Scott Gage

PO Box 3425
Fayetteville, AR 72702



July/August Issue 2010 - Volume 29   Number 4

Postmodernism Versus God’s Word

“The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.”  Psalm 119:160


I read about a boy in Wisconsin whose teacher banned his artistic expression:


It started innocently enough with a simple picture created for a school project, a mere line drawing by the hand of a teenage boy. But the boy’s teacher found the work so objectionable that she refused to give the boy a grade, and the Wisconsin school stood by this teacher. The boy was also given two detentions for the objectionable artwork.

The drawing in question was submitted alongside the artistic creations of other students. Among these other works was a red-skinned demon mask complete with horns and bared fangs; a Buddha fountain; a sorcerer; an eight-armed Hindu goddess riding a giant swan.


But the work the boy submitted went over the limit in the eyes of the school. What was so offensive, so vulgar to the boy’s teacher? It was simply this: a white chalk drawing on a black background of a cross, with the caption, “John 3:16, a sign of love.”

You see, the school has a policy against religious expression. In a statement the school said, “Respect for the beliefs of a diverse student population…requires that the district treat all students equitable and fairly regardless of their faith. While the district respects all students’ religious freedoms, those freedoms are not a license for students to force the school to display religious messages of their choosing.”


The teacher’s grading policy banned depictions of “blood, violence, sexual connotations, or religious beliefs.” Oddly enough, when members of the school board met with the boy and his family in the school’s parent-teacher conference room to reinforce the policy to the boy, the walls of the conference room were lined with the artwork of students that had been accepted. There was a drawing of the Greek goddess Medusa. There was another demonic figure with horns, scales and snake-like tongue. More demonic masks. A drawing of the Grim Reaper.


So you see the teacher’s grading policy, which was upheld by the school district’s policy against “religious expression,” apparently only extended to expressions of Christianity. It did not apply to Buddhism, Hinduism, paganism, or Satanism. Only Christianity.

The Lord our God, the Creator of all things, , Isa. 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”


There is a mode of thought that is sweeping our world today, and it is called postmodernism, and it often manifests itself in religious pluralism. Once upon a time critics of Christianity thought there was such a thing as absolute truth, they just were sure that Christianity was not it. Postmodernism, on the other hand, says there is no such thing as absolute truth at all! What is true for me may not be true for you.


In the past the main attacks upon Christianity came from people who simply thought Christianity was not true. That idea is passing away. Now the attack is coming from people who hate Christianity simply because it claims to be the only truth!

How conceited, they say! How offensive, they say! It just cannot be that Christianity alone is true, they say!

And yet Jesus, through whom the universe was created, says, in John 8:32, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”


We might take a moment to define some terms that we often hear but may not always understand. The word ‘post’ means ‘after.’ So the term Postmoderism refers to a philosophy that emerged after Modernism. But what is Modernism? The philosophy of Modernism is steeped in ‘naturalism.’ This is the idea that all things can be explained by natural law and natural causes. The late C. S. Lewis took this philosophy to task in his book, Miracles.


The Modernist rejects all the miracles in the Bible because they contend that they cannot be explained by natural law. They suppose that the miracles recorded in the Bible are just the product of the culture of the time, or perhaps a little sleight of hand or outright lies. Darwin’s book Origin of Species, published in 1859, bolstered the Modernist viewpoint and people thought they had found an explanation for the existence of life without a belief in the Biblical story of creation.


“Theism,” the belief in an infinite, personal God, is diametrically opposed to both Modernism and also Postmodernism. Whereas Modernist attempt to prove the Bible wrong and to set forth an opposing absolute truth, the Postmodernist just waves it all off by saying that one man has one idea of truth and another man has another idea, but both of them are equally true. The postmodernist will happily accept any religion or philosophy just so long as it doesn’t claim to be universal, absolute truth. According to postmodernism, whatever you want to believe is fine just as long as you do not claim that your belief is exclusively right and others are wrong. Of course, this sole tenet of postmodernism is inconsistent. The postmodernist only believes in one absolute truth: it holds that its position is exclusively right and all others are wrong!


Is the Psalmist right when he says,The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever”? Do the claims of the Biblical writers support the postmodernist view of absolute truth? Is everything really just a matter of the likes and dislikes of people? Can we know the truth, or is it just a mirage that disappears the closer we come to it?

