Matthew 9:16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.  Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

     A person’s ‘worldview’ is the sum total of all the facts, opinions, attitudes and beliefs that have soaked into that person’s head after a life of schooling, living and working.  One online dictionary defines worldview as; “The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.”  For all of us, being raised and living in our current society it is important to realize how the worldview we were raised in has affected our thinking and still affects our thoughts.  Our minds are like a wineskin.  What kind of wine do we put in it?  And how do we become reliable containers for the new wine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us what we must do; “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,<sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”> and we take captive every thought to make it obedient<sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”> to Christ.”  In order to do this we must continually examine our thinking.

     Postmodernism is the prevailing worldview today; “In essence, postmodernism is based on the position that reality is not mirrored in human understanding of it, but is rather constructed as the mind tries to understand its own personal reality. Postmodernism is therefore sceptical of explanations that claim to be valid for all groups, cultures, traditions, or races, and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person or within each paradigm, therefore having a relativistic view on reality. In the postmodern understanding, interpretation is everything; reality only comes into being through our interpretations of what the world means to us individually. Postmodernism relies on concrete experience over abstract principles, arguing that the outcome of one’s own experience will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than certain or universal.”  (Wikipedia)

     We are steeped in a postmodern world.  Like cucumbers in a pickling brine we soak up the ideas, attitudes and beliefs of this world.  Every day must be a day of renewal and cleansing where we  examine our thinking and actions in the light of Scripture.  It is a double job to root out the lies that confuse our thinking.  First we must measure our thoughts against God’s Word and then overcome our pride; “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise<sup class="crossreference" value="(Y)”> by the standards of this age,<sup class="crossreference" value="(Z)”> you should become ‘fools’ so that you may become wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness<sup class="crossreference" value="(AA)”> in God’s sight.” (1 Corinthians 3:18,19)  If we want to become enduring containers for the new wine of Jesus’ Gospel of Salvation we must dump out the old wine of worldly thinking; not once but every day.   The wineskin of our minds must be made new;  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  (Romans 12:2)

     Many say that they have done it only to be tripped up by all the modern idols of self or humanism that found a foothold again in their minds;  ” ‘Be careful,’ Jesus said to them. ‘Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ ” (Matthew 16:6)  Always working, is the worldly demand that there be no absolutes – no one way to God that is better than any other.  This is exemplified by a picture often posted on FaceBook that quotes the Dalai Lama; “People take different roads seeking fulfilment and happiness.  Just because they’re not on  your road doesn’t mean they are lost”  Jesus tells us there is only one way; “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)  If you’re a Christian, you have to believe that absolute.  No accommodation.  No compromise.   Any contrary thought must be ‘taken captive and made obedient to Christ’.

     If you don’t claim to be a ‘Christian’ and wish to subscribe to the Dalai Lama’s view – that is your right in an open and democratic society.  If you claim to be a ‘Christian’ and subscribe to the ‘many ways to God’ view then you are calling Jesus a liar.  Sadly, many clergy masquerade as Christian when in reality they serve another god.  Dr. Paul Knitter preaching at First Presbyterian Church, New Canaan, CT — June 15, 2008 says; “The Jesus-way can be, and needs to be, deepened through other ways. … Let me give you an example of how this has happened for me. For me, the way of Jesus has opened me up to the way of Gautama the Buddha.” 

     If you take a few moments to look through the website Pluralism Sunday you can get a first hand view of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is the ‘old wine’ contained by the current worldview (what we call postmodernism) at work.   When people try to pour the new wine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the old wine skin of their postmodern minds, the container bursts and the power of the Gospel empties out of their life.  Jesus describes this condition, using a different metaphor; “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”  (Matthew 5:13)

     Are you being deceived?  Are the old ideas of postmodernism held by your thought patterns or preached to you by some fake Christian cleric taking away from the power and life giving glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Paul urged those in his day to; “Examine yourselves<sup class="crossreference" value="(K)”> to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.<sup class="crossreference" value="(L)”> Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you<sup class="crossreference" value="(M)”>—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)  The Standard and the Truth is no further away from you than your Bible;  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16)

     “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  (John 14:6)

     Praise the Lord!

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