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Title: “That’s fine for you to say - but you don’t know ... what corporate America is like” --- “It’s like East Germany now.”
Source: nationalreview.com
URL Source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2019 ... christian-loses-his-faith/?amp
Published: Aug 13, 2019
Author: David French
Post Date: 2019-08-16 17:10:16 by BorisY
Keywords: hutus mau maus devilcrats, hutus mau maus devilcrats, hutus mau maus devilcrats
Views: 86
Comments: 6

Another Pop-Culture Christian Loses His Faith

By David French

August 13, 2019

Songwriter Marty Sampson explains in a statement that doesn’t ring true, except in light of increasing pressure to bend to secular norms.

It’s happened again.

For the second time in three weeks, a prominent (at least in Evangelical circles) Christian has renounced his faith. In July, it was Josh Harris, a pastor and author of the mega-best-selling purity-culture book I Kissed Dating Goodbye. This month, it’s Hillsong United songwriter and worship leader Marty Sampson.

For those who don’t know, Hillsong United is one of the most popular and influential worship bands of the modern era. It was born at Hillsong Church in Australia and its albums routinely top the Christian charts — in fact, Billboard’s chart history gives it no fewer than eight number-one Christian albums.

It’s a powerhouse in what my former pastor derisively referred to as the “Jesus is my boyfriend” style of worship music. Their songs featured heartfelt, simple lyrics pledging undying Christian love and devotion. They also happen to inspire millions of Christians across the globe.

The relative lack of theological depth to much of Hillsong’s music has brought a predictable response to Sampson’s announcement — shallow songs, shallow theology. But I’m not sure that’s right. Of course only Sampson knows his own heart, but I want to focus on something else. Parts of his Instagram announcement of his change of heart just don’t ring true. I won’t paste the entire statement, but this part stood out to me:

This is a soapbox moment so here I go . . . How many preachers fall?

Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet — they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.

What is he talking about? “No one talks about” preachers falling, miracles, alleged biblical contradictions, or the challenge of hell? I take a backseat to no one in decrying youth ministries that concentrate more on ultimate Frisbee than on catachesis — or on pastors who focus on self-help to the exclusion of sound doctrine — but you simply cannot grow up in an Evangelical church without discussing many of these topics incessantly.

Yes, you can pass in and out of church — attend casually without going to Sunday school — and sometimes hear only therapeutic messages from the pulpit, but if you live in the church, as he did, you have real trouble believing his words. You also have seen the same thing many times — adults fall away in the face of the pressures of the world, rationalizing their departure with words that ring true to everyone except Christians who know what the church is really like.

As our culture changes, secularizes, and grows less tolerant of Christian orthodoxy, I’m noticing a pattern in many of the people who fall away (again, only Sampson knows his heart): They’re retreating from faith not because they’re ignorant of its key tenets and lack the necessary intellectual, theological depth but rather because the adversity of adherence to increasingly countercultural doctrine grows too great.

Put another way, the failure of the church isn’t so much of catechesis but of fortification — of building the pure moral courage and resolve to live your faith in the face of cultural headwinds.

In my travels around the country, one thing has become crystal clear to me. Christians are not prepared for the social consequences of the profound cultural shifts — especially in more secular parts of the nation.

They’re afraid to say what they believe, not because they face the kind of persecution that Christians face overseas but because they’re simply not prepared for any meaningful adverse consequences in their careers or with their peers.

C. S. Lewis famously said that courage is the “form of every virtue at its testing point.” In practical application, this means that no person truly knows if he possesses any virtue until it’s tested. Do you think you’re loving?

You’ll know you truly love another person only when loving that person is hard. Do you think you’re truthful? You’ll know only when telling the truth hurts.

Soldiers are familiar with this phenomenon — most men who travel to the battlefield believe themselves to be brave, but they know they’re brave only if they do their duty when their life is on the line.

Earlier this summer, I spoke at an event in Georgia and discussed what I called the “courage cure to political correctness.” Are you afraid? Speak anyway, with humility, grace, and conviction. The law protects, but the culture resists you. After I spoke, a man came up to me and said, “That’s fine for you to say, but you don’t know what corporate America is like.”

I told him that I did know, and that I’ve experienced its bite.

He said no. He said, “It’s like East Germany now.” I asked him if he had tested that proposition, if he’d shared his beliefs in any meaningful way. He said no. He’d preemptively silenced himself.

That’s one version of failing in the face of adversity. Another version is represented by the person who simply wilts, who adopts the critiques of the secular world and lobs grenades back at the church as he leaves.

Are you faithful? I’d submit that you don’t know until that faith is truly tested — either in dramatic moments of crisis or in the slow, steady buildup of worldly pressure and secular scorn. As the worldly pressure and secular scorn continue to mount, expect to see more announcements like Josh Harris’s and Marty Sampson’s. Expect to see more friends and neighbors retreat and conform.

The church has its faults, yes, but the blame will lie less with a church that failed to instruct than with a person who didn’t, ultimately, have the courage to believe.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. @DavidAFrench

Poster Comment:

More like nkorea - iran


nuclear weapons

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#1. To: BorisY (#0)

Courage? Speaking up about faith? Ok, let's show some then.

