Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Justification by Association

Over the past few years I have grown increasingly concerned about the state of evangelicalism. There has been a rapid decline of doctrinal integrity, and evangelical churches throughout the country have lost their theological bearings, especially regarding the doctrine of Justification. According to the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformer Martin Luther, justification is the doctrine upon which the church stands or falls. If Luther was right, and indeed he was, many churches have fallen by the wayside. No longer do such churches preach justification by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone; rather, they preach justification by association.

The general appeal of the evangelical church is just this: eternal salvation is granted to anyone who will associate himself with Jesus. Often, the reasoning of such evangelical pastors goes something like this: "if only we can get people into our churches by whatever means possible, then maybe we can get them to like us, especially if we run our churches like big corporations and implement all sorts of cool programs that are purpose-driven. Then maybe, if we can get them in, and if we can get them to like us, then just maybe we can get them to like Jesus." This, in a word, is the twenty-first century doctrine of justification by association —what a novel concept. by Rev Burk Parsons

Excerpt taken from October 2004 issue of "Tabletalk" from Ligonier Ministries and R. C. Sproul article by Rev. Burk Parsons who serves as the minister of education at Saint Andrews Chapel in Sanford, FL

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