Sanctification Jihad?

In light of recent events, Tim Challies might want to choose a different set of metaphors:

“How?” people ask. “How do we make this happen in our churches? I’ve always believed that prayerful, word-driven ‘vine work’ was the essence of ministry, and you’ve reminded me of that. But how do we get our people fired up to be doing that—to be ‘disciple-making disciples’?”

In other words, if prayerful teaching of the Bible is the basic method of ministry, by which God transforms people, then how (one wonders) might we see our people and our church challenged and changed and transformed to live a different vision of the Christian life?

The answer seems pretty obvious when you ask it like that: by patiently and prayerfully slashing away at each other’s dull, sinful hearts with the sharp, two-edged sword of the word of God.

This is how God changes people. Why would we imagine that our church would change in any other way? [emphasis OL]


16 thoughts on “Sanctification Jihad?

  1. Whether or not it’s appropriate, I always thought the biblical metaphor of Hebrews (and scripture) on sanctification was more akin to a doctor than a warrior. Isn’t the intent not to destroy (warrior/slashing) but to remove what is bad (doctor/dissecting)?

    The only time we see “slashing” encouraged is when Paul tells the judaizers to emasculate themselves. That’s one way to achieve sanctification…


  2. Nate, for me, it’s still a warrior, but a defensive one (see Ephesians 6.).

    To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

    sin’s at war with us, even if we don’t want it to be that way..

    doctor as well? mebbe, idk….



  3. But if i honestly live a life neutral from reproach to those who self-appoint themselves as moral guardians of their church, then they get on my case for not setting up a Marshall Stack on a street corner and engaging in extroverted hardcore Evangelism.


  4. AB, I went through that schtick 3 times in one after church fellowship at a near-Reformed church.

    Now it’s about Word and Sacrament, not picking me apart for living a decent life and doing what is already on my plate.


  5. Kent, marshall stack? I love it! Although your experience sounds rough, man..

    this from heidelblog came to my attention from the same. at my little opc mission work, we started weekly Lord’s Supper for the last two Sunday’s and our pastor wishes to keep it that way. it reminds me of my first OPC experience while I was in college, that was the first time I went to a church with Lord’s Supper that frequent. I’m a fan, and would encourage others to consider as well, if they have the means. Point being, yes, big word and sacrament guy (SC 88).



  6. The mental makeup of self-appointed holiness cops is such that they usually end up in the police blotter for getting caught running naked through a city park, on the nightly news for getting caught in a prostitution sting, or in trouble with the Feds for having child porn on their computers.

    Gravitate instead to the more low key members of your church if you need help pursuing holiness.


  7. AB, been slaving in the financial district for decades and a few over time have set up a decent amp system to scream at every passerby about views on abortion and the gold exchange and other fun stuff.


  8. don’t doubt the marshall stack.

    that part about repenting, i don’t opine (and i wasn’t speaking about that). that’s between you and God, my friend.



  9. Maybe the stack fell on the kook at just the right time in his diatribe… that would rock.

    Have a blessed one yerself, Sir.


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