Yes, church attendance and membership is dwindling - rapidly - in North America. It is doing so in South America also, but somewhat slower. In Europe, it's already down to the single digits in most places, and the most stolidly Christian "bulwark" states, like Ireland, have legalised abortion and regularised gay marriage.

The Church is fading, everywhere. And, if we're honest, the reasons why are obvious.

I'll just focus on the Catholic Church, because I'm Catholic. Protestants know what is going on in their own churches, and any comment I could make about that would just cause the portcullises of sectarianism to crash down. You know what's wrong with your churches, why they are emptying out. I will tell you what is wrong with mine.

No, it's not Vatican II. That's a cop out. Turning around the priest, moving the tabernacle to the side and speaking in English instead of Latin did not cause the Church to empty out (and if it DID, then the Church was just a cultural pantomime anyway, because none of those three things have any bearing on spirituality).

No, there have been very specific things that have put the axe to the root of Catholicism. I'mm name three of them:

(1) Pedophilia. It's disgusting, and it's tied very deeply with the issue of clerical celibacy. It always has been. I will explain why, if there is anybody who really needs it explained, but I'm not going to do it gratuitously. There has been so much priestly pedophilia, that the Church is out $3 billion in legal settlements, plus all of the lost revenues from contributions that have dried up (because the money will going to pay for the settlements, instead of anything charitable.

The Church and the stalwart faithful have not addressed the issue effectively, and will not, because to do so would require some fundamental changes that the Church - clergy and faithful - are unwilling to make. Catholics don't try very hard to reform the Catholic Church. They know they will never be listened to on anything. They just leave, and they take their kids and the future generations with them.

The clergy and faithful have convinced themselves they CANNOT reform the fundamental things that must be reformed, so they have determined that the Church will continue to implode. They comfort themselves by saying that Jesus promised that the gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church, that the Church has been through "greater crises than this" (actually, it never has).

(2) Marital Contraception. It was always a hard sell for celibate men to tell married women thar using contraception is a sin. When the celibate men are pedophiles (to the tune of $3 billion and counting in the US, with scandals of the same nature breaking out all over the world,, then no, it's not just "a handful of bad eggs" Antagonise the young women and young men of child-bearing age in the pews, and they leave, and take their kids with them.

(And what did Jesus say about marital contraception? Squat.)

(3) Divorce and remarriage.

On those three issues the Church has taken firm, fatal stands. And so it is dying. The laity will in increasing numbers are walking away. Without them, there is no money, and without money, there is no Church.

There are deep theological issues in each of those subjects, but there's no point in discussing them. The Church's position on them all is FIXED and ADAMANT - and UNACCEPTABLE. Therefore, the Church dies, and cannot and will not rescue itself.

The issus facing the dwindling Protestants are different, but what is the same between both is a fixed adamancy about bad ideas that cannot be touched - and that are killing the Church, therefore, because they have to be.

Vicomte13  posted on  2019-08-16   18:06:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: BorisY (#0)

Willie Green  posted on  2019-08-16   18:24:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

You know what's wrong with your churches, why they are emptying out. I will tell you what is wrong with mine.

No, Vic, I don't think we know why our churches are "emptying out". We might make a few awkward stabs at it. But certainly not as concisely you have laid out for us three failings of the Catholic Church.

watchman  posted on  2019-08-16   20:17:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: watchman (#3)

It is easy to fall into judgement here and undoubtedly there are serious issues in organised religion no matter what label it puts on itsself..

What we have to look at is relevance. It takes a very mature attitude to look at yourself and say this needs to change. In today's superficial world that doesn't happen often and the church has given up telling people that change is necessary.

So we have had change but the wrong sort of change, sin is no longer heard of, and the devil has convinced the church he doesn't exist, so what is left is the social message but when governments meet the needs of the poor then what is the church left with?

paraclete  posted on  2019-08-16   23:57:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: paraclete (#4)

So we have had change but the wrong sort of change, sin is no longer heard of, and the devil has convinced the church he doesn't exist, so what is left is the social message but when governments meet the needs of the poor then what is the church left with?

Evolution. Many Christians have been convinced evolution is true. If that was the case that would mean that the Bible isn't true.

That is the number one reason for the decline of the church. Evolution and peoples inability to defend their faith which comes from the Bible, the whole Bible.

People like Vic mean well but they are the problem too. They don't believe the Bible. Then people see people like Vic who don't believe the Bible so why should they if those who claim to be followers of Christ don't even believe their own holy book.

So to vic it isn't celibacy or divorce. It is the pedophiles who seem to run the Catholic church at times though.

A K A Stone  posted on  2019-08-17   8:50:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: A K A Stone (#5) (Edited)

Many Christians have been convinced evolution is true.

Adaptation may be true but I did not evolve from pond scum and I do not have an opposable thumb on my foot.

The BIBLE is true, many Bible facts have been corroborated. If you have difficulty with it, it is because our understanding is imperfect. Man is a creature who wants to know everything, but God didn't give us the fine details, just the overall picture. Evolution is a theory which has not been proven, and evolution doesn't explain how every human has a common ancestor

paraclete  posted on  2019-08-20   2:14:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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