- These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.
1 Corinthians 10:11 (NIV84)
Melinda Penner has a poignant observation on the Stand to Reason blog this morning, about a recent post by Rachael Slick—the daughter of apologist Matt Slick, the founder of CARM.
CARM is one of the sites I use frequently in my devotional research. I value their work, and respect their opinions. Sometimes they make me uneasy, but that’s Veracity—we don’t have to accept everything someone thinks, or their style, to benefit from their example or teaching. We’re about sharing resources, not telling people what to think.
Rachael Slick’s post, describing her upbringing and journey into atheism, is undoubtedly heartbreaking for her parents. As Melinda Penner notes, the post is one-sided. That it garnered over 2,300 comments in two days on the atheist channel of Patheos.com demonstrates the voracity of atheist sentiments in our culture. (If we accept the Great Commission and are laboring only in fields full of Christians, here’s a wake-up call.)
Melinda’s observation is that there is no Gospel in Rachael Slick’s story. How anyone can learn 800 Bible verses and all the apologetic doctrine she describes without getting the Gospel is…(I don’t have an adequate adjective).
Dick Woodward has a lot to say about examples and warnings in the Bible. A few months ago, Dick and I were talking about Matthew 23 and the Law of God. Dick made the point that, “The Law of God must always be run through the Love of God.”
I couldn’t help thinking about those words as I read Rachael Slick’s story. I’m not judging Matt Slick and the way he raised his family. I will take this example and apply it to the relationships in my life, particularly where I have a tendency to make a point or press an agenda without stopping to love the other person first. One more time for my own edification—I will try to do better at loving the other person first.
The Apostle John quoted Jesus, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35, NIV84). The Apostle Paul put it even more strongly, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself though love” (Galatians 5:6b, NIV84).
Thank you Rachael Slick for the example and warning—not about how you or your dad might have messed up, but about how less important an agenda is compared to a heart.
July 18th, 2013 at 9:40 am
The scripture that compels and convicts me the most concerning love of my fellow man is 1st John 4- 7 & 8. Albeit in this case I believe the apostle is speaking primarily of love for the brotherhood, when taken in context with the parable of the Good Samaritan, I believe JESUS would want for us to apply John’s scriptures to folks like Rachael Slick. What better way do we have in reaching these unbelievers than by loving the sometimes unlovable?
July 18th, 2013 at 8:43 pm
…and in case we ever forget, Jesus paints the big picture in Matthew 22:35-40
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
July 18th, 2013 at 11:38 am
When I first saw the Daily Show clip with Matt Slick, I was absolutely dumbfounded by what Matt said. But then it would greatly benefit the observer to consider Matt’s written response and this radio interview as to how the Daily Show misrepresented him. Next time, Matt, take your own tape recorder or video camera. Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way.
Nevertheless, might I still suggest a better way to consider how Christians should reach out to their gay and lesbian neighbors.
As to Rachel Slick’s posting (and Melinda’s rejoinder), I do think that we as followers of Jesus need to think again about the purpose of apologetics. When we use apologetics as a means to hammer people over the head for the sake of winning an argument — instead of winning a friend — then we have completely missed the point of the Gospel. When we find ourselves focusing more “on efficiency than relationship-building”, we need to repent — and repent with weeping.
July 18th, 2013 at 9:08 pm
Comedy is serious business. I’m not a big fan of comedy at someone else’s expense, but sometimes we have to turn the other cheek and say, “You got me.” I read Matt Slick’s explanation, and I believe his story and motives. Not an easy lesson to learn.
Also, “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_the_instrument)