The following is an excerpt from the Paul Washer video (included at the end of this article) "Regeneration vs the Idolatry of Decisional "Evangelism"; I strongly urge everyone to read this. I titled the excerpt "The Three 'Isms'"
The Three “Isms” Paul Washer
"We live in an age of relativism; a belief system based on the absolute certainty that there are no absolute certainties. We hypocritically applaud men for seeking the truth but call for the public execution of any man who believes he has found it. We live in a self-imposed dark-age. Why? The reason for this is clear: natural man is a fallen creature, he is morally corrupt, and he is hell-bent on autonomy (or self government). He hates God because God is righteous, and he hates God’s laws because they censor him and restrict his evil. He hates the truth because it exposes him for what he is, and troubles what is left of his conscience. Therefore fallen man seeks to push the truth, especially the truth about God as far from him as he can possibly remove it. He will go to any extent to suppress the truth, even to the point of pretending that there is no such thing as truth or that if it does exist, it cannot be known or have any bearing on our lives.
Realize this about the Gospel: it is never a case of a hiding God but of hiding man. The problem is never the intellect, but the will. I do not believe that the Bible gives any room for atheism! There are liars and God-haters who push the truth out of their minds but there are no such things as “atheists”. For although they knew him…(Romans 1:21). Like a man who hides his head in the sand to avoid a charging rhino, modern man denies the truth of a righteous God and moral absolutes in hopes of quieting his conscience and putting out of his mind the judgment that he knows must come.
The Christian Gospel is a scandal to the man involved in relativism and his culture because the Christian Gospel does the one thing that man most hopes to avoid. It awakens him for his self-imposed slumber to the reality of his fallenness and rebellion and calls him to reject autonomy / self-government and submit to God through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.
We also live in an age of pluralism: a belief system that puts an end to truth by declaring everything to be true. Do you understand what I am saying? When everything is true – when contradictory statements that are diametrically opposed, when both of them are labelled as true – you have the death of truth. It may be difficult for contemporary Christians to understand what I am about to say, but the Christians living in the first few centuries of the Christian faith were marked and persecuted as atheists. And you will be too! If a revival does not break out in this country, this is one of the reasons you will go to jail.
The culture surrounding the Christian was immersed in theism. The world was filled with images of deities and religion was a booming business. Men not only tolerated one another’s deities but they swapped them and shared them like baseball cards. The entire religious world was going on just fine until the Christians showed up and declared that the god’s made with hands are no gods at all. They denied the Caesars, the homage they demanded, refused to bend their knee to all other so-called gods and they confessed Jesus alone to be LORD of all. Therefore they were labelled atheists. The entire world looked on such jaw-dropping arrogance and reacted with fury against the Christians. Intolerable: intolerance to tolerance.
I want you to look at something. Look at these words: jaw-dropping arrogance. The same scenario abounds in our world today. Against all logic we are told that all views regarding religion and morality are true no matter how radically different they are or contradictory they may be. The most overwhelming aspect of all of this is that through the tireless efforts of the media and academic world, this has quickly become the majority view. However pluralism does not address the issue or cure the malady. It only anaesthetizes the patient so that he no longer feels or thinks.
The Gospel is a scandal because it awakens man from his slumber and refuses to let him rest on such an illogical footing. It forces him to come to some conclusion: how long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God then follow Him. If Baal then follow him. The true Gospel is radically exclusive. I never thought I would have to say this in front of a bunch of evangelicals! I never thought there would come a day where I would have to say such a thing to evangelicals: that the Gospel is radically exclusive. I never thought that we would begin to loose Christ as the only way.
The true Gospel is radically exclusive, Jesus is not a way, but the way and all other ways are no way at all. Now listen to this very carefully because this is what is happening today. If Christianity would only move one small step toward a more tolerant ecumenicalism and change the definite article “the” (in the Saviour), for the indefinite article “a” (for a saviour), the scandal would be removed and the world and Christianity could become friends. Do you realize that? If we would simply say that: “Yahweh is a god”, we would have no persecution on our hands. If we would simply say that: “Jesus is a saviour”, I would be on the Oprah Winfrey show! Do you realize that? All the scandal would remove if we just said He is our saviour. You have yours we’ll have ours, were not going to impose anything upon you, were not going to wrangle in dialogue, nothing. If that’s your way, you go with that way and I’ll go with mine. If we would only do that then we would never be persecuted. But if we do that, Christianity ceases to be Christianity, we cease to be Christian, Christ is denied and the world is without a saviour.
We live in an age of humanism, over the last several decades man has fought to purge God from his conscience and his culture. He has torn down every visible alter to the One True God and has erected monuments to himself with the zeal of a religious fanatic. This is not secularism against religious mind-thinking, don’t think that. Because the secularist has a religion, and often times he is much more fanatical in his religion than any Christian ever pretended to be.
Man has managed to make himself the centre, measure and end of all things. He praises his own inherent worth, demands homage to his self-esteem, and promotes his own self-fulfilment / self realization as the greatest good. Now if you think that hasn’t crept into Christianity, then you have not read the book: Your Best Life Now, because that is exactly what that’s about. He explains away his gnawing conscience – see you cant get rid of that, it’s there to stay – as the remnants of an antiquated religion of guilt. He excuses himself from any responsibility for the moral chaos surrounding him, by blaming society, or at least that part of society that has not yet attained to his enlightenment. Any suggestion that his conscience might be right in its testimony against him, or that he might be responsible for the almost infinite variations of maladies in the world, is unthinkable.
For this reason the Gospel is a scandal to fallen man because it exposes his delusion about himself, it convicts him of his fallenness and guilt: this is the essential first work of the Gospel. This is why the world so loathes true Gospel preaching. The true Gospel ruins man’s party, rains on his parade, exposes his make-believe and points out that the emperor has no clothes."