We are experiencing the fallout of the Modernist and Postmodernist philosophies in every institution in our nation. From the family to the White House, these views have permeated our society from top to bottom. Education, Religion, Social Services, Government and all the rest of our institutions are infected with these ideas.


In this issue of Basic Christianity we want to re-establish a couple of basic truths that are in opposition to the Modernist and Postmodernist positions. These truths are that the word of God is inspired and that there is only one gospel.


Both Paul and Peter make the claim that God’s Word is inspired. Paul says that the word is good for correcting errors and teaching sound doctrine. Peter reminds us that the word is not the musings of ordinary men but penned under the direction of God’s Spirit. While many in the world now believe that the Bible is just an ordinary book, this is certainly not the claim the inspired writers make for it. These passages and others indicate that inspired writers taught that the Bible is the truth, and that it is a truth that can be known by all who will honestly seek it.


Paul stated that even if an Angel brings us a different gospel than the one the inspired writers’ preached that we cannot afford to believe him. If there is only one gospel, how is it that many today claim that “all roads lead to Rome”? Is Krishna just as valid as Jesus? Is it permissible for us to just add to or take away from God’s Word as we choose?




God’s Word Is Inspired

 Sometime ago I read an article which stated, “If the Bible were to be written today it would take six educated people about one hundred years to write the text insuring all references, prophecies, and scriptures were in accord and correct.” At first, I thought finely someone is agreeing the Holy Word is inspired and delivered to God’s people by means of the prophets. Then, I thought, what is the article really saying? Is this a slick maneuver to say the Bible could be written by any group of trained minds? Let’s look into this as we consider God’s word and the inspiration which brought it to man.


First we must believe God’s love is endless, total, and free for all His believers to immerse themselves at will. The Holy Spirit is the agent responsible for dispensing God’s power. The emphasis on the Holy Spirit is in striking contrast to the religious climate in the early days of Christianity. In the Greco-Roman world, power was an impersonal force, like electricity. A force that could be controlled, harnessed, or manipulated. The power of God is realized by His followers through the means of a relationship, a relationship with God through a union with the exalted Christ and Holy Spirit residing in each believer.


We speak of the inner-self or inner-being when we speak of things of the heart. Paul understood the inner-being, and he realized the inner-being was that part of self in conflict with the power of sin. Read Romans 7:22-23.


When sin is personified as a power the three evils described in Ephesians 2:1-3 begin to influence our life, heart, and mind. It is true we cannot always resist the overwhelmingly powerful evil influence in

our own strength. God knew man would need help in structuring his life and family so they would be seen favorable in the eyes of the creator. This is specifically why God provided the Holy Word to His creation and why He sent the Christ as the sacrifice to clear away the sin of the created man.


In Ephesians 3:16-17, Paul is praying for followers that have already developed “a faith into their lives.” He is not praying they will become Christians, they are already Christians, but he is praying they will

grow in their Christian lives. Paul prays for Christ to increase His influence over every area of the believer’s lives and repress the evil in their lives. Paul’s focus is an emphasis on love as the primary feature of the Christian life and experience. Paul prays that believers will come to know – the incredible love of Christ. Christ will eternally offer love to those seeking inner-peace. This concept of love is important, because love was not a virtue of the gods and goddesses in the cults of Asia Minor.


Let’s consider now 2 Peter 1:19-21. These verses are powerful in making the statement. Scriptures are inspired messages from God through the prophets. Peter confirms the Old Testament was written by the prophets from messages given by God. The apostles are placed in the same category, because they proclaim God’s truth. The Bible is not a collection of human ideas about God, or a collection of fables. The Bible is God’s words given through people delivered to people. Christ is the light of our life, and we should let Him shine in our hearts until He returns in His full glory. Until His return we have the Bible, the Holy Words of God, to guide us and the Holy Spirit to illuminate the scriptures revealing the truth we seek. Scripture did not come from the prophets. God inspired the writers and the Holy Spirit moved the prophets to speak God’s word, using their own talents, education, and cultural background.


