How Pop-Evangelicals Undermine God in Sanctification

9 11 2006

tire-slash1.jpgI have found that I have personally become quite exercised about some of the various methods and practices that are employed within the popular American evangelical community. Sometimes I have, through introspection, wondered if my offense was based upon my preference and these evangelicals’ divergent view of ministry. In other words, I wondered if my issue was chiefly my offense or God’s.

So in effort to have clean hands, a clear conscience and pure motives I examined this, and tried to understand what in the world contemporary evangelicalism is doing. And you know what? I’m offended. But now more than ever I feel that my offense is rooted in the attack upon God’s method for accomplishing his own end.

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How LOST encourages me to be more impressed with Jesus

7 09 2006

lost.jpgMy wife and I have recently been enjoying the television show LOST. We finished up season one last week and are now working our way through season two. One of the more compelling themes that the writers are continually emphasizing is the selfless personal sacrifice that is not motivated by greed but rather love and friendship.

The castaways are not related and are in reality strangers until the plane goes down. This common experience has bonded the group together into what is now resembling a fairly functional family (at least as far as I am in the viewing).

There is a bit of an unwritten expectation on the show that the castaways are going to have one another’s back, even being willing to suffer and die for them.

This theme has caused me to better appreciate and esteem my Savior.

With Jesus there is no expectation or obligation to intervene, protect or rescue sinners from their peril. In fact, the picture that the gospel portrays for us is not one of family but of enemies. Being unregenerate I am not on Jesus’ team but against him, I am his opponent. To use the LOST terminology as an unbeliever I am one of the “others”.

Jesus did not come to save friends and family but rebels and enemies. As Ephesians 2 tells us we were “children of wrath”. My family tree goes back to the garden and I am an offspring of sin sitting under the stern and justified anger of holy omnipotence. We were actively seeking to steal God’s glory, defame his character and userp his will. Sinners are not lovely but ugly. But note this Christian, your ugliness magnifies your Savior’s beauty. Listen to Romans 5.6:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus is a better Savior than we believe him to be. He does not sacrifice for and save friends but enemies. Our Father’s love is demonstrated and amplified by our own sinfulness.

When I watch LOST I am caught up in the drama that surrounds castaways and their subsequent sacrifice for one another in the name of brotherly fidelity and survival. But when I listen to the words of the gospel I am confronted with my sin and rebellion along with the justice, holiness, grace, mercy and love of my Savior. It is this truth that is to captivate the heart of those born of heaven more than any story on television.

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