Archive for July 20th, 2008

Friends,

I wanted my first post here at CRN.info to be a spectacular essay–and it will be–but in the meantime this has been bugging me lately. I am hesitant to write this because I don’t want to be perceived–oh, whatever, perceive away. I am happy to be writing for CRN.info and help these brave souls share the grace and love of Christ.

First, at a happy blog I sometimes visit, Always Ready, I came across this lamentby blogger Samuel Guzman, sometimes guest blogger at Slice and proprietor of the amazingly special Reformata. He wrote:

Thank you, John Piper, for articulating what has been on my heart so often recently. Why is their so little love of God and zeal for the truth among young people today? Let’s get over emotional buzzes and realize that God deserves our everything…not just a trip to a hip youth conference with a famous speaker. He deserves more than a t-shirt or bumper sticker or a week long “missions” trip to some exotic location.

I can’t believe that’s what he actually believes! Is this guy living under a rock? Last week, at Junior High camp, I had four kids from Kentucky Christian University helping me. You know these four uncommitted, un-zealous young people gave up their entire summer to travel for the college, sleep in rustic cabins, eat camp food, live on the road, travel across several states preaching, teaching, leading music, praying, playing games, sharing the love of Christ with other young people who give up a week of their lives to be at Church camp? My own son gave up a week of Boy Scout camp in New York to be at church camp! Samuel, what young people are you talking about?

As I will demonstrate in my first real post it is not young people who lack zeal and love for God or truth, but actually there is an entire generation missing from the church. It’s not young people who are ripping the church apart by abandoning orthodoxy. It’s not young people who are missing the point of ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.’

I do agree with one part of Guzman’s post: God does deserve more than a conference, or t-shirt, or bumper sticker, or week long missions trip. Perhaps the esteemed Rev Guzman also agrees that God deserves more than a blog that does little more than rip apart the body of Christ, cut down the people among whom God has chosen to live, and a little better than the sentimental emotionalism, borderline narcissistic preaching of a Paul Washer. (Although, when I pointed this out at my own blog, I was reminded that Paul Washer also once did ‘missions’ work among Gypsies. So I guess missions work is valid as long as you are in the right camp and in the right ‘exotic’ location.) Guzman’s statements are simply full of, uh–what’s a charitable way of saying this?–stupidity? Where did anyone ever suggest that t-shirt Christianity was enough? OH, but handing out CD’s is a profoundly effective way of ‘reaching the lost’ (that way we don’t have to actually talk to them and hear their story.) I have heard, in recent days, that many hungry and naked and dying people have found new life, and new hope–not to mention clothing, food, and medicine–in compact disks (but not in Blue Rays; sorry.) This is especially helpful when the poor, downtrodden, hungry, and sick have tons of money to throw away on new compact disk players.**

I’m sorry about that ’stupidity’ thing. I should have used a different adjective like meaningless, or absurd, or apples and oranges, or strawman. Yes, that’s it.

On the other hand, I also came across this post at Reformed Voices a week or so ago:

“You see young men listen to me, there is a reformation going on in this country. There is a real reformation. I’m not talking about the church growth six flags over Jesus entertainment type of reformation or revival. I’m not talking about the media charismatic type of revival. But I travel all over this country, I travel all over the world, I visit many universities and I am seeing quite an amazing thing, that even in secular universities when I go there to speak, I see 100-150 young men and women reading Edwards and Spurgeon and more importantly the Apostle Paul and reading him rightly.

There is a reformation occurring. And God has done it, and He will do it.” (Paul Washer, in a sermon called Regeneration and Self-Denial.)

Well, aside from the inherent Washer worship, I guess there is much to be thankful for in this quote. 100-150 people reading Spurgeon and Edwards has to be a boon for the church at some level. The problem is, Washer and Piper (Guzman is referencing thoughts by Piper) seem to be at odds. Washer seems to think that libraries full of eggheads reading Spurgeon and Edwards is equivalent to a Day of Pentecost type of revival or a 95 Theses sort of reformation; Piper seems to think that all the young people are going to hell in a hand-basket because they are so unloving, uncommitted, and anti-everything high church, Calvinist, orthodoxy and that the church is suffering because they are ‘no where to be found.’ Fellas, fellas! Which is it? Are we in the midst of revival or not? Are young people getting it or not? Why can’t you even agree on what God is and is not doing?

I am sorry about that ‘egghead’ thing. I should have used an adjective like college-student-who-has-a-lot-of-reading-to-do-over-the-weekend or college-student-trying-to-avoid-a-Paul-Washer-emotionapalooza or college-student-who-has-no-social-life-at-all.

Chris Rosebrough recently made an offer that he would personally pay anyone $10,000 if they can demonstrate, from the Bible, the claims of Creflo Dollar that the rich, young ruler actually went and sold his property and was, consequently, blessed by the Lord. Well, I have a little offer of my own: I will personally pay anyone $10.00 if they can find a Bible Verse demonstrating that God has promised revival or reformation to all who read Spurgeon and Edwards in college libraries. (Sorry, I don’t have as much money as Chris as I am just a pathetic young, uncommitted, Christian preacher trying to eek out a living for 5 people on under $40K a year.)

Paul Washer: Prove yourself!

Samuel and Philip, I plead with you to agree in the Lord! Come together and form a consensus on whether or not something is going on in this world of churchianity.

My point to this post is simply this: Here are two people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. I refer to those four young people who spent a week with me and their entire summer as evidence.

jerry

*sarcasm offered free of charge. And yet, I don’t think the sarcasm is too far off point. Do you?

PS–My comments reflect only thoughts on the posted quotes. I did not watch the youtube vid posted at Always Ready nor did I read the entire sermon by Washer. I am only commenting on the responses by Guzman and Philip.

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