“The exhortation to “abide” has been frequently misunderstood, as though it were a special, mystical, and indefinable experience. But Jesus makes clear that it actually involves a number of concrete realities.” (Cont’d…)
With this year being the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation (though there were quite a number of precursors leading up to that point), there are a number of great resources that are celebrating what God has done in history in recovering the gospel, while expressing the urgent need for ongoing reformation in our present day in the church (universally).
It started with a friend calling me out on being too wrapped up in the whole ER2 thing, seeing as how I’m on the sidelines anyway (my own observation). Point taken, though I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly put off for a while, in my pride. Then along came an article that drove it home for me a bit more, heard through Nathan W. Bingham.
I would offer one qualification though (in my theological superiority, kidding :)): Jesus is God, had a specific mission, separate and distinct from ours, and could see everything in people’s hearts. We can’t. He was bringing and effecting redemption itself or bringing hardness. We can’t do either of these, other than resting upon what the Spirit does through our actions. For Jesus, there was no need to debate. He told the truth, in such terms as, “Verily I say unto you.” He didn’t “reason” with people, He just told them what they personally needed to hear to either be saved or turn away. And it was always right. It is He who had the words that brought life or condemnation. Certainly his silence does speak louder than words at times. Other times it didn’t. His words speak for themselves, coming from the great I AM become man. The times He is silent, the message is, “What more could He possibly say or do?” He is who He is, and they killed Him for it.
Certainly Jesus should be emulated in action, no doubt, in terms of His approach and words to people. However, for Jesus, He is the Savior whereas we are the saved and proclaiming Him, fallibly, as Savior to people. In distinction, just to show the difference, Paul “reasoned” with those in the Synagogues, on Mars Hill, and so on. He debated, he pursued people in tearing down their idols and offering Christ. At times this meant publicly rebuking, though certainly not to the excess we’ve seen on the “interwebs” as of late. He was called all kinds of things as a result of his pursuits in discourse.
Regardless, Joe Holland’s points are good albeit painful since I’m all too prone to excess and obsession when it comes to either controversy or theological discourse. If there is one thing I need more of in my life, it’s balance and humility.
Update: notice I say “the church, as we know it” meaning it will look differently than it does now)
I have written many posts on the impact of the economy in relation to the fall and decay of Western society. Yet, the economic unraveling due to just plain old rampant fraud and excessive debt (though of course all a quantum size larger than man has ever known) is a symptom of something that is brewing in our culture at a much deeper level.
We are secularizing at a rapidly expanding rate. This secularizing has produced a moral crisis now in this country that is affecting everything, including the economy. Our character as a people is corroding, our morality is rusting and in fact poisonous.
As a result a culture who doesn’t stand on the pillars of the dictates of Scripture, even the most fundamental issues of morality that are necessary for societies to stand, eventually falls from within and descends into 1) chaos, and out of the chaos emerges some form of authoritarianism.