5 Deadly Ism’s

13 09 2006

I highly recommend a sermon delivered by my pastor this weekend entitled “5 Deadly Ism’s”. Pat walked through these 5 theological danger spots in a very helpful manner.

The (free) audio is available here: listen or download.

Faithful pastors warn the church of impending dangers; there is a biblical precedent for this as demonstrated by the Apostle Paul (Acts 20.28ff; 1 Tim. 4).

1st Deadly ISM: Pragmatism

2nd Deadly ISM: Mysticism

3rd Deadly ISM: Antinomianism

4th Deadly ISM: Legalism

5th Deadly ISM: Pelagianism

Below is a brief summary:

1st Deadly ISM: Pragmatism

This is the notion that if it works do it. So in terms of ministry appropriateness is not determined by truth or revelation ultimately but rather whether or not something works. (examples abound: church growth, Mormonism, etc..)

Remember that the Apostle Paul deliberately did not give the people what they wanted (wisdom & signs) instead he gave them what Jesus would have him give (the cross). And they received it as foolishness. (cf. 1 Cor. 1).

2nd Deadly ISM: Mysticism

Think of how many times someone has said that God has told them something. God is now speaking through his Son (Heb.1).

The dangerous thing about relying upon extra biblical revelation is the effect it has on one’s veiw of Scripture. You end up saying that what God is giving you is direct revelation, in this the sufficiency of Scripture is undermined.

God does lead, guide and direct his children, but the Scripture does not indicate that a broadband connection of divine dialogue is normative for today.

3rd Deadly ISM: Antinomianism

This is the deadly ism that promotes a careless view of grace. Basically antinomianism promotes an idea that Christians are not obligated to obey God. Instead we learn in the Scriptures that the grace of God saves sinners and enables them to obey God and accomplish good works (cf. Eph. 2.8-10; Tit. 2.14)

4th Deadly ISM: Legalism

This must be distinguished from obedience. Obeying the Scripture is not legalism.

However, legalism is taking preferences, styles, and traditions and making them binding for faithfulness. If you add preferences, styles or traditions to the salvation equation, as some type of contributor to justification or sanctification, then you have just stepped out of grace and walked into the camp of the legalists. Jesus tends to give legalists an earful (cf. Matt. 15).

5th Deadly ISM: Pelagianism

Pelagianism comes from the heretic Pelagius, who believed that human beings did not have a sin nature. Some folks are semi-pelagianists who believe in the fall but not in total depravity.

Semi-pelagianism drives many to Arminian theology. From an Arminian perspective we need grace but we also need to believe. So therefore, faith becomes our contributing factor. Historically, most Arminians deny the substitionary atonement of Christ.

Regrettably, today most evangelicals are Arminian.

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3 responses

19 09 2006
Daijinryuu

6th: Calvinism, the belief in prederminism. Should God have already decided beforehand who goes and who stays, what is the point of the Crucifix?

7th: Determinism. Fate. Again, should God have already decided beforehand who goes and who stays, what is the point of the Crucifix?

8th: Hedonism. The point of life is happiness. Too bad most people assume a more materialistic version.

9th: Sensualism. Pleasures of the five senses. Such pleasure is temporary and does not derive from God usually. More important is spiritual development, which can only come through God.

10th: Atheism. No explanation needed on this, folks.

19 09 2006
erik

Daijinryuu- I think we have been having decent interaction on the character of God on the “ricky is tricky” thread…and this may clear up some of the question/misconception here..

6th: Calvinism: God is sovereign he is accomplishing his will and carrying out history according to his plan. the point of the cross (or crucifix as you say) is just this, to carry out the divine will. Jesus went to the cross to pour out “his blood for many” the many are the one’s whom he would redeem as these were the one’s whom Jesus offered himself for. God is not frustrated or confused, he is in control.

8th hedonism…the point of life is the happiness or pleasure of God, through this we who submit to his ultimate will (happiness) find much joy and happiness in this.

>as a sidenote, i think there are a lot of calvinistic caricatures painted by those inside and outside of calvinism, i am pretty big on defining terms..

19 09 2006
onebeggarsbread

Have you read Fit Bodies, Fat Minds by Os Guinness? He goes through several “isms” the Church is hurting over, many of the same your pastor mentioned. Short and sweet little book!

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