The Pyromaniac’s postings on the state of evangelicalism have been excellent and he has articulated the issues well. He discusses the issue of how the church has become obsessed with constantly following the latest fads. I agree with his assessment. However, while it is true that these fads eventually run their course and fade away, they nonetheless do their share of damage to the church. The church does not go unscathed, and suffers damage with each successive bout of pragmatism.
A famous experiment was once conducted that involved placing a frog in a kettle of water. Don’t know who ever thought up this experiment, but it serves as an excellent illustration. If the frog were placed in a pot of boiling water, the frog would immediately jump out so as not to be scalded. Then the frog was placed in the water while it was yet cool. As the frog sat contently in the water, the water was heated one degree at a time. The frog adapted to the gradual changes in temperature until it boiled to death!
The church can be likened to that frog. Christians sit nice and comfortably in their churches, while the leadership implements changes devised by the latest “experts” and popular authors. The changes are so subtle and incremental that Christians adapt to each successive round of change until they eventually boil to death in heresy!
Suddenly springing heresy on people does not work well since people will immediately resist and cry out. But introduce subtle changes over the course of time and Christians will incrementally adapt to the new environment. Of course, spiritual apathy on the part of believers plays an important part as well.
Satan uses a clever strategy in order to dilute the truth. Satan used this successfully back in Genesis 3:1-5, with the statement “yea, hath God said?” He subtly introduces doubt on the Word of God. He does not launch an outright attack on God’s Word, but introduces an apparent clarification, with his own little twist. He promises “enlightenment”.
This is how Satan distorts the truth. The Corinthians were in danger of succumbing to this tactic in 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 prompting a heartfelt warning from Paul. The most deceptive lie is the one that comes closest to the truth. The truth tends to mask the error.
It is crucial that believers immerse themselves in the Word of God. The more they know the truth, the more they will be able to spot the error when it comes along. We need to be like the first century Bereans in Acts 17:11, who “searched the scriptures daily” to discern whether the things taught were true.