18 March 2014

Repentance: unrepentant reminders

by Dan Phillips

Repentance is a Topic right now. In itself, that's a good thing. Repentance should be a constant topic in the lives of Christians — not just a constant topic, but a constant reality.

At the moment, I don't want to make a direct comment on the current issue that's brought this to the fore, and readers really shouldn't infer such from what follows.

Instead, I'd like to remind Pyro readers (and inform others) of how our readers have had the opportunity to be prepared to analyze and process such events Biblically, analytically — and not simply emotionally, whether by bitter and accusatory emotions, or chummy and exculpatory emotions.

In October of 2010 an article titled Repentance: fake and real laid down some cautionary warnings about imitations that can pose as real repentance, while withholding the actual cure itself.

Two days later a followup article titled The fruits of repentance keyed off of that very phrase, which is itself Biblical, and discussed the most commonly missing element in purported repentance: the productive element of repentance, the transformative, mortifying, and thus liberating element in repentance.

Just over a year later I wrote what I refer to as one of my Most Regrettably-Ignored Posts, Ever. Blogging is weird; some posts concerning which I had no particular expectations (like this and this) became huge things; while others of which I had large aims and expectations were virtually ignored.

One of the chief posts in this latter category was T. D. Jakes (and the like) Part Two: thinking clearly about repentance. Unlike later celebrated articles, this was written before the Elephant Room 2 disaster. Had the ideas in the post been broadcast and made the issue, a lot of damage and harm could have been averted.

Ironically, that post involved Mark Driscoll; and as it turned out, involved Driscoll a great deal. Driscoll was the Big Dog who was looked to to give a clean bill of health to T. D. Jakes... which Driscoll pretty much did. So much so, that anyone who didn't hop on-board was a racist.

If the thinking about repentance in this article had been made an issue to Driscoll before the fact, so that these questions and issues could not have been ignored, things might have gone very differently.

But they weren't, and they didn't, respectively.

So here we are again: repentance is an issue, and clarity is a need.

And so once again, I do what I can.

Dan Phillips's signature


Jay C. said...

I am amazed at how many people do not have a grasp on what repentance is. The articles that you wrote nail it perfectly.

Thanks for sharing.

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

The only sin I could think of was my own as I read your post. Thank you for posting this and the associated links to past posts this morning. It was a welcome read.

Anonymous said...

I think the lack of understanding among Christians of what repentance means is disturbing...it touches too close to the Gospel. I remember during the Caner/Liberty controversy, there were some people that said he repented in some of the internet conversations I got into and I had a long post on my blog that was surprisingly silent; I suspect my fault was it was long but also because well, when we go through the Bible it's not as juicy and emotive.
Thanks for this post.

donsands said...

Grace is the key for all we do as followers of Jesus.
I could never repent of any of my sins, or offenses, unless my Savior touched my heart.
How does he touch one of His children's heart?
Through his Spirit and Word, which come through His Body, which is made up of pastor-teachers, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and many other types of undershepherds for his beloved sheep.

Thanks Dan for the good word, and post.
And the other thought that may be brought in here is that not every sheep is a sheep of the Good and Great Shepherd.
Some are not His sheep.

Some seeds are sown on dry soil, and some are sown in the tares.

Integrity is a jewel. I pray i will be disciplined to grow in the grace of God, so that i will live a life of integrity, and that means repentance shall be a "constant reality" for moi.

Thomas Louw said...

Regrettably the most Most Regrettably-Ignored Posts, Ever has no link.

DJP said...

Yes it did/does. Just tested.

DJP said...

Yes it did/does. Just tested.

Cathy M. said...

I remember reading both of these. I've quoted that line "sin isn't so sinny when it's sinned by us" quite a few times.

A pastor I'm related to committed adultery with a woman in his church. He made a big tearful confession from the pulpit and resigned. Soon he was pastoring again in a smaller church in a different community. Guess what he did again? This time he really dragged around in sackcloth for a few years. I recently noticed that he's teaching a Sunday School class in a large local church, and occasionally filling in as a guest preacher at the nearby "cowboy church" and "biker church." I just shake my head and hope the men will keep their wives and daughters close.

I only tell that sad story to illustrate your point that "hoping for the best does not require turning off our brains or our memories" exposing the weak and vulnerable to wolves, false teachers, and outright predators.