I’m not sure what things will look like on the other side of this, but I am confident that after this season of hidden things being exposed, we will be stronger for it. People who you thought you could trust to the end have been revealed to be two dimensional friends. People who you disagreed with for tertiary reasons have been shown to be trustworthy.
We will get through this though. Not without realignments. Not without painful separations. But we will get through this. Stronger than before. The hysteria will end far later than it should, but it will end. You will rely on people you didn’t know beforehand and you will trust old friends as much as you trust a fart after a trip to Taco Bell.
From a religious standpoint, this era has been painful to say the least. I had my suspicions about certain “Big Eva” pastors before COVID and the Intersectionality riots, but they have certainly been confirmed in these months. Not only have they been confirmed, but names who I held in high regard once are now meaningless to me. Albert Mohler, Tim Keller, Jason Meyer, Andy Stanley, Mark Dever, pretty much anyone in The Gospel Coalition (which is more interested in the coalition than in the gospel) have been revealed to be gospel redefiners, which is to say that they are gospel deniers.
I came to faith in my 30’s and I wanted to make up for lost time. I read my Bible and poured myself into learning everything I could. I looked for faithful pastors who would saturate me with a view of the gospel that was compelling. I read books, listened to sermons, compared my faithlessness from before with the expectations that God has for those whose hearts of stone are replaced by hearts of flesh. I wanted nothing greater than to be faithful to this high calling.
As time has gone on, most of these “celebrity pastors” have shown themselves to be unworthy of following. The most faithful pastors have generally been those without large followings and with nothing to lose. There are exceptions, of course, but I don’t intend to proclaim anyone famous as a faithful teacher until they have been dead long enough for any secrets to come forth.
Meanwhile, we are in a situation where people in the spotlight and people in the local arena are shown for who they are, and many of them are not who we once thought they were. Perhaps this is painful because we didn’t want to be wrong about them. Perhaps we had thought the best of them and found out later that the best just wasn’t the case.
Any way you look at it, people are showing you who they really are. The masks are coming off, no pun intended. You will be surprised. You will be disappointed. If you are wise, you will learn not to place your trust in the flesh of this world, but rather in the eternal faithfulness of the only one worth worshiping. Your only hope is not found in man, but in God. He has defined the terms and He has demonstrated His justice already.
Accept His definitions and His finished work. To quote Mike Ehrmantrout of Breaking Bad fame, “No Half Measures.” Jesus does not add to your works. He is your works. Adding to them is actually a subtraction. Trusting in your deeds, however many or few, is folly.
Originally written September 7, 2020