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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Bold Mistakes

Barnabas Piper smugly chides those evangelicals who participated in Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day as involving themselves in a "bold mistake." He writes,

Homosexuality is one of the most defining, contentious, and complex issues facing this generation of the church. We cannot sacrifice our biblical convictions but neither can we sacrifice the church’s ability to serve people of opposing viewpoints and lifestyles.

In other words, all that Christians are doing is turning sodomites and other assorted lefty Christ-haters away from Jesus. Seeing that they already hate Jesus, I guess he means Christians are hardening their hearts more. Strange words coming from a guy with a Calvinistic background.

Curious if he would have the same logic in the 1800s when the debate about the slave trade was raging. To put it in modern terms, does this apply to any sin, or just homosexuality? Would the church be sacrificing their ability to serve other people of opposing viewpoints, oh, let's say, NAMBLA and the polyamory clubs? What about pornographers? They certainly have an "opposing viewpoint" concerning marriage.

It's part of the Piper family mystique to be counter anything popular evangelicals may do. I mean, this is a guy whose dad wrote a book about not wasting your life and berated retirees for vacationing and collecting sea shells. If the Commie Red army came knocking at his door asking if he was hiding Christians, he'd say "yes," just to make what he thinks is some counter-relevant point about the misguidance of Evangelicals.

However, Church History is full of Christians who made "bold mistakes" by offending those of opposing viewpoints. Let's recount a few:

Athanasius
Charles Martel
John Wycliff
Jan Huss
William Tyndale
Martin Luther
Nicholas Ridley
Hugh Latimer
William Wilberforce
Charles Spurgeon
J. Gresham Machen
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Corrie Ten Boom

I'll trust that you know how to use Google and Wackapedia to get the background.
I'll update with any suggestions made in the comments.

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2 Comments:

Blogger c.t. said...

Well, we have to include Mr. Calvin, don't we? Aside from the big obvious history, on a smaller scale he wasn't afraid to upset the Libertines of Geneva.

12:03 PM, August 03, 2012  
Blogger Ken Abbott said...

One could generate a lengthy list just by checking Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and that goes just up through the 16th century.

On the excellent point about maintaining a conscientious biblical witness to our generation somehow being offputting to worldings: Well, duh. A stumbling block to Jews and foolishnes to Greeks, right? That Jesus; sure knew how to win friends and influence people, no doubt. Got him the key to the city and a ticker-tape parade. And that Stephen guy--heck, he was so popular with the elites they gave him a shower! And all those guys in the 11th chapter of Hebrews, feted by one and all. Yeah, being a winsome witness for the gospel will just bring every kind of applause and accolades and people just begging to sign up. Won't be able to beat 'em off with a stick.

Trying to accommodate the cultured despisers has been tried (repeatedly) and fails grandly every time. Why won't Christians like Piper and Evans learn this?

1:18 PM, August 03, 2012  

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