The Divided Mind Of Christ
He was one of the primal forces in “The Great Awakening” and along with George Whitfield and John Wesley laid the foundation for American Christianity for centuries to come.
His influence continues today through John Piper and and the various Reformed movements that are again in vogue.
Edwards was also a slave owner and a defender of slavery…from the Scriptures.
Scripture wars between proponents of slavery and abolitionists continued through the Civil War era.
In more modern times the arguments were about “biblically” based segregation.
History tells us of Calvin endorsing the state enforcing the laws of the church and vice versa, Luther against the peasants and the Jews, and on down through time … one wonders how history will judge the “court evangelicals”.
We either look back in condemnation on these beliefs or try to explain them away or both…because much of what these men taught us about Christ was valuable and “true”.
Still, one wonders why Calvin and Luther couldn’t hear the (sane) Anabaptists and why it was so hard for slave owners and segregationists to hear the abolitionists and those who saw racial equality in the Scriptures.
All spoke from the Bible, all claimed the mind of Christ, and the Holy Spirit…yet they were opposed to each other, sometimes violently opposed.
Today we have similar divides, though we have refined our positions to not appear as grotesque as our forefathers.
We seem to have no qualms about how this wrecks hell on doctrines such as inerrancy and unity…surely history will prove our side to have been the godly one.
I would suggest we will miss the mark in the same places our fathers did.
They allowed social and political norms and needs to color their exegesis.
I would further suggest that a biblical position on any issue begins with the mercy and compassion of Jesus toward the poor and oppressed and a heart for God’s justice and righteousness as He defined it throughout the Scriptures.
It will be enhanced and informed with a recognition of our place in exile…praying for the well being of the nations, but not centered on national interests.
I am also well aware that I’m preaching to a small choir while the rest of the brethren gather stones.
While I’m interested in how history will judge us, I’m more concerned about the judgement of God.
How do we find the mind of Christ corporately?
History…is not on our side…