Friday, October 15, 2010

Subtle Shift Follow Up

In the previous post I asked readers to identify a "subtle shift" in the preacher's message.

In my opinion, the shift is seen with just one word. Compare the following sentences:

Your mental state is totally dependent on what you think about. (original statement)

Your mental state is totally dependent on who you think about. (what I wish he had said)

Ultimately, this is not just a case of nit-picking words. Certainly, a person could say what you think about and can mean thinking of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. However, when Scripture tells us to turn our eyes to Christ, it is not the same thing to focus on Christianity.

This was the tension I felt as I heard the pastor preach. Christian lives are not changed by focussing on what Christian lives should look like. Lives are changed as we look to Christ. We don't focus on things, we focus on Him.

The shift is subtle, but it's also massive.


David N. said...

I think you should give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He might have meant everything you would want him to mean, and just chose the word poorly.

danny2 said...

Yeah, I certainly don't want people combing through my sermons, searching for pronoun consistency and such. As you know, that my be frustrating since I typically speak more appalachian than english.

however, the statement was a microcosm of the sermon. while imploring people to think more biblically, the message just seemed to miss the point of the Bible, to know Christ, and focused more on "think like a Christian."

from the exterior the two things may look the same. but from the inside-working-out, there is a profound difference. simply focussing on how Christians must act (without a focus on Christ) can lead to decent actions but poor motives (self-righteousness, for one).

I just would have loved to have heard an emphasis that our minds are fixed on Him, not on the culture that may be produced (good and bad) by those who focus on Him.