Jesus and Today’s Cultural Christianity

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Jesus and Today’s Cultural Christianity

MP4 Video - 1080p (1.03 GB)
MP4 Video - 720p (638.24 MB)
MP3 Audio (19.5 MB)
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Learn how secular humanism has not only permeated society, but strongly influenced today’s Christianity.

Transcript

[Gary Petty] What is producing the day by day changes that have caused fewer and fewer people to believe in the Biblical God? And today, we're going to look at a major cultural trend that is influencing society's Biblical view of God.

I had a friend who was born in the early years of the 20th century. She died a few years ago. She once told me about the excitement she experienced as a child when the war ended. She was talking about World War I. Her life was an amazing journey through little day by day changes that in the course of her lifetime, changed almost everything she knew as a child. Some of the changes she witnessed were dramatic transformations in clothing styles, the general acceptance in public schools and evolution, a change in the definition of marriage, and a society driven by the unbridled pursuit of sexual freedom. As she shared her Biblically-based faith, it was easy to see how over the last four generations the world in which she lived, the culture, and Christianity itself had experienced this day by day changes that have now produced a monumental redefinition of the Bible. Let me show you what I mean. The Pew Research Center polled people about their belief in the God of the Bible. Roughly two-thirds of the people ages 50 and above believe in the God described in the Bible. Now that number drops to less than half of those in their 30s and 40s. And in the 18 to 29 demographic, only 43% believe in the God portrayed in the Bible. Now many people have a belief in a higher power, but not in the biblical Bible. You know, you think about that.

You know three out of or two out of three people believe in the God of the Bible. 50 and above, less than half. And then you get to the younger group it's only about 4 out of 10. These are dramatic changes, generational changes, I mean that shows that there's things changing over time. Now what caused that to happen? What is producing the day by day changes that have caused fewer and fewer people to believe in the Biblical God? Well today, we're going to look at a major cultural trend that is influencing society's Biblical view of God. We're going to look at some of the real teachings of Jesus Christ and discover what this means for you and understanding your world. A few years ago on "Beyond Today," we did a program titled "The Hidden Agenda." And that program, we talked about secular humanisms' impact on the United States educational system. We showed that the humanist movement began in the 1930s led by men like John Dewey. Now Dewey may not be a name you know, but in 1968 he was honored on a postage stamp for his influence on education. His books are still considered necessary reading for many teachers being trained in public education. The stated goals of the first secular humanist was to use public education as the means to lift young people out of religious superstitions and bring them to the enlightened reality that human beings are nothing more than highly developed animals. Now this naturally meant that the answer to human problems are to be found in science and human reasoning. This philosophy promotes one-world government acceptance of all spiritual paths as long as they promote love and universal unity, a worldwide controlled economic system, abortion, and evolutionary belief that really aggrandizes nature and sexual freedom.

On "Beyond Today," we've been telling you about this movement for many years. Now it's important to understand that over the past four generations, secular humanism has become the dominant agenda of public education. You know you see this impact everywhere. And it's apparent in many vision and mission statements by major organizations. So let me read a few to you and see if this sounds familiar. See if you can figure out who these people are. The mission is to promote an inclusive community for LGBTQ plus employees and their allies. The group will strive to support diversity across the organization. That's the Boy Scouts of America. This other group affirms its belief in the glorious ability of God to create in any manner and in this affirmation reject the rigid dogmatism of the creationist movement. That's the Episcopal Church in the United States. You see for some Christians, evolution has become the story of creation. Another mission statement. This group upholds the right of men and women to have access to adequately funded family planning services and to safe legal abortions as one option among others. So not only supports here abortion, but it should be funded. This is the United Church of Christ. One more group. We disrupt the western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and villages. We foster a queer affirming network with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking. That’s Black Lives Matter. You find these kinds of vision and mission statements from Christian churches, businesses, political groups, and nonprofit organizations. In the past few years, the United Methodist Church has been suffering major splits over a number of issues including same-sex marriage.

