II. STRENGHTS OF NOMINALISM
* Let us dispense with the word II, as though there would be His III & IV Comings-& so
on & so forth
- Nominalism – a Fact of Life.
Remember only in Heaven, there would be no nominalism. Even at the risk of
being labelled a pessimist, I would like to shout from rooftops that long after
we are laid to rest (unless our Lord’s Final* coming precedes our demise),
Nominalism would still continue to exist till the day our Lord comes &
separates the ‘Good wheat from the tares’( Matt 13 : 24-30,
- Where Nominalism scores over Godliness :
Godliness cannot be inherited, in this lies its inherent weakness. While Godly parents at
best can create a conducive climate in their homes for their offspring also to ‘accept the
Lord’, they cannot as such, make their children forcibly inherit Godliness. There is a good
chance that their children may not come to the Lord, at all. Conversely in a nominal home,
there is a good chance of the children remaining nominal, all through their life with no
push coming from their parents to be ‘God- honoring’ in their priorities. Ofcourse, there
is no rule that in a nominal home, a child –to- be-a- saint would not be born
(Godly Hezekiah was born to the wicked King Ahaz –
II Chronicles 29th Chapter).
But after seeing many, many homes over a period of more than 2 decades now, applying
the theory of probability, I am stating that in the inherent strength of nominalism lies
the weakness of Godliness. Boy, would I like to be proved wrong!
- How it all started & remains till date ?
Let me continue to sound pessimistic, all the good starts, God has given, like I
am pencilling a few here below, have faltered… after sometime
Should I need to say what happened in the Garden of Eden?
- Deliverence of ‘His’ people from Egypt :
How soon, did their warm love for Him after having been liberated from
their ‘physical slavery’ to Pharaoh, wane?
- Christians :
Their lofty love for their ‘Redeemer’ who saved them from not
only their ‘physical but also spritual slavery’ to Sin & Satan
(as Christians, are we not more indebted to the Lord, than the Jews who received only ‘physical’
deliverance?) came down a few notches & was close to registering sub-zero temperatures, as in the
case of the Church at Ephesus
(Rev: 2:4 & 5). But, to their credit, they hung on & revived.
However, as per the prophecy of our Lord in
Matt 13:24-30, at one time or the other the
tares had to be sown amongst the choicest wheat seed,
if it did not exist already* (*Philippians 3:18,19), & both had to ‘grow together’ till the
great day of His harvest (Final coming). Mind you, as per the prophecy ‘not only the tares
would be planted amidst choice wheat but that they had to & would grow together’.
Even as the Church in the early part of the Ist millenium AD , till 4th Century AD was
successfully warding off some satanic attacks from within by way of heretical teachings
of Gnostics, apostasy as highlighted by Jude in his epistle etc, besides coping with
its greatest indirect friend ‘persecutions’ (I call it indirect friend for reasons,
I would elicit, as we go along) came the danger from most unexpected quarters,
in the form of conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine to Christianity.
History says that Emperor Constantine’s conversion triggered a mass reaction amongst his subjects to embrace ‘religion of their Emperor’ blindly without experiencing any inward change in their
hearts. So we saw a sad situation unfolding in Church History of people thronging the Churches merely
‘to follow the religion of their Emperor’ with or without out any ‘born-again’ experience.
Till then the Christians mostly were
fulfilling their call to be the ‘Salt of the world’ & I would also like to believe, they were mostly (completely?
No sir!) passing on their faith to their children, like in the ideal setting brought forth in
Psalm 78:4, till
this event took place. With the conversion of Emperor Constantine (good for him, of course), the decline of
Christianity started, so say, the Church historians. While their critical observation that
“in this apparent victory of Christianity, were sown its ‘ seeds of defeat ' would be historically difficult
to disprove, as was evidenced from the events that followed, we would be well served to tread a cautious path
here & try to understand as to why Nominalism crept into Christianity in the first place. Could not have the
omnipotent God prevented it? (Wait till, I go into the subject…Nominalism & the Cosmic battle)
Should the Church have been selective in allowing people entering its portals? Yes, it had no spiritual ‘X’ ray
machine, to check & screen as to wheather the people wanting to become Christians were really ‘Born again or not
(Rom 8: 9) but
the Church elders to their credit at that time, perhaps were taking a more lenient & a accommodative view in line
with the spirit of Apostle Pauls writings in I Corinthians 7: 13 & 14, ‘that the faith of the Saved ones while
living with the unsaved ones could rub off on the latter eventually & in due course even the unsaved ones would
also come into the sheepfold of the Lord’, though Paul’s remarks were more in the context of a marital
‘Early Church leaders, should not have permitted all & sundry into the Church & waited for
their ultimate transformation’, we may observe critically because soon ‘ the Salt really
started losing its flavor’. In this context, I cannot state anything definitively but our
Lord has made me stretch the horizons of my vision & imagine what really could have
transpired. The Christians of that era, by virtue of their personal evangelism may not have
changed all the unsaved or should I say the nominal ones, having allowed them into the
Church in the first place, as hard as they may have tried despite being outnumbered
(mind you, Nominalism in its totality would end only on our Lords’ final
coming) but their offspring even before their personal transformation could have been
influenced by the offspring of the unsaved ones, with whom they may have grown up
(talk of Peer pressure!) & remained unsaved unlike their parents. Talking of peer
pressure, mind you it was in that era the Church instead of meeting in the homes of
its members, as it had been doing historically till then started to have separate
buildings for people to congregate & worship, whereby providing more opportunities for
different types of people to inter-mingle. Quite likely, intermingling, exchange of ideas’
about different lifestyles, priorities of life etc amongst the children of the saved ones &
the unsaved lot would have influenced the former for the worse who till then had not known the
Lord personally (Refer also once again to my comments on the subject ‘Where Nominalism scores
One generation living without God can undo all
the hard work of the generations gone by.We see that in the history of the Nation of Israel repeated cyclically especially in the book of Judges.
A ‘boom’ time of great manifestations of Faith is
invariably followed by a time of ‘doom’ marked by trips down into ungodliness.