Thursday, September 07, 2006

What Jerry Falwell, Zizek and Obesity Can Teach us About Our Evangelical Holiness Codes

David Fitch brings up a valid point. Holiness does not come from the outside. External legalism does does bring a submissive heart. Jesus knew this with the Pharisees and Paul understood this with the concept of justification by faith.

If we legislate the evils of (whatever) our true character (the Real) will shine through. Whether this be obesity, materialism, selfishness, consumerism etc. the real me will eventually shine through.

...the question whether those Christian denominations that prohibit drinking and smoking were not in fact doing what was left to do: abusing food as substitute for these other prohibited pleasures...

If we prohibit certain behaviors as conditions of fitness for pastoral ministry, are we not really revealing the fear that we lack the character (or fitness) in the first place? If drunkenness and addictions that seek ultimacy other than in Christ is what we fear, why not name drunkenness and addiction as the symptoms that require discernment. Instead we prohibit all use as if to suggest we are hiding something. The total prohibition is a sign that we suspect we don’t actually have character formed in this direction in the first place. Read the whole thing.

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