. We cannot allow Secular Humanism the slightest inroad into God's community and whenever you add to or take from God's word you may rest assured the Secular Humanist is smiling.
"The Board" is just one example of the Secular Humanist's deceptive mode of infiltration. He has successfully infiltrated our legal and educational systems, the Church is his last frontier, the only bulwark standing between him and complete ideological success. We cannot, as many Christian communities are doing, allow biblical terminology and Apostolic traditional function be reinterpreted to allow for man's intellectual progress. Sure, our understanding of God's word will increase through biblical scholarship, but that increase can never add to or take from that which is our ultimate authority. So brethren beware, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Col. 2:8).
Editor's Note: Larry Green is a professor at Kentucky Christian College.