Sunday, December 30, 2007
The imperative "be happy or you're not a good Christian" as modern evangelicalism holds is just as legalistic as "be circumcised to be made right with God" which was held by the Jews of Paul's day, it's just the former is a bit more subtle. Those who hold to the former still, however, presume that those who are always "happy, clappy" are right with God while those who have Godly sorrow "have done something wrong" (as though those who accuse them haven't done anything wrong themselves.) If you think of it thoroughly and honestly, the "happy-clappy Christian" is really no different in essence than the emo kid who insists on being thoroughly depressed. Both hold themselves and attempt to hold others to the imperative that one has to be in a certain mood constantly in order to be acceptable, it's just that the former takes it to one extreme and the latter takes it to the other.
What happens when "be happy" becomes a law? What about soberness and lamenting? Is the Christian responsible to "be happy" all the time? What about those who claim that Christians are supposed to be? Are they setting up a law to do? Does this imperative lead to legalism? (ie. "You must be happy or you're not saved.") What's the difference between happiness and joy? Is a believer justified by "being happy" or by faith in Christ's blood? What's the difference between faith in faith (ie. faith in positive thinking) and faith in Christ's shed blood?
The White Horse Inn addresses all these questions in this episode.