Friday, May 22, 2009

A Humble Plea to Stop Being Rebels for the Sake of Rebellion Part One

On one hand I am ridiculously excited about what God is doing with my generation.  We are seeing God raise up numerous Christ-centered, gospel drenched, men and women.  It is exciting to see people more concerned with planting a biblical church than with following the status quo.  It is encouraging to see men both engage culture and confront it at the same time.  These are exciting times.

On the other hand I am deeply disappointed with how my generation is embracing rebellion for the sake of rebellion.  I really want to give a few examples of this but I know how the conversation spirals into something unhelpful.  I know that if we give an example of alcohol or cursing or mention the name Mark Driscoll then the entire point that I am making will be lost.  So, what I propose to do is present a paradigm for us to think about certain issues then apply them to a few issues. 

My aim is to appeal to my generation to stop being rebels for the sake of rebellion.  I am really tired of reading blog posts, hearing discussions, and witnessing arguments in which people are talking around each other instead of believing the gospel and taking Jesus to the nations.  There are some that believe you cannot drink a beer and be a disciple of Jesus.  (If that is you then you are not my audience in this particular plea).  There are others that believe that in order to be a disciple of Jesus you have to drink beer.  (If that is you then you are my audience in this particular plea). 

Allow me to set the stage for the next few posts.  There are, in my opinion, three different ways of engaging the culture: the stick-shaker, the rule-breaker, and the difference maker.  The stick-shaker looks at the problems of the world shakes a stick at them, rebukes them, rallies the troops to pick up their sticks, and hopes that by enough stick-shaking the problems will go away. 

The rule breaker gets ticked off with the stick-shaker (and rightly so).  Rather than shaking a stick at the problems he decides that the best way to reach the culture is to engage the culture on its turf.  If there are “rules” preventing the relationship then its okay to break them (so long as its not one of those big ones like denying Jesus). 

The difference maker does just that; he makes a difference.  He engages the culture rather than shaking a stick at it.  But rather than engaging in sin on their behalf he calls the culture to repentance.  Here is a picture (I’m not a good artist):


To be continued…


  1. I would also add that the difference maker is the one who sees the church as a distinct culture. It's message is only difference making insofar as its distinctiveness is maintained. That distinctiveness can be maintained in a Tavern, to be sure, but it must never confuse the two. It changes culture or is relevant to the outside culture first and foremost as it is true and faithful to its own distinctive cultural values (the cruciform Jesus and all that that entails).

  2. I like what this post says and what Tom 1st says .

    As far as Mark D. --(hey , you were the one who mentioned him ;-) )he has changed a bit in some areas. For example in their services in Seattle, they are now passing an offering plate; they now sing a broader range of music, etc-I think it is true that some want to think outside the box so much that they have sometimes thrown too much out.

    You know, it is interesting when you think of the Reformation--in some ways it has similarities to what is going on now. Some reformers threw out most of the traditions. Others did not throw out as much. Some believed in singing only the Psalms, some believed in no musical instruments, some used the music of the day and put Christian words to it, etc. Some believed in meeting in homes, some believed in simplicity of stucture.

    The advantage of any kind of reformation or challenge to the statis quo is that it makes us re-think why we are doing what we are doing.

    I do appreciate the wide-ness of the church--I do like the fact of different denominations because the body of Christ is unique--we have different cultures but we are one body--different cultures vary so much and thus how we worship will be affected. In all I think there is room for more fervency, more delighting in God Himself with all of our being, with all of whatever music we choose to express this, and as long as the services preach and lift up Christ and His truths and practice the sacriments and discipline then it is a matter where or when it meets.

    I just love the vibrancy that can come when we are forced to re-think--even if we hold on to the traditions--it makes us appreciate them all the more. ..that has been true for me.

    I think it is important to think things through....



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