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Amy is co host for Stand Up For The Truth. You'll find her on her brand new news blog, Berean Research! You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and of course at Naomi's Table.

Is the “Third Way” coming to your church?

Third way meme

Is the “Third Way” a term you have heard in your church meetings, or perhaps from the pulpit? If so, let me give you a synonym as a way to understand what it really means. THIRD WAY = COMPROMISE. I hope that helps.  When we apply the Third Way concept to the modern church, we must keep in mind that there is no compromise when it comes to God’s Word as timeless, eternal, breathed out truth.

And yet this Third Way is now being used as the frosting on a cake many Post-Modern pastors and elders would like to spread on that cake they want to eat and have too.

It’s not a new idea, but it has always meant the same thing:

The Third Way origins

Generally, Third Way is any ideology that claims that it lies in between two traditional camps that people who are uncomfortable with conflict believe are too extreme. It almost always is pushed by progressives and rejected by conservatives.

Clinton BlairAmericans first heard  “third way” rumblings from  progressives in the early 20th century, and again in the 1950s by German ordoliberal economists.  But the name became main stream in the 90s via Tony Blair, the former British Prime Minister (who now runs the global  Tony Blair Faith Foundation , a concerning ecumenical formation he spoke of at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit).  His ideology in 1994 helped spawn his New Labour Party which supposedly married two extremes of socialism and capitalism, to create a modernized form of social democracy. Blair said “My kind of socialism is a set of values based around notions of social justice.”

The Third Way in the Post-Modern church

When Pastors Tim Keller and Rob Bell both endorsed a book from an emergent writer titled, Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional, the few discerning folks at the time asked not “what’s up with Rob Bell,” but rather, “what’s wrong with Tim Keller?” The 2009 “third way” book claimed  to cut a middle path between two warring camps, trying to get “a couple of generals from either side to meet on the cover and shake hands for the cameras is a real diplomatic coup—a symbol that maybe, finally, managed to broker a settlement that will issue in a lasting peace.”

Problem was, the two “generals” on the one side were sons of the devil. Heretics, who deny and continue to deny Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross for our sins:

In the book’s introduction, (author) Belcher recounts a meeting between Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, and John Piper. The meeting ended badly, with Piper telling Pagitt, “You should never preach,” because Pagitt rejected what Belcher strangely calls “Piper’s view of atonement,” which I have to assume is penal substitutionary atonement. As Piper summed it up, because they rejected penal substitutionary atonement, Pagitt and Jones were “rejecting the gospel in toto.”  (source)

This week, another Progressive Christian voice attempted to pit two “extreme” Christian sides in the gay marriage issue, once again using Tony Jones on the Left and Al Mohler on the conservative side.

Recently, Al Mohler blogged that when it comes to gay marriage THERE IS NO THIRD WAY.

His curmudgeonly Neo-Fundamentalist take is the right-wing mirror of Tony Jones’s position from the left. Tony, too, believes that there’s no third way. It’s a moment of agreement between the two poles that pretty much proves the accuracy of the fundamentalist label I’ve recently argued for.

Again, you can’t put a Bible-preaching Christian against a heretic son of the devil and come up with a Third Way. Tony Jones does not qualify as a third leg of this Christian stool, as he disqualified himself by denying the atonement of Christ’s blood on the cross for our sins. Notice too, that those who believe and teach the authority of Scripture as truth are now “extreme.” And yet the Patheos blogger concludes:

The third way is to put the theological position in its place – by submitting it to love, inclusion, and equality…Ideally, third-way denominations and movements would officially make room for gay relationships and gay marriage, but encourage congregations to discern their own policies locally, and demand an atmosphere of mutual submission and understanding among their family of churches. Sure, there may be denomination-wide boundaries involved – say, the belief that the New Testament is clear on covenantal monogamy and chastity before marriage – but there would be a recognition that LGBT Christians are real Christians and real evangelicals, and no congregation has the right to deny that absolutely.They may not be able to perform weddings or theologically affirm the relationships, but they would practice inclusion and support civil rights.


The Third Way Propaganda

I submit to you another exhibit of how the Third Way is going to evolve your church. This particular video was made to sway Catholics. But if you think Catholics are more gullible than your Evangelical church, take a look at this Third Way video and tell me that pastors who once were thought to be solid won’t cave when these stories pitting the evil fundies against the sweet victims on the other side pull on their heartstrings;

(The Third Way from Blackstone Films on Vimeo.)

