Recently, Tim Keller was interviewed by the NY Times and in that interview Keller espoused the importance of believing the basic orthodox beliefs of Christianity, namely; the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus.
John Stone Street wrote an excellent article that talks about the backlash that Kellers has received from other “Christian” groups who are labeling Keller’s brand of Christianity- i.e. the orthodox, confessional brand- as dangerous.
As much as I didn’t like C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity (I know, #unpopularopinion) John Stonestreet points out that even Lewis declared the need to believe in the miracles of Jesus.
The passage in Galatians I am currently focsuing on tells us exactly how important Paul thought the essential doctrines of Christianity to be:
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-9
Paul is astonished by how quick these believers have started to believe false doctrines and listen to “other” gospels. Paul does not mince words in his condemnation of those who forsake orthodox Christian truth: “let him be accursed”.
In short, if you forsake the essential truths, and the virgin birth and the resurrection of Christ definitely fall under this category (see my post here), there is no salvation.
“I thought all I needed was the ABC’s: Accept, Believe, Confess”.
Sure, but what are you accepting, believing, and confessing? If you do not believe the Bible to be entirely true, you call God a liar. If you do not believe the Jesus was who He said he was (virgin born and resurrected) then you do not believe in the actual Jesus-this means you are not a Christian by the Bible’s own definition.
Admittedly, the title “Christian” is probably the most hijacked title of all time. Anyone can call themselves a Christian and does not have to justify why because…who cares about objectivity and history.
Why is this acceptable? Frankly, I have no idea. In society one cannot be considered a US citizen without the proper paper work. Someone cannot just come into America and declare themselves a citizen and magically receive all the benefits thereof. There are things they have to agree and submit to before they can gain citizenship. This is also true of Christianity. If you do not preach the orthodox truths of Christianity, yet have the gall to identify as a Chrstian-i.e. a “Christ follower” then Paul says:
“Let him be accursed”
Well, that’s not very ecumenist of you Paul.
Let me tell you; if you thought Paul was dangerous as a Pharisee, you should get to know him as a Christian.