Friday, January 12, 2007

Christian Passivism

I have leanings on the subject. We all do, on any subject, at least if we are honest. However, this is a subject upon which I do not have a definite opinion formed yet. At both of the seminaries I have attended, the concept of just war is believed, as strongly as any other theological position. Furthermore, the guys holding these positions are no dummies either. I sat through quite a few lectures from John Frame, listening to his defense of just war. I am just not sold on it. The problem is, I do not really like the alternative either. We are certainly responsible to defend Truth (the Gospel) at all costs, even our lives. The question is: How do we do this? We are definitely commissioned to defend the Paschal event with all we have, however, I do not think we are called to repeat it. Mainly because that is the point of Christ's necessity, we could not, Christ could and did. With all this is mind, Christ won through the appearance of losing, but is that our call as well? I do not mean we go Charlemagne and bring the Gospel with the sword, but when if ever is it OK as Christians to defend ourselves through violence? I will pose it like this. One of my ethics professors, who will go unnamed, stated that we are to live by the platinum rule. He explained this rule like so... if your are interrogating a suspected terrorist, to find out where a bomb is, you may torture him. The reason... because if he (the terrorist) were a Christian, he would tell you, and if you maim him, and one day in the future he becomes a Christian, he would thank you for maiming him, so as to force him to do the right thing (telling where the bomb is located). I am very interested for other people's opinions on the subject. It seems very relevant given the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, and George Bush's take on these things being that he says he is a Christian.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Topical Preaching

I understand that there are definitely occasions within a pastor's career in which topics will come up on the fly that need to be dealt with in the church. Such as a death or a cataclysmic world event. However, is topical preaching antithetical to the Gospel itself. In Acts we see the apostles proving Jesus was the Christ time and time again by expositing the Scriptures. Also, Jesus on the road to Emmaus proved He was the Christ from the Scriptures. So, how do topical sermons on building buildings, getting a promotion at work, how to raise your kids, etc. That may mention a verse of Scripture move the Gospel and Kingdom of God forward with the Church. If Christ is not the center of the gathering of God's people together as the Church, are they really the Church at all?? Is the sole mission of the Church not to make disciples? Can we make disciples if we do not teach people about Christ? Will prosperity from motivational speaking keep people from an eternity burning in Hell? Am I being too harsh with this? I am just so disheartened at the fact that so many churches have abandoned the Gospel, to fit in with the culture they are supposed to be reforming.

Friday, January 05, 2007


I am greatly saddened, not surprised, just saddened. Many of you who read this blog and are Southern Baptist will know who Ed Young is. He is the former 2 time president of the SBC. His son is pastor of a very large church in Dallas, TX. I was sent an e-mail this week directing me to his site. His newest sermon series is titled "Living larger than Life." There is nothing noteworthy or shocking about this title. Many churches today are preaching the pseudo-gospel of success and fame these days. What is disturbing is the video "advertising this sermon series." Ed Young, Jr. goes to none other than Hulk Hogan's house to explain the series. That's right the wrestler. For those of us that were kids in the 80s the guy on Saturday morning ripping his shirt off for all you Hulkamaniacs. I am not here to cast a decision as to Hulk Hogan's salvation. What disturbs me is the video goes through his elaborate house, and Ed Young describes Hulk as larger than life, saying implicitly that this is what you are to aspire to be. I do not recall that being found in Scripture anywhere. Hulk was entertaining, and I am sure he will still bring a crowd. However, not one mention of Jesus was made in regard to the series. I find this to be a growing disturbing trend. A church without Jesus, is just a club that meets on Sunday. If we do not preach condemnation, if we do not preach the cross, why will anyone think they need Jesus at all? For if we can be "Larger than Life" without Him, what did He really redeem us from anyway??