"Seek out the society of your boon companions, drink, play, talk bawdy, and amuse yourself. One must sometimes commit a sin out of hate and contempt for the Devil, so as not to give him the chance to make one scrupulous over mere nothings…" –Luther

Yet another topic…

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have some time for that one, Jason. As much as I’m not a big fan of mowing my lawn, it does provide quality podcast-listening time in the summer that is regrettably absent in the winter.

So Tim Challies decided today to tell us how to “think Biblically” about the Sovereign Grace Ministries controversy. A summary of his points:

  • The world will know us by our love, so we should make sure to show it to Mahaney, et al.
  • We should “believe and hope all things”. Which means withholding judgment and assuming the best about them.
  • Remember Proverbs 18:17: The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. Keep in mind, says Challies, that Jesus did not protest his innocence and that people took this as a sign of his guilt, though he, of all men, was completely innocent.
  • Consider what you need to know. You probably don’t really need to know much. Tim says he has “deliberately avoided learning too much”.

As friend of the tavern Bill Kinnon noted on Twitter, there’s a good bit of cognitive dissonance with his first few points, since Challies only extends that “assume the best” attitude towards those in his tribe. While I agree with Challies that we all don’t need to know everything, I think the church still needs to call BS on the whole hide-behind-the-First-Amendment thing. There are elements of SGM that are actively trying to avoid any investigation into legitimate allegations of abuse, and that’s wrong.

Final note: as tavern lightning rod RHE pointed out, Challies framing of Mahaney, et al, as the innocent Christ, and the allegedly abused as the unjust accusers turns the tables in a way that might be the most outrageous thing in Tim’s entire post.

Protect the fatherless and the widow, indeed.