Friday, September 4, 2015

Sproul Heartbreak

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



While deeply grieved for RC Sproul, his family, and his idolaters, I am even more grieved by those who are giddy about his humanity; causing me to remember how Ted Nissen always gently confronted the judgmental and self-righteous in his church as well as peers, "What's that I see in your eye?"

It reminds me of the giddiness in the mainline when Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart were, uh, exposed as human as everybody else; especially including you and me.

I'll never forget that presbytery meeting in KC even before, I think, it was renamed as Heartless Presbytery.

As you recall, for context, Jimmy was caught with Jessica and the other Jimmy damned him before getting caught with a hooker in a no-tell-motel.

Mainliners were ecstatic.

Jealousy at minimum.

Years of feeling inferior because of the herds following them partially.

Personal/denominational fidelity as motivation for their quick condemnations?  Puuuuuuhhhhlease!  Even mainliners do not stoop to that kinda transparent hypocrisy.  Well, maybe I'm wrong on that.

Anyway, I'll never forget that meeting when some guy speaking about something that I forget couldn't resist poking fun at 'em.

After he finished to the approving snickers and gleeful buzz, I got up and said, "Well, I know Jimmy Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart screwed up; but as we bask in their failures...[to feel good about ourselves]...I can't keep from saying, despite their humanity, how many more people that they've led to Jesus as Lord and Savior than any of us here have.  Come to think of it, I'll bet they've led more people to Jesus than our whole denomination in the last decade or so."

The silence was deafening.

The stares were unsettling.

A synod executive - that's kinda like an uber-bishop in the PCUSA or, well, uh, it used to be that way - cornered me in the narthex of the church during a tinkle break and said, "Kopp, if you keep making comments like that, you're never going to get anywhere in our denomination."

I have...and never been nominated for moderator of the franchise; though I did lose for such a position in a lower judicatory in Pittsburgh by a few votes back in the 90s.

BTW, I asked if he meant abomination.

He didn't laugh.

It was another reminder that some folks are humorless; or, admittedly, think I am.

Moretheless, yes, I grieve for RC, the family, and even idolaters who should have known better about any human's humanity that never outgrows the need for Jesus as personal Lord and Savior; and if I have to explain that to you, you wouldn't get it anyway.

All I know, really know, is the judgmental about the Jimmies and RC and...better start paying attention to Jesus: "The measure you give is the measure you will get...You will be judged just like you have judged..."

And when tempted to riding a little too high in the saddle for our own humanity/good/reality, it may soften the inevitable falls by looking long and hard and personally at Matthew 6:12-15.

As pour moi, RC's dad's The Holiness of God was/remains among the most influential books in my life and ministry; though I've often contradicted its/His truth in it on too many occasions.

But, truly and really, I never expected RC or his son to be better than...

I didn't miss the course on original sin - that, uh, includes you, me, and all of those judgmental and self-righteous types looking for sin in others to anesthetize themselves from their own...

So even though I've cleaned out most of my library except for a few continuingly influential books, I'm gonna keep RC's.

And I'm gonna pray for the souls of those who are damning him rather than inviting him to confession, repentance, and restoration.

I think of a pastor in Iowa who said something like this to a congregational miscreant not too long ago: "Jesus called me to save your soul - not kiss your ___."


Blessings and Love!



Jeff said...

Great piece of writing. Insightful, direct, challenging and convicting. I have known RC Jr. since he was a kid. I used to go to the Ligonier Study Center when it was in PA. I have no idea what it would be like to raise 8 kids after my wife dies. I do know my flesh well enough that I could have done the same thing as RC.

Thanks for what you wrote

Laura said...

We have so much to learn. Instead of acting as if every interaction is a financial transaction in which love is treated like currency only to be given out when conditions meet with our approval, we need to love without conditions like Jesus does.