The Seeds of a New Reformation?
Carl Trueman wrote an amazing article over on First Things.
Speaking of the attempted coverups and possible coercion in the Ergun Caner and Mark Driscoll cases he asks;
“Is journalism no longer considered a legitimate Christian calling? Or is the task of the Christian journalist simply to strengthen the hand of the vested interests?”
“Where the situation becomes sinister is when one group attempts to police the activities of another, or where one Christian organization or leader uses their personal power or share of the market to prevent others, with whom they are not formally connected, from speaking freely and asking the hard questions. At that point, things take a very sinister turn indeed.”
On the Ref 21 blog he had already written these words;
“For some time now I have been harping on and on about the corrupting effects of celebrity culture on conservative evangelicalism. I think I was wrong: we are not dealing these days with mere celebrities; the ethical transgressions we are witnessing would indicate that we are actually dealing with a form of evangelical Nietzscheanism whereby the leaders of the movement are, to borrow a phrase, beyond good and evil. “
That is exactly the situation we now find ourselves in. The church has elevated it’s celebrities to the point where we actually act as if we believe that they are only accountable to their peer group, ie; other celebrities. The biblical concept of being accountable to the church has been replaced with the high council of the rich and famous…an American religious oligarchy.
“Second, it is possible that we will see a re-run of the Elephant Room debacle. The whistleblowers will be maligned, marginalised and then safely ignored. Maybe, if we are lucky, there will be a public statement talking about ‘errors of judgment’ and ‘mistakes that have been made’ along with a humble commitment to ‘do better in the future.’ The movers and shakers will either keep silent or reassure everybody that it is all under control and being dealt with appropriately behind the scenes. A decent period of quiet will then ensue. And shortly thereafter it will be back to business as usual. That too, one might add, will be a powerful signal to the watching world.”
That is the blueprint both on the micro and macro levels…I’ve seen it over and over again.
The only thing that will change it is a new Reformation…and I believe we may see one in this country if the new Reformers can survive being sued into submission.