Saturday, February 19, 2011

Link: Internet Monk: The Bad News of Self Righteousness

http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/the-bad-news-of-self-righteousness#more-17202

Chaplain Mike over at Internet Monk has a piece about how Joyce Meyer was able to turn the death of her brother into an opportunity to talk about how he made bad choices and died while she made good choices and has lived. Might not be the real intent of what Meyer actually said and I have to note that I have never listened to anything Meyer has ever taught and have never had use for it.

I can grant Meyer's point about "personal effects" is not about material possessions but a goofy pun on what effects you leave in your wake after you have died. I am not thereby more amused or persuaded that that whole lien of thinking is beneficial but I am at least going to grant the benefit of a doubt that "effects" was intended as the sum of the lived life and not as a reference to possessions. A cheesy pun from a preacher is not something new. I DID listen to a decade of Driscoll sermons and hear songs by Team Strike Force after all! Much as I dislike puns personally I grant that the substance of the pun rather than the style of punning itself ought to be the primary concern. :)

As to seed principles of faith I can take that as being as unhelpful as the "reverse engineering your life" idea. Both are forms of using a modicum of Christian teaching to tell people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, map out the life they want, and to go pursue that. Yahweh told Abraham to pack up his stuff and to go to the land that He would show him. God is a God who makes His children wander in the wilderness.

Even though Christ is risen if we fail to understand the nature of being aliens to this world it may be because we fail to understand that in a profound and broad level we are all like exiles, all like Israelites who have received teh promise of deliverance but have not yet seen the parting of the Red Sea. As I wrote earlier in the week the central struggle in Christian life is recognizing that we know in part, we prophecy in part, and we have received the promises of God in Christ in part. I realize how easy it is to be distracted by the full delivery of the promises that come through temptation and may the Lord grant that I am better able to resist these lures.

A seed principle of faith may have some kernel of truth to it but as Dostoevsky famously quoted from John, unless a kernal of wheat dies it will yield no fruit. Perhaps the seed of your faith that you think would yield a bountiful harvest for God actually needs to die before it will bear any crop. No, I'm not attempting to make some analogy to Meyer's dead brother. I'm talking about the whole seed faith concept itself. The partial truth is that we are invited to trust in a God who has said "I go to prepare a place for you". That place is still in the process of being prepared. We are invited to trust that the "not yet" is much better than any "already" we can imagine or even any "not yet" we would procure for ourselves even through the avenue of some "seed faith principle". But this kindness comes unbidden and unsought for and perhaps because of that it is all too easy to not be grateful for it.

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