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Why are believers known for ‘doom and gloom’…


Last night I had over a non-believer friend and while we were hanging out, we discussed how grieving it is that believer’s for the most part walk around with ‘doom and gloom’ attitudes. 

I mean really?  Why would I want to find out more about that?  Is it because Christianity is a doom and gloom world view?  No, its followers forget the historical narrative of Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration (Consummation for my reformed family – wink). 

When Jesus left us in Acts 2, He did not say, “I did my part, now you can clean up the mess…” But I think that is what much Christian ‘application’ teaching has done for us.  The focus on ‘sufferology’ and felt-needs has warped this implication of Redemption-Restoration.  I think in part it I because of what Jerry Bridges said in my devotional today;

The sad fact is that many of us believers tend to live our daily lives with little or no thought of God. We may read our Bibles and pray at the beginning of each day, but then go out into the day’s activities and basically live as though God doesn’t exist. We seldom think of our dependence on God or our responsibility to him. We might go for hours with no thought of God at all. I believe that all our other acceptable sins can ultimately be traced to this root sin of ungodliness. Ungodliness ultimately gives life to our more visible sins. Jerry Bridges-Respectable Sins

So why the doom and gloom?  I think Jerry is very close to the answer to this question.  If my life surrounds checking a box, rather than participating in a contrasting culture, then yes, I am going to have doom and gloom as an attitude (many of them actually have the face that accompanies this as well).

My wife sent me a link recently in which the site was a couple of ladies whom believe they are the Christian Mafia (play on the Amish Mafia) and under the guise of ‘discerning Christian trends’ what I really saw was doom and gloom.  And of course the site was slammed with comments and visitors where folks ‘discerned Christian trends’ through the lens of self-absorption, unforgiveness and bitterness and call it ‘mercy’ or ‘helpful’.  With that particular site I found myself thinking, I wonder if some of the commenters really would have said that if they sat across the person/agency?  We live in a culture that is so quick to hit send and get their ‘hurt’ out there…I have done it… and we feel all justified doing it and think that we are walking in the steps of Luther and the Wittenberg Door (internet), when in actuality we running rampant with our sin, and it is glaringly obvious to others, and later to ourselves after we have had some time to work on the issue.

For more resources on thinking before posting I would encourage you to start with “Justification by Twitter” and “Keeping the Peace – Writing an email that will not stir up conflict”, which provide a couple of checks and balances we all need when we take to the ‘printing press of the internet”.  What we really need to remember is the getting to the heart of our conflicts, before slapping up blogs, websites, and sharing our doom and gloom.

So why all the doom and gloom?  Jerry above says we live compartmentalized lives.  I agree.  In the myriad of discipleship/evangelism that Connie and I do, we find compartmentalization to be a major player in the reason for the doom and gloom, more importantly, we found that gospel fluency is non-existent.  People want to live their lives through their emotions as normative and rationalize/justify them while they boldly sin.  Much performing… Much pretending… Much legalism… Much license… no resting, no Creation-Fall-Redemption-Restoration story weaving in their or others lives, no seeing their sinfulness in light of God’s Holiness and the Cross stays so very small.  God is not great because we have to be in control.  God is not glorious because we fear others.  God is not good because we look everywhere else.  God is not gracious so we try to prove ourselves to everyone.  No Prophet-No Priest-No King-No Christ Jesus…No hope… No wonder non-believers don’t want to hear what we are offering…sometimes we don’t want to be around it either…

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