October 06, 2006

Did You Know


It seems that the last couple of days have taken me off track of my goal of posting everyday. I hope that you stay patient with me as I try to be faithful to offer my thoughts on a daily basis. It seems thought that I am not alone, check out how many people actually keep their resolutions.

What I want to talk about today is an excerpt from John Pipers message this past Sunday at the Desiring God National Conference. In it is this excerpt and as I've received feedback about what I meant by "The emergent church is missing the point", I've come to the conclusion that this pretty much sums it up: The nugget is this:

True Knowing Glorifies Jesus

The point is that if our joy is going to reflect the glory of God, then it must flow from true knowledge of how God is glorious. If we are going to enjoy God duly, we must know him truly. How can our joy reflect the worth of God if it is not rooted in truth about God? If you say, “My joy is in the journey toward knowing, not the arrival,” you make an idol out of the journey and you turn heaven into a disappointment. Jesus is not honored most by the exploration of various Christologies, any more than your wife would be honored by your indecision concerning her character. Jesus is honored by our knowing and treasuring him for who he really is.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say something like "It's stupid to argue about doctrine". I think that is the most short-sighted, lazy statement I've ever heard. It is born out of a premise that it's really not important to know exactly who Christ is as long as we have a general idea about who He is or as long as we're having fun. A recent excerpt from a pastor's blog of a church here in South Carolina.

Regarding a discussion in a home group of the great doctrine of divine election:
I still don’t care about the debate…I can argue either side persuasively…but it was fun to get into this talk
REALLY...you don't care? Read what Charles Spurgeon had to say about this "fun" debate..

If Jesus is the one who can "cast the soul into hell forever", don't you think you would want to know EXACTLY who He is and what His thoughts are about important matters of life. Do you really think if He walked here today, that you wouldn't want to gaze intently upon him and understand precisely what he was saying.

And if you say that things like election, atonement, original sin, etc aren't important then you need to ponder the ramifications of John 4:25.

I argue that it's lazy because Truth doesn't inspire people. Emotions do. It's easy to feel. It's hard to learn and understand. It requires digging in and knowing what you believe and why you believe it. Laziness is crippling the church today. Plain simple laziness. And then the lazy people say to those who have wrestled and agonized over truth that they are dumb because they don't just go out and feel.

Remember, the Bible says Jesus demanded that followers "must worship in Sprit and in TRUTH." Doctrine is not un-important. It is not stupid to wrestle over it. It is vital because you cannot worship rightly what you do not know truly.


Jack Martin said...
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Jack Martin said...

So I guess what you're saying is that Christianity should require a label from the "Great Physician General" that says "In order to participate in the Christian endeavor, intelligent thought may be required."

Debate in regards to doctrine, world events or life events has become so cynical to much of our society today. To "argue" over doctrine unfortunately tends to turn most folks stomachs. So much so that the desire to become involved in theological or doctrinal debate simply does not appeal to many Christians. They simply take the easy way out of the demand by Paul that WE be the judges of sound doctrine and that WE judge the spirits that we encounter on a daily basis.
I don't want to be intelligently involved in my Christian journey has become the attitude and that needs to change. So...what do we do?