Now my friend who lived through the decades when these ideas became commonplace found them to be bizarre and antichristian. And we're going to talk about it today because they are antichristian. The impact of multiple generations being educated by secular humanism permeates every aspect of the world that you and I live in. It is becoming the dominant social, political, and even religious worldview in our society. And the reality is that the goal of the secular agenda isn't the acceptance of all religions, but the transformation of all religions into a new worldview. Now what do I mean by worldview? Everyone has a worldview. It's the composite knowledge, values, and ideas by which every person views the reality of the world around us. Now stay with me because we're going to explore the worldview of Jesus. But before we do, I want to make it clear that secular humanism isn't the only movement redefining the Bible and creating this new worldview. The second force is Christianity itself. Instead of changing the culture for the good, Christianity has been shaped by the secular culture. What we find in many churches is a cultural Christianity, not a Biblical Christianity. I wonder what you think about this. How many times have you heard someone say, "I'm not religious, I'm spiritual?" You've heard that, haven't you? Remember the Pew Research reported a growing number of people who say, "I don't believe in the God of the Bible, but I do believe in a higher power." Have you ever heard that? I'm sure you have. You see secular humanism can't destroy this basic human, spiritual, cognitive, and emotional need that we all have for God. It was designed in us. But for four generations, many Christian churches have been caving in to the cultural pressure of the idea that all religious faiths lead to the same God and we just have to love each other. A humanist definition of love has crept into Christianity and led many churches to redefine the God of the Bible.

I mean have you ever heard someone say, "Well, the God of love wouldn't kill those people in Sodom like the Bible says. So that story, like most biblical stories, it's just myth, and the person still says they're a Christian. I recently read a blog by a person who said that she was a follower of Jesus, but not a follower of the Bible. She didn't even accept all of the teachings of Jesus as divine truth, yet, she clearly saw herself as a Christian. Now this woman is not alone in her redefinition of Jesus Christ. This is very common among many younger Christians. Many people who still claim to be Christians have come to the conclusion that the Bible is an antiquated book that fails to supply solutions to social, economic, and emotional problems of human beings. Now the truth is, human beings have failed to apply the Bible solutions to our social, economic, and emotional problems. I want to read this. I want you to read it with me because if you get nothing more out of this program, I want you to get this. Okay? It is believed that the Bible fails to supply solutions to the social, economic, and emotional problems of human beings. The truth is, it's human beings who have failed to apply the Bible solutions to our social, economic, and emotional problems. We have failed. Are you longing for answers to racism, violence, confusion, anxiety, failed relationships, and failed human institutions? Well are you ready to deal with your need for God that troubles you at the very core of your being? If you want to discover God, it's time that you learn what Jesus Christ actually taught. And it is time for you to stand up and become a positive force in a troubled world.

Now if you want to know the authentic teachings of Jesus, you really need to order, it's free, your free copy of "Jesus Christ: The Real Story." And this study guide isn't just a modern cultural interpretation of Jesus that will help you understand the authentic teachings of Jesus that actually change your life. You will be guided through the Gospels and challenged by the same questions Jesus asked His disciples. Questions like, "Who do men say that I am?" You see when you read this and you look at the Scripture, when you read the Gospels, you're going to see that Jesus is either who He claimed or He's a charlatan. He shouldn't be followed at all. To get your free copy of "Jesus Christ: The Real Story," call the number on your screen or go to beyondtoday.tv, where you could download a copy or order one to be sent directly to you. Before you blindly accept the worldview of secular humanism and before you blindly accept the worldview of a Christianity that is not adhering to the teachings of Jesus Christ, which means it's not Christian, take some time to find out what Jesus really taught and order this booklet.

Let's look at one of the major tenets of secular humanism and compare it with the teachings of Jesus. A major precept of secular humanism is the belief that all human problems can be solved by science and human intellect. You know after four generations of creating day by day changes in society and religion, our nation is more violent and more chaotic than ever. Secular humanism is failing. So what does Jesus teach? What is His answer to racial conflicts, marriage conflicts, political conflicts, hatred, and anger that are just tearing apart our society? It's tearing apart the whole world. Well, man came to Jesus and asked Him, "What is the greatest of God's commandments for humanity?"

And Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind." This is the first and great commandment. I know this is surprising to some of you. You've heard that Jesus’s most important teaching is to love your neighbor. And we're going to talk about loving your neighbor just a bit. But the foundation of Jesus' worldview is that you must give your entire life, your heart, soul, and mind to loving the God of the Bible. You see you can't be an authentic follower of Jesus if you don't accept this teaching. The day by day subtle changes that have happened in major Christian churches have led many to ignore this bedrock teaching. Remember, few and fewer people who say there are Christians even believe in the biblical teaching about God. Do you really know the teachings of Jesus? Now let's be honest. When was the last time you read the Gospels? Oh, I know. I asked that all the time on this program, you know, about reading the Gospels. It's because it is the first step in reversing the day by day shift in Christianity away from the teachings of Jesus. You know this shift didn't start with secular humanism. It's been going on for 2,000 years. By saying that His most important teaching is to love God, the God of the Bible with all of your heart, and soul, and mind, Jesus is speaking against the idea that all faiths lead to God. He said that the most important purpose in His teaching is to bring people into our relationship with the only true God. There aren't many paths for Jesus. There's one. And it's time for you to seek the only true God. You need to get on your knees and ask God to reveal Himself to you. And the way He's going to do that, do this, oh, He does it through nature, His creation, through other things, but primarily through this.

