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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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12 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
      • lyn #

        It's sad when professing Christians fail to call sin what it is. Instead, they refer to homosexuality as 'same sex attraction'. Where is THAT in the Bible Jeanie? Where does the Bible say we 'fall in love' with Jesus? Good grief, let's drop the worldly terminology and search His word for actual truth. Biblical love is NOT nothing like human love, which is based on emotions. True biblical love calls for action, it's giving up all of 'self' for others, it's proclaiming the whole counsel of God regardless of how offensive the sinner may find it.
        As for the 'church' – the TRUE church of Christ are sinners who've been born again by God's power, they've forsaken their sins and continue the rest of their time here mortifying sin. The church is NOT for those who want to hold onto their forbidden lust, which is what homosexuality is birthed out of – not 'same sex attraction'. When we use worldly terminology, it takes the 'sting' out of sin, it lessens the severity of it as well.
        When we present a God that is all love, love, love, we do NOT present the God of the Bible. What are God's attributes, does anybody really know?! What does it mean to say God is thrice holy? The 'god' most profess looks NOTHING like Jehovah found in scripture. The 'god' most worship is their 'bff', or their 'homeboy'. Most do not have a clue what it means to have reverence and holy fear of the Almighty.

        The true churches of Christ {which excludes all Roman Catholic churches because their teachings are doctrines of demons} must keep all sin in check, as the Apostle Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, " But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. "Purge the evil person from among you." How sad is it that so many have NO clue of God's holiness and hatred of sin.

        Perhaps it's way past time for those who profess to be Christian to open their bibles and STUDY God's word! Let's not think true followers of Christ are like Westboro Baptist church, for true regenerates would never hold up stupid signs or spew out so much hate; we know that if you love someone, you must give them truth as found in God's word. You will NOT gloss over their sins, like homosexuality, you will define sin as the Bible does…homosexuality is an abomination to God. He abhors it and will pour out His wrath on those who continue in that perversion. Only God can reveal to a sinner their own wickedness, and He uses His word to do so. When we water truth down, and leave out the severity of sin, wrath, and man's own depraved helpless state, we are not presenting biblical truth. In turn, many false converts are professing to believe in Jesus because the 'gospel' they heard was weak, watered down, and not offensive to their sinful nature. The true Gospel will either cause the sinner to gnash their teeth or cry out 'what must I do to be saved?!?'

        The Gospel most spew out today is an accursed gospel, it has no power to save because man has tampered with God's truth to make it 'less offensive' to sinners, to make it more palatable to those who have no clue how much God despises ALL sin! There is no third way; the Bible makes demands on all mankind. There is a command by God – repent and believe on the Lord Jesus! This is not an option, nor is it a choice. We need to quit presenting this 'sissified' Christ and proclaim the Christ found in Holy Writ, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, " Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?" Revelation 6:15-17 Does that sound like the Christ we hear of today?
        "Though Christ be a lamb, yet he can be angry, even to wrath, and the wrath of the Lamb is exceedingly dreadful; for if the Redeemer, that appeases the wrath of God, himself be our wrathful enemy, where shall we have a friend to plead for us? Those perish without remedy who perish by the wrath of the Redeemer." Matthew Henry

        June 17, 2014 at 8:35 PM Reply
    • lyn #

      Where did any of them state they repented of and forsook their sins? All they did was re-define their identity, their 'catholic' now, which means they are still in their sins.

      June 17, 2014 at 8:38 PM Reply
      • 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
        • lyn #

          Exactly- speaking the truth 'in love' is sorely missing in our day isn't it?
          It seems the problem lies in defining 'love'. Some think it's unloving to point a sinner to their sins, and to specifically name their sin as the Bible does. So they use worldly terminology, which doesn't have the power of God behind it so there is no pricking of the conscience. Instead of telling them homosexuality is an abomination, they refer to it as same sex attraction. See how unoffensive that term is? Nowadays, if you point sinners to their sins, you are 'judgmental', or 'unloving'. This shows the ignorance of those who make such accusations.
          As for the Roman Catholic church – the Catholic church spews out a false 'gospel', which is no gospel at all. They are keeping sinners comfortable in their sins, assuring them they will go to heaven if the become 'catholic'. There is no biblical support for their teachings, nor is there biblical support for adherence to man made denominations. Christ calls His own to follow Him, NOT denominations.

