Has the Christian Institute crossed the line?

The Christian Institute (CI) exists for “the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom” and “the advancement of education”. The Christian Institute is a nondenominational Christian charity committed to upholding the truths of the Bible. We are supported by individuals and churches throughout the UK. We believe that the Bible is the supreme authority for all of life and we hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. We are committed to upholding the sanctity of life from conception.

The organisation’s statement of faith mirrors many other Christian organisations, including UCCF, The Samaritans, FIEC, Evangelical Alliance, Compassion UK, Friends International and many more.

Now the general work of Christian organisations is to reflect a peace driven focus, a desire to sacrifice for the poor, widows and orphans. Furthermore, it would endeavour to convey the truths of the Bible, including the nature of the fall,  the desperate plight of the human race and the ultimate point that “All things in heaven and on earth are now summed up in Jesus Christ the Lord”.

Sadly the CI does none of these things. In fact, on the surface it appears that the CI has metaphorically eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and now has the ability to determine whether people are moral or not, indirectly condemning those who do not live up to their strict ‘Moral Code’. Fortunately for the masses, this only seems to apply to Members of Parliament. Yet the Rev wouldn’t be surprised if the CI start claiming to pardon sins, and given an inch of power, would happily light the match that kindles the fires in the stake upon which the morally corrupt would be forced onto.

The CI is on the verge of drowning in the sinking sand of self righteousness. Yet it continues to proffer a Christianity of “moral acts” as opposed to a Christianity of Christ the redeemer.

The issue the CI has is its understanding and application of a moral code, especially in light of what Scripture has to teach. If the CI really adheres to the ‘Inerrancy of Scripture’ the organisation does not adhere to its meaning.

Morally Sound

“And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

Looking at this verse, and pulling it out of the context of the whole of Genesis chapters 1-3, many bible teachers have assumed that the first command set a president for what the Westminster Confession of Faith 1646 defines as ‘Covenant of Works’. Essentially God gave human kind a moral code (just one command in the beginning) and any failure to follow it would lead to death. This moral code was given more substance in the Mosaic Law (Exodus 20- Numbers; repeated in Deuteronomy). It was then remoulded through Jesus’ work and words. i.e. we can now eat pork and no need for circumcision. But essentially, we die when we break this code.

In one sense, this may be true. In another sense, it so overwhelming misses the point that St Paul (as the clique goes) would be turning in his grave.

Since the ‘moral code’ is not exhaustive (as it appears in the Pentateuch and the New Testament), some logical inferences need to be made, in order to cover every eventuality. Whether these logical inferences are based on a humanistic methodology or perhaps Platonic philosophy is another matter. When this moral code complete, it is can be assumed that anyone living on the right side of this “Code” is moral. Anyone that doesn’t, isn’t.

Morality, Secondary to Idolatry

The Rev cares very little for being told what to do. He is willing to accept this attitude if born out of a rebellious heart and 99.9% is not helpful. The reason this banding around of “Moral Codes” irks him so, is based on a few things.

Firstly, the application of moral codes that have derived from the bible have a habit of changing. As history moves on, so do people, in the way they think, they way they live their lives, the way they relate to each other. If it is assumed that we all came from two people, how is it that now, we have different standards, especially compared to the past. I mean, why do the British get so angry when they see German towels on the sun lounger at the swimming pool. The Rev is sure that Moses didn’t have this problem.

It is the Rev’s opinion, that were the Puritans still knocking around today, there could well be more wars, absolutely no internet and only Marks and Spencer selling women’s clothes. This last point is based on the generalisation that M&S sell sexually very unappealing clothes, not the sexier sort that you can find in other high street retailers, this may or may not be true; the Rev is ignorant on these matters. Certain standards are a given; murder and theft are generally considered banned practices in the bible, and to a certain extent most countries around the world uphold them, though there are many exceptions to this.

Secondly, it is very easy for people, not just Christians, to humiliate, belittle, even persecute others for not adhering to this code of morality. Witch hunting effectively equates to abhorrent self-righteousness. When you consider that the entire human race is facing the same plight and predicament including you, it is easy to be less Witch Hunter and more concerned for the wealth-fare of the people who may not have realised the solution to this plight.

Thirdly and finally, this idea of a Moral Code being the thin red line between heaven and hell, is garbage. The point of Adam and Eve’s rebellion is that they didn’t believe God. They exchanged the truth of God for the lie of the serpent. The reason why people do the things they do is not because they are indifferent about right and wrong, it is simply because “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1:25) And at one time or another we have all done that, and that is why we deserve to die. Whether it’s a golden calf, a cat, another person, sex, money, power, whatever it maybe, at one time these things have usurped God in the minds of human beings. These lies lead to death. And we can generally tell when a lie is being put in the place of God, it is because people do bad things. But the good or bad things (adherence to a moral code) are not the point. 

N.B. There is a fourth issue, which is the relationship between the church and the state. But that is for another time.

With regard to the CI, it appears that they are misguided about the first point, are well on their way to completing the second point and are so deluded about the third point, it could raise the question of whether they should really be using the word ‘Christian’ in their name at all. Because the Rev sees very little of the salvation that comes from the Lord Jesus Christ in anything they say or do.

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