“Holding Fast Our Confidence!”
Adult Bible Study Fall Quarter 1997
Lesson Nine: "The Tragedy Of The Cultural Change Paradigm"

1. Throughout the past weeks we have discussed a current move-ment that has an agenda to restructure the Lord's Church according to the pressures and dictates of cultural relativity. Its reception is marked by a sarcasm toward authority, rejection of what they arbitrarily term "traditions," and a willingness to be guided by subjectivism.  Transparency 9/1

 a. Its battle cry -- "Change lest we die! True growth is only possible via these new ways!"

 b. Its alluring promise -- "The winds of amazing change blow
through our churches these days. For some, the fresh air, signals revival, hope, & newness of life."

 c. Its authority base -- A new hermeneutic which boasts more
in worldly wisdom than in biblical respect! "We cannot read the Scripture from any other background than our own personal experience with the church ... allowing the Holy Spirit to apply that which we discover in the Scriptures in fresh ways ... make the gospel more and more relevant to the culture in which we live."

 d. Its targeted goal -- "Freedom!" This freedom is a latitude to
worship/serve as each personally chooses. There is to be a freedom from the cultural practices of the first century (but bondage to the cultural practices of the twentieth century), from "biblicism," from "legalism." This occurs whenever one is allowed to interpret Scriptures without the restrictions of "Lockean" dogmaticism to logic and rationale thinking. This "freedom" comes through an existential meeting with God in a Spirit filled worship.

 e. Its deceptive positioning -- It takes some issues that are
wrong and suggests these need changing (i.e. ritualism, formalism, congregational traditionalism, etc.). However, on close examination, it follows the historic pattern of false teachers by using legitimate concerns as vehicles for unscriptural practices (cf 2 Pt 2:1; Ro 16:18; etc.). Conse-quently many are accepting error because they have been deceived. This error is evident in attempts to allow culture to restructure:

  1) Authority with in the congregation.

  2) Uniqueness of the "one" Church.

  3) Worship practices.

  4) The plan of salvation.

  5) Gender roles.

 f. Transparency 9/2 Where will this Cultural Change Paradigm   lead? What are the inevitable results?

 1) Scriptural authority will be lost.

 2) Distinctiveness will fade.

 3) God's favor will be with drawn.

 4) Utter ruin.

 5) Note: These tragic consequences will come even though the
"Cultural Advocates" are sincere and good intentioned! When one spurns Scriptural authority nothing will absolve him/her of judgement (Mt 7:21-23).

2. This forecast of doom is not without support. There is historical  evidence that such will happen.

 a. This tragedy falls under the category of "believing a lie."

 b. It is a popular notion that it makes little difference in religion   what one believes as long as s/he is sincere and lives by his/   her convictions. 

 c. This is a damning philosophy. While applying it to religion, no   one would dare apply it to other areas of life.

  1) No amount of sincere trust in a failing bank would prevent    money loss.

  2) No amount of sincere trust in an adulterous mate, with    deceitful motives, prevents a life filled with misery and    trust.

  3) The belief of a lie has caused the defeat of many a brave    army and the sinking of many gallant ships!

  4) It is absurd to utilize a "sincerity only" principle in religion--    it is not harmless!

 d. Three Scriptures speak clearly about this error. 
  Transparency 9/3

  1) 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

  2) 1 Kings 12,13

  3) Matthew 15:14

  4) These reveal the fallacy of believing the popular philoso-
phy that "sincerity is sufficient" and "we should not judge religious matters as right or wrong."

3. Contemplate the Truth found in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
 Transparency 9/4 

 a. The "man of lawlessness" (vs 3-10a) persuades certain people
to forsake the Truth and accept "lies." His main instrument is "deceit" (cf Ro 16:17,18). Because these followed deceit they are perishing!

 b. This presents somber truths for believers -- an urgent warn-  ing!

  1) The Choice -- God's Truth was available, yet was spurned.
   These had a choice to make and they choose to reject God.

  2) The Result -- Not salvation but condemnation. Eternal ruin    will be their lot (12).

  3) The Consequences -- Believing a religious lie is always injur-   ious! There is no good in such a practice for it always leads    one away from Truth!

  4) The Motive -- The reason why this occurred was that they    failed to love the Truth. They sought a more pleasurable    way and because deluded -- enjoying error instead of    Truth.

4. Contemplate the Truth found in 1 Kings 12-13.

 a. A young prophet was sent with God's message to Jeroboam
in Bethel. He arrived just as the first incense was burning (13:1). The events convinced all that he was God's prophet.

 b. The prophet had been given specific commands by God   (13:9). There was no misunderstanding about the command. 

 c. An older prophet heard the story and tricked the young pro-  phet into breaking God's Law (13:18-19).

 d. The young prophet was sincere and honest yet he believed   a lie and was killed (13:24).

 e. This incident highlights specific lessons for all who are tempt-  ed to forsake God's clear commands. Transparency 9/4

  1) Admirable traits cannot excuse obedience. The young    prophet had courage (13:2); he was free from ambition    (13:7); he was unselfish (13:7b). Yet he was a failure!

  2) Religious lies will bring tragedy. Even though he was    good/brave, he was lost (13:21,22). There will be many like    him on the Judgement Day who are lost because they    believed a lie! (Mt 7:13-20).

  3) An obligatory commission is urged (Ac 26:18; Ro 1:16).
Since believing a religious lie is so tragic, God obligates those with knowledge to educate religious ignorance. Refusal to do this brings compound tragedy (Ez 3:18,19).

  4) Note: Ro 15:4 -- This somber account was written to warn    all about the tragedy of believing a religious lie!

5. Contemplate the Truth discovered in Matthew 15:14.
 Transparency 9/6

 a. The context is discussing those who believe religious lies (v.   13). The metaphor is simple and obvious. 

 b. From this brief verse we learn --

  1) Jesus "love" will not overlook the sin of believing a lie in    religion. Christ unites with the historian of 1 Ki 12,13 and    the Apostle Paul.

  2) Jesus confirms that one who believes religious lies will face    a tragic fate.

  3) Jesus condemns religious ignorance in 2 areas: (1) Those    who perpetuate it, v.13; (2) Those who follow it, v. 14.

  4) Jesus cautions that the surest way for one to be lost is to    follow blindly any religious guide and forsake the Script-   ures! One thus spurns 2 Ths 2:15 and becomes "ashamed."    One that gullibly accepts teaching and ignores 1 Jn 4:1.

6. Concluding Thoughts

 a. Some conclude that "Truth" is unknowable. "There is no way   you can know the Truth about everything! Therefore you   should not condemn anyone for their beliefs!" 

  1) This is true regarding opinion but not doctrine! (Jn 17:17).

  2) If the belief of a "lie" leads one to sin, contradiction with    Scripture, or hinders from obedience to God, it will prove    fatal unless forgiven by God.

 b. Transparency 9/6 How can we be sure we are not being led   by false guides.

  1) Allow only the Scriptures to guide us (Ac 17:11).

  2) Recognize the Scriptures are all sufficient to direct us to-   day (1 Ths 2:13).

  3) Realize the tragedy awaiting those who place Scripture as    a subordinate authority in religion (Gal 1:8).

 c. Transparency 9/7  The Cultural Change Paradigm urges all to   pursue a course that is absurd and which is condemned in 2   Ths 2:10-12; 1 Ki 12-13; Mt 15:14.

  1) Sincerity is NOT enough!

  2) Scripture is applicable and binding!

  3) Conformity to Truth is essential!

  4) Eternal damnation awaits all who refuse to follow    Scripture!

The Cultural

Its Battle Cry!
“Change lest we die! Make Truth relative to our modern day!”

Its Alluring Promises!
“The winds of amazing change blow through our churches these days. For some, the fresh air signals revival, hope, and newness of life.”

Its Authority Base!
“A NEW Hermeneutic”

Its Targeted Goal!

Its Deceptive Positioning!
Manipulates legitimate issues
Transparency 9/1
Are Damning!

Scriptural Authority surrendered!

Distinctiveness fades!

God’s favor lost!

Utter ruin awaits!

Transparency 9/2

Scriptural Expose
Of The 
Cultural Change

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

1 Kings 12, 13

Matthew 15:14

Transparency 9/3

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12

Expose Of Cultural
Changes To Divine

Truth was spurned!


Always injurious!

Failed to love the Truth!

Transparency 9/4

1 Kings 12, 13 

Highlights of
Errors Found
In Cultural Change

Admirable traits CANNOT excuse!

Religious lies WILL bring tragedy!

Obligation to obey is URGENT!

Transparency 9/5

Matthew 15:14

Somber Lessons
About Following
Cultural Changes!

From this text Jesus teaches . . .

He will not overlook error!

Tragedy results from following religious lies!

Ignorance is no excuse!

Decision making is serious!

Transparency 9/6

The Absurdity
Of Following
The Cultural

Sincerity IS NOT enough!

Scripture is applicable and binging on modern man!

Conformity to the Truth is essential to salvation!

Damnation awaits all who rebel against God’s directions!

Transparency 9/7
The ONLY Safe
Way To Guide
Your Religious
Faith . . .

Trust ONLY
In Scripture!

Recognize the
all-sufficiency of Scripture!

Realize the tragedy of
rejecting Scripture’s
authority in religious matters!

Transparency 9/8

Copyright 1999 by John L. Kachelman Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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