There is no getting around it: as Christians we are called to be discerning, and discernment entails thinking. I used to stumble in confusion about what a biblical worldview is, and why it is important. But as I continue to grow in understanding, I realize that for a pastor, it is an essential piece in the ministry that we do. While proclaiming the Word, our people must know that the Word is not just ancient and general, but alive, practical, and specific. It calls us to action! It divides, distinguishes, and is our guide.
All too often, our congregation desires the answers rather than thinking for themselves (and often pastors unwittingly seem to promote it). When the answers satisfy their fancy, they accept them. But if they are too hard or not said “just right” then there is a tendency to think that they are for someone else, and not for us. This is a danger from making application too specific, or too general. But really, our churches do not depend upon the perfect balance of the application shared by the preacher. Our churches depend upon their people applying Scripture in their own lives. Every biblical description is in some way an imperative, so some people stay away from reading altogether.
What is the matter? Our people our languishing in their own distractions. They are unhappy but don’t know what to do. And what they know to do, they don’t. They’re all puffed up with all sorts of knowledge, and fall well short of the living and love which should result from transformed hearts and distinguish us from the world. I recently read a wonderful article, penned by a friend, about how God’s greatest glory is the gospel and we should be committed to praying for opportunities and using our lives to share it. I wish I didn’t know her well enough to see that it is far from the reality of her life.
We need to think for ourselves, to get beyond the religious mysticism that is creeping back into our church (read: emergent influence) and get back to the discipline of discernment. We need to stop defending the art of movies, and instead think of the influence of movies. We need to stop working toward tolerance and ecumenicalism and consider what makes Christianity distinctive.
We need to unapologetically realize and proclaim that the gate and way is narrow. Let’s realize that the gospel is an offense, and people the world around need to be shaken from their slumber and realize that this brief moment in history well affect our lives for eternity.
May this weekend be such a wakeup for those who need it, and these thoughts be another personal reminder in this battle to renew our minds and live our lives to Christ.
PS. This is what actually brought it up. More on the Golden Compass: Watch it, but think about it. And another. American Gangster. Seriously, why watch that trash? And why give other people excuses for watching it too? I used to think my dream job would be a Christian reviewer of movies so I could still watch them but make some good out of it, then I realize that my heart wasn’t on the good it could do, but that I was using it as an excuse for what my heart desired. Base, worldly filth.