Over 1,000 college students attended the 2017 Presbyterian Church USA annual college conference last week.
The conference theme, "Beyond Babel," was designed to help college students and future Presbyterian pastors and leaders see in the ancient text of Genesis, "How God gave an ancient people a holy nudge towards diversity"---conference leaders told the students the Tower of Babel story, although "myth," is similar to the "Day of Pentecost."
In shaping the worldview of future Presbyterian pastors and leaders, this current leadership is not only misleading those who will lead but millions who will be led by these future leaders.
The PCUSA college conference described the message of the 3-day annual event as "helping participants see in the ancient text how God gave an ancient people a holy nudge toward diversity," and "how they are challenged to consider how God is similarly leading His people today."
While cautioning that he was not saying that "the Bible is a bunch of made-up stuff," the Rev. Paul Roberts, Sr., president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, told the students, "We use the word 'myth' in the best possible sense of the word."
He said, "This particular type of literature is not aimed at presenting history" rather it's just "about God and how God's people function in the world."
What he is telling these college students is that these Bible stories are "myths," but they are "good myths" with good intentions.
They are teaching these young leaders to be that God's punishment of scattering the people of Babel, by giving them different languages, was meant to advance diversity and inclusiveness.
The materials given to the participants sets this message as the point of the conference:
"One people with one language become scattered and multilingual. A united community finds itself confused and scattered. Clarity becomes babble. Construction on a tower stops."
In his sermon to the conference, Dr. Roberts contrasted the Tower of Babel with the first Pentecost.
He said they moved around the globe, "each speaking their own language. By contrast, the passage from Acts of the Apostles gives us the story of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit showed up and suddenly there was a commonality in speech. They have the power to understand one another."
Roberts said, "If you take one thing from the sermons, it is this, where true unity exists: If there is diversity of ideas, background, age, class, gender, sexual orientation, all these working together toward a unified community, that's when the potential of achievement is at its highest."
He added, "And in the natural order of creation, there is diversity; you can't get around it---It is what it is. We can build our own little like-minded communities if we want to, but the world is a mighty diverse and mighty fine place."
This is the typical argument made by the religious Left regarding the authenticity and unchangeable aspect of God's Word. In an attempt to "relate" to the world, they are becoming indistinguishable with the people they claim to be trying to "reach."
When one comes to believe that some of the Bible may be accurate, but some is merely allegorical---that the Bible is not necessarily "the Word of God" but rather teaches us "how God's people should function in the world"---we are slipping down the proverbial slippery slope to disaster. In this case, the religious Left slippery slope.
While Roberts says he is not saying that the Bible is "a bunch of made up stuff"---that's exactly what he's saying.
This kind of relative, progressive belief has caused Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, Rob Bell and other religious Left leaders to come to the "biblical" conclusion that same-sex "marriage," abortion and other sins are acceptable in our changing culture.
This misinformed view of Scripture is not only destroying the original foundations of the Presbyterian Church but many other churches as well.
This is a time when biblical Christians must be informed and discerning.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, frequent speaker and columnist, has a very different interpretation of the lessons offered by the Tower of Babel story.
He says the Genesis account "is" a historical account and it has multiple lessons.
Among the lessons, Creech says these 3 are evident:
- Beware of charismatic leadership that unifies the masses in rebellion against God.
- Beware of government concentrations of power in rebellion to God.
- Beware of false religious or moral premise that influences government in rebellion toward God.
He also points out that "Genesis also says the Lord descended in judgment upon the scene. God is long suffering and reluctant to supernaturally interfere in wrath, but will never indefinitely stand for His purposes being thwarted."
The book of Acts is clear on what God's purposes were---and are in regard to His actions at Babel.
Acts 17: 26, 27:
And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
This is an example of how and when God ordained nations and borders---and why He ordained them.
While we must be informed, discerning and vigilant concerning the false teaching by the religious Left, we must be equally aware that God is beginning to move in our culture. Among our youth, there is the beginning of a spiritual awakening in this country.
The further to the Left religious leaders try to lead, the more some, not all, but some of our youth are questioning their message and focusing more on what the Bible actually says.
The Left, both the political Left and the religious Left, have become so self-assured during the Obama years, that they have ceased to veil their message as they once did.
At Pentecost, God did the reverse of what He did at the Tower of Babel. At Pentecost, He poured out His Spirit. At Babel, the people did not have the Spirit of God.
It's a mythical, mental stretch to believe that Babel was about God nudging people toward diversity and inclusiveness by dispersing them.
As these 1,000 young Presbyterians leave their conference with these words lingering in their ears, I'm certain God will speak to the hearts of some, maybe many, regarding the Truth of God's Word.
I personally believe we are standing at the threshold of a significant spiritual awakening in our country.
Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Prepared.