You know since God is real, you and I can't define Him any way we want Him to be. We have to seek to know Him as He is. Over the course of almost 90 years secular humanism has made little day by day changes in society through the educational system, use of mass media, entertainment, and political influences. Humanism has also been influential in creating this cultural Christianity. A Christianity that has exciting entertaining services, messages on how to be happy and wealthy, but are actually opposed to many of the teachings of Jesus. Christianity without following the true teachings of Jesus is cultural Christianity, not authentic Christianity. Remember what I said earlier because I want you to remember this. It is believed that the Bible fails to supply solutions to the social, economic, and emotional problems of human beings. The truth is, human beings have failed to apply the Bible solutions to our social, economic, and emotional problems.

Now let's go back to the passage where Jesus says that the bedrock of the Christian worldview is to love the only God by dedicating your life to Him. He then said this, and the second, His second great commandment is like this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Now here Jesus shows that the answer to racism, human conflicts, dysfunctional families, it all begins with loving others by treating them the way you want to be treated. This is His foundational rule of human relationships. But in Jesus' worldview, you can only define love of neighbor by first loving God. See loving God has to come first because it's God who teaches us what love is.

In another place Jesus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life." John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×
, one of the most quoted of all Bible verses. And this is the good news. We can receive salvation through Jesus Christ. But why do we need to be saved? What's the problem? Well here's the bad news. Jesus tells us we need to be saved because there is darkness in the human heart and mind. You know there in John 3 where we just read verse 16, He says this in the verses that follow. And this is where this is many times ignored. You know, John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×
is read and the rest of His passage, the words of Jesus are ignored. Jesus is talking about Himself, and He says, "He who believes in Him, in Himself is not condemned. But he who does not believe is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Wait a minute, Jesus condemn somebody? Jesus says, "If you do not believe and follow Him, you are condemned." Those are His words, not my words. I'm not condemning anybody. But Jesus says He condemns. It's a little different Christianity, isn't it? He goes on. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world. And men love darkness, rather than light because their deeds were evil.” In the human heart, in the human mind is this darkness and because of that, our deeds, our actions are evil. Yes Jesus believed in absolute good and evil. He believed in absolutes. There was a real definition of what is good and what is evil. “For everyone practicing evil, hates the light, and does not come into the light lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, and that they have been done in God.”

Wow. Think of what He says here. He condemns people who remain dark. We must come to the light. And He said there was only one light and that was Him. The Apostle Paul wrote this a few years later, "For if when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Whoa. I mean how can people be the enemies of God, right? He loves everybody. Well think about this, all human beings, you and I, we just naturally define God in our own image. When we make God in our own image we deny who He really is and treat Him as an enemy. That's why we must be reconciled. That's why the relationship is broken. We have to be reconciled, brought back into a relationship with God, the way He designed us to have a relationship with Him. And God reconciles us through the death of Jesus Christ and saves us through the life of the resurrected Jesus Christ. This bedrock worldview of authentic Christianity is to love God first and then love your neighbor. And we can only follow the real Jesus Christ when we first obey these two commandments that He taught. Are you finding your worldview a little challenged at this point? Maybe you feel a little defensive? Good. The teachings of Jesus Christ are supposed to make us feel uncomfortable. His teachings are supposed to motivate us to seek God and His love and His forgiveness. And it's time to reject this comfortable cultural Christianity and discover the authentic Jesus.

