The Problem with Pragmatism

Posted: January 9, 2008 in Theology and Doctrine
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is pragmatism? In a nutshell it is when we are more concerned about the outcome and not so concerned with how we arrive at the outcome. This is not only prevalent in the world but in Christendom also. Basically it goes something like this:

We can do something in an unbiblical way and if someone gets saved through it, then whats the big problem? It doesnt matter if the truth is being preached or not. The ends justifies the means no matter what. I mean people are getting touched, lives are being changed, the ministry is reaching out to the poor so whats the big deal? Shouldn’t we be happy that people are being exposed to Christianity?

I praise God that he is able to save someone even in all the mess we call Christianity today. Paul even rejoiced that Christ is preached through people with wrong motives

Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.(Phil 1:15-18)

But should we say because it worked, we should continue to use that method even at the expense of truth? Should we be content with the dilution of truth even if the church seems to be doing some ‘good’, or should we ‘contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints’ (Jude 1:3)

If for example a woman goes pole dancing with gospel tracts in her underwear, and a punter takes one and as a result gets saved, can we then say, well it worked so it justifies pole dancing with gospel tracts? Of course not.

As believers, we should always aim to be true to scripture and true to sound doctrine. If Christ is the Truth, then we should be preaching Christ and him crucified. Pragmatism is dangerous and very humanistic because, in essence, we are saying we can get the result without doing it God’s way

Let us not get carried away with just the results, but let us aim to get the results God’s way and not ours.

  1. kellib says:

    Pragmatism and Pop-Preachers

    This is an insiduous problem in my
    Christian Family.

    We cling to our comfort zone and don’t dare
    face the dangers of pragmatism .
    Easier to just go along with it. Easier to wag our finger at the evil in The World than to examine our own.

    Take care.


  2. King's Kid says:

    Hello Alan,

    I have just finished perusing you blog, and I thank God for young people who seek to know and do “what thus saith the Lord” Keep searching and seeking, be diligent to be obedient to God’s word.

    “The LORD bless you and keep you;

    The LORD make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;

    The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace.”


    P.S. That “Squeeze” post, made me say OUCH! Thank you for your perspective.

  3. Love your site bro, just love it. Us brothers are just coming out of the woodworks aren’t we! Glory be to God for all His grace bestowed upon us. Love you brother and keep holding it down!! In Christ

  4. Alan Higgins says:

    Kellib, there are so many ‘pragmatised (is that a word?) churches these days

    King’s Kid, I think it made a lot of people say OUCH, including me

    Thanks Tyrone. Thats right. We are coming out. In amongst all the ‘church folk’, God has a remnant of believers who love the Truth

  5. blackreformingkid says:

    I was listening to Dr. MacArthur on Cross TV two days ago on the issue of pragmatism and if you look it up, this is the problem that has brought modern Christianity to where it is. I do believe that the ends do not necessarily justify the means, and God’s, not man’s, opinion is all that matters!!!

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