The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, February 27, 2004
A Time to Weep

"I find it interesting (after it was pointed out to me) that there is NO ONE in the evangelical world raising the question of whether the making of this movie is a violation of the 2nd commandment. It seems that the overall Christian community is so overjoyed that Hollywood is producing something that is not the normal diet of smut that we immediately dismiss the question of whether this movie truly is glorifying to God. "

--quote taken from a discussion thread at the World Magazine site (here's another one)

My wife actually met Hans Rookmaaker before he died. She told me that one of his repeated remarks was that we should "weep". We look the foolishness of the culture at large as they create art works and music rife with ugliness and death, and rather than laugh or smirk, we should weep. We look at the shallowness of the church and look at the trinkets evangelicals buy in "bookstores", and we should weep.

I am personally grieved at how droves evangelicals are throwing themselves at The Passion movie. They are hungry for something aesthetically rich and wholesome and they dive into the first plate that comes along that might fill the bill. The evangelical church is driven by experience. The word is not enought. So a movie like The Passion of the Christ comes along and fills this desire. They are really no different from Medieval supersticious mystics in this regard. The Reformation marked the ascendancy of the word as a liberator from the endless longing for experience.

Evangelicals flocking to The Passion shouldn't be that surprising. These are, after all, the same people who bought millions of copies of Jabez and the Armageddon series, and who made Thomas Kinkade a multi-millionaire. Ignorance and foolishness reigns in the evangelical church today (the rest of the church (mainline) is even worse off). It is time to weep.

But it gets worse. It seems that many who call themselves reformed are also tearing loose from their confessional moorings and taking the plunge. We who in many respects led the way in encouraging the church to be cultural, have gone overboard and have (seemingly) forgotten that there are scriptural limits to cultural involvement. Being "involved" or "engaged" or "relevant" trumps all other factors. The end justifies the means. We are loosing our distinctiveness -- our biblical flavor. We will never create a Christian culture at this rate.

Read the threads on the World sites. The lines of "reasoning" and lack of biblical understanding are tragic.

And so I weep.