Eight churches unite to oppose apostasy


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Churches of different denominations usually don’t cooperate on large-scale Gospel efforts. But one issue was important enough for eight churches in the small town of Fountain Hills, Arizona, USA, including Baptist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian, to stand together. The issue that brought them together could be regarded as the issue of issues for the church in general, that is, scriptural authority.

The instigator was David Felton, the pastor of a United Methodist Church named The Fountains. He rejects vital Christian doctrines like the Virgin Birth and supports LGBT 'rights'. He is teaching what he, and many other church leaders, labels ‘Progressive Christianity’.1

His unbiblical views created such a hot debate in local newspapers that 8 of the approximately 15 Protestant churches2 in town cooperated to refute Felton with paid advertisements, public banners, and even a coordinated sermon series entitled “‘Progressive’ Christianity: Fact or Fiction”.

Some have even described this as a ‘feud’ over theology among the churches in this town. But it is a very good thing when Christians can stand together for the Gospel! Sure, doctrinal disagreements over the meaning of particular Bible passages have divided the church on occasions. But this spat is over something much bigger—the authority of Scripture itself. After all, if the Bible is not the revelation of God we believe it to be, it is pointless to discuss whose biblical doctrine is correct! In fact, one wonders how a church can even be called Christian when the leader openly supports something the Bible is clearly against (for example gay marriage). The unity shown by these churches working together is a great demonstration of what should be the most Important issues in the Christian faith, and why we believe what we do.

As can be seen in everything from text books to television, the Bible is under attack at the most foundational point—origins. If you think about it, the basis for every Christian doctrine is first taught in Genesis. And because the later biblical authors clearly believed Genesis to be true, the reliability of all of Scripture is at stake.

Could you imagine believers in your town cooperating across denominational lines to affirm the historical account of the Bible and the authority of God’s Word? It seems that everywhere you turn, school, TV, books and magazines, all people hear is evolution being touted as scientific fact. This is a key factor in the mass exodus of youth from the Church.

So, when those claiming to ‘be the church’ consciously allow the evolutionary ideas of millions of years to be somehow added into the Bible (clearly undermining the Gospel in the process—see Did God create over billions of years?), shouldn’t believers unite and passionately stand up for the clearly revealed truth of God’s Word? After all, if God is not the Creator described in Genesis, how does anything else make sense in Scripture? Where did sin originate? Why do we even need to be saved? Does Jesus really have the power to save us?

Unfortunately, over the last few decades, we have increasingly witnessed believers and churches succumbing to this attack and not standing firm on the central issue of the authority of the Bible. We often hear them say there are many ‘interpretations’ on the age of the earth. This is actually illogical. If Genesis can mean many things then it obviously doesn’t mean what it clearly says. This is dangerous, because when science becomes one’s authority when interpreting these early chapters, it follows that there will also be a ‘reinterpreting’’ of the Bible’s clear definition of morality, marriage, God’s nature, even sin, and tragically, the Gospel of Jesus Christ’s death and Resurrection and how we can be saved. It’s no coincidence that the liberal churches who don’t believe in biblical creation have also capitulated on these ‘moral’ issues. It’s the line in the sand issue, because, of course, if Genesis is not real history to them, then where does the truth begin in Scripture? They are then also free to reject all the New Testament teachings about morality, including the fact that the New Testament authors believed in a literal Genesis and referred to it over 100 times.

So what can you do to stand up against this tide of ‘Progressive Christianity’? Can you and your church stand firmly in defense of God’s Word in your community? Can you be the catalyst for truth in your home town?

Since the battle for the authority of God’s Word rages most fiercely on the issue of the Bible’s account of origins, wouldn’t that be the best place to start? Hosting a CMI speaker as an expert on this issue can be a great starting point for your church to begin taking that stand in your community. For many years, thousands of churches have reported that when one of CMI’s speakers effectively demonstrates how the evidence supports the historical account of the Bible, not only does this strengthen the faith of believers in the church, but more important than that, gives them confidence to publicly take a stand for God’s Word.

You could be that person who boldly starts a movement in your community. Just go to https://creation.com/events-123 and see how you can team up and stand boldly with CMI to make a real difference!

Click here to host an event in your town. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Published: 17 September 2015

References and notes

  1. Smietana, B., Theology Feud Pits Half of Town's Protestant Churches Against Another, christianitytoday.com, May 2015, accessed August 2015. Return to text.
  2. Fountain Hills Churches, fountainhillsguide.com, accessed August 2015. Return to text.

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