Soiled by sin I am a Mark Driscoll, a Bob Coy, a Peter, an Adam, a David. What do I and these men have in common? We are all men created in the Image of God, yet we don’t want to obey and follow him by nature. Adam may have started this sin thing (or maybe it was Satan), but we definitely are keeping up with Adam in his absence. Stained by sin in Adam, we are not just sinners because of his sin, we are sinners because of our own sin too. Yet, I and all these men alike have tasted of the heavenly blessing in Christ, heard the Gospel preached, professed faith, and have responded in obedience to His Word, so why do we still fail? Besides the theologically accurate, “because we still are in sinful bodies” it is also because practically we take the Gospel for granted, ignore the means of Grace that Sanctify us, love the world too much, and ultimately because we don’t have the accountability of the Word being preached to us, by others and ourselves, quite often enough. Other voices and messages often take up the airwaves of communication and distract us from the most important message in the Gospel, yet not all these messages are bad just distractions.
Most recently Mark Driscoll reminds us of the false belief in our Christian Culture: that Pastors are more mature, don’t need to be pastored, don’t need to be shepherded, don’t need accountability, don’t need to be submitted to others who will call them on their sin, and are better serving God when their external fruit is magnificently evident to all. Every pastor (and Christian) should read Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp http://www.amazon.com/Dangerous-Calling-Confronting-Challenges-Pastoral/dp/1433535823 as he explains many of the reasons why we as Christians fail and why so many pastors struggle with sins in-spite of our placing of them on a pedestal, and the most scary thing is most pastors believe their own press, and the result is the list of men I provided.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum of the interpretations on God’s Sovereignty, one thing is certain, sin cost God more than it costs all the fallen angels and sinners in hell. Without going into great detail, I do believe that this side of heaven we will not be able to fully comprehend the mystery of how a Holy and Sovereign God can allow evil into His universe. I know many people question how God could create Adam and Eve very good and yet they still fell into sin. An answer to that question seems a little easier than the question of how did Satan fall into sin, since they at least had a fallen Angel to tempt them, Satan had only himself. But I digress from pursuing the deeper philosophical and theological implications and questions surrounding sin, the fall, and God’s Holiness, and will simply follow the Bible’s lead: God is sinless, Holy and Sovereign, man was created good and morally culpable and became a sinner deserving God’s wrath.
It is probably a certitude that every human who has thought about these things has intuited that the punishment for sin, Hell, really, really sucks; it’s a huge bummer man! If one ponders for just a minute the idea of everlasting punishment in Hell for sin, one quickly decides for themselves that surely this punishment is too great to fit any crime (let alone the smallest of sins), committed in the universe, but the Holy Creator doesn’t think so and before you think God just stands back and enjoys the slow burning of those who violate His Will and Commands, let me tell you something: the price God paid for sin is greater, by infinite measure, than all the sinners and fallen angels in Hell and the resultant human suffering on earth!
It is interesting to me how quickly we forget. Like a fish that forgets it was just feeding, so our own memory lapse could end in our own destruction. Perhaps we should consider ourselves all on the Amnesia spectrum somewhere between minor and sever, this forgetfulness is so epidemic. Why is forgetting such a problem? Forgetfulness is the root of all sorts of evil, malcontent, and otherwise degenerated thinking.
Depending on how one understands the story, it sure seems that Adam and Eve quickly forgot God’s words to them about the tree and perverted them into a memory that benefited their own desires, or so they deceived themselves. Consider further the Children of Israel in Egypt, they complain to God for 400 years about their slavery, and right after God responds and displays His power in ten miracles, a cloud and burning pillar of fire followed by a sea being parted, they almost immediately forget God can command nature and how horrible slavery was and begin believing that they will die for lack of God’s provision and wished they were back in slavery. Yikes!
Call me ignorant, a pompous blow-hard, or dim-witted if you like, but I think Common Core is the best thing ever to happen to public education, and sadly it is going to fail. Common Core will die, murdered in the night by its jealous cousin, who, like all jealous cousins, is overly emotional, highly volatile, prone to over-exaggeration, and is a bit of a conspiracy freak. It is sad to think that something good can be killed by good intentions gone awry because of ignorant fear and mass-hysteria, but that is what we are seeing right now with Common Core and I think will lead to its doom. As its corpse is dragged out of the room, its jealous cousin will dance a jig as our education system stutters back its advancement a few decades. To begin let me explain, apart from the hysteria and misinformation that abounds, what Common Core really is, who the detractors are, and where are they mistaken or confused.
As a caveat, and in the nature of full disclosure, I fully am basing my position on what Common Core claims to be, and those teachers inside the system that have experienced it first hand. I am fully aware that I might be being lied to, and that Common Core might change from what it is now, or detractors might be able to change its course, which will all affect the validity and benefit of my analysis. Therefore I am going to proceed, since I have not seen or received any substantive and convincing information or critique (as of yet) to the contrary, as if what my research has turned up is based on truthful participation from the Common Core framers, and the assumption that they will stay further true to their promised word.