About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
As I type this
article I am writing a detailed exegetical commentary on the Apostle
John's first letter that I plan to publish this summer.
In part, John penned his letter because of heresies that were
infecting the church near the end of the first century.
One heresy concerned the essence of Jesus while the other concerned
what constituted sin. Both
heresies were a product of an unholy fusion of first century Greco-Roman
philosophy and Christian theology. Such
religious mixtures have been common throughout history.
fell to Rome
in the first century BC, the Roman goddess Diana became synonymous with
the Greek goddess Artemis.
of pagan practices into fourth century Christianity was an unholy alliance
that was meant to accommodate pagans into the church.
This unholy mixture corrupted both Biblical truth and the church.
It led to the dark age of church history that in some respects can
be seen in parts of what is commonly call church today.
The church has learned little from its historic sins of
culture believes that truth varies from person to person, from place to
place, and from culture to culture. There
is no fixed universal truth as John maintained in his first letter.
This philosophical approach to life is infiltrating parts of what
we call church today, resulting in yet more unholy alliances.
In order to
accommodate those who believe there is no universal truth that applies to
us all; parts of what we call church have replaced the Biblical meaning of
marriage with our culturally correct definition of marriage.
Even in our so-called Evangelical Christian world some are
attempting to unite Islam with Christianity.
The Apostle Paul
warned the elders at Ephesus
about such unholy alliances. He
said that after he left savage wolves would come in among them and would
not spare the flock (Acts 20:29). Paul's
prediction came to pass some thirty to forty years later when in Ephesus
the Apostle John had to deal with these savage wolves and their heresies,
and thus the reason for his first letter.
If you read the
first chapter of first John, three words will stand out.
They are: "sin," "deceived," and
"truth." If John was
alive today he would call all of our present-day unholy alliances sin.
He would say that those embracing these sins are deceived and have
forsaken the truth.