Monday, January 30, 2012

Reflection for the Week

Pseudo-gospel babblers in church and culture are taking all too many for a ride to nowhere. Practioners of the real call to good news will want to voice care and concern for those trapped in the fake and dubious, while being aware of the risk of blending into the flow of non-sense themselves. If ever there was a time for compassionate confrontation, it is now. There is a desperate need for a fount of spiritual wisdom and the force of a hermeneutics of trust and suspicion, if we are to know how to live the truth in love in a world of increasing hype and spin. Presenting a cutting edge message and an engaging faith will testify to the credibility of this prophetic invitation and to entering a destiny that ends where it all began.


Angela said...

I have my own ideas of what you
mean by these, but could you
give me examples you are thinking
of when you refer to:

Pseudo-gospel babblers
the fake & dubious
increasing hype and spin

Lately, the church in my community,
in general, is making something in
me cry out desperately and burn
inside for something more.
The churches I tend to agree with
in my community are making me
angry in their manipulative and
"culturally relevant" ways of
communicating the gospel, and
the churches I disagree with
actually care about beauty but
don't seem to believe in truth
anymore. The good thing is that
what I have seen calls out in me the desire to
live more sincerely for God.
I can "take the grain and blow
the chaff away"...but how do
we approach this "compassionate
confrontation" you are speaking

Greg said...

Thanks for your excellent comment and questions. Yes, I'm trying to critique those who peddle the gospel for money and prestige - manipulation and control - and cultural acceptance. Those trapped in the fake and dubious are attracted to these forms of "selling" the gospel - and what's fake and dubious are the messages that promote the gospel as a health and prosperity gimmick or a legal and ritual exercise in austerity. The hype and spin flows out of our inept political, social, and economic systems that increase debt and pretend to care about people, but by and large this is a masquerade - another form of "selling."

I think you put your agreement and disagreement with churches well. The "good thing" that this produces in you is sanctifying and I was glad to hear of it.

Compassionate confrontation includes trying to meet people where they are, building relationships, and talking about serious matters concerning church, culture, grace, and truth. This requires much love and patience, raising questions, prayer, and the work of God if change is going to happen.

Angela said...

Thanks Greg,

When you talk of:
"a hermeneutics of trust
and suspicion" I think
you mean having some trust
and suspicion in others
and our own interpretations
of truth, or of the scriptures.
Is this what you mean?
If not, please clarify.

The human mind is so
capable of being convinced
of things that are not true.
One can really know or
seem to know their stuff but
be way off. Because of such
strong convincing arguments
and differing perspectives
it can be easy to fall into
relativism, and simply think
"That's true for that person,
this is true for me." But
this really diminishes truth.

I guess this is where trust
in God comes in. Our knowledge
will run short, but we should
continue to seek Him and
pursue knowledge as he leads.

Greg said...

Yes, that's right. A hermeneutics of trust and suspicion is also very much aligned with and rooted in the teaching of the prophets and Jesus - they tells us to trust this and be suspicious of that.

True, relativism is a heavy weight in our culture and it permeates flesh and bone. Hard to resist the pressure give in.

Trusting God and growing in knowledge would surely be two aspects of living spirituality.