Often, while in Southern California, I visit a nearby ‘seminary’ to work in their library. It once was an institute designed to study and understand the immeasurable, infinite all-wise triune God, YHWH, but now, how things have changed.
The grounds, once a beautiful testament to architecture and doctrine, now have foundations, which are cracked; roots of the environment have compromised the concrete, creating tripping hazards, multiple tripping hazards. Pieces of loose concrete dot the landscape. Doors on site are difficult to open. Buildings have settled into the soft unstable miry earth of a post-modern society. Sloppy attempts at patches and repairs have been futile, and continue to fail. Weeds push through. In fact, weeds, vastly unabated, thrive over the neglected grounds.
There is an uneasy stillness on the campus, an emptiness, dullness, even lifelessness.
Is it closed? It is not! Sadly, it has simply lost its way, its identity. The philosophical weeds of the culture have pressed into the unique fabric of the once professed veracity of Scripture, thus eroding their stability of truth. A “prayer” chapel now marks the spot where any religious discipline can pray to the god of their own understanding, to the god of their own making, or to nothing at all…
The metaphors abound and jump off the page. Do they not?
Identifying itself as an “ecumenical and inter-religious institution,” this school of theology seeks to “instill students with the ethical integrity, religious intelligence, and intercultural understanding necessary to become effective in thought and action as leaders in the increasingly diverse, multi-religious world of the 21st century.”
What does that even mean? My best guess is that it communicates compromise, theological compromise. Where is the mention of the Word of God? Or Christ? Or genuine truth? Vacant from their agenda! What they do embrace is “process theology.” They believe God Himself is a student. In so doing they have sought to erode the omniscience of God. They have placed Him in heaven as a concerned but confused, or ignorant bystander seeking to learn from the actions of man.
They pride themselves on being “multi-religious.” The implication is that they have not found the true way; instead, they issue an invitation to the wide road that leads to destruction. Along with so many other bastions of the faith, they have crumbled; they have camouflaged themselves into the mores of irrelevance. They are tripping over the thatch of weeds and roots of culture. In their arrogance, they seek to logically and formulaically ‘mathematize’ all relevance of life. And then systematically and philosophically remove God out of the equation altogether.
This is a common path to humanity. Isaiah 5:20 cautions, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”
Oddly enough their library is filled with volumes of truth; ancient and modern volumes of life-affirming, Bible-based authentic truth, thousands upon thousands of volumes of truth, yet, regrettably abandoned truth. Jettisoned truth. Alongside the weeds. Lost in the quagmire of pluralistic camouflaging weeds. At the center, at the very core is the life-giving pulse of orthodoxy which served well a bygone era, that still is valid today yet is without realized benefit to those who neglect it.
Pluralistic evidences abound. The “holy” texts espoused. The “holy” attire donned. The “holy” deity-du-jour. The careless merger of the sacred and the profane. Somewhere between spheres of genuine biblical truth and pagan philosophy, they have lost the infinite God.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
Make no mistake about it; the times are upon us when the desire to please everyone fails to please God. So, what are we as servants of the LORD to do? My heart indeed grieves at the legacy failed of the once great proponents of the faith. But this is a constant reminder that we need to check our doctrine, our hearts, and how we are living it out. As we are led, pray for those who are falling, those seeking to please their ears rather than hear the true Word of the Lord. Pray for our institutions of higher education. Pray for orthodox teaching and understanding in our churches. Pray for submission to the will of God. Contend earnestly for the faith.
Tripping hazards are encroaching upon us at every turn.
Watch your step!