The year 2012 was interesting and frustrating. This year I will not feature the 10 most popular posts like I did in 2011. However I will give you a running commentary and “warm your little Calvinist hearts” with some grace and hope you won’t end up swimming back to Rome in the end.
The year started with high expectations and has ended on a high note – well unless you are a Mayan apocalypse enthusiast then you might be just a tard deflated. But hey cheer up we have extra time now, don’t we?
In 2012 it was interesting to see that many people were interested in reading how Veggie Tales ended up being a failed experiment. Well to be honest it was a fad that went too far into teaching kids how to be “Christian” without knowing Christ. Ironic but frankly I have come to expect this from most Evangelical fads that it doesn’t surprise me any more. Speaking of fads the year kicked off with a fad…oops thud when Steven Furtick (yup the celebrity pastor who spontaneously baptised 2,000 people in two weeks) invited Matt Chandler into a room full of orange flood lights, orange walls and orange carpets. When Matt began to preach about celebrities and supposed pastors using church as a platform for personal ambition, you could hear a pin drop. The barn burning sermon was a good fire starter for the year it and it ended with a clear gospel presentation too. But nothing prepared us for pastor Jim Murphy’s stance when he decided to root out religious junk from his lukewarm church bookstore. Murphy lamented the disintegration of Christianity and its falling away from the truth of the gospel and into more and more error – he traced the roots of today’s error to the subtle attacks on the authority of Scripture. When he finally asked “How did we get where we are?” Many expected him to point the finger else where but the wise old pastor pointed to him self and said said he was responsible for allowing his church to become lukewarm and hence forth there would be changes. Talk about the perspicuity of scripture.
Don’t blink yet, that was just the beginning!
As the year rolled on many began to ask questions about Conservative Christianity. I will at this point pretend the Elephant Room kerfuffle didn’t happen. Moving on, some decided to join the ‘Young , Reformed and Restless’ movement while others joined IHOP (no, not the International House of Pancakes). But after a while just decided its better just to grow up and hold to Reformed Theology. You can ask me I will tell you the 10 signs you are no longer “young, restless and reformed”. Unless you want to go by Ed Young’s description or even the Harry Emerson Fosdick one.
Good times come to an end. When good and sound Christian bloggers hang up their writing gloves the vacuum they leave is always felt. Phil Johnson of Team Pyro called it quits to blogging in the year 2012 while prolific blogger Jim Bublitz (the fragile brave man who broke more than 70 different bones at different times in his life as he did his “own stunts”) of Old Truth blog went to be with the Lord – I still miss the good and sound admonitions of these friends I must say. I miss them cos I am now left with pastors dragging their beds to the roofs of churches and beaming themselves on web cams, I am left with churches erecting stripper poles behind the church pulpit to attract more people, I am left with Christian Night clubs having shooting escapades, churches starting street fighting clubs and – oh, and would I even forget Perry Noble criticising discipleship or even the Hunger Games Biblestudy guide?
So who were the villains of the year? Who were the baddies of the Evangelical landscape? I will reserve the crown but some people noticeably did a lot to bring contempt to the gospel. Many dragged the name of Christ in the mud. Some were purpose driven in doing so and at times more subtle in blurring their intentions. One won’t forget when a few villains were flushed out and called out. A little known man stood up and called his own president a hypocrite to his face. Before the chicken crossed the road, Mark Driscoll’s Mars Hill bus ran over a few more church members much to the chagrin of the Evangelical community as Todd Bentley’s violent revivals set South Korea ablaze. An African pastor decried the false hope health, wealth and prosperity preachers were selling among pagans in the name of Christ.
Some body wanted an explanation as to why this blog doesn’t have a crowd pleasing title. I think I mumbled an answer. Then mastered up some courage and masked a couple of Christians who endured a series of questions and the “Meet the Christians” interview forum was born. A notable question of the year was: Is it a sin to join the Illuminati? Umm, I think I gave a comprehensive answer to that one. Actually I some times ask Dr Jim West (it’s good to have a witty but humble theologian available on speed dial). Nevertheless I often get mixed up and end up on the best satirical blog The Truthinator Blog but hey who is counting?
Speaking of which let me do the counting. Five is the number of errors you learnt from the purpose driven church. Ten was the number of (un) theological pick up lines. You were given ten more reasons to reject Word of Faith. Ten recommendations to gospel artists from a pastor. Ten church growth myths. Seven homeschooling myths were debunked. Six ways to grow in sound doctrine. We looked at the most misapplied bible verse.
The worst kept secret of 2012 was the answer to the question, “Will redefinition of marriage to include same sex union be enough? ” The most rhetorical question: Did Jesus (when he spoke of making disciples fishers of men) mean net fishing or bait fishing? The most foolish publicity stunt was the eating of fire by a vicar on Pentecost Sunday. The worst out cry was when a church cried, “away with the gospel for we need more signs and wonders”. No wonder Jim Bublitz once noted this could be the reason why the quick converts of our day often keep falling away.
The biggest embarrassment was when an American mega church pastor put on a gaudy outfit and was coronated “king of the Jews”. ( See? Eddie Long I told ya I would
not mention ya name). The most confusing revelation was discovering that Nadarkhani the Iranian pastor who was imprisoned for being a “Christian” was actually anti Trinitarian and a Branhamite. However not all was doom and gloom from Iran and the Middle East cos we still heard that an Arab royal embraced Christ. Lucky too that he wasn’t dragged into a snake handling church to prove his faith. The best spoof headline was when “Olsteen” renounced prosperity gospel and called out false teachers. That’s because the real Osteen is some what coy and not like brave little Walter Martin who went to TBN and let rip on false teachings and prosperity gospel (and was never invited back)!
Last but not least one of my most favourite posts was “Help I need more Arminian friends” The most resourceful reformed website is Monergism. It has free E-books!!!.
As a new year dawns and the yester year fades, I am grateful to God for His providence in sustaining me through untold trials and tribulations. I am thankful for His comfort. I know not what the future holds but I will borrow the words of David Brainerd as a challenge to us all:
“We should always look upon ourselves as God’s servants, placed in God’s world, to do his work; and accordingly labour faithfully for him; not with a design to grow rich and great, but to glorify God, and do all the good we possibly can.” — David Brainerd