"The Bible never tells us to be nice."

Yeah, but do you want a mean pastor? When you stumble and fall? When you walk through the valley of the shadow death? Do you want a pastor who has a reputation for belligerency "in defense of the truth"?
"And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 2:24–25
"Yeah but Jesus and Paul were harsh!"

Yes, in some circumstances, with religious hypocrites and legalists. But more often they were compassionate, patient, meek, and gentle with sinners.
I think part of the problem is many pastors and Christians rarely interact in real life with unbelievers--or even believers not like them. So the goal is not persuasion but winning an argument.
Look back at that 2 Timothy text: "correcting his opponents with gentleness." Why? Because the goal is not owning the libs (or whoever) for likes on twitter but actual persuasion and restoration.
I'm so tired of the replies to this.
Half the people making my point for me, as if I missed it. Half the people justifying being a jerk. Just be kind and gentle like the apostles repeatedly tell us (even in rebuke).
One person literally said: do whatever it takes to confront the garbage of the progressives. That sounds more like what you'll hear on AM radio in the afternoons than what you want to hear out of your pastor on the Lord's Day.

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More from @lukestamps

15 Jan
It's remarkable how often the NT epistles tell Christians (and especially elders) to be kind and gentle and to strive to have a good reputation with unbelievers.
To become all things to all men so that we might by all means save some. We don't have the luxury to be jerks. Our commission is too urgent and its consequences eternal.
Don't look past the obvious biblical truths. If someone is characterized by meanness and belligerency and unending controversy, they aren't following the apostolic injunctions. Correction may be necessary, but with humility and patience.
Read 6 tweets
13 Nov 21
1/ I'm torn over whether to respond to this because @ostrachan quite frankly has failed to engage with specificity the very serious criticisms of ERAS since 2016 but I listened to this and it is actually worse that I thought.
2/ Perhaps the worst of it was his treatment of John 14:28 ("the Father is greater than I"). The post-Nicene church has uniformly understood this only as a ref. to the Son's economic mission, that is, to his incarnation (via partitive exegesis). But Owen explicitly denies this.
3/ Owen sees this as a statement about the Father's "greater authority" over the Son. He even argues that in the end the Son "is *not* going to sit down on the same throne. He's not going to sit down right beside the Father on the same level" (Rev. 4-5?!)
Read 7 tweets
12 Nov 21
The lyric "You didn't want heaven without us" is a deeply Athanasian sentiment.
I rant about this from time to time the reticence on the part of some Calvinists to speak in unqualified ways about God's love for his creatures is just bizarre to me.
It's okay to say that God *wanted* to be with us, that he wanted to invite us into the communion of his Triune life. The lyric doesn't say he couldn't exist without us; it says he didn't *want* to be without us.
Read 6 tweets
5 Nov 21
"My kingdom is not of this world" (John 18:36).
The church does good works but it's not just another NGO. The church has social teaching but it's not just a plan for political change. The church is fundamentally an embassy of a coming world, one where righteousness dwells.
Only the church has been given the ministry and the message of reconciliation, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.
Read 4 tweets
5 Nov 21
Integralism is the midlife version of college libertarianism.
Seriously though, the more I listen to the integralists, and in some sense to postliberals more broadly, the more convinced I am that a) what they are saying is unworkable, and b) it's not even desirable.
What if I told you classical liberalism is a product of Christian assumptions?
Read 5 tweets
16 Sep 21
According to classical and Christian moral reasoning, right action is judged by the act itself, its end (or purpose or intent), and its circumstances. The better part of pastoral prudence in these difficult times is discerning not just the first of these but esp. the last two.
"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver" (Prov. 25:11). In our teaching, we must carefully judge not just what must be said but why and when and how.
I think this classical wisdom has implications for the "empathy" debates. I can imagine in some contexts (younger, more progressive, etc.) it would be appropriate to issue a warning against allowing feelings of oppression to override considerations of truth, reality, and being.
Read 7 tweets

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