Don’t Listen! Brad Jersak
In John Calvin’s commentary on the book of Joshua, he writes that God, “was pleased to purge the land of Canaan of the foul and loathsome defilements by which it had long been polluted.” It seems this is the best way to understand what is happening across the globe right now. God has become fed up with human defiance and is vindicating his glory by sending this plague across the earth. [Keep reading].
Does that sound like something you’d expect me to say? No? Does it seem out of place in a PTM resource? Are you able to discern between the strange cold words above and our true heart and message? I hope so!
If someone told you I said those things, I hope you would say with confidence, “As far as I know Brad, there is no way he believes that God is a death-dealer or that he would ever want you to believe it.”
Why, then, is it so difficult to exercise this same discernment when reading Scripture? If a preacher or theologian or even the Bible itself says, “God said” and then pours forth violence and hatred, can we not also be so bold as to say, “As far as I know God, there is no way the God Jesus revealed is a death-dealer or that Jesus would ever want you to believe it”?
Some might object, “But it’s in the Bible!”
My reply: “Then learn how to read the Bible! And start with Jesus!”
I’ve posted this as an exhortation because right now, across broad swaths of Christendom, hundreds or probably thousands of preachers have pounced on the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to preach their hateful gospel of divine violence. DO NOT LISTEN. They desire to titillate our curiosity and fascinate us with their self-proclaimed prophetic insights. DO NOT LISTEN. They always bend that into a kind of fear-mongering control that ultimately has to do with ratings and donations. DO NOT LISTEN.
There is a time to hear a variety of viewpoints. There is a time to listen carefully to our opponents’ strongest arguments. But when it comes to the spiritual virus of the monster-god gospel, wisdom says DO NOT LISTEN. While unknowns abound concerning the coronavirus, you don’t volunteer to have strangers cough in your face. Then why give the purveyors of sick doctrines a green light?
If you ever needed permission to simply turn the channel, this is it. There are endless, healthy resources calling for our time and attention. Let’s not waste any of our precious time on what is worthless.
- Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. —Philippians 4:8