Occasionally some questions arise, and I wanted to provide what should be simple answers. I could be wrong, for “to err is human” for “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
1. Who do you (and your considerations) represent? Me and only me. They do not represent any congregation I pastor, denomination I belong to, my family, my dog or anyone else, provided of course that I quote them. The comments of others do not represent me or my views unless I explicitly agree with them. People are allowed to disagree here. Which leads to the next obvious question …
2. Who are you accountable to? As a Christian, I believe I am ultimately accountable to God and shall have answer for every word I type. Thankfully, “Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Tim. 1:15). This does not make my sin less sinful, but means that God’s grace is enough to forgive me when I sin (“where words are many sin is not absent” [Prov. 10:19]) and sufficient to progressively change me so I will sin less often and grieviously over time.
As a pastor, I am member of a Presbytery and have vowed to submit myself to the proper government of the church. So if I have a question about a post I’ve made, I’ll often ask a fellow member of Presbytery, my Session and often my spouse. I often check to see if I’ve made a jerk of myself. Theologically, I subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and my statements should be consistent with the system of doctrine found there.
3. Why do you use or permit “inappropriate language”? This shouldn’t be a frequently asked question since I try to keep this PG and remember that people from a variety of cultural views on language visit here. Nonetheless, at some time I may offend someone’s sensibilities. My thoughts on language are here. Taboo words are culturally bound, not eternal. What is eternally true is that blasphemous, abusive or dishonest speech is sinful. I will try to hold people accountable for the biblical standard, and not my preferences for speech/language.
4. Why do you review R-rated movies? The Bible nowhere addresses this issue explicitly, so we have to use discernment. Looking solely at a movie’s rating is arbitrary and can be an example of legalism. I give advice to moviegoers here, so you can better understand where I am coming from. You may not agree, and that is fine. I don’t ask that you see ANY movie. I choose not to watch some movies because their content and the intent is inappropriate for me and my own personal temptations. But just as Paul was familiar with the poets of this day, I feel the need to be familiar with the poets of my day: popular books and movies.
I am not alone in this- Christianity Today’s movie site (among others) reviews R-rated movies, and many conservative pastors and Christian authors discuss movies that are R-rated. So, I’m not doing anything unusual nor is it evidence that I’ve crossed over to the dark side theologically. Rather, since all people are made in God’s image, most art will reveal glimpses of God’s glory.
5. Why do you sometimes mention beer, wine or cigars in a positive light? Scripture is clear that the abuse of any substance or activity is wrong. Scripture also makes it clear we are to obey legitimate authority (parents, government etc.) which may regulate our use of these substances.
Scripture does make some positive statements about alcohol (Deut. 7:13; 11:14; Ps. 104:15; Prov. 3:10; Eccl. 9:7, wine was used in drink offerings & tithes (Exodus 29:40; Deut. 12:17; 14:23-6;) and the Last Supper/Lord’s Table (Matt. 26:26-29;1 Cor. 11:17ff), it is used in the images of joy at the Final Feast in the presence of our King/eschatalogical joy (Is. 25:6; 55:1; Jer. 31:12; Joel 2:19; 3:18; Amos 9:13-14; Matt. 26:29) and Jesus turned water into choice wine for His first miracle (John 2). And… Jesus drank wine (Luke 7:33-4). To reject them is to not only lapse into legalism, but to reject symbols of the gospel/God’s blessing. So, I do not reject God’s good gifts (were they to be illegal, I would have to submit to the state as a legitimate authority – Romans 13), but may use them to experience joy in my Creator and Redeemer at times. If you disagree with me on these matters of indifference, I will not partake of them in your presence in keeping with Scripture (Romans 14-15; 1 Cor. 8).
6. Why didn’t my comment show up? If you put a link in the comment, it most likely got stuck in the Spam catcher. I used to go in there to check for real posts, but grew weary of wading through the filth and no longer do that. Sorry ’bout that.
7. Why did my comments get deleted? I may delete or edit comments for a few reasons. If you are contentious (arguing for the sake of arguing or over a frivilous matter), abusive or make unprovable allegations (gossip) your comments will be deleted. If you make an inappropriate comment, I may just edit the comment leaving the substance of what you said. If you act like a responsible adult, this won’t happen.