After posting on the issue of whether God killed Jesus, I wondered in fact this kind of posting was appropriate in such a public forum. I criticised Adrian Warnock for the negative impact of one of his postings on a non-Christian; but could my own postings have a similarly negative impact on readers? I certainly need to be careful what I write.
First, let me clarify that when on this blog I disagree with my Christian brothers and sisters I am doing this out of genuine love and concern for them. I certainly don’t want to stir up controversies and divisions among Christians. My intention is to guide others gently into finding out the truth for themselves. I accept that I don’t always do this perfectly, for I am an imperfect and sinful man. And I am open to gentle correction from my readers, on or off blog. (You can find my e-mail address at my personal website.)
It seems to me that the essence of the problem here is the excessive reverence, sometimes close to worship, which some Christians have for their favourite preachers and teachers. It was, as I see it, this kind of reverence which led Adrian to jump to the defence of CJ Mahaney when his words were being attacked by a non-Christian. He would have done better to pause and reflect on whether, if Mahaney actually said that the Father killed the Son (the whole thing is an unverified quotation from a sermon in an anonymous blog posting), he might have said a little bit more here than he really intended, or more than was justified from the Bible. Instead Adrian’s unfortunate reaction was to jump in as if questioning a favourite preacher of his was a direct attack on the gospel. And once having taken that tack he seems unwilling to back down, even though he now wonders if he is alone in taking this position.
The reason why I am treating this matter so seriously is that I am so passionate that everyone comes to hear and respond to the good news that Jesus loves them, so much that he died for them, and that they can respond, turn from wrong things, and receive the forgiveness and freedom which they crave for. So I react strongly, perhaps too strongly (but then Paul’s reactions were similar e.g. in Galatians 2:11-14, 3:1-10), when I hear other Christians perverting that message, for example into something immoral and repulsive like “the Father killed the Son”. The repulsiveness of that version of the message is evident from Duck’s reaction. But the true gospel, although sometimes veiled, is never repulsive or immoral in that way. But it has power from the Holy Spirit to break down the barriers which some people, sadly within the Church as well as outside, put up to hinder its progress.