Part 1 The Bible, Kingdom of God and Modernism By Jim Miley THD, FCM Apostolic Team Leader
Category : Our Founder
It is amazing to me that today people say the culture should affect the interpretation of the Bible. Throughout all the previous generations, the Bible affected the culture. I was in Prague, Czech Republic where the pastor told me that his people will say that they will serve because they want to tell you what you want to hear to please the person. So they may tell you that they will serve, even though they may never do so. I told him that it is still lying and, in fact, their behavior has to change in order to match the Bible. This is true for the American culture as well. It is unbelievable that people want to change what the word of God teaches in order to adapt to the modern mind of today. Rudolf Bultmann, (1884-1976) a liberal theologian, describes in detail the New Testament “mythology” that in his estimation needs to be eliminated, including the three-storied world of heaven, earth, and hell, the supernatural activity on earth of God, good angels, and demons, the working of nature-miracles, diabolical temptations, heavenly visions, the power of the Spirit, the reign on earth of Satan, sin, and death. The view of Bultmann, “all this is the language of mythology,” easily traceable to the contemporary Jewish Apocalyptic and the redemption myths of Gnosticism. He observes that “we no longer believe in the three-storied universe which the creeds take for granted,” that “there is no longer any heaven in the traditional sense of the word,” and “we can no longer look for the return of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven,” or “believe in spirits, whether good or evil,” because “the forces and the laws of nature have been discovered (NTM, pp. 1-4).” This is how Bultmann sees the impact of empirical science on the biblical world-view, and it conforms to the world-view of the Modernist believer who “feels within him an impelling need so to harmonize faith and science that it may never oppose the general conception which science sets forth concerning the universe” Thus, Bultmann calls upon theologians of our era to serve their generation as the first disciples served theirs by making the Gospels more acceptable to a more sophisticated generation of believers and by continuing the work of composing the Gospels in accordance with modern ideas. Bultman says that if it does not speak to the modern mind it must be a myth. These liberal views have always been around and some of the modern ministers are saying the same things. It is the same types of error today as even 100 years ago. Let us hold fast to the truth. The scripture teaches in 2 Tim 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” It is true for yesterday, today and forevermore. We should change the culture so that the Kingdom of God should reign upon the earth. While we should be aware of our culture and change the methods in reaching people, we should not change the word to accommodate them. Jesus said in Luke 11:2 “when you pray, say: “‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come.” Let us change the culture, one person at a time, by preaching Jesus and the Kingdom.