When Wisdom Becomes a Sin

When Wisdom Becomes a Sin

I like to deal with issues that are applicable to the culture we live in. For this reason I take the occasional cue from what others are writing about. When we’re all discussing it, it’s probably worth discussing.

I was in a singles’ group once that was going to cover “current cultural issues.” Most of the topics were met with confused looks from the singles because not one of us had an issue with any of the “issues.” But when we were allowed to express our own ideas about issues we faced every day, we had more than enough fodder for the discussion.

David Crabb has once again put his finger on an important cultural issue in many churches in his article entitled Forbidding What God Allows. The title is extremely clear and the topic necessary.

David’s key idea can be summed up in the following quote:

“When I allow what God prohibits, I am setting myself up as god–as the lawgiver. My rule is supreme. On the same token, when I prohibit what God allows, I am not ‘erring on the side of caution,’ but am actually setting myself up as god–as the lawgiver. My rule is supreme. If I cannot prove that God prohibits something, then I should simply acknowledge it. I might have an entire list of reasons I believe a certain course of action to be best, but far better to use words like ‘wisdom’ and ‘prudence,’ rather than absolute moral terms (e.g. ‘sinful’).”

A perfect New Testament example of this is when Jesus Christ was condemned by the Pharisees for “working” on the Sabbath (this happened frequently). First, we must recognize that Jesus never sinned. He was incapable of breaking the Sabbath. Second, we have to understand that the “laws” He was breaking had been instituted by men, not God. Therefore, the religious leaders of that day were telling God Himself that He was breaking His own law. They set themselves up “as god – as the lawgiver. [Their] rule [was] supreme.”

What’s the application for us?

Continue reading “When Wisdom Becomes a Sin”

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A Wrong View of Grace

It’s been said that we personify God based off of our human father. This may be true, but I hope it’s not. I’m a father. I have a father. Neither of us are even remotely capable of giving a good picture of our Heavenly Father.

But if the above is true, that would explain why so many of us have a distorted view concerning the relationship between us and God.

Here on earth, a father’s love can be capricious. He smiles more when we please him, but he threatens to disown us when we don’t. Thankfully my father never threatened to disown me, but we must understand that no matter what your earthly father is like, God does not operate the same way.

On his blog, David Crabb quotes Holiness by Grace (a book by Bryan Chapell). In the article we are encouraged to realize that nothing we can do will ever cause God to love us any more or any less.

The reality of the redeemed’s situation is a glorious one! God does not love me because of me . . . He loves me because of Christ! Christ’s blood has covered my sins. His righteousness has replaced my wickedness. By His blood I have been pardoned before God. When God looks at me, He does not see Aaron Brewster. He sees His son, Jesus Christ. And because of this beautiful substitutionary atonement, God loves me the exact same amount as He loves His only Son. Wow!

Therefore, no amount of sin on my part can separate me from His love. At the same time, no amount of holiness will ingratiate me to Him more. He loves me with a perfect, undying love!

God’s Thoughts on Gender Roles: Part I

“He doesn’t treat me like a princess!”

“Women are more emotional than men.”

(so consequently) “Real men don’t cry.”

“I’m a mom; I’m allowed to worry.”

“If your music minister is more concerned that the choir trills their r’s correctly than that they fill the sanctuary with loud sounds of battle, your worship service and church community might be effeminate.”

Where did all of these opinions come from? More importantly, are your beliefs about how men and women are to conduct themselves guided by culture or Christ? Are our gender roles defined by men or God? David Crabb recently solicited the assitance of Paul Matzko to deal with this subject. I am so glad that he did. I am going to link Paul’s article here and allow it to become a springboard for our own discussion on the subject.

Read this post, do some study, and return here for a hotly-debated issue: Violent Men, Working Women, and Evangelical Gender Norms

“Identifying and Defeating Pride” – Jerry Bridges (HT David Crabb)

David Crabb has a wonderful synopsis of Jerry Bridges discussion on pride from his book Respectable Sins. Both this article and the book are a must read. Click on the link below to read the article.

Identifying and Defeating Pride