Bags of Bran

Dear #The15: What Bothers You?
January 12, 2015, 2:36 pm
Filed under: Destined to get me in trouble

Christian mobs have really never worked out well.

Recently an extremely popular author of essentially one book in several iterations demonstrated that his discernment switch is fouled. Now, this is not the first time that he has demonstrated that his discernment switch is fouled: even in the days prior to the offending statement he was weaving florid tapestries of esoteric… something, to the applause of people who dig that sort of thing.

Or, try figuring this one out:


Well, perhaps that’s just John Piper. Noteworthy is the historical factoid that nobody of any importance on the stage scene seemed to notice that Piper’s faculty of judgment had waved a little white flag until Piper tried to put a “Piper Slogan” bumper sticker on the popemobile:

Well, he caught a storm of fire and brimstone from people who at some level recognize that popes are not fellow evangelicals. Many seemed to suspect that Piper was nuzzling the pope to sell more copies of his book of many covers, or perhaps to broaden his platform. This suspicion was strengthened when the head of LifeWay snipped back about the poor treatment Piper was receiving over his statement:

Whoops! That wasn’t it. Looks like he deleted the one I’m after. Thankfully, screenshots are available:

Welp, those 15 Calvinists got hopping mad. And so did other Calvinists, as well as others whose attachment to Calvin would be considered extremely tenuous, not to mention some non-Calvinists, and a whole mish-mash of people whose attachment to Calvin doesn’t seem to be the point of their objection. They started to push back.

Now these 15 Calvinists & etc. quickly assembled a mighty mob all a-prickle with torch and pitchfork and laid siege around Stetzer and LifeWay, calling for blood. It would seem, from the way the tale unfolds, that LifeWay began selling heretical and banal stuff at LifeWay stores at the exact same time that Stetzer dismissed them. Yes, that is indeed what it looks like.

I’m all for cleaning house, but I don’t think it takes mob tactics to do it. I hope that the 15 angry Calvinists take some time away from their crusading to think, not only about LifeWay’s willingness to sell dreck and heresy, but also about the people in their own churches who buy the dreck and heresy that LifeWay sells.

It takes being willing to teach people to “examine everything carefully” and to “hold fast to that which is good,” and to “abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Let’s not expect that people will commit all of their favorite dreck and heresy to the flames within 24 hours, when bad teaching, narcissism, and sentimentalism have been contouring their understanding of God for generations. And let’s not expect that somewhat-for-profit enterprises will start taking principled stands against dreck and heresy when goodness, truth, and beauty have all fallen in the streets.

Formulate a twenty-year plan to put LifeWay out of business by raising up a principled generation of believers whose ideas of goodness, truth, and beauty are not indexed to the marketplace.


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