And to do that, to start you on this journey, just order your free copy. It's free. "Jesus Christ: The Real Story." You know there is no middle ground. When you're confronted with the authentic Jesus of the Bible, either you accept who He really is and follow His teachings or you're just not a Christian. Everybody's trying to live in a middle ground that doesn't exist. Order your free copy of "Jesus Christ: The Real Story" by calling the number on your screen or going to beyondtoday.tv and downloading a copy. And remember it really is free. And when you go through this study guide, you're going to need a Bible. So you can look up and read what we're teaching. You know this takes you to the Scripture, where you learn about the real Jesus and the real Father. Does Jesus Himself, does He actually deal with the issues, the controversies in our society today? Here's what I want to do. I'm going to take a look at just a few statements that you hear often in cultural Christianity and compare them with what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. That's all the further we're going to go. We're just going to look at a few statements and then look at what Jesus's actual responses, and see if you've ever heard this in your church or you've ever heard it from your friends, or you've heard it from a professor. First one. It doesn't matter what I do, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else. This is actually one of the basic tenets of secular humanist viewpoint of sexuality. Okay? Sort of sounds good, right? What did Jesus say in the Sermon on the Mount? He said, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, "You shall not commit adultery," okay? That's an action, right? "But I say to you, that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Well wait a minute, He hasn't hurt anybody else. Nobody's hurt himself. Even our thoughts, our emotions are to be brought into an understanding of what Jesus Christ teaches. He goes way beyond actions because we're a whole lot more. You're a whole lot more than just a higher form of animal. There's the great lie. You are made in the image of God. What we think of and what we feel, what we do, matters.

Second point, God promises that those who believe in Jesus and give to the church will receive great physical wealth. This is often called the health and wealth Gospel. I mean I've heard televangelists say, "Look, if you can just visualize the blessings from God and you just go pray and you give and you plant seeds and you're going to get that house, you're going to get that car, you're going to get that promotion." What did Jesus say? He actually said a lot about this in the Sermon on the Mount. That's the reason you need to go read it. But just listen to this. "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. No one can serve God and money." You can't. Money has its purpose. We can't serve it. Health or wealth Gospel, it's just another form of cultural Christianity that does not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

How about this one? "Just accept Jesus into your heart and you're saved." Well that's a nice, comfortable Christianity, isn't it? Just read a little prayer, accept Jesus into your heart and you're saved. And then all you have to do is love everybody. Well let's define love. Well actually we have a secular humanist definition of love, not God's definition of love. Sermon on the Mount. Here's what Jesus said. These are His words, okay? Listen, they're not my words. They're His words. "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he does the will of my Father in heaven." Oh, is this Jesus? Yeah. People will call me Lord, He says, but they will not be received by me because they don't do the will of God. We're back to, they're not all these different ways to get to God. There's one way to the true God and that's through Jesus Christ. It's the only way there. He says, "Many will come to me in that day, this is when He returns, and they will say, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and did many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from me, you who practiced lawlessness.’" I mean think about this. This is Jesus Christ. And there are going to be people who come to Him who are Christians and they're going to say, "But we said great things. We did great services. We had great songs, and we preached, and we spread Your name." And He says, "No, you practiced lawlessness. You worshipped me in your ways. You worshipped God in your ways, and you lived your life in your ways, and you did not follow my teachings."

If you want to discover the authentic Jesus, call the number on yourself screen and order your free copy of "Jesus Christ: The Real Story." One of the things you will find is that Jesus said He's coming back to establish a government on this earth and set up one worldwide religion. Did you know that Jesus said that? Call the number or go to beyondtoday.tv.

Authentic Christianity means a change of heart and mind, so that you can love God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. It means loving your neighbor in the way you want to be loved. It means confronting the sin in your own life that cause you to become an enemy of God and seek His forgiveness. Now this doesn't mean that Christians are to condemn others or sinning is having no value. It's the opposite. We encourage everyone to experience their wonderful purpose in life, learn the true teachings of Jesus Christ, and discover the joy being a child of God.

[Narrator] Call now for the free booklet offered on today's program, "Jesus Christ: The Real Story." Many Christians who read through the Gospels are surprised to find a different Jesus than the one they were taught. This free study aid will help you understand the life and mission of Jesus Christ. He presented Himself as a way to everlasting life for those who followed Him. But He also proclaimed the good news of the coming Kingdom of God right here on Earth. Order now, call toll free 1-888-886-8632 or write to the address shown on your screen. "Jesus Christ: The Real Story" is a study aid that you won't want to pass over. When you order this free study aid, we'll also send you a complimentary one-year subscription to our "Beyond Today Magazine." The "Beyond Today Magazine" brings you an understanding of today's world and hope for the future. Six times a year, you'll read about current world events in the light of Bible prophecy as well as practical knowledge to improve your marriage and family. Call today to receive your free booklet, "Jesus Christ: The Real Story." We'll also send you a free one-year subscription to "Beyond Today" Magazine, 1-888-886-8632 or go online to beyondtoday.tv.