March 13, 2007 3 Comments
Becoming all things to all men
A church in St. Louis, Missouri (known as “The Journey”) has taken to hosting a Wednesday night gathering at a brewpub in order to discuss issues “ranging from racism in St. Louis to modern-art controversies to the debate about embryonic stem cell research” — all while enjoying a refreshing beer or two. It’s an outreach effort.
“We want to go where people are,” said Darrin Patrick, pastor of the church. “We don’t expect them to come to us.”
Jesus told us to “GO and make disciples,” so I completely agree with the idea that we should not sit around on Sunday morning waiting for the world to clamor through our doors begging to hear the Word of God preached. We have to take the message to them.
Paul even says, in 1 Corinthians 9:22, that he had “become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some,” but certainly this does not mean every kind of conduct is permitted if the ultimate goal is to share the gospel.
- Are we to murder in order that we may better relate to murderers?
- Are we to rape so that we may better share with rapists?
- Are we to become drunks in order to better witness to drunks?
Certainly not. In 2 Timothy Paul gives the instruction to “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace…”
So while the members of The Journey may argue that drinking is not a sin (and, according to Scripture this is true), I would argue that the Bible clearly characterizes getting drunk as sinful.
Yes, they may argue, but I can drink a beer and not get drunk.
Fine. What about two? Three?
The line between drinking and drunkenness may be hard to define, but I do know this: If you don’t take that first drink you can’t take the second. If you don’t have two you can’t have three. And if this is the approach you take toward drinking then the line between “just a few” and “drunk” never becomes an issue — does it?
Therefore, in light of Paul’s warning to Timothy to “flee the evil desires of youth,” I would say it is best to not even approach the line across which lies sin. Especially when Paul says in Romans, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
The Journey’s approach to evangelism is typical of the Emergent Church movement, whose followers seem to delight in dancing precariously close to the line. That’s a dangerous habit to develop. The trappings of this world are tempting, indeed. Trying to keep one foot in the world while trying to live a godly life doesn’t quite mesh with the biblical warnings against sin — even if we think our motives give us an excuse.
The State vs. The Market
Lawrence Vance, in an article at lewrockwell.com, points out the obvious difference between the state and the market — It’s Consent, Stupid. Oddly enough it was this issue of consent that made the original concept of American government so unique. The Declaration of Independence points out that the only just governments are those which govern with the consent of the governed…
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”
Our government no longer recognizes this principle. But, fortunately for us the one man who has demonstrated his appreciation for this principle and his willingness to stand firm in its defense has officially announced his candidacy for president.
Bumper sticker of the day