I know I have been simply throwing a lot of quotations up lately, and I hope that is acceptable to my readers. I promise to have more original and controversial remarks coming in the next few days. Every once in a while it is good to take a break from critiquing things and show people what you love and what is on your mind. And if you quote people saying the things you agree with, the folks who disagree with you tend not to get as upset.
I want to recommend to you John Piper’s discussion of the doctrines of grace, and the seventh lecture (part 1) in particular. I believe the Lord will use his conclusion of the exposition of these doctrines as a great source of encouragement for you. He begins the lecture finishing his discussion of perseverance, and then moves into why he loves that glorious flower we all call TULIP. You can find all the lectures here.I transcribed a couple of paragraphs of the lecture for your reading enjoyment.
Oh how many Christians in America treat their eternal life as if it’s, “I’m going to heaven; I can just live like everybody else.” And the Bible says, “Grab it! Grab it! Hold on to it! Reach out for it!” . . . There’s so much coasting in American Christianity. “Take hold of eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession among many witnesses.”. . . To stay a believer is a fight, if you don’t have a fight in your life, you are in terrible spiritual condition. If you are not fighting the fight of faith, you are drifting backward . . . because all of the current of the stream of this culture and of your own remaining corruption and of the Devil is backwards towards destruction. Christianity in this fallen age will always be a stroke. . . .
[The doctrines of grace] function as a kind of antidote to what I regard as a culture that is drowning in banality, cuteness, and cleverness, with television being the main purveyor, not of sex and violence—I almost want to say, “who cares about sex and violence? The Bible’s full of it. You know what the Bible’s not full of—not a verse? Triviality. Not a verse. Find it. Find one joke. The Bible is a deadly serious book. Lots of sex, and lots of violence, but no cuteness in the Bible. No silliness. No trifling. No banality. It is all blood-earnestness. . . . And America is exactly the opposite. . . .
What I find is that there are doctrines that function in an amazing antidotal way against the barrage of silliness in the world and make me serious about life. I hope not morose. [There’s a] huge difference between morose, glum, negative, sour and serious joy. Huge difference! And everybody knows it who’s stood at the graveside of a saint, and sung a song of joy with tears. Everybody knows the difference.
When I hear Piper talk like this, I wonder why his worship looks the way it does. I believe it communicates all the things he is speaking against here. It strikes as a “total disconnect.”