Everybody’s Doing It
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Theme: Purity and perversion.
This week’s lessons teach us to shine our lights in a dark world.
One of the most significant books I have read is The Great Evangelical Disaster, written by Francis Schaeffer. It speaks out against the failures of evangelicalism, particularly the unconscious, but nonetheless tragical, compromises of some of the great standards of the Word of God. The word he uses for this is “accommodation,” which is the theme of the book.
He explores several areas in which this accommodating spirit can be found in evangelicalism. One area is biblical authority. This has been an issue of growing concern. When I was a part of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, we were not concerned about the fact that liberals deny that the Bible is the Word of God. That is nothing new; they have been doing that for a long time. The problem is that the spirit of allowing the mind of man to weigh in over the mind of God, the intellect and knowledge of the scholar over the Scriptures, is permeating evangelicalism.
And so those who, a generation or two ago, would never have questioned Scripture are now beginning to compromise by saying, “Well, it’s true in a certain sense that the Bible is the Word of God, but we have to understand that it is also the word of man. Or, if it is the Word of God, it at least comes to us in a way that isn’t absolutely accurate. We have to sift through it with our own intellect to see what we can believe and follow.” Schaeffer says – and I believe rightly – that if evangelicalism remains on that path of “accommodation,” the foundations of the church and, therefore, eventually the evangelical church, itself, will crumble.
Another issue Schaeffer discusses is abortion or the “right to life” issue. There has been a revival of interest in this and, I think, a quickening of the evangelical conscience. Francis Schaeffer points out that when he and Dr. C. Everett Koop produced the film series Whatever Happened to the Human Race? they did not get strong support from evangelical institutions. As a matter fact, even well-known evangelical schools would not advertise it. The reason given was that the faculty was divided on the matter. Imagine! Divided on the right to live, in disagreement on the importance of life. Sadly, that is the case, even among evangelicals.
How has an accommodating spirit led to a compromised view of biblical authority?
What will happen to the evangelical church if a spirit of accommodation continues to take root?
Read Francis Schaeffer’s book The Great Evangelical Disaster.