Hiatus thoughts 1

I realize it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted anything here. Seminary + work = stress. So let me try to share some thoughts I’ve had in the interim.

The question on my mind this morning is, “If you know a topic will be unpopular in a group of people who are close friends (not just a polite party or gathering), should you bring the topic up anyway if you view the topic as important?”

I really struggle with this because people tend to like to disagree strongly with a strong assertion, but don’t like to stand for anything positively. For example, if I throw anyone under the bus theologically, people like to stand against me by being equally forceful in proclaiming “but that person has won many souls to Christ!” This assertion, of course, has nothing directly to do with that person’s theology–but their tireless efforts must give them some sort of pass.

What color would you like the circle to be?

I see this a lot in my circles, honestly. I see a lot of the other problem too, namely, completely discrediting someone else simply because they disagree on some sort of doctrine. This is the phenomena of drawing the circle of orthodoxy so tightly around oneself that one must stand on one foot to stay in the circle.

Can’t we, as evangelicals (confessional evangelicals, even!), be willing to speak the hard words that this or that preacher is frankly dead wrong and question what sort of effects his wrong doctrines have had on his disciples, while still rejoicing that God sovereignty and the power of the Gospel can still go forth from earthen pots?

Maybe that’s asking a lot. Too much, even.


7 thoughts on “Hiatus thoughts 1

  1. Dave, here is what I have found. In general we do not care if we are accepted and respected among the larger church, what we really desire is to be highly respected among our close circle of friends. Often times we will take a hard stance with the minority and against the majority, and it leaves us with some romantic feeling that we are a part of some oppressed remnant standing against apostasy in the world. The reality though is something entirely different. In truth we often stand against the popular trends not because we relish the role of being different from the christendom at large, but instead because we want to be accepted by our circle of friends who also see themselves as part of this remnant. It is covered with the gloss of our minority position, but really it is the same prideful sin of pandering to our own image.

    I am not a fan of Rick Warren, and I have my reasons, but there is almost an ‘inside’ club like feeling amongst those who oppose him, and somehow by opposing him (or other popular people) you gain entrance into the club. The appearance is that we refuse to be enslaved to the popular culture, but the reality is that we are enslaved to our own subculture.

    Healthy debate is almost lost altogether in Christendom, debate where both sides are heard, evaluated and reasoned with. A healthier approach to hashing things out is desperately needed in our day. (By healthy I do not mean a sissy sissy bedwetter version where we all get along, but at the very least a version where we can function humanely as we disagree.)

    • I’m not a Rick Warren fan either, but by the same token, There are things Mark Driscoll does that I don’t agree with either. We can debate and we can discuss, but it can be equally healthy to agree to disagree. I think the issue with discrenment comes down to this: Is the pastor calling for faith in Christ alone as the means of salvation. With some the answer is “yes” with some it is sadly “no.” I agree, Jay, being in the discernment camp can be an issue of pride in our own subculture. these are the problems that arise when we look to other men and not Christ.

  2. Makes me think of that Emo Phillips bit:

    I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said “Stop! don’t do it!” “Why shouldn’t I?” he said. I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!” He said, “Like what?” I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?” He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too! Are you christian or buddhist?” He said, “Christian.” I said, “Me too! Are you catholic or protestant?” He said, “Protestant.” I said, “Me too! Are you episcopalian or baptist?” He said, “Baptist!” I said,”Wow! Me too! Are you baptist church of god or baptist church of the lord?” He said, “Baptist church of god!” I said, “Me too! Are you original baptist church of god, or are you reformed baptist church of god?” He said,”Reformed Baptist church of god!” I said, “Me too! Are you reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?” He said, “Reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!” I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.

    Seriously though you raise some good points. We have to remember that our war is not against flesh and blood but against Satan.

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