          It is the ministerial work of the Holy Spirit to break the sinner over their sins, to produce that 'contrite and broken heart' in sinners {Psalm 51:7}. That comes through hearing the truth about sin, as well as the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. However, today the whole counsel is no longer being proclaimed. Sinners are assured God loves them regardless of their attractions, struggles, etc. They are not given the truth about repentance, mortifying and forsaking sin, wrath, etc. The 'god' most paint a picture of is lopsided, all-loving, and nothing like the true God found throughout His word. There is no fear of the Lord, no reverence for Him, even among those who profess Him as Lord, Savior and Master. May God have mercy.

          June 18, 2014 at 9:41 AM 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
    • lyn #

      No, I do not have all the answers. What I do have is the word of God, and I stand on it firmly, by His power and might. If we love sinners, that love will manifest itself in us giving truth. God doesn't call for us to win the trust of sinners, He calls us to be faithful and proclaim His truth. It is the ministerial work of God the Spirit that takes truth and works in the hearts of sinners.
      If you'll notice, when Stephen preached to the masses, the truth caused them to gnash their teeth at him and stone him to death. He called them a stiff necked people, was that loving? Yes, for he revealed to them their true state. John the Baptist told Herod it was not lawful for him to have his brother's wife, was this loving? Yes, because he pointed Herod to his sin.
      It seems so many have no clue what biblical love means. I will tell you this, it has nothing to do with emotions or feelings. If you love someone, you will warn them of the impending judgment that looms and speak of Christ's atoning sacrifice. You will point them to their sins as well, telling them, as it is written, what God says about sin. The more you sugar coat sin, the less effective your speech will be. God will not use anyone who waters down truth to make it palatable to the unregenerate.

      As for this post which exposes compromise, I think this from J.C. Ryle is quite fitting…

      "False doctrine does not meet men face to face, and proclaim that it is false. It does not blow a trumpet before it, and endeavor openly to turn us away from the truth as it is in Jesus. It does not come before men in broad day, and summon them to surrender. It approaches us secretly, quietly, insidiously, plausibly, and in such a way as to disarm man's suspicion, and throw him off his guard. It is the wolf in sheep's clothing, and Satan in the garb of an angel of light, who have always proved the most dangerous foes of the Church of Christ. I consider the most dangerous champion of the Sadducee school, is not the man who tells you openly that he wants you to lay aside any part of the truth, and to become a free-thinker and a skeptic. It is the man who begins with quietly insinuating doubts as to the position that we ought to take up about religion, doubts whether we ought to be so positive in saying "this is truth, and that falsehood," doubts whether we ought to think men wrong who differ from us on religious opinions, since they may after all be as much right as we are. It is the man who tells us we ought not to condemn anybody's views, lest we err on the side of the lack of love. It is the man who always begins talking in a vague way about God being a God of love, and hints that we ought to believe perhaps that all men, whatever doctrine they profess, will be saved.
      Beginning with a little vague talk about "love," you may end in the doctrine of universal salvation, fill heaven with a mixed multitude of wicked as well as godly, and deny the existence of hell. Beginning with a few high-sounding phrases about intellect and the inner light in man, you may end with denying the work of the Holy Spirit, and maintaining that Homer and Shakespeare were as truly inspired as Paul, and thus practically casting aside the Bible. Beginning with some dreamy, misty idea about "all religions containing more or less truth," you may end with utterly denying the necessity of missions, and maintaining that the best plan is to leave everybody alone. Beginning with dislike to "Evangelical religion," as old-fashioned, narrow, and exclusive—you may end by rejecting every leading doctrine of Christianity—the atonement, the need of divine grace, and the divinity of Christ." – J.C. Ryle, http://gracegems.org/23/Ryle_pharisees_and_sadduc

      June 23, 2014 at 10:09 PM Reply

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