I may repeat ‘Do as you would be done by’ till I am black in the face, but I cannot really carry it out till I love my neighbour as myself: and I cannot learn to love my neighbour as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him. And so, as I warned you, we are driven on to something more inward—driven on from social matters to religious matters. For the longest way round is the shortest way home.
~ Mere Christianity
The sensuous Christian is one who lives by his feelings rather than through his understanding of the Word of God. The sensuous Christian cannot be moved to service, prayer or study unless he ‘feels like it.’ His Christian life is only as effective as the intensity of present feelings. When he experiences spiritual euphoria, he is a whirlwind of Godly activity; when he is depressed, he is a spiritual incompetent. He constantly seeks new and fresh spiritual experiences and uses them to determine the Word of God. His ‘inner feelings’ become the ultimate test of truth.
The sensuous Christian goes his merry way until he encounters the pain of life that is not so merry and he folds. He usually ends up embracing a kind of ‘relational theology’ (that most dreadful curse on modern Christianity) where personal relationships and experience take precedence over the Word of God. If the scripture calls us to action that may jeopardize a personal relationship, then the scripture must be compromised. The highest law of the sensuous Christian is that bad feelings must be avoided at all cost.
(R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture, pp. 26-27).
Biblical truth – transcultural as it is – has an indispensable message for contemporary culture. It addresses modern learning, modern ethics, modern politico-‐economic concerns, and all the idolatries of our polytheistic society. It proclaims the gospel to a generation that is intellectually uncapped, morally unzippered, and volitionally uncurbed. Those who consider the latest fads permanently “in” will, of course, dismiss the Christian message as the last hurrah of an antiquated outlook. They reveal their sickness of soul by derogating terms like morality, piety, family, work, patriotism, born again, evangelical, theology. Christianity they dismiss as a kind of middle-‐class hedonism. Declaring it intellectually inadmissible, they meanwhile espouse a life that neither reason nor conscience nor spirit can support or condone. Repression of sensuality and of self-‐gratification they call psychotically abnormal; subordination of the flesh they leave to medieval monks or consign to the future resurrection. Affirming sexual pleasure to be the supreme good of a life of unending revelry, they waste away into ethical ghosts and skeletons.
- Carl F. H. Henry – The Christian Mindset in a Secular Society
“But if the traditional church is so inept, so out-of-it, so not-with-it, so passé, so completely washed up, so painful, and so boring, why not let it die peacefully? Why keep on kicking it?
Because the real target is not the traditional church but the traditional theology it lives by. This belief system is at the heart of the traditional church’s life that seeker-sensitives are after. It is not that they want to deny it or reject it, but it is something of an embarrassment to them. At least in their own churches, they want to conceal it. They want it hidden, kept in the background, made to disappear from what they are doing. It is rather like a family secret. Family secrets are true, but they should be kept private. They should not be divulged.”
-David F. Wells, The Courage to be Protestant
Whenever you believe that the evil outside you is greater than the evil inside you, a heartfelt pursuit of Christ will be replaced by a zealous fighting of the “evil” around you. A celebration of the grace that rescues you from your own sin will be replaced by a crusade to rescue the church from the ills of the surrounding culture. Christian maturity becomes defined as a willingness to defend right from wrong. The gospel is reduced to participation in Christian causes.
- Paul David Tripp from “How People Change”.