On Writing Your Own Name in the History Books

On Writing Your Own Name in the History Books February 5, 2015

Apostle PaulI just published a short essay with First Things on the supposed heroism of “affirming pastors.”

It’s a piece that builds on some of my earlier work in tracing how we’re constantly being told by people today that they are heroic. For how can a bell ring, but we sound it?

Here’s a section from the essay, entitled “Many Heroes, So Little Heroism”:

The affirming pastor traveled through fire and wind to get where he’s landed. Long did he wrestle with Stubborn Paul, with Unbending Church History, with Steely-Eyed Jesus. Heroically did he (or she) weep over the Unmoved Apostles, pleading with Peter to soften his tone—to lower his pitch, and use an inside voice—against false teachers and their compromised sexual practices, their correspondingly corrupted sexual ethics. Again and again the affirming pastor threw himself against the wall of Christian witness, imploring it to fall, to fall, and to fall, but it would not.

Read the whole thing.

If your name is to be etched into the history books, terrific. Gravy. But don’t write your own name in them. That’s not only ungodly, that’s beyond the pale. Those straining to lionize themselves make the rest of us wonder if they do not protest–or rather praise–too much.

It is a sad consequence of the “gay Christian” movement that they focus their attention so narrowly on their fellow man. That’s what the whole project ends up being about: pleasing man. There’s ultimately nothing of God in it. God isn’t needed for salvation, because we don’t need to crucify our desires. And God certainly doesn’t need to show up for the affirmation part, because we’ve already taken care of that ourselves.

This whole disaffecting affair is like showing up for a celebration of someone’s life, only to find that they are the one leading the ceremonies, giving the speeches, and making the toast–to themselves–at the end.

There’s something better. It’s the way of the cross. It’s the cruciform life. But it means that you will have to die, and that you will have to give up on the applause of man. In doing so, you’ll gain a measure of self-respect, and you might just gain eternity, too.

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