Hosing up the Third Use of the Law through Media

30 Aug

Media is self-selecting, and people flock like birds of a feather to messages they want to hear. Case in point, downtrodden Christians end up far too often dwelling on the law and condemnation…

Martin Luther nailed it with his Commentary on Galations 5:8

To those that are cast down on account of their sins Christ must be introduced as a Savior and Gift, and not as an example. But to sinners who live in a false assurance, Christ must be introduced as an example. The hard sayings of Scripture and the awful judgments of God upon sin must be impressed upon them. Defy Satan in times of despair. Say: “O cursed Satan, you choose a nice time to talk to me about doing and working when you know very well that I am in trouble over my sins. I will not listen to you. I will listen to Christ, who says that He came into the world to save sinners. This is the true Christ and there is none other. I can find plenty of examples for a holy life in Abraham, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Paul, and other saints. But they cannot forgive my sins. They cannot save me. They cannot procure for me everlasting life. Therefore I will not have you for my teacher, O Satan.”

I remember some time back, a preacher was agonizing over folks who are depressed coming away from his sermons even worse off. While the Gospel was most certainly preached in his sermon, they only heard the condemnation of the law. He did not want to short change the law by anymeans, yet if it was obscuring the Gospel to those who really needed to hear it, something needed to be done.

@pubpastor presents a similar deal with one of his early sermons here http://pubpastor.blogspot.com/2009/08/while-were-at-it-lets-talk-about.html 

In other cases, high profile preachers end up having videos go viral… and far too often, in part due to online video limitations, messages get truncated, and as such its possible only the law, or only the Gospel end up going viral.

The same could be said in using twitter. With only 140 characters, its pretty hard to fit both law and Gospel in a single tweet… so one either gets law, or gets Gospel. I was joking around with some guys, that we could code a custom app, which would require both law and Gospel be presented, before one could push submit. Or in another case, a law/Gospel linguistics tool which would analyze tweets to make sure a balance of law / Gospel existed.

Of course, there is also the issue of “to he who has ears, let them hear” and I think thats cool… but how does such play out when said ears belong to a depressed person? How do they hear the Gospel when they want to dwell on the law.


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