Archive for May 18th, 2009

One way that I offset my amazing salary and my love of music is to D.J.,run sound for weddings, conferences, or public speaking. Having done this for 15+ years I’ve compiled quite the collection of interesting and sometimes bizarre stories. After this past weekend of running sound for a women’s conference I’ve decided to do a semi-regular series on what I see, experience, and generally am amused by from the most powerful seat during any performance.

WHERE THE ODM’s GET IT RIGHT

While I often, ironically, don’t agree with the methods employed by Online Discernment Ministries I do sometimes agree with the fact that, what I’ll call “short theology”, is becoming more prevalent in American Christianity. This is not to say that I think the Church should be hinged to tradition or nostalgia. Rather the church, like missionaries, should speak the language of culture while maintaining the truth of scripture. Where the ODM’s and I part company is their penchant for hyperbole, slippery slope argumentation, guilt by association, and seeming legalistic approach to everything.

All that to say; this past weekend I was feeling like an ODM. Every speaker and most of the worship music was a little “short” on the full gospel. They were really big on “being loosed” and “letting God love you” but nary a mention of “I’m the chief of all sinners”. Speaker after speaker spoke of the terrible struggles in their lives (which were powerful stories), but never a mention of “I’ve fallen short of God’s glory”. Most everything was about those who had wronged them but nothing of “forgive those who trespass against us”. In short it was “short” theology. All Love but no Sacrifice. All Grace but no Guilt. All Freedom but no Law.

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that these women weren’t saved. Nor am I saying that the Romans road needs to be mentioned every time someone speaks at an event. I recognize that a lot of conversations happen before and after speakers. Also the Holy Spirit works even through bad gospel presentations. What I am saying is that when a unbalanced view of God is presented than perhaps unbalanced growth occurs. In other words is it possible that we risk not having a fullness of faith when we only see God as either a wrathful, angry, smiter of men or an angelic lover of all that we are? I would say yes. It is not an either/or it’s a both/and

WHERE THE ODM’S GET IT WRONG:

Some in the ODM community spend to much time evaluating every word, (well except when they proof text, then they only evaluate certain words) attacking anything that doesn’t line up with their very narrow view of God. They are the same as the women’s conference just on the opposite end of the spectrum.

This weekend I saw ministry happen. This conference had a lot of broken women that really need someone to journey with. It was not enough to say “I’ll pray for you” and then go on their way. It was a blessing to watch these women pray for one another and minister.

Now if I was a true ODM I would fire up the blog and talk ad nauseam about the evil that was this conference. My blog would contribute 3,4,…25 blog posts about the abomination that is women’s conferences. With as much verbose language as I could muster I would tell everyone how they are wrong and I am right. Then I would lay out my theological treatise, call it my thesis and demand that if you don’t live up to all it’s points you are damned. I would petition others to take up the cause. I may even start up a youtube channel to really push back the gates of hell. But I can’t do that. Why?

Because I believe that even in the midst of “short” theology God works. In spite of my poor efforts to communicate the gospel, God works. Regardless of how polished I appear to the outside world I recognize I am a sinner saved by grace who falls short every day. I suspect I get it wrong more than I get it right. So I would rather faithfully, as best as I can, strive to be more like Jesus. Which I suspect most ODM’s also strive for. It’s just hard to see with all the wrathful, angry words they write.

God is still in control. Thank God!

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