Friday, January 9, 2009

Principle vs. Pragmatism

By Damian Romano

I read this article this morning and found this particular quote (and article) intriguing.


...No nation (or Christian institution, for that matter) can survive when its leaders are driven by a spirit of pragmatism or make their decisions according to political expediency. Expediency is an obscene word. It is the word that is ever and always at war with principle. A person who is a Christian is called of God to live by biblical principles.
R. C. Sproul, TableTalk Magazine, January 2009 issue.

Read the rest here.

4 comments:

Bill Faris said...

Not really taking issue with the quote. It raises a good issue for us as believers. I do get a little tweaked, however, when the call to "live by principles" is overemphasized (I'm not saying that is happening here, btw) when what the Bible actually calls us to is to live "by the Spirit".

My observation is that there are many "principled believers" who are spiritually dry -- even a bit crusty -- nonetheless.

It's not an either-or, but let's not forget that while Muslims, Buddhists and even atheists can live by their principles, to live by the Spirit is a privilege known only to those who are in Christ.

Damian M. Romano said...

I think you raise a good point Bill. Article aside, many Christians hide behind principals as their sole source of application when, like you say, they are not Spirit led. Conversely you also find wacky over "spiritual" who clearly lack the Truth. Hence the reason Jesus said, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

Bill Faris said...

True, true, true. But "Spirit led" has gotten a bad rap because, I believe, the Biblically honest meaning of the term goes beyond the kinds of shenanigans that often get blamed on "Spirit-ledness".

In other words, to be Spirit led is not only to hear God's spiritual voice and obey (yes, we want that direct connection) but also to live (see if this language works) out of the motif of the Spirit. In other words, it is to be oriented toward a "religion" that is founded in truth, yes, and even principle, but which recognizes that "my words are spirit and they are life" (Jesus).

In other words, we don't just live by the Bible as if the faith was a static revelation (Don't worry, I believe the fundamentals never change), but we have a "religion" that requires the Spirit in order to be truly alive and, thankfully, The Spirit of God is alive in His word and in our lives as His people.

It is a living thing.

I feel like I really stumbled through that poorly, but I don't have time to fix it, so you'll just have to nod your head and say, "wow".

In the meantime, Forrest Gump's mom might have observed that: "wacky is as wacky does" and we KNOW she was Spirit-led (don't we)?

Damian M. Romano said...

I gotcha Bill. :)