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Tony's reaction to The New Legalism (Part 1)


Tony's reaction to The New Legalism (Part 1)

Anthony Elswick

Dr. Bradley’s Misdiagnosis

There’s a statistic going around that says only 15% of kids raised in church will stay faithful to Christ in college. I have no idea if that’s true or not and personally think it's pretty suspect, but either way, I stayed in the church throughout college. While in college I had a group of friends who were also faithful believers, some of whom wanted to go into ministry and some who didn’t. However, during the course of the few years we spent in college, all of them became interns at our church at one time or another and at least assumed that they should go into ministry. There was an unspoken expectation (that I have spoken with some of these friends about since) that if you were a strong Christian and a man that you would do something in the ministry.

That’s an unhealthy assumption, of course, and it isn’t biblical at all.  Yet many people have felt ashamed that they didn't do something professionally for God. Dr. Anthony Bradley wrote a blog POST about this reality last week and it has gained some traction. In his post however, he seems to assume that this type of shaming is unique to the missional/radical movements lead by Keller and Platt. The problem with his argument is that I felt this same pressure long before I heard about either Keller or Platt. There has always been a pressure placed upon men who love God that they should “do something.”

The silliness of it all is that most believers are doing something, and really, most of them are doing a lot of things. As believers, we can always fall into complacency, which is why books like Platt’s are helpful. They remind us that there is a work to be done and sacrifices must be made in order to see the work through.

Where we go wrong is to think that everyone must make the same sacrifices or take on the same roles. So if God has called you to live in the suburbs and be an accountant, don’t be ashamed! That is the strategic location for your work and in being faithful, God will get much kingdom good from your life. Amber and I aren’t serving as missionaries in order to become more faithful or more radical than we were when I was an accountant and she was a homeschooling mom.  The path for our faithfulness leads us to move; the path for others will be to send.

At the end of the day, we are serving as missionaries on behalf of those with other gifts and talents for the Lord, and when Christ hands out his rewards, there will be no more for the goers then the senders.