03-03-2015 reformationIt was a fantastic conference! I’m talking about the national Ligonier Conference, which I recently attended for the first time. Although I’m not an avid meeting attender, I was especially interested in attending this particular conference. R. C. Sproul, Sinclair Ferguson, Alistair Begg, and a number of other gifted speakers addressed the subject, “After Darkness, Light.”

The statement “After Darkness, Light” was a favorite motto during the Protestant Reformation. The Reformers chose this motto to declare that after years of decay, in which the Church had fallen into darkness and heresy, God had awakened the hearts of his people and reform was happening.

Belief in Absolute Truth a Must—Alistair Begg

Dr. Begg gave a brilliant talk on absolute truth. Our culture is falling into a morass of subjectivity with no absolute truth. The prevailing thought is that it is possible for something to be true to me and not true to you. You can believe in Buddha, someone else in Mohammad, another in a pantheon of gods, and another in no God at all. It does not matter. Each belief is true because it is true to that person.

Without belief in an absolute truth, which the one and only Creator and Sovereign has established, then all morality is relative. Monogamy works for some people, polygamy for another, and still someone else is fine with serial polygamy. For some, gay marriage works, and for others pedophilia is acceptable. Nothing is right or wrong. If you think it’s right, then it is right, isn’t it? Who’s to say? Buddha? Mohammad? The sun god? Your feelings at the moment? You see the point, don’t you? Believing there’s no supreme God who makes absolute judgments results in abject subjectivity. Is that farfetched? Absolutely not! That’s one of the points Begg made so well.

Defense Against the Darkness—Sinclair Ferguson

Dr. Ferguson examined the churches of Asia Minor mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3. He reminded us that the Reformers warned Christians that darkness will again overcome large portions of the church if the gospel isn’t defended and proclaimed in every generation. He pointed out that darkness is rising today, and he certainly is correct.

Any fair assessment of religion in America reveals the truth of this problem, and here’s just one example. I watched the video of Rev. Rob Bell’s performance on “Oprah.” Bell said that if the church continues to resist same-sex unions, it would “continue to be even more irrelevant.” Here’s his statement in context: “I think culture is already there, and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from two thousand years ago as their best defense, when you have in front of you flesh-and-blood people who are your brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles, and co-workers and neighbors, and they love each other and just want to go through life.” Absolute truth from a Sovereign God is totally out of question for Bell, Oprah, and millions of others. The only truth is what each person wants it to be.

Proclaimers of the Truth

Here at HHBC, we must hold on to the truth. No, not just hold on; we must be unashamed promoters of the truth. The church is the pillar and support of truth according to Scripture (1 Tim. 3:15). I’m sticking with that because God says he is sticking with that. Ultimately the truth will prevail because God will prevail, but I expect we’re going to be swimming against the stream. The Lord will be our strength.

Dennis Newkirk
Henderson Hills Baptist Church
@dennisnewkirk