I learned an important lesson from Noble’s recent sex sermon: never miss an opportunity to knock Christians. (This came seconds after he personally gave nonbelievers an exemption from following God’s rules for sexual propriety. It’s good to know who’s looking out for you, I suppose.)
At the end of the day I just want those of us who know Jesus to live like we know Jesus, because our testimony about Jesus matters to a world that don’t know him.
Listen, I am so sick and tired of the term “Christian.” And some of you are like, “It’s in the Bible.”
Three times. Three times.
People that were closely associated with Jesus were known as disciples or followers of Jesus.
The term Christian in America today has become so neutered and watered down, it’s not even funny. I want for us to be known as people who really do love and follow Jesus.
- Why follow Jesus if it means I have to obey God’s law? God’s law applies to everyone, saved and unsaved. Perry’s “generosity” in exempting the unsaved from God’s law turns the relationship between grace and law on its head. If we don’t know, or if it doesn’t matter, that we’re breaking God’s law, what’s the benefit of grace? Using Noble’s formulation, what’s the point of grace if it means that only once it has been given to me do I suffer the consequences of breaking God’s law? Wouldn’t I be better off and happier without either God’s law or God’s grace? As far as evangelistic strategies go, this one’s an epic failure.
- Shouldn’t our Christian walk be prompted by what God thinks about us, not what non-believers think about us? Note that Noble asserts that the reason we follow Jesus is so that we’ll impress nonbelievers, not that we’ll please our Savior.
- How many times does God need to identify us as Christians before Perry Noble accepts it? If the Bible had said it four times, would that make the word OK? Five? Twenty-seven? Perhaps this is just another of those antiquated Bible words, like shepherd, that we need to scrub from Scripture. The Commandments are only presented twice. Can we ignore those too? I mean, how important can they be?
- Should Perry’s emotional state be more determinative than Scripture? God, through Luke and Peter, thought it a fit word to describe his people, but it makes this particular 21st century pastor sick and tired, so we need to drop it.
- What does it matter what the world thinks of us? The world will always hate God, so it can be expected to hate his children. It’s ironic that the word is sometimes discounted by appealing to extrabiblical texts that suggest it was used as a term of derision against the early believers. If that’s the case, and if we want to model the early church, wouldn’t the contemporary worldly derision generated by the term encourage us to embrace it all the more?
- Why should other Christians affect my willingness to be known by God’s name? Piper put it this way a few days ago:
Being ashamed of the Bible because there are looney Christians is like being ashamed of Milton because of Hallmark cards.
- If Christians make you sick, what’s your disease?
As I’ve argued before, this repeated hostility towards Christianity is profoundly worrying. Perry Noble says he’s not a Christian, and we keep trying really hard to disagree with him. At what point do we give in?