Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Devastating Reminder

Rosaria Butterfield wrote a powerful piece in response to Jen Hatmaker’s declaration that homosexuality can be “holy.” One part in particular jumped out at me. She begins by pointing out what Hatmaker’s statement would have done to her had it been made back when she first became a follower of Jesus.

“Maybe I wouldn’t need to lose everything to have Jesus. Maybe the gospel wouldn’t ruin me while I waited, waited, waited for the Lord to build me back up after he convicted me of my sin, and I suffered the consequences. Maybe it would go differently for me than it did for Paul, Daniel, David, and Jeremiah. Maybe Jesus could save me without afflicting me…

She went on to say that false teaching such as Hatmaker’s “would have put a millstone around my neck.”

Of course many people probably simply saw this as a good argument against homosexuality. What it really is is a powerful reminder of the Gospel. The Gospel is a devastating solution to a terrible tragedy. Humanity rebelled against our loving Creator, and the only solution was for that Creator to sacrifice His only Son to rescue us. It cost God everything, and—even though we do not earn it—it costs us no less.

However, I wonder how much of what Butterfield says condemns all of us as believers in Western Culture. We have cheapened grace so much it is no wonder people like Hatmaker are recasting Scripture in a reading that better fits our sinful culture. We have ceased to ask ourselves, “What does the Creator want from us?” and instead are interpreting His word in a way that sounds reasonable to us.

We justify every sin imaginable. Or, perhaps less drastically, we are quick to forgive all our favorite sins without any need for a change, no real repentance necessary. We save all of our justifiable anger for the sins that we don’t struggle with.

Where is the life transforming grace of this Gospel where it comes to gluttony, materialism, infidelity, racism, or any of the other sins that American Christianity embraces?

It is easy to point the finger at celebrity “Christians” that are immersed in the moralistic, therapeutic, deism that pervades the American Church because they are wrong, but we need to be careful that we aren’t just busy condemning their errors all the while overlooking the same sort of things in our own thinking.

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