Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Philosophical Query

I have a query - and I don't know if there is a right answer, or even if this is the right question, but here it goes.

Which of the following tends to be a greater cause of error?
1. People refuse to see their own sin and the devastating impact of sin on the world, and so an ego-centric pollyannaish approach is taken.
2. People get bored with the Gospel, so instead end up focusing on other things to the Gospel's determent.

I normally end up thinking I see the second more -- that there is a boredom of the Gospel, that there is a disdainful attitude that comes to the simple preaching of Christ, of seeing Him over and over again. Wanting something "different". There is that disdain of the Gospel -- we know *that*, give us something new.

Of course, on the other hand, I think I am seeing more folks who, when you get to it, don't really understand the impact of sin. They think sin is just like a small zit - something that if you apply a bit of spiritual make-up is gone -- just give me a little touch up and I'll be good for the week.

Of course, these two are intertwined. If you actually understand the depth and impact of sin, the Gospel is never boring, is never anything less than wondrous. The answer to which is probably "yes" -- but I wonder, which in our culture pops out more. Is it a pretend self-righteousness or being so rich that the Gospel seems chopped liver.


Mike Baker said...

I think that it is both.

I think that the second one is the more obvious and common, but the first one causes it all.

...because once you understand sin, the Gospel isn't boring and there is no substitute for it.

Christopher D. Hall said...

I preached Sunday that another aspect of 1 is that we see no real danger to the "roaring lion". To us, he's a bad dog or maybe rattlesnake, but we have antivenom, after all.

I agree with Mike. It's both, though I would call #2 ennui, not boredom. :)

Sage said...

Culturally I think we want the deeper and more hidden things. We delude ourselves as the young man who came to Jesus and said, "All these I have done since my youth" did. We think if we can check off the major things, i.e., did't murder, fornicate, steal etc... today so I'm good; not looking at our hearts to see we harbor it all there.

That leads to the second thing listed and to keep ourselves occupied in doing good, we must find new and novel ways to express our higher way of living. From Finneyesque revivalism to eastern mysticism we paint our spiritual selves with a broad stroke. Like the ancient Egyptians who, loathe to lose some portion of their worship that might have still be authentic....kept it all as they added more and more ritual to the days activities until they did nothing but ritual. We're getting close to that point I think.

Mike Baker said...

"Bad behavior and a lack of repentence in my life happens, not when I think too much about God's grace, but when I think too little of it. It is the kindess of the Lord that leads us to repentance."

-Tulian Tchividjian
From White Horse Inn Interview
17 JULY 2011