Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lord Foulgrin on "Feelings"

Randy Alcorn of Eternal Perspectives Ministries is a prolific author of both fiction and nonfiction. I am particularly drawn to his fictional works because of the truths that are so effectively taught through his stories. I've read most of his stories more than once. Right now I am rereading Lord Foulgrin's Letters and came across a good quote to launch a post. Letters is in the same vein as C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters, but it includes an ongoing story about a human family currently being plotted against by the demons. This passage is from a letter from Lord Foulgrin to his protege, so it is written from the perspective of a demon.

What's most exciting is how we've served up moral relativism to the forbidden squadron. Relativism reigns in the church--the sludgebags improvise morals as they go. Ask Conhock about it. One of his patients recently walked away from her marriage because "the Holy Spirit gave me a peace about it." And her so-called Christian friends offered no argument! After all, they were to "judge not," and show love to their friend by refraining from disagreement.

There've always been Christian sludgebags who disobey the forbidden book. But there have never been so many who kept right on going to church and claiming the spiritual high ground in the midst of their disobedience.

The vermin explain their sin with sanctimonious language like, "We've prayed about it and sought counsel, and we feel it's the right thing to do." Don't let it dawn on them that to the Enemy what they feel is inconsequential (emphasis added). His moral laws--confound them--don't give a rip about how any of us feel. The sludgebags have no more power to vote them in and out of existence than they have power to revoke the law of gravity.

...the forbidden squadron will never be more than a baptized version of the world, with mere cosmetic differences.

Take cheer, Squaltaint. An unholy world will never be won to the Carpenter by an unholy church (emphasis added).

In just a few paragraphs, Alcorn has targeted two of the major problems in the church today: the misapplication of "Judge not lest you be judged." and the reliance upon feelings rather than obedience to determine truth and direction.

"Judge not" is a post-modernists dream, for its misapplication almost immediately silences all criticism and discernment. However, we as Christians are called to judge (discern) all the time. This verse is more pointed...we cannot judge as God judges. That's a huge difference. We should absolutely judge when it comes to the breaking of God's moral statutes, especially by those who claim allegiance to Christ.

In this therapeutic age, we give far too much credence to "feelings" when determining right and wrong, determining truth or falsehood, or determining direction in life. God's patterns, principles, and precepts are not subject to how a person "feels" about them on a given day. Rather, they are absolute. As a believer, God expects you to invoke the power of the Holy Spirit and act according to His commands...regardless of how you feel! To do so will result in that pattern of action becoming normative in your life...and you are one more step along the path of sanctification!

Both of these attitudes, the lack of discernment and the reliance upon feelings, cause the church to be a mere "baptized version of the world." If there is to be an impact upon our world, we must be a holy church, and to be a holy church, we must be a holy people. That will only happen if we are a separate people who live according to God's revealed Word.

So, as a start in countering the falsehoods put forth by the demons (and our culture):

1. Judge in a discerning manner according to the Word of God!

2.Don't listen to feelings (feelings lie), but rather obey God's Word in the power of the Spirit!

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