Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Brief Diversion

>>>>>Regular Life Stuff<<<<<<<<
DOB apparently picked up the flu in addition to the sinus infection and now we all have it, except possibly Deux, who is keeping everyone else entertained with battles between plastic figures. DOB is doing slightly better; by "slightly" I mean "able to breathe occasionally." This means that we missed the big annual bar dinner, at which DOB was being recognized for his contributions to the local legal community by getting the Young Lawyers organization up and running again. We watched it on Youtube, but it wasn't the same. Today I am missing the newest neiphling's baby shower. In fact, it's probably best if we draw a veil over all the things we are or might soon be missing and rant about random things total strangers have said on the interwebs.
>>>>>End Regular Life Stuff<<<<<<<<<

So some well-known pastor I haven't heard of writes publicly in answer to a question from an inquirer as to why previously-married Christian singles shouldn't fornicate since they can't get married right away for financial reasons. The writer actually does a pretty decent response right up until he gets down to what he thinks is the heart of the matter: a lack of concern for God's kingdom. Because if they were really, really sold out and on fire for God's kingdom, they wouldn't have TIME to think about such things. "Why do you lie in bed with your lady friend when the King has called you?"

Apparently if we were all really doing all we could to bring the Good News to everyone, everywhere, we would not be so bored that we fall in to sin. As an example, he cites a story of a secular couple who were so obsessed with rescuing Jews from the Holocaust that they had no time for their own passion.

If that's the case, though, it ought to apply just as well to married people. Really, Mr. and Mrs. Christian, what are you doing "sleeping in" when you could be out working for The Kingdom? Or to a lot of other things we could be doing with our time that, last I checked, weren't actually wrong but are not grabbing people by the collar and telling them the gospel.

Now, he also says--and I agree with him here--that if we actually believed God's laws were given to us for our good we would be more willing to obey Him. But he's gotten it mixed up with the wretched urgency that turns the Christian life into an exhausting treadmill of multi-level marketing. It is not normal or healthy for human beings to spend their entire lives in all-consuming missions. It takes a terrible physical and emotional toll. You can do it for a while in response to a great crisis, but you're going to get burned out, and fast. And meanwhile somebody's got to be making food and money and babies or the world isn't going to keep on running anyway.

Moreover, it repeats the idea that if we were just totally committed to God, really serving him, we wouldn't be sinning. Really? Let's face it, a lot of the worst sins--pride, anger, selfishness--don't take any free time at all. You know that meme people like to repost about how God can use anybody; how Noah was a drunkard, and David was an adulterer, and Elijah was suicidal, etc.? Stop and think about how many of these heroes of the faith ran into their big problems AFTER their great spiritual achievements. Sometimes RIGHT after. We've got this crazy idea that God takes sinful people and turns them into something else, when the truth is God takes sinful people and uses them anyway.

It also maintains that the work of the kingdom is somehow radically different from ordinary life, which doesn't seem to be the message of the Bible at all. "Study to be quiet and to do your own business and work with your own hands." "What does the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" What the original questioner should be doing about the kingdom of God is learning to love God and his neighbor, and that might involve asking himself what it says about his professed love for his girlfriend that he is more worried about his financial status than about committing to her publicly.


Diary of an Autodidact said...

"And now for something completely different!"

Couldn't resist...

Wendy said...

It's so annoying when people reach the correct conclusion through obviously flawed logic. It tends to cause sane people to write off the correct conclusion as ridiculous.