One of the bloggers I usually follow, Mike Ratliff, writes on the powerful influence of pragmatism in churches today:
Pragmatism is deadly to New Testament Christianity because it is based on human reasoning and human ingenuity in solving problems or issues. It utilizes expediency in dealing with issues rather than prayer and obedience to what is clearly taught in scripture. The reason expediency is wrong is that its solutions will always be short term in focus while neglecting the long term.
I would like to further note that the driving principle behind this pragmatism is Arminian theology. Arminian theology, in its most basic form, asserts that mankind has the ability to freely choose repentance from sin and faith in God. I could never hope to elaborate so well on this topic, so I will quote a man much more learned that myself. Charles Spurgeon writes of Arminianism in his day:
Nay, the doctrine of justification itself, as preached by an Arminian, is nothing but the doctrine of salvation by works, lifted up; for he always thinks faith is a work of the creature and a condition of his acceptance. It is as false to say that man is saved by faith as a work, as that he is saved by the deeds of the law. We are saved by faith as the gift of God, and as the first token of his eternal favor to us; but it is not faith as our work that saves, otherwise we are saved by works, and not by grace at all. (Bold emphasis mine)
Arminianism as a “doctrine of salvation by works”? Harsh words, for salvation by any other means than faith through Jesus Christ is a damnable heresy.
In most of evangelicalism today, this salvation of works takes the form of decisional regeneration. This theology, teaches that man is saved by his decision to follow Jesus. We see its pernicious influence everywhere – from blogs to altar calls to youth camps.
I’ve linked to this video before, but in the clip below Paul Washer tells us what’s wrong with decisional regeneration. I wanted to post it again because he is spot on.
So what about you? Does your faith rest in your “decision” to follow Christ or in the covering blood of the Lamb slain for sins? There’s an eternity of difference. One hope is false and leads to death; the other is true and leads to eternal life. Where does your hope lie?