David Westerfield

Gospel. Culture. Technology. Music.

Tag: piety

The Embodiment and Fulfiller of the Law

The law, religious piety and practice have fallen on hard times these days in the church. The modern day status quo stance of many professing evangelicals seems to be something of, “I’m free in Jesus to do what makes me happy while not hurting anyone else and to follow the way of Jesus as he outlined in the Sermon on the Mount,” etc. etc. This may be the kind of stance red-letter-only Christians tend to possess. However there’s a big problem with this.

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Piety Versus Legalism

The words ‘piety’, ‘holiness’, ‘righteousness’ amongst others are words few hear today from church pulpits without thinking of the evils of legalism. Even the word ‘religion’ has been lambasted to the point of being equal to that of the ideology of the Pharisees.

What has occurred though to a great degree is that the idea of piety itself, properly defined, in Biblical terms has been left by the way side, in the wake of moving from one extreme to the other. Personal holiness is something that is lightly if ever talked about. We talk about our mistakes or external sins here and there, for sure, but how often are we admonished to pursue virtuous piety, in the terms the Bible describes? It is a shame personal holiness is not advocated the way the Scripture advocate it. The problem is that you risk offending people, which is exactly what Scripture does to sinners (like myself) who are in violation of God’s law. It brings rebuke and correction, something our “enlightened” American society has a hard time with.

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Jon and Kate Plus 8 and Evangelical Culpability

(Original): The Gospel and the Gosselins

(Archived): The Gospel and the Gosselins

Reality shows honestly make me ill, kind of like Jerry Springer shows in the middle of the day when you are sick and nothing else is on so you just wind up turning the thing off. The concept is worn out, over-used, uncreative, trivial, trite, shallow, and mind-numbingly boring. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather not watch on television than reality shows, because they are anything but what they claim to be and cheapen the very concept of … well, reality. TV becoming “reality”? I don’t get it and fail to understand how an entire culture is okay with this stuff.

Huxley’s vision of the future, portrayed in Brave New World, is coming to pass and we’re okay with the mundane, the brainless, coming to love our servitude to nonsense and emotionalism. Instead of having an outside oppressor like a totalitarian regime control us by brute force, as portrayed by George Orwell in 1984, instead what we love is killing us and holding us captive (Amusing Ourselves to Death … read it, everyone). Coincidentally, that is exactly what sin does. I honestly believe these shows are all loosely scripted to give the portrayal of “reality” and lack any level of depth that would give them some form of lasting cultural value (you know, like a Shakespeare work or Homer’s Iliad). They are trivial and a giant waste of time to be involved in.

But that’s all just an opinion. On the basis of someone else’s taste preferences, the same could probably also be said of shows that I like such as 24, The Office and FoxNews. My taste preferences are not the same as others. TV in itself is a waste of time (in general) … and I honestly like some of it. Guilty as charged.

Regardless of what I think concerning reality shows, many people like them, and can’t wait for the next episode to come around. Okay, fine and good, I don’t take issue with that. However, the “reality” show Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC has brought to light something evangelicals really don’t want to talk about (which the fact we don’t want to talk about it is a whole other issue in itself): our acceptance and absorption of the cultures’ worldly, materialistic, narcissistic, self-absorbed values; the slow (or fast, depending on the timeline we’re talking about) slide toward the secularization of the evangelical church in America.

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