I saw this article on Facebook and gave it a read. It was interesting not in that I agree in any sense, but because it tells a story about much of the youth pastors in the USA.
What strikes me immediately is that this is yet another youth pastor who has embraced relativism. The youth pastor in question is named Tyler Smither and according to his blog he is with the United Methodist church in north Mississippi. In his post he states:
When faced with the choice between being theologically correct…as if this is even possible…and being morally responsible, I’ll go with morally responsible every time.
Immediately you should recognize that this is pure relativism. Who gets to decide what is morally responsible? Is it him who decides? How about the government? Maybe public opinion? Certainly it is not the word of the living God because that would mean theology dictates morality and he has precluded that from being an option. It is clear that this youth pastor’s god is pragmatism! He is simply stating that being theologically correct leads to youth suicide so we need to scrap theology and instead embrace a practical response. I think he needs to brush up on the Law of Excluded Middle. In fact we need both Tyler. One does not beget the other! This is, in fact the same thing that so-called Christian politicians do. They reduce religion down to a personal, non-public fairy tale that just gives you a smile on your face but doesn’t and should dictate public policy. It is pure unadulterated ignorance. In reality we need to strive for theological correctness because it is by that and that alone that we can judge moral responsibility! If it is not an objective standard then it is no standard at all! If God is not in charge of morality, then no one is and it comes down to the man with the biggest gun to decide.
There is another issue with his argument that is far more amusing. He states:
I’ll go with morally responsible every time. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and theologian during World War II. He firmly held the theological position of nonviolence. He believed that complete pacifism was theologically correct. And yet, in the midst of the war, he conspired to assassinate Adolf Hitler; to kill a fellow man. Why? Because in light of what he saw happening to the Jews around him by the Nazis, he felt that it would be morally irresponsible not to. Between the assassination of Hitler and nonviolence, he felt the greater sin would be nonviolence.
Ironically he has embraced the same argument Hitler used to commit genocide. Hitler’s argument was pragmatic! He wanted to better society as a whole and the pragmatism he used for this was the elimination of the weak, sick and un-perfect and the transfer and elimination of those who controlled the wealth. This youth pastor has embraced the very argument he is arguing against and doesn’t seem to realize that pragmatism is the cousin of genocide! One begets the other if one takes the argument to it’s conclusion.
In a nutshell we really don’t need this in the church. I agree that it is super sad that youth are committing suicide, but it is only the power of Jesus that will change this. The answer does not lie in the eliminating of Jesus and replacing him with relativism and pragmatism! In fact the elimination of Jesus’ grace from the church has caused much of the problem. We have replaced the teachings of Jesus with tradition, and practical advice from a pastor. If we want to save our youth, we need to teach our youth morality, not to reject it.