American Antinomianism

Antinomianism is a theological term, referring most often to the denial of the Ten Commandments having any authority over believers under grace.

I agree with Calvin’s understanding that there are, in fact, three purposes of the Law: 1) To curb lawlessness (people behaving badly), 2) a reflection of what God wants from people that shows them they cannot keep it themselves and 3) a guide for believers daily lives.

I think that you can safely say that American has become totally antinomian. The American experiment is failing, and one reason is the acceptability of lawlessness and the celebration of it.

If you look at anyone driving anywhere today, you will find hardly anyone obeying traffic laws of any kind. From the speed limit to Stop signs to turning without signalling, the vast majority of drivers rarely adhere to traffic laws.

In sports, you can watch the NBA Finals and find that, not only do the players not adhere to the rules, but the Referees fail to enforce them (Does ANYONE call traveling anymore?).

Draymond Green has made ignoring the rules a sport in itself, trying to see how far from the actual rules he can go without paying a price in either technical or common fouls. He is a throwback to the “Bad Boys” of the Detroit Pistons style of play without the panache. They looked like they were having fun; he looks like he has anger-management issues.

No one celebrates Sportsmanship anymore. No one wants to pay attention to fairness and good behavior anymore. Most people want to see how far they can push the envelope.

The Church is not exempt from bad behavior either. Too many Mega-Church pastors have fallen, small church pastoral scandals shown up in local papers and far too many churches are preaching a Christ-less Christianity.

Unless and until the Church returns to its First Love, Jesus Christ and the transforming power of the grace provided by preaching about His substitutionary death and resurrection, the Church will become less and less relevant, more and more powerless and more empty with each passing year.

We don’t need more programs, we need more Gospel.

Imago Dei

We often forget that we are made in the image of God, the Imago Dei. This includes those with whom we disagree, those with whom we argue and fight, and those who we love.

But what do you see when you look at someone you are angry with, you are having an argument or just having a bad moment with? Do you see the person that God created, who has purpose and worth, or do you see the worse that is in that person.

We must remember that no matter how badly we have been treated, we are called to respond in love. When God had finished the creative process, He created Adam, he said it was “Very good.”

If God declares that we have intrinsic worth, how can we treat those with whom we have disagreements with disdain? Let us not merely try to live at peace with all, but as far as it depends on us, live at peace with all.

Racism and class warfare seem to be the order of the day, but they are not what the Body of Christ should be engaged in. Those with whom we disagree should receive the same respect as those with whom we are in full and hearty agreement.

It is not just our friends that are created in the image of God, but those with whom we most violently disagree.

This is why the words of Jesus are so revolutionary; we are not to be kind to those who are kind to us, but we are to give love to those who hate us and use us and do all kinds of injury to us.

It’s easy to be kind to those who are like us, who are nice to us, those who agree with us. But it is only by the supernatural love of God that we are able to go beyond that to show the love of the Father to those who hate us.

Stop taking the easy way out. Stop being tribal and expand your horizons. Go beyond what you are able to do, and do what only God can enable you to do.