This story came up in my newsfeed today. I am taking a sick day today, but there is so much wrong here, and it is so prevalent, that I wanted to make a few comments.
For some reason, Evangelical America has decided that shame is an effective way to battle sin. My whole life, I have heard that “Israel forgot how to blush” (Jer. 6:15) which led to their destruction. Therefore (so it is taught) when we catch someone in some kind of sin, the best thing we can do for them is publicly shame them so that they won’t sin any more.
This is actually practiced in so many churches, but it seems to always be selectively applied. The only people I have ever heard of being publicly shamed like this – forced to stand before the whole church, or the whole school, and confess their sins – are…
Men, sometimes our best-designed outlines, our ingenious illustrations, and our attempts to convey a point without offending do nothing more than muddy the cleansing water, smudge the reflective properties of God’s Word, and lessen the needed blow to our hardened consciences.
Maybe we should heed the following advice:
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time-a tremendous whack.” – Sir Winston Churchill
Do you think the Apostle Paul and Churchill might have been related?
The new religion we are exploring in this series is underpinned by a set of unquestioned worldview assumptions, or “givens” that frame everything else. As I’ve studied the new religion over the past few years, four major assumptions emerge as particularly foundational. You might think of them as the four core doctrines of the new religion. Understanding them is a prerequisite for understanding the values, beliefs and actions of its adherents.I’ll cover these four core doctrines in two posts. In this post, we’ll consider the first two: (1) group identity, and (2) cultural relativism, or multiculturalism, both of which are rooted in postmodernism.Group identityA biblical worldview uniquely affirms both the individual and the group. We see the significance of individuals throughout the scriptures. God’s call to Abram in Genesis 12 is just one example. God holds each of us accountable for our beliefs and actions (see Matthew 25:31-46 and Hebrews 4:13). Each of us has unique gifts, talents, and callings. As image-bearers of God, our choices influence the course of history. The Bible imbues every individual with incredible value, dignity and potential.At the same time, the Bible affirms that we are made for relationship. We are part of communities, including families, ethnic groups, and churches. These profoundly shape who we are. We are acculturated into these communities by a shared language, values, habits, and history.
I try to balance my posts between God stuff and other stuff. But, because of my passion to speak truth into people’s lives (including my own), God stuff tends to win. For me, all roads lead to God, not to Rome. Nevertheless…
Modern culture is taking the road to ancient Rome, toward two progressive beliefs: pantheism (everything is divine) and paganism (so take your pick). Conclusion: Life is a BYOG (bring your own god) party, and no god is any more valid than any other. The milestones on the road look like this:
We’ve always allowed diversity, but now we “celebrate” it, affirming that all beliefs are equally valid.
In doing so, we lose our former understanding of the distinction between rights and truths, i.e. that the right to believe something does not make it true.
We denounce the “exclusionists” who disagree with this revised definition of diversity, labelling them
The following post was first published in 2011, yet it is definitely worth revisiting. If you have not read this post, what it depicts is a perfect example of why I call myself a “recovering legalist.” Even now I cringe when I recall my judgmental, legalistic actions 6 years ago. But God’s grace doesn’t force immediate change; we grow in grace.
Some take longer than others.
For the last several weeks we have been going out to get some food after evening services. If you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain:
Getting Food = going to a restaurant that sells stuff you could make at home for a lot less money, but tastes better and is more fun when you pay for it in the company of others.
Evening Services = gathering of believers at a local church that still takes place on Sunday nights…