“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23).
God forbid; but we insist. Christ stands and knocks, but we break and enter. Grace for granted is extorted abundance. These are the etymological implications of misappropriated Christianity, curated by the theological mathe-magicians of anathematized ambiguity. These are the overpopulated peculiarities of fallacious profession, who in time past gambled their eternal future for time being. These are the many self-made men made sinners by a man-made disobedience. These are the many who were called, but answered only to so-called. These are the many that “knew” the Lord that never knew them.
“I set thee a watchman,” whose blind ambition watched out for itself, and whose own blown horn warned no one. These are the many that were sound asleep while under obligation to sound alarms. “Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Peter 3:4). These are the many whose existing states of affairs were falsified senses of securities, and whose forms of godliness were the glorified norms of society. These are the many whose willful ignorance was wily bliss, who departed “from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1), “proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words” (1 Timothy 6:4), “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7), not enduring “sound doctrine; but after their own lusts,” heaping “to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Timothy 4:3) and a sweet truth for Good and Evil flavored rot. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).
“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).
These are the lectern-leaning academics highly educated in human reasoning, and armchair-reclining bibliophiles well versed in books about the Bible. These are the cults of personality who “by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Romans 16:18) with the sounding brass and tinkling cymbals of “declarations of faith” and extra-biblical “revelations,” and whose “signs, wonders, and miracles” were health, wealth, and prosperity. “There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies” (2 Peter 2:1). These are the masters of ceremonies whose choreographed programs were ubiquitously sensitive to the delicate “needs” of the average thief in the corporate temple instead of an audacious moving of the Holy Spirit, and whose church growth models saved seats instead of souls. These are the self-help gurus that played nice with God’s “unconditional love,” and turned the other cheek for an open display of shame. These are the jukebox heroes that felt their way around with hands-up “experiences” that worshiped “worship” with the vain repetition of improvisational superfluity. “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). The bestselling pursuit of happiness is a poor imitation of the priceless possession of holiness.
Read the full article in the latest issue of Vexilla Regis Journal.