It is not exactly breaking news to say that our culture has an aversion to suffering, regardless of how inescapable it may be. This is because we—you and me—have an aversion to suffering. Who wants to suffer? But the conscious avoidance of pain is one thing; the complete intolerance, or outright denial of it, is another.
It’s oddly fitting that while we were examining whether and how patriotism is compatible with Christianity on the Fourth of July, Frank Turk of the Pyromaniacs was torching my book.
“Torching,” for those who are keeping score at home, is a figure of speech. At least I am pretty sure it is. Judging by the review itself, I wouldn’t be half surprised to learn he actually pulled out the gas and matches. In short, he really did not like it.
I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.” Most often I hear, “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn homosexuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what you want to believe from the Bible?”
“So you mean I can do whatever I want and still be a Christian?” I’ve been asked that question numerous times when sharing the gospel. It’s a hard question to answer and mostly, up until recently, I would answer with a “Yes, but.” sort of vague statement. Yes, technically, grace covers all of your sins, post salvation. But you shouldn’t think this way because you should live for Jesus out of appreciation for what He did for you.
But I’m finding that’s a terrible response to an even more terrible question.