Christians, we can’t misdiagnose our sick culture like this
· · Aug 8, 2022 ·

I have grown to despise circular firing squads, particularly among professing Christians. In a world where Satan is so active, where evil is so prevalent, I absolutely hate to see those supposedly sharing adoption into the Kingdom of God have it in for one another. For the sake of our own pride and vanity, we believers are so often deceived into finding pleasure in tearing one another down, even as the demons of Hell cackle at our backbiting.

Yet in our pursuit of unity within Christ's church, we cannot and should not let that admirable objective supersede biblical reason, scholarship, and sound thinking. It is, after all, better to be divided by truth than united in error. That's a point Jesus Himself made when explaining He would divide even "father against son" and "mother against daughter."

Therefore, it is with a spirit of Christian love and charity towards The Gospel Coalition and their contributor Sam Allberry when I say that this assessment of what is appropriate, biblical engagement with a dying culture, is more than a little troubling:

I should start by saying I often appreciate many articles and commentaries that come from The Gospel Coalition, and even the ones I disagree with usually provoke deeper and more serious thinking in me about what I believe. I am not anti-TGC. If truth be told, years ago I even reached out in hopes of writing for them. I never heard back, so it's fair to assume I didn't make the cut.

I can also say that I remember reading some previous articles by Sam Allberry, and found them to be biblically sound. I cannot and will not vouch for all of his work because I haven't read it. But to the extent that he and TGC are "spurring believers on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24), I am happy to labor alongside them.

Yet that's precisely the point where I am convinced this tweet, featured quote, and larger discussion fell dangerously short. In fact, it's more than that. While I may believe that Allberry and The Gospel Coalition at large have an orthodox view of sin and grace, the perspective that "we don't live in a moralistic age" or that "we need to prove to people they're worth something" radically, almost comically, misdiagnoses our current cultural moment. Thus, rather than spurring the brotherhood on to good works, such teaching actually paralyzes the church's effectiveness at sounding an urgent counter-cultural alarm of the wickedness and evil overtaking so many hearts and minds.

One of the starkest differences in evangelistic approach that is visible in Scripture occurs in the book of Acts. In Acts 2, the Apostle Peter directly confronts those Jews gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. Pointing to what they had just seen, he reasons with them from the Scriptures they knew and believed that Jesus was the Messiah.

But a few pages later in Acts 17, the Apostle Paul takes a notably different approach. Speaking to Greeks at the Areopagus, Paul realizes his audience had never been to Sunday School, didn't know the basics of Christianity, and were embracing all forms of pagan, man-centered religious practices. He notes that though they are clearly not Christian, they are nonetheless "very religious." He says this right before unleashing a torrent of truth that indicts their folly and introduces its only true antidote.

I would beg Sam Allberry and all the believers at The Gospel Coalition to realize an Acts 17 moment is precisely what is needed today. Christians should be operating with a sense of earnestness that recognizes that we are living in a very "moralistic," that is "religious," age. It's just that the prevailing faith is pagan in both form and function. Modern man's trouble isn't that he anxiously lacks self-worth, but that he intently and enthusiastically worships self.

Idolatrous moralism is everywhere these days – we are swimming in it. In fact, just a couple weeks ago I wrote a column impeaching the overtly religious leftists happily burning at the figurative stake anyone they deem heretical. Social media routinely silences, censors, and de-platforms such hapless apostates who offend the spirit of the age.

People that celebrate and promote men pretending to be women, and rigidly enforce cultural acceptance of that delusion, those are not people short on any sense of self-worth or self-importance.

No, such hopeless idolatry needs unified and unequivocal confrontation from the church of Jesus. It needs believers that love humanity too much to allow it to slide into Hell without hearing the liberating truth that, "There is a God, and you aren't Him."

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