I Didn’t Meme It
The meme, from the Southern Baptist pastor, reads, “Two thousand years ago, Jesus ended the debate on which lives matter. He died for all.” I am not a fan of meme theology, nor do I appreciate proof texts with no context. Christians do not help unbelievers, nor other believers, with these micro-waved attempts at electronic evangelism.
The meme from the Fundamentalist Baptist reads, “If God puts a Goliath in front of you, He must believe that there’s a David inside of you.” The first error of both of these memes is the universal nature of pronouns without nouns. Memes are short, pithy statements often masquerading as wisdom from God or about God.
Did Christ die for “all”? Then, we must conclude that all peoples’ sins are paid for by His precious blood. If their sins are paid for, then nothing can separate all people everywhere and at all points in history, from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The Universalist cries out, “Amen!” My Southern Baptist pastor friend would then, necessarily object to that interpretation of his own meme, “I didn’t meme it that way!”
Human potential is the insidious doctrine of the devil, “Believe in yourself!” It is the sad delusion so many adhere to in the world and in the church. Unwary Christians, thinking there is some “yet-to-be-discovered-giant-killer” in them, fall prey to self-help psychology that dishonors Christ Jesus, as our all in all (Col 3:11).
God does not “believe” in you, for God knows all things and possesses all power, to do as He pleases. It is a very low view of God that imagines God is trusting in you to defeat your enemies. For Christians to lack spiritual discernment is one thing, but to promote bad theology to the “Likes” of others, is a sad testimony on where the church in America is at, theologically, today.
Consider this meme quote from mega pastor Louie Giglio, “If you are telling yourself you don’t deserve a second chance from God, remind yourself you didn’t deserve the first one either.” Chance? Second chance? This is utter blasphemy from a notable pastor, when we consider the Bible never speaks of God in such superstitious terms. Our God is a God of grace, and He works His grace with omnipotence and perfect wisdom, according to His predetermined plan (Acts 2:23).
Another meme caught my attention this week from an American Baptist friend, “Jesus desires to be the object of your faith.” Once again, the misrepresentation of our sovereign Lord has Him wanting in some manner. The Bible assures us that God does all His holy will (Eph 1:11). God desires nothing because He is perfect in every attribute, and because of the Trinity, He has perfect community.
Faith does have Jesus as its object, but our faith is given to us as a gift (Phil 1:29), and there is no leap. Our faith in Jesus Christ grows with our knowledge of Him. That knowledge is brought to His elect people by the indwelling Holy Spirit, who illumines the Scriptures.
The Bible is our help in the “meme time.” It provides correction for the bad theology, in each of these cases. First, Christ did not die for all people. He set His love upon His church and gave himself for her (Mt 1:21; Eph 5:25). He laid down His life for His sheep (Jn 10:11, 15).
Second, there is not a human potential character or force sitting dormant in you. It is either sin or Christ reigning in you. With Christ in you, there is the Spirit of God, who is not empowering, nor enabling you to be a “David.” Rather, it is God in you, willing and working for His own good pleasure (Phil 2:13).
Third, there is no chance with God. He has decreed all things that will come to pass. The working of His eternal decree, in time, is called, “providence.” He works all things, and all things for good, for those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).
Finally, if Jesus is the object of your faith, then you have received His grace. His grace is His sovereign working for your benefit. He never desired to be the object of your faith. Rather, He made Himself to be the object of the faith He gave you.
Christian, please double check the theology you are promoting to others. It is no help to anyone, if it is bad theology, even if you didn’t meme it.
Spokane Valley, Washington
August 29, 2022