Reformed Theology Do not treat the means as ends  Calvinism

Do not treat the means as ends

Reformed Theology Do not treat the means as ends  Calvinism
Do not treat the means as ends

Why would a reputedly godly Reformed minister commit suicide after his wife finds out that he had been having affairs with some of the women in his church? Although I've met him once, I really can't say I know the answer to that question for certain.

However, I have personally known others, pastors and elders (not just laymen), who ended up falling into grievous sin, some backslid and some even apostasized. Perhaps Dr. Campbell's case is similar to them or perhaps not.

I spoke to the congregants of a PCA minister, who was caught in a sting operation, and they told me that he was just good at hiding it since, apparently, he was at it for many many years. Of course, if one has been living in sin for so long, whether the man is a believer in the first place is a logical thing to ask.

Yet, what if they are believers? How does one still go on ministering while he yet continues to sin grievously?

In seminary, there's often a temptation to treat one's studies as the cultivation of personal piety because seminarians often tend to have so little time to attend to anything else. Their families often suffer for it and some marriages have even failed because of it. Perhaps, such habits that began in seminary evolves into something much worse once in the ministry.

Yet, even when we make use of the means of grace in private (ex. prayer, devotions, etc.) and not just in public (ex. attending worship service, partaking in the Lord's Supper), let us not forget that they are MEANS and not ENDS. What is the purpose of all these? What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

There is no doubt that some will say, "Just look to Christ." Indeed, we must look to Christ. We need to have faith in Him. A similar phrase, "Just look to your justification" (or something like that), was uttered again and again by a minister, who was later caught in adultery. Even faith in Christ is a means to an end. The end is that we may give glory to God by being conformed to Christ's image.

Eph. 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

In the Reformed community, we often emphasize the need to attend to the means of grace. This is not wrong in itself. Yet, I often notice that there are plenty who take pride in their attendance of it. It makes me wonder whether the means are being treated as ends in themselves. I've known people in my circles who are present in almost all church activities and yet, they are quick to take offense at the slightest provocation. I can give more examples but I'll just leave it at that.

In conclusion, don't substitute the end with the means.

Why would a reputedly godly Reformed minister commit suicide after his wife finds out that he had been having affairs with some of the women in his church? Although I've met him once, I really can't say I know the answer to that question for certain.

However, I have personally known others, pastors and elders (not just laymen), who ended up falling into grievous sin, some backslid and some even apostasized. Perhaps Dr. Campbell's case is similar to them or perhaps not.

I spoke to the congregants of a PCA minister, who was caught in a sting operation, and they told me that he was just good at hiding it since, apparently, he was at it for many many years. Of course, if one has been living in sin for so long, whether the man is a believer in the first place is a logical thing to ask.

Yet, what if they are believers? How does one still go on ministering while he yet continues to sin grievously?

In seminary, there's often a temptation to treat one's studies as the cultivation of personal piety because seminarians often tend to have so little time to attend to anything else. Their families often suffer for it and some marriages have even failed because of it. Perhaps, such habits that began in seminary evolves into something much worse once in the ministry.

Yet, even when we make use of the means of grace in private (ex. prayer, devotions, etc.) and not just in public (ex. attending worship service, partaking in the Lord's Supper), let us not forget that they are MEANS and not ENDS. What is the purpose of all these? What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

There is no doubt that some will say, "Just look to Christ." Indeed, we must look to Christ. We need to have faith in Him. A similar phrase, "Just look to your justification" (or something like that), was uttered again and again by a minister, who was later caught in adultery. Even faith in Christ is a means to an end. The end is that we may give glory to God by being conformed to Christ's image.

Eph. 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

In the Reformed community, we often emphasize the need to attend to the means of grace. This is not wrong in itself. Yet, I often notice that there are plenty who take pride in their attendance of it. It makes me wonder whether the means are being treated as ends in themselves. I've known people in my circles who are present in almost all church activities and yet, they are quick to take offense at the slightest provocation. I can give more examples but I'll just leave it at that.

In conclusion, don't substitute the end with the means.

“>Link
Submitted March 11, 2017 at 09:16AM by chippydawdle