The Difference Between Sin and Struggle (Transcript)

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Jon Moffitt: Hi, this is Jon. Today on Theocast, we are going to have a conversation about the difference between sin and struggle. When a Christian finds themselves caught in sin versus a Christian who is simply struggling with despair, discouragement, or depression, how do we—as the church—respond to this type of person? How do we care for them? If you’re this person, how do you identify the difference between a sin struggle and an actual struggle with humanity and the broken world?

In the members’ podcast, we have a lively conversation about identifying preaching that may be confusing the first use of the Law and leading people to despair, and not actually helping people come out of sin, but pushing them farther into it. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

Today’s subject is one of those that Justin and I are very passionate about. The pastor card will come out in us instead of the punchy podcaster who is going to correct all the theology that’s out there today.

Justin Perdue: We try not to do that anyway.

Jon Moffitt: We don’t. We’re going to put on the pastor’s hat and we’re going to talk about something that I am very passionate about. I think this is a struggle within the broader evangelical world. It’s something that my own congregants struggle with, and it’s something that Justin and I were just admitting that we struggle with as we walk through our day-to-day lives.

The title of it is Sin Versus Struggle, and it is helping us identify the difference between what truly should be repented of and that which is the everyday struggle living in a Romans 8 world. We live in a world that is groaning, that is full of the curse, where there are complications, and we’re awaiting the restoration of all things.

The subject goes something like this: when most Christians find themselves disappointed, discouraged, or even in the midst of depression, they see themselves and are disappointed with their response to a circumstance. COVID-19, a loss of a job, finding out you have cancer, the loss of a loved one—these are some examples of that. It leads you into a struggle where you don’t see yourself getting better, you don’t find yourself to have joy, and you aren’t succeeding at life in the ways that you were before, whether it be at home, at your job, in your marriage, or with your children. You feel like things are falling apart. You look at your life and it’s one of those moments where you grab a tub of ice cream and watch your show moment. Then you find yourself filling that—that’s the only thing that brings you solutions. Then you go to church and you pretend like nothing is wrong, and then that becomes a struggle because you now feel like a hypocrite because you can’t admit that you’re not doing well, that you don’t feel like everything is improving, that you don’t feel like you’re overcoming this. Now you’re pretending like everything is fine and it’s not. What do we do with this? How do we handle this? What’s wrong with us? Have we done something wrong? That’s the scenario we find ourselves in this morning.

Justin Perdue: I’ll begin with a few high-level theological remarks just to chalk the field for us before we get into the pastoral application, the word to the struggler, and the word to the church that we’re going to try to speak today essentially. We’re going to have this conversation with some pretty important theological understanding undergirding it and coming behind it; it’s in the background of everything that we’re going to say. We’re operating from a place of a Reformed understanding of the fall and a Reformed understanding of sin, and what that means for us as fallen human beings. We’re operating from a place of understanding that we are, at the same time, saint and sinner. If you don’t have those things in mind, some of the things that we’re going to say may sound strange to you. But we trust that they’re going to resonate with your experience. So consider these things that we’re discussing.

From a Reformed perspective, in terms of how we understand Scripture, when Adam sinned in the garden of Eden and plunged all of us into a state of sin, corruption, and ruin, we were affected in every area of our person. There’s not an area of our personhood that was not affected by sin or that has not been corrupted. That means that our minds and what we think, our hearts in what we feel, our emotions, what we desire, and even our bodies physically—all of it has been corrupted by sin. That has a tremendous effect on us. In addition, the whole creation was subjected to futility; God cursed it, and so the whole creation is groaning now. That means that the world, in that sense, is fallen and broken and does not work as it should—and we live within that world and it has tons of effects on us.

The last thing, theologically, is understanding that we are at the same time saint and sinner. We are saints in Jesus Christ: our identity is in him. Our status is one of being justified, declared righteous by God, through faith in Christ and what Jesus has done—and we still have a fallen nature; we have not been completely delivered from that. We now have on our hands what Paul describes most pointedly in Roman 7 as a new internal war, where our flesh and our spirit wage war against one another. That has all kinds of fallout and implications for life as a Christian in this fallen world.

We’re coming to this conversation with all those things assumed, understood, and in the background. So now, Jon, let’s have a pastoral conversation about struggle, and the difference between sin and struggle. Let’s try to encourage some strugglers out there and hopefully encourage all of us to love the strugglers in our midst better, and live with one another in charity, grace, and compassion.

Jon Moffitt: We have to identify that there are times of discouragement, there are times of disappointment, and there are people who struggle with depression—meaning that it’s not necessarily based upon a sin that they have committed. Not always. I think we have to be careful. In the American culture, one of the things that we love to do is recognize a problem and then move on from it. We hear the media say things like, “We’re sending our thoughts and prayers for you.” Then it’s over. We’ve had a lot of famous people die this year in 2020. You hear people say we’re sending our thoughts and prayers to you. It’s a way to tip the hat and not be a jerk, but what does that do? It doesn’t really offer anything.

We do this in the church as well. We hear about something that’s really horrible and we’re like, well, “Brother, we’re really sorry. I’ll pray for you.” That’s all we offer. Then when it’s a little bit closer to you, you start hearing advice about how you should be over this already, that you shouldn’t struggle with this. “Why would this be a problem for you?” “Why would you be discouraged?” You hear things like, “At least you’re not Job.”

I guess what I want to say is that when we think about these encouragements from Paul and the New Testament writers about love, patience, kindness, mercy, and grace, where we’re bearing one another’s burdens—that literally means to get up underneath and carry the weight. There’s a difference between carrying the load of someone and saying you shouldn’t have that weight anymore, or you should’ve gotten rid of that burden, or it should not be a burden on you, or you shouldn’t be discouraged or disappointed. We go immediately into fixing the situation that maybe can’t be fixed.

The danger of this constant upward movement—where everything is always joy, everything is always happy, everything is always upbeat, and you can never have a down moment and struggle—is it’s just not the reality of one, the Christian life, and two, it’s not the reality of the Bible. Have you ever read the Psalms? David wrote Psalms of absolute despair, explaining his own disappointment and discouragement. Often, he says, “I am in the pit of despair.” It’s like he’s saying that there is nothing lower than where he is at right now, and he’s crying out in those moments.

Yet you aren’t allowed to have that in the church. You cannot say, “I am in despair. I am disappointed. I am discouraged.” It’s just not allowed.

Justin Perdue: Some of this is because many of us have not been taught very well as to what the Scripture actually does say. You’ve pointed out a number of passages already. Maybe read Psalm 77, Psalm 88, and Psalm 73. There are