The final events of human history are often depicted as the “Day of the Lord.” Peter uses the concept of Christ “appearing in His brilliance” in reference to the coming of Christ. He cautions the people to let the light of Christ shine in their hearts until He comes. Peter instructs the people to pay attention to the messages proclaimed by the prophets. But at the same time cautions them to know, “no prophecy ever came from the prophets themselves.” The Ebionites, radical Jewish Christians, claimed the prophets spoke ‘of their own intelligence and not the truth.’ Thus, Peter stressed the fact that the Holy Spirit moved the prophets to speak from God.


Recently Bro. James Adams brought a lesson from Micah Chapter 3.  If you really want to know if the scriptures speak to modern man, turn over to Chapter 3 of Micah and read the first four verses. These scriptures are eye openers as to what is unfolding in our world today. Kings and rulers of nations today are killing people in the name of religion. Our own nation is being lead down the path of no return by the leaders of our nation and the courts of our nation making decisions and passing laws with the pretense of changing our government for the betterment of the people. Beware of one in sheep’s clothing. Make an effort to become informed concerning that which affects our right to worship our God. If we walk away from God, He will not hear us when we pray!


We need to make every effort to get right and stay right with God. We need to pray for the nation in which we live and pray God will have an influence on the decisions to be made by our elected leaders. In Micah 3:8 believers are instructed to continue to be filled with the Spirit. Over the last few years there has been a big push to be ‘politically correct.’ We need to forget about political correctness and focus on becoming ‘Biblically correct.’


Where do we find ourselves in relation to the world and God’s word? Is God’s word still relevant? Do people still seek salvation? I think the answer in each case is - yes. Then the questions: What is happening in our churches? Where are the people going? Why doesn’t God’s word speak to people anymore?


In my mind, I think many have strayed or turned away from God’s teachings because of the idea that has been raging in society for years. That idea stems from the commercialization of our country. The idea “self is where importance starts and ends.” If it feels good, do it. You have heard the phrase, “it’s all about me.’ This mind set permeates into one’s religious life also. If it pleases self to not be a consistent Christian, then it’s O.K. The further one gets from the Holy Word, the more one starts developing his own meaning of salvation, and the more one manipulates the teachings of Christ.


Bro. Van Pendergrass in a recent study nailed the problem with many in our society. Nearly everyone we know believes in God, and wants a Savior, an all powerful being capable of resolving every problem, caring for all needs, and being their soul mate when things really get tough. But so many people turn off the idea of having a King in their life. It’s that word king that spells control, power, rules, laws and regulations which people don’t like. They don’t want a controlling factor in their life. According to God’s plan you must accept Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. You must accept both to inherit the benefits of each. If you study the scriptures adequately, you will find Christ never indicated He wanted to control your life. He only wants to show you a better life if you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. I ask you to read Luke 6:46-49.


Paul suggests that the divine word of God is that which God breathed out – aspiration. The concept being the word of God breathed out was the origin of the Scriptures. The authors of the scriptures were indeed inspired by God and are inspiring to read by man. The Scriptures are the spoken words of God, Romans 3:2. It is also indicated when Scripture speaks, God speaks: 1 Corinthians 6:16; Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 10:15.


The Bible is divinely inspired because God concurrently worked with human authors to produce the written messages He desired. More than 40 authors from widely divergent backgrounds such as shepherds, kings, prophets, fishermen, etc. carefully recorded the words spoken by God. The time span for the recording of the Scriptures was approximately a millennium and a half producing not only the thoughts, but the very words of God. Each biblical book actually had two authors, one human and one divine.


You have the words of God to read. How does this written word affect you as an individual? Does Jesus “Live In Your Heart?” Do you search for answers in the Holy Word handed down to man from God? The Holy Bible is inspired by God and remains unchanged and just as powerful as when it was delivered to the prophets. In Hebrews, you will find a passage which states “Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” This is also true concerning God’s Word. It is the same powerful message as it was yesterday, as it is today, and as it will be in the future.


As I bring this to a stopping place, I ask you to read Revelations 19:9-10. Think about what is recorded there, and search for the truth which you will find in God’s Holy Word.  Thank-you.


…Tom Marsden

San Angelo, TX




Arnold, Clinton E., Zondervan Illustrated Bible, Backgrounds, Commentary, Vol.3, China, 2002.


Arnold, Clinton E., Zondervan Illustrated Bible, Backgrounds, Commentary, Vol.4, China, 2002.


Butler, Trent C., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Nashville, Tennessee, 2003.