The conclusion:

Third Way meme2

Dipping a toe in: the Third Way strategy

What the Third Way really is involves a 5-year strategy plan straight out of the Matthew Vines Reformation Project playbook, designed to get your church to “have a conversation” about the Third Way, so that eventually the abhorrent idea of twisting God’s Word to make gay marriages happen becomes more palatable.

And this strategy accomplishes something else: it gives a way for the cake-having-and-eating elders and pastors to retain their likeability; and keep many of the tithers glued to their pew seats, because after all, their church is all about love and tolerance, and who doesn’t want to belong to that?

I don’t. And I hope you don’t either.

The “Third Way” is a lie from the pit of Hell.

There.  Someone had to say it.

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8 Responses to “Is the “Third Way” coming to your church?”

  1. Jenny #

    Luke 13:5 Jesus said, " unless you all repent (mentanoi change heart, mind,) you will all likewise perish.
    Jesus is radical and will have to judge sin because He is holy. Compromise is for luke warm people who Jesus said He will spit you out of His mouth. The most loving thing to do is preach the truth in love. True heartfelt repentance brings true freedom. Everyone of us has had bad childish experiences, sinful desires etc. because we are fallen sinners. I find this as a weak copout for giving in to homosexuality. I also find the Catholic Church the biggest hypocrite which has promoted homosexuality and pedaphelia for years and is damning many souls with their false gospel.

    June 9, 2014 at 7:14 PM Reply
  2. Cherie c #

    And you said it quite well Amy.

    your sister in Christ Jesus

    June 9, 2014 at 9:55 PM Reply
  3. Shawn #

    Did anyone watch this video? The homosexuals renounced their gay lifestyles in the end. Just thought you should know.

    June 10, 2014 at 10:41 AM Reply
    • believer #

      I watched the video as posted here and I did not see or hear any of them renounce their gay lifestyles.

      June 16, 2014 at 10:10 PM Reply
    • jeaniecorrea #

      I was thinking the same thing, Shawn. The video was beautifully done. And each of these gay individuals gave up their homosexual lifestyles for a love relationship with Jesus. What more can we the church ask for? And the rest of you, Oh my goodness, your closed hearts break mine, that's for sure. We need to love these people, allow them inside the church so that they can experience the love from within the family walls. Then when they fall in love with Jesus, He will begin to do a new work in their hearts! But instead, we are calling them names and making them feel like sons of Satan himself (oh wait, the author actually called them this) while righteously looking down our noses at them. We say we love them but not their sins, but do we really? Do we actually get to know them and love on them and let them into our lives and into our church circles? Y'all know the answer. Instead, our authors and bloggers that want to represent the rest of us resort to name-calling, like "sons of the devil" or "heretics" and such.
      I'm so ready to get off this church merry-go-round going nowhere and get on level ground where everybody is the same in God's eye and loved equally.

      June 17, 2014 at 2:28 PM Reply
  4. Kathy M. #

    The "Third Way" is just another way of saying "we will ignore your sin" come and worship with us. Many "churches" already do the same thing with heterosexuals who live together without being married, those who commit adultery and a host of other sins. I also noticed there was nothing about the gospel and repentance in the film. Just the fact that they changed there lifestyle does not certainly mean every LGBT person who attends these "third way" churches will do the same. The people in the above film also give too many excuses as to why they are gay to believe they really repented of that particular sin. I think they are more or less ignoring it and the Third way IS certainly the venue for that.

    June 11, 2014 at 1:30 PM Reply
  5. jeaniecorrea #

    Lyn, you obviously have all the answers, so i will not bother with a rebuttal. Perhaps we can agree on the fact that unsaved people will act like unsaved people. And they will not fall under the Holy spirit's conviction or give a crap that they are living in perpetual sin until they come to know the father through the Son. And how will they ever know the Father through the Son unless loving, gentle Believers give them a reason to trust us enough to let us make the introduction? If we do nothing but bark at them for their lifestyle of sin, can we ever get them to want to know the same God whose name we bear? I understand that it is tough for a prophet, which I sense that you and a few others on this site are, to keep quiet about sin. The church needs its prophets, for sure. But the unsaved world does not. They need the merciful. Prophets, please just be patient and let those with the gift of mercy love on the lost before you start throwing the punches!

    June 20, 2014 at 9:46 PM Reply
  6. standupwi #

    Precisely, Lyn. But those who do not have their eyes open to what confession and repentance really is, will feel "guilted" that perhaps they are being "too judgmental."
    Hogwash – we are to love those who are struggling with any sin…but we must love them well enough to help them see that what they are doing is embracing full-on rebellion against God.

    June 18, 2014 at 9:10 AM Reply

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