Rediscovering the Scandal of the Cross
This is somewhat an update to the Louie Giglio “drama”, about which I posted last week.
The ceremonial inauguration of President Obama’s second term occurred yesterday (the official one being on Sunday) without much in the way of scandal (sure the standard politicking occurred, but nothing major). A different pastor spoke, one more familiar personally with the President who actually does regularly attend church and, as best I can tell, hold a genuine, deep, and heart felt Christian faith despite any contrary opinions we
may or may not have politically (personally, I’m a bit more wary of the
increase in drone strikes, which have a much higher civilian casualty rate, than I am other issues, but yes, there are other disagreements).
But this is not intended as a political post. If you harbor ill will toward him, you should pray for him and yourself, that God change your heart and his. If you really like him, you should pray for him and yourself, that you not hold him in too high esteem (he is a human, and thus will make mistakes) and that he not believe all his own press (for the same reasons). But this is less about the president and our attitude toward him and not even really about Louie Giglio.
Yesterday, at Christianity Today’s website, they posted a piece on the state of Christian Preaching in America, though it could easily be applied to most other contexts. The substance of the article is that we have given up the scandal of the cross by focusing on the wrong things or pitching the gospel message in what we perceive to be a culturally palatable manner. In doing so, we have turned these other scandals into political fodder and not what they should be. As Christians we need to rediscover the scandal that is the cross.
Forgiveness offered unconditionally is scandalous to a culture that says we are all inherently good.
The cross is a scandal to a world where we are constantly trying to extend and improve our lifespan
The dead Christ who is therefore a king a scandal to a world that wants to cling onto the things of this world
The resurrected Christ is a scandal to people who fail to recognize they are dead already, but must die more truly.
If you have some time, I encourage to read the article in full (click the link at the end) and possibly leave your comments there and back over here.
Today we celebrate the second inauguration of President Obama, but we do so without the benediction of pastor Louie Giglio. In the controversy that erupted after his selection to and withdrawal from that honor, it became clear again how much the gospel has been sidelined, not in the culture, but in the church.