Life can be hard. Ministry can be hard. Most days, I hold onto hope in the middle of difficulty, but occasionally I go under. I’m not alone. “There comes a time in most of our lives in which we no longer have the strength to lift ourselves out or to pretend ourselves strong,” writes Zack Eswine. “Sometimes our minds want to break because life stomped on us and God didn’t stop it.”
At the Ligonier 2016 National Conference, Albert Mohler said the following:
David Murray adds a bit of commentary:
Well, it didn’t take long for “fulfillment.” In Loveless, Narcisstic Sex Addicts: A Gay Man Critiques his Community, a gay man, Dr Jason Hill of De Paul University in Chicago, does exactly what the headline says. I don’t recommend that you read the article, but its basic point is clear: despite there being a “moral minority” (his words) of gay men who want something like traditional heterosexual marriage, the vast majority just want lots and lots of sex.
My beliefs about the existence and identity of God originated in my childhood. I was born to Christian parents and raised in a Christian home where I was taught the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Nothing is more foundational to Christianity than the existence of a God. As a child I memorized answer four of the Westminster Shorter Catechism which provides a stirring introduction to this God: “God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” There was never a time in my life when I did not acknowledge the existence of a God, and even a God much like this one. What was assumed in my childish heart and mind later took deeper root in my adult heart and mind.
Shame is the end result of the worship of any idol. That’s because false gods always end up asking you to do things that, at least in retrospect, are shameful. They ask you to lie. To cheat. To live in the shadows. They ask you to spend. To gratify. To obtain. These false gods compel you to go places you never thought you would, do things you never thought you would, and say things you never thought you would.
…if we are gospel people, we are always, at some level, at war with the culture, at least the part of the culture that is under the rule of the “prince and power of the air.” In some ways, our definition of culture is deficient, because, as Andy Crouch will point out in his must-read, Culture-Making, culture is more than just the “out there” people and ideas of the world. We are part of culture. We create culture. We live in culture(s) (church, family, home, neighborhoods, etc).
The best piece on know on how to maintain a godly disposition in theological controversy comes from a letter that John Newton wrote a pastor who was preparing to criticize a fellow minister.
The entire thing is well worth reading, but let me highlight here one section in particular on how we should think about our opponents in a controversy.
Sometime over the past few decades a mindset of “fair” has developed, calling for everyone to finish in the exact same place and receive the exact same reward. Fair has become equity in the finish instead of equity in the process. This perspective says a reward is due just for showing up, not because it’s earned. It cheapens real rewards for actual successes, and as it creeps into different areas of life, it undermines valuable assets such as hard work or giftedness.