After a year in the blogosphere I have found out that several groups of people don’t like me. The hate-mail keeps rolling in.
These are just general categories, I know you guys that read this blog regularly like me.
The Covenantals don’t like me, but neither do the Dispensationalists. The Charismatics don’t like me, but then again, neither do the Cessationists. Premillers, Postmillers, and even some Amillers don’t like me. Free Gracer’s don’t like me, almost as much as the legalists don’t like me.
In fact, there is pretty much only one group of people that like me so far, and that’s the Presbyterians. I think this is because we have an unspoken agreement that we can have fellowship in the Gospel even though we disagree on some other things. This agreement is not that we ignore those disagreements, but that we keep the main thing the main thing and don’t resort to false accusations about each other’s positions. But that’s something else altogether.
The point is, there are a lot of people who are unhappy with me because I am a non-charismatic, non-cessationist, continuationist, NCT, Amil, who believes that we are under the Law of Christ and not the Law that was given to the nation of Israel.
The question then, is why do I hold these positions? Is it because I am a rebel? Or maybe because I want to be different? Maybe it’s because I want to make enemies!
No. No. And, no. Why then?
I want to please Christ. I want to serve God. I want my theology to be shaped, not by a system or a circle of friends, but by the Word of God. To do anything else would make me a servant of my system or my friends. Isn’t that the gist of what Paul says in Galatians?
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal 1:10)
This statement by Paul comes on the heels of His remarks about the singleness of the Gospel. There is only one. Paul had become convinced of that through a revelation from Jesus Christ, and, as His Apostle, I think he knew what he was saying. There’s only one truth. And he was irrevocably convinced of that truth. In much the same way, though not exactly since I’m not an Apostle, I am convinced of the truth of these positions I hold. I didn’t get them from a book, but from Scripture (although some books were helpful in nudging me towards a better understanding of Scripture). So I hope you’ll pardon me when I don’t budge on these positions just because someone throws a prooftext out that is supposed to destroy my whole worldview. I also hope you’ll rejoice with me when I am convinced by Scripture that something I formerly believed to be true is in fact false.
No, I’m not infallible, and I hope we can deal with the text of Scripture honestly and wrestle together with it and not each other. Frankly, I have no stomach for personal attacks. This is evidenced by the many times the way I respond when I am attacked. More than once I have asked for forgiveness because I took some personal attack against myself and responded in kind. From now own those attacks will either be ignored or responded to with a defense of myself, if required, rather than a flame-war of harmful words.
My not-so-current-anymore debate with Peter on the Law is a great example of how Christian brothers should discuss these matters. We have both been firm in our convictions, yet ready to change if convinced by Scripture, and never once have we resorted to personal attacks between us.
The title of this post is ‘Not A Pity Party’. But I also want you to understand that it’s not a ‘Glory Party’ either. This is a public confession of my own faults and a call for civility in a God-honoring discourse of His Word.
In other words, sure, we’ll strain at the gnats, but let’s keep the camels out of the digestive tract.