Drowning metaphors always mislead and fall short, because they represent semi-Pelagian theology – man is ill and needs a physician. Man is drowned and dead on the bottom of the pond. No scheme or words of man can bring him to life. As the end of the video rightly put it – Christ must intercede and act upon the man in order for the man to have life.
The young boy walked across the church parking lot, tossing a ball in the air and catching it as it fell, casually wandering toward a busy highway. One man noticed this, and, being a religious man, he began to wring his hands, pray, and ask the boy politely to stop, to change directions, or at least to pay attention to where he was going. The boy remained oblivious and kept moving toward the highway. Another man observed the boy, and, being a caring man, he ran in a flat-out sprint toward the boy, dove through the air, and crashed into the boy with a flying shoulder tackle. Both he and the boy landed, just short of the path of a speeding truck, in a ditch filled with mud, weeds, and broken glass. The boy was shaken up, crying, cut, and bruised, but still alive.
The two men had taken drastically different approaches. One man appeared loving and polite, but his passivity was evidence of a callow cruelty toward the boy. One man appeared hateful and rash, but his willingness to act was evidence of a true love for the boy.
“Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:5-6) Christians are not supposed to just “have” friends. They are supposed to love their friends. Christian love is more than just a “feeling.” It always involves action. If I have a friend who is walking toward destruction, my “secret love” for this friend will be of little help. However, a loud verbal warning during a face-to-face confrontation, even though it may cause hard feelings, could do a world of good. I need to have a loving willingness to batter and bruise (and then bandage) my friends, instead of a weak-willed sentimental desire to give them little kisses good-bye as they head for damnation.
Dear Ministry Addict:
Reminds me of DefCon’s very own quiz: Are you loving or unloving?
I appreciate that this video reminds us what the gospel is not. The treading water represents our helplessness but can a (spiritually) dead man tread water?
This video reminded me of RC Sprouls article “The Pelagian Captivity of the Church” where he talks about the “Island of Righteousness”.
“The man isn’t going under for the third time; he is stone cold dead at the bottom of the ocean. That’s where you once were when you were dead in sin and trespasses and walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. And while you were dead hath God quickened you together with Christ. God dove to the bottom of the sea and took that drowned corpse and breathed into it the breath of his life and raised you from the dead.”
Once I understood how dead and wretched I was as a sinner, the more I understood God’s deep mercy and grace.
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