Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Seminary Pres. Doesn't Believe in Heaven, Miracles or Resurrection

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In a New York Times article published Easter weekend, the president of a seminary founded in 1836 on the truth of "The Infallible Word of God," now says she doesn't believe in the "bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, the power of prayer, a literal heaven, or miracles."

This is an example of the left-ward drift of many seminaries.... and churches.

Be informed.

Serene Jones, president of Union Theological Seminary, made the comments to New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof in an article published Easter weekend.

Every Easter, many in the press look for similar stories that, in the journalist's mind, undermine or challenge the message of Easter.

No question in my mind that was behind this story---a story that is about more than a misled leader or a wayward seminary that once taught on the authority of God's Word.

The fall of Union Theological Seminary.

The seminary, founded in 1836 on the "Infallible" Word of God, has fallen from Truth.

Union's founding constitution stated the seminary's goal was to "promote" the "Kingdom of Christ." Professors were required to affirm they believed "the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God" and the "only infallible rule of faith and practice."

Over the years, Union Theological Seminary has drifted from its biblical based education to an activist based school for "social justice."

As revenue has declined, the seminary has looked for new ways to fund itself, selling of real estate to pay their bills, finally landing about $150 million in debt.

In 2016 the seminary, under the leadership of Jones, explored the possibility of building high-end luxury condos on their remaining property, which they believed could cash flow the school.

Jim Wallis's Sojourners interviewed the seminary president at the time. Clearly the leaders of the religious Left want the seminary, which has now become an oracle for the religious Left, to survive.

But the seminary seems to be going the way of mainstream Protestant churches that embrace the same leftist, humanist doctrine and ideologies.

"Survival" does not include a possibility of returning to their founding biblical beliefs.

Jones makes it very clear the seminary is a very different school today. And it's not turning back to its biblical roots.

She says,
"When you look at the Gospels, the stories are all over the place. There's no resurrection story in Mark, just an empty tomb. Those who claim to know whether or not it happened are kidding themselves...Crucifixion is not something that God is orchestrating from upstairs. The pervasive idea of an abusive God-father who sends his own kid to a cross so God could forgive people is nuts. For me, the cross is an enactment of our human hatred. But what happens on Easter is the triumph of love in the midst of suffering. Isn't that reason for hope?"


She rejects the idea that God miraculously heals through prayer.

"I don't believe in a God who, because of prayer, would decide to cure your mother's cancer, but not cure the mother of a non praying neighbor," she adds, "We can't manipulate God like that."

She also rejects the virgin birth.

She says,
"I find the virgin birth a bizarre claim. It had nothing to do with Jesus' message. The virgin birth only becomes important if you have a theology in which sexuality is considered sinful. It also promotes this notion that the pure, untouched female body is the best body, and that idea has led to centuries of oppressing women."

President Jones was asked, "What happens to you when you die?"

She said, "I don't know. There may be something, there may be nothing. My faith is not tied to some divine promise about the afterlife."

Jones explains that,
"At the heart of faith is mystery. God is beyond our knowing, not a being or an essence or an object. But I don't worship an all-powerful, all-controlling omnipotent, omniscient being. That is a fabrication of Roman juridical theory and Greek mythology."

This is not Christianity in any form.

Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., says Jones "rejected the entire edifice of orthodox, biblical Christianity."

"This is not Christianity. It is a new religion, a new god, formed in the image intended not to offend modern sensibilities," Mohler says. "She has constructed a god from post modern theology that in no way resembles the God of the Bible---the one true God."

Jones is denying the reality of the Resurrection, the necessity of the virgin birth, the attributes of God, the power of prayer, and the existence of heaven and hell.

She even denies that God is a being.

She claims to be a Christian minister then denies the entire structure of Christian theology.

"Why would she do this? Why would anyone serious about Christian ministry study under this kind of thought and influence?"

Mohler says, "What we see here is a hope to replace biblical Christianity with a new religion without anyone noticing."

Unfortunately, there is more than a grain of truth in Mohler's thinking.

In recent years, people have sat in "Christian" pews and heard missives that neither educate people regarding God's infallible Word, nor do they challenge people to live their lives in submission to Jesus Christ and to carry out the "Great Commission," which is not "social justice" but a message of good news that liberates and brings eternal life to all who believe.

Sadly, President Serene Jones is not living the lie in isolation. Each day this so-called "Christian" institution prepares people to go out into the world and perpetuate the lie to uninformed people who are seeking the Truth.

And they do so from pulpits across this country---in the name of Christianity.

Most Democrat candidates for the presidency are perpetuating a version of this same message.

Jack Jenkins of Religion News Service noticed a trend last month and started keeping a thread on his Twitter account of the instances of Democrats publicly discussing their beliefs.

Jim Wallis, the leader of the religious Left and founder of Sojourners, says this is an effort to make the Democratic Party "a more faith-friendly party."

Wallis explains, "There are a number of these candidates who are people of faith, who have been wanting to figure out how to bring their faith more into their political conversations."

He says he feels that South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a great example of this new faith conversation, and says Buttigieg has been "talking more about his faith than any other candidate."

Indeed he has. Pete Buttigieg is openly homosexual, "married" to his "husband," a relationship that he says has "brought him much closer to God."

While Pete practices his so-called deepening "Christian" faith, he is publicly criticizing Vice President Pence for his biblically based Christian beliefs.

Wallis says Mayor Pete is changing things by "talking about his faith in a regular way," and he believes Buttigieg is challenging both the Left and the right on religious values and beliefs.

Wallis is certain that Buttigieg is upsetting and challenging the notion that "all religion is right-wing."

There is a move to create a new kind of faith, allegedly based on Christian teaching, but flexible enough to accommodate any lifestyle, any ideology, any kind of god and any worldview.

This is not new to our times, but it's every bit as destructive as it was in former times.

The Apostle Paul (II Tim. 3:5) described these folks as "Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away."

From such turn away.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.