Good memes, bad memes

February 19, 2016

Here are a couple of things I saw on the interwebs yesterday that merit some comment. First this:

bad_meme

Assuming this gentleman, called the “sexiest teacher alive” by People Magazine, said the words attributed to him in this meme, he needs to read the Bible more. It says nothing about left-handedness being sinful, nor has the church ever interpreted the Bible to say that left-handedness is sinful. In fact, Judges 3:15 says the following about Ehud: “Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord, and the Lord raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man.” Ehud is able to slay the evil King Eglon, we’re told, because of Ehud’s left-handedness. You can read about it here.

But why let facts get in the way of this popular progressive Christian narrative—that we theologically conservative Christians “pick and choose” what parts of the Bible to believe, and who could possibly take the Bible seriously, anyway?

Please note: It’s true that Mr. Ferroni, alongside me and everyone else, was born a sinner. At least he got that right!

On the positive side, there’s this from Lutheran Satire, not a meme, per se, but it ought to be:

good_meme

I have had this same conviction for a few years, as I’ve blogged and preached about a lot. All of us, Christian or not, need to hear the gospel constantly. I hope I preach it, in one way or another, in every sermon.

8 Responses to “Good memes, bad memes”

  1. Tom Harkins Says:

    I think the “left-handed” meme is a “plug” for homosexuals–it’s a sin, but “society learned to accept us.”

    On the gospel, that is central, of course, but there is certainly nothing wrong with “practical sermons” as well from time to time. Just look as Proverbs. Or the epistles’ insistence on “godly behavior.”

    • brentwhite Says:

      That’s definitely the subtext. But this is worse than the classic “shellfish” argument because it has no basis whatsoever in scripture. Right? Is it because there are references to Jesus’ “sitting at the right hand of God”—that somehow that means the “left hand” is evil? Crazy.

      I hope my sermons are practical to some extent, but hearing the gospel itself is practical, in my opinion. It has the power to change behavior. I’ve been deeply influenced by Tim Keller: If you listen to him, you notice that he always works a gospel presentation into his sermons, no matter what text he preaches or how practical the sermon may otherwise be. I really like that approach.

      Many Methodist preachers—or so I’ve read—don’t preach the gospel regularly. Their mentality is either a) everyone gets saved in the end, so why bother? 😝 or b) people who are already converted don’t need to hear it again.

      • Tom Harkins Says:

        Yeah, it is ridiculous to compare something NOT sinful (but hereditary) with something SINFUL (but not hereditary). Wrong all the way around.

        I see your point about working in the gospel. My only point was that the “gospel” is not “all there is” to the Christian faith–there must be righteous living as well. (Of course, I guess you could say righteous living is part of the gospel, but sometimes the “gospel” is basically focused on “how do you get saved.” That’s what I am responding to.)

  2. Grant Essex Says:

    I have hosted, and attended many formal dinners where seating was an important consideration. The seat to the left of the host is second only to the seat to the right. It’s definitely not an insult to be seated there.

    From an official etiquette guide:

    Seating etiquette:

    The guest of honor is seated to the right of the host, with a second guest of honor seated to the left.
    Less important guests are arranged, often according to rank, around the table.

  3. Grant Essex Says:

    I don’t know if this was true at the time the Scriptures were written.

    • brentwhite Says:

      It was true. Remember James and John? They wanted to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand when he came into his kingdom. The argument wasn’t who gets to sit at which side, but that they should be the ones to sit there.

  4. Grant Essex Says:

    Good example. Thanks.

  5. bthomas Says:

    Like other msm, People Magazine publishes for sales. Neither truth when inconvenient nor facts can be allowed to get in the way of a good story. It is very much like when Dan Rather had a story he wanted to run about President Bush.


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