Monday, November 22, 2010

Decoding Law Usage in Modern Language

Often times, the common misunderstanding is that the contemporary church is Antinomian and is not teaching much of anything. The truth is that they are often teaching nothing but the Law. They may be doing it badly and they may be using non-Biblical language to do it, but the themes are essentially Law when they are analyzed. Just because the Law is delivered with a hands-off smile and some trendy music doesn't make it any less distressing for those who hear it. Allow me decode some of the langague for you.

1. "Encouragement" is almost always a Law term.

Encouragement: 1. the expression of approval and support. 2. The act of encouraging; incitement to action or to practice; as, the encouragement of youth in generosity; That which serves to incite, support, promote or advance, as favor, countenance, reward etc.; incentive; increase of confidence.

A term from Old French that means "to put in courage", encouragement is used several ways in contemporary churches. They are almost always related to the Law. Most often, encouragement is used to "encourage" someone to do a particular thing... which is a work... which is Law. There is also a kind of encouragement which is intended to lift the spirit up (which is not the same as the "hope" one finds in hearing the Gospel). In this use, it is almost to counter discouragement which is a consequence of previous applications of the Law. Instead of providing the Gospel, this form almost always turns us back to more works. This is what we converts who have left Purpose Drivenism cynically call the "rat wheel". Most often encouragement in Christian circles is equated with "strength for the day" which is essentially the power to do what you are supposed to do. That's Law... fuzzy-sounding hippy kind of law... but Law none the less.

2. "Practical" is another Law term.

Practical: concerned with actual use or practice

Having something in the church that possess the quality of being "practical" sounds good... but then again the Law makes alot of sense to us because it is written on our hearts. Practical means that you can do something with it. That's a work. That's Law. It may be nice, useful Law... but it's still Law.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Just spot on. Keep it up =o)

Get it, keep it up? I encourage you =o)

Mike Baker said...

Yay! I've been encouraged! Now I can accomplish my purpose!

...and they say that only Roman Catholics teach "infused grace". psssh!