Only One Gospel

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!”  Galatians 1:6-9 NIV

“…let him be eternally condemned!”  Stronger words could not be summoned by the apostle in his righteous indignation toward purveyors of any “different gospel.”  Sadly, the harbingers of the consumer-friendly, false gospels are still with us, and generally we keep silent on the matter.  Such false gospels come in a wide variety of styles from a variety of sources. 

Some sell a “get-rich-quick gospel,” tapping into the pervasive greed of the culture in order to feed their own greed.   The televangelists that still sell this perverted message, (the term “snake-oil salesman” comes to mind) are so common they have become icons of a culture that worships comfort and pleasure.  This heresy is fairly easy to spot.

Other false gospels seem more virtuous, coming from more respectable circles.  Some teach an “all are saved” gospel, reasoning that a loving God wouldn’t throw anyone into hell to burn.  C. S. Lewis expressed this sentiment best in his book, The Problem of Pain: We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven—a senile benevolence who, as they say, ‘liked to see young people enjoying themselves,’ and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ‘a good time was had by all.’”

The false gospel that Paul was specifically refuting in the letter to the Galatians was one of works salvation.  And while most Christians would admit they are not perfect, there are many who demonstrate their allegiance to the same false gospel by saying such things as “I hope my good deeds outweigh my bad ones.”  Such a misunderstanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ seems to point to Jesus as little more than a good example.

The widest variety of false gospels would certainly arise from the thousands who believe what “feels” right to believe.  They accept certain truths of scripture because it goes with their way of thinking.  They reject other scripture, explaining away or flatly ignoring teachings that don’t give them a sense that God agrees with them.  The cultural norms they live in take precedence over the timeless truths of the Word of God.

Many teach that coming to Christ entails only the repetition of a prayer, ignoring the scores of teachings concerning the importance of baptism for the remission of sins.  The apostles and our Lord Jesus taught of its importance, yet those who would call disciples after him often relegate baptism to an initiation rite to join a local assembly.

One more example (and this is an abbreviated list) is the very popular “I’m OK, You’re OK” gospel.  The great watchword of the day in the U.S. is tolerance, and this false gospel says that as long as people are sincere in their beliefs, they are saved and we should forget any differences and unite with them.  Some would add the qualifier that the name of Jesus must be attached to their beliefs, but beyond that, they accept others without question.

I know that by now some are thinking, “To say someone else is not saved is to judge them; it is judging their hearts.”  Many of us have been scared right out of our convictions by such accusations.  Read this carefully: We are NOT to judge other people.  Judgment of the heart can only be done by God himself.  We ARE to discern between the true gospel and a false gospel.  Our salvation, and the salvation of others, depends upon it!  Understand, please, that I appreciate honest believers who are trying to bring others to our Lord.  But an incomplete or false gospel is really no “gospel” (good news) at all.  The most convincing lie is one that is mostly true.  May this simple man ask a simple question: Will not belief in a false gospel bring about a false salvation?

The church has a responsibility before God to proclaim the truth and refute error.  This is not license to be arrogant or mean-spirited (quite the opposite!), but it is a call to be as passionate for the gospel of Jesus Christ as were the apostles.  Of the Corinthian church, Paul wrote:

“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4 NIV).

Do we as Christians “put up with” false gospels with a shrug?  Does it matter to us if others are led astray?  Some feel intimidated into silence by the popularity of false gospels, but our Lord said, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets” (Luke 6:26 NIV).  Popularity with the world around us has never been a godly pursuit.

We have good news to bring: Those who obey the gospel inherit the free gift of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  When asked how they should respond to the atoning death of Jesus, the believers in Jerusalem on Pentecost were told by the apostle Peter, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call….Save yourselves from this corrupt generation" (Acts 2:38-40 NIV).

How did they respond? “Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day” (Acts 2:41 NIV).  Let us boldly proclaim the true gospel, telling the world of the new birth found in Jesus Christ, beckoning others to the saving grace of the Son of God!

…Steve McLean

Canyon, TX



Volume 29  -  Number 4 -  Jul/Aug 2010     BC is published every other month. Send all inquiries, address changes and subscriptions to the editor:  Scott Gage, PO Box 3425, Fayetteville, AR  72702-3425 Voice & Fax 479-521-6809  Email: Lsgage129@cs.com