I love this article by Bob. I have recently posted two articles on “perfection” and found, “Theology of Accommodation” to be a great supplement to them. It also reminds me of “The One True Church.” What do you think?
Theology of Accommodation
Have you ever been fascinated by a baby who suddenly discovers his fingers? Even though they were there since birth, he/she had simply not been aware of them. This process of self-discovery may continue for many years, even a lifetime.
By the time we are teenagers, we pride ourselves that we know who we are. We even try to assess others and conclude that we know them as well. But correct self-evaluation is not possible without an outside reference point. We are not self-authenticating. James (1:25) talks about looking into “the perfect law of liberty” to gain a correct view of our self.
In most churches, we have a dualism of thought. We create our articles of belief based on our understanding of Scripture, God’s self-revelation. Then we look at the current living status of humans and create a “theology of accommodation.”
Regardless of what Jesus said about “pure in heart”, we accept all kinds of pollution as the norm. Like Eve, we are convinced that God did not really mean what He said about obedience. So it becomes fashionable to accept “stretching the truth” instead of calling it lying. Stubbornness becomes determination, and pride becomes self-esteem.
Because so many have failed, we conclude that the grace of God cannot redeem fallen man fully in this life so ungodly behavior gets excused. Even in the holiness circles, we have too often used group experience as our measurement rather than God’s standard. Paul warned against the use of comparing “ourselves with some that commend themselves.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) He labels this “not wise”.
Paul instructs us to “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. (Romans 13:14) We are to adopt His life and His mind, His actions and attitudes. To do that, we must “make no provision for the flesh in regards to its lusts.” The word (pronoia) translated “make no provision” means to “anticipate before it happens” and decide what to do. As a present imperative, it is a command to future action that involves continuous or repeated action. Paul wrote to the Corinthians (I Cor. 9:27) that he had to keep his body “in subjection”.
The undoing of many leaders who were able to conquer worlds was their inability to conquer themselves. None of us are capable. But God’s grace can “make the foulest clean”. The sufficiency of grace means we never have to yield to accommodating sin. Christ offers full redemption so that we can “love the Lord will all your heart”, soul and mind. (Matthew 22:37)