At The Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook reminds us that we need to stop commiserating about sin. Keelan writes:
We have all been there. Someone in our small group asks to have coffee and we agree. Soon, we are sitting across a table before work one morning and see the expression on their face. We know the expression, we have had the expression. It is guilt and shame mixed with concern. As the conversation progresses, it turns to confession. Our friend is struggling with a particular sin and knows that confession is the right approach to dealing with it. They are seeking help, and they have come to us.
At his personal blog, The Wardrobe Door, Aaron Earls posted an article discussing how we as a society value entertainment and opinions more than we do information and truth.
Some back and forth between a football coach and a sports talk show host this week unintentionally illuminated one of our modern culture’s most dangerous condition. We value entertainment and opinions much more than we do information and truth…It’s more affirming when you read or hear something that simply dismisses everyone who disagrees with you as mentally or morally inferior. And it’s more infuriating to read someone who does that to you and your side. In both instances, our passions and emotions are inflamed (it is a hot take after all) and we are more likely to share or talk about it.
And when you share an article or video on social media, even if you talk about how horrible it is, you give the other person what they want—attention. So they serve up more takes and the cycle continues.
And that’s what hot takes do. They draw people in.
At The Gospel Coalition, Trevin Wax writes that Christians must be myth busters.
MythBusters is one of The Discovery Channel’s most popular shows. It ran 15 seasons and still finds success in reruns.
Each episode focuses on a couple of popular beliefs or rumors, like “Can drinking Diet Coke and swallowing Mentos make your stomach explode?” or “Is running better than walking if you want to keep dry in the rain?” The hosts then test the beliefs through a number of experiments, to see if the idea holds up under scientific study.
MythBusters is a show that is comical and educational. It takes a common idea in society and shows how the myth gets “busted” from the scientific standpoint.
But you’ll never see a MythBusters episode about the purpose of life. You won’t find the hosts tackling the question, “What happens to us when we die?” Or “Is there a divine presence in the world?” These questions go beyond the stuff of scientific study. They are common and contested.
David Jones posted at the Intersect Project discussing the inauguration, Paula White, and the pitfalls of the prosperity gospel. Dr. Jones writes:
“To live with the object of accumulating wealth is anti-Christian.”
Charles Spurgeon uttered these words over a century ago to the then-largest congregation in all Christendom. Over the years, however, the message preached in some of the largest churches in the world has dramatically changed. This new gospel has been ascribed many names, such as the “name it and claim it” gospel, the “blab it and grab it” gospel, the “health and wealth” gospel, the “prosperity gospel” and “positive confession theology.”
No matter what name you use, though, the essence of this new gospel is the same: God wants believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy and personally happy.
Also at the Intersect Project website, Laura Thigpen posted an article titled: “A Pro-Life Ethic: Caring for Aging Parents“.
Her frail hands, wrinkled with raised blue veins would meet my Granny’s hands as she held the cup to her thin lips. “Alright, now you have one more to take, Momma,” Granny would say, coaxing my great-grandmother to take the final sip to swallow the last of several pills.
As a child watching my Granny care for her nearly blind, hard-of-hearing elderly mother, I would try earnestly to imagine the woman before me as a young mother, up early preparing breakfast and organizing a household of seven children in the 1940’s. Sitting quietly, and contentedly, in her chair on the far side of the living room, I struggled then to see in her the once vibrant life she lived. But every now and then I would glimpse a small grin on her face, as if she weren’t so hard of hearing after all or perhaps she was remembering a pleasant memory.
Watching my Granny care for her mother in such a tender way, like caring for a young child, stirred an appreciation in my young heart for the beauty and delicacy of old age. Instead of seeing wrinkles I see stories of faith, adventure and hardships. Instead of gray hair I see the evidence of work, stress, grief and the wisdom of long-life. Instead of thin, easily bruised skin and oddly bent bones, I see a lifetime of very human vulnerability – such a soft shell to protect something so vital as the human heart.