Jan 26, 2010

A Costly Obedience

I have been reading this week in John Piper's book "Filling Up the Afflictions of Christ" about the lives of William Tyndale, John Paton, and Adoniram Judson. It's the latest in his biographical sketches in The Swans Are Not Silent series. This series is phenomenal in giving an understanding of the price paid by those who were faithful to the gospel. This particular book gives sketches of the deep price these men paid through suffering and martydom to make sure that those who didn't have access to the gospel or God's word could have that access. It reminded me that we in America have become so used to a Costless Christianity. We have no idea in the American church what it means to suffer for Christ. Ironically, we have also lost our missional passion at the same time. We have bowed down far too long at the idols of convenience, pleasure, and prosperity. We have seen our churches turn into religious social clubs. Our idea of suffering is watching Bill Maher make fun of us.

I am so thankful for men like William Tyndale who was exiled from his homeland and eventually butchered for believing that justification by faith alone mattered and that people should have God's word for themselves instead of being imprisoned to a works-based church. I am thankful for men who understood that the long-term implications of the gospel were more important that short-term comfort. While I do not pray for suffering, I do pray for an awakening in the church that the gospel is worth whatever price is demanded to proclaim it.