Wednesday, October 12, 2005

O Ye of Little Faith

Habakkuk 1:5 reads:
Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days - You would not believe if you were told.

There are countless numbers of young, idealistic evangelicals that have become everyone's naysayer. Each feeling as if they owe the world another reformer. The cry of these hyper-spiritual (mostly reformed) young men is that they are defending the faith. Driven on in their quest to find heresy lurking in every corner by bold, perceptive, intelligent men; many of these younglings often trample the less mature and make a general nuisance in the house of God.

There is much on the Christian landscape today that should prompt serious discussion. The lawn has been overrun by weeds and many places are without water and beginning to die. This is cause for concern and there is nothing wrong with thinking Christians giving voice to biblical solutions. After all, iron still sharpens iron. However, with the advent of such broad avenues of communication, every youngling with an ear to the track is giving bold, authoritative advice. How many Spurgeons or how many Edwards' does this world really need.

It would be nice to see some humility on the horizon of evangelical youth. Reserve and patience would be excellent virtues to remember. It fails the conscience of some of these younglings that insightful men often spent long hours meditating and calculating - memorizing and exegeting scripture before laying their minds bare for the rest of us. The bible still cautions young men in the quickness of speech. This is because in the fervor of youth, lie the traps of irreparable harm.
In Habakkuk, the prophet saw real problems. His was not merely theological rubbish that littered the house, but unprecedented lawlessness. His questions were also not accusatory and brash (for if they were, they would most likely have gone unanswered) but full of confusion and a genuine desire to know the truth. Our younglings often cry out not with the voice of Habakkuk, but with the voice of God. They are the bastions of truth and all who fall under their pronouncements must adhere or be labeled heretics.

God's answer is unmistakably plain and at once both chastising and nurturing. He says I am doing something but you don't believe it and wouldn't get it if I told you. Younglings who bluster away at the world and at the rest of evangelicalism need to remember that God is still the Sovereign Author of history. He is writing what He desires. He allows the error, however infuriating. He authorizes world events, however horrifying. He patiently endures, however frustrating, the feeble advances of sin and death. But in the end He loves His church. Younglings would do well to remember that this is the heart of God.

(note: I am fully aware that I fit neatly into this category. However, as I observe those around me and those in my peer group, I find a disconcerting disdain for the church. That is not what they will say. They will attribute their attitudes to doctrinal purity or defending the glory of God. I also concede that I am guilty of this very attitude at times. All you need to do is read my blog to see that I am quick to condemn and marginalize. I fully believe we should fight for doctrinal purity and that we should stand firm for biblical methodology. I believe we should run the race, fight the good fight, and persevere to the end. But at what cost to those who might in time become our allies. I have been reading J. C. Ryle lately and have found his balance of grace and grit to be timely and refreshing. I desperately want the church to change. I long to be a part of that change and see a new reformation. I just want to honor the Lord and other men as I navigate this road to redemption. Please don't hold my hypocrisy against me.)


bmo said...

so awesome man. I have been really been torn about that lately, in the past 2 weeks and presently. You put it in a nice package.

i wrote this on one of my online things yesterday....These days I am torn on an issue on my mind. I believe that the majority of Christians whose theology they think is sound like to spend alot of thought on where the church is wrong, and things that they want to reform. Dont get me wrong I also too see many faults in today's church. I am just downhearted because I see many people, particularly young people, who learn truth in their head and it is as if no love is being outpoured from their learning. There is a bitter breed of people who have alright head knowledge, but the Love of Christ that should be active in our lives is far from them. Why do we bash our churches with smiles and not tears in our hearts?
I dont know...i love where your coming from man, and am proud that you admitted that you often take part in it (as do I), I just dont want to be there. out. ill call you soon

Diet Coke Mania said...

I won't hold it against you. I think we are all guilty of such an attitude at times.

Theological Nitpicker

and then i got owned... said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Allen said...

Solid thoughts. How youthful and foolish we can be. I think in our doctrinal persuasion, we place such a huge premium on truth and getting it right that we often neglect humility and the loving attitude that is necessary to really affect change. We 'take heed to our doctrine', but too often don't take heed to our lives as well. Truth has been given to man so he can be transformed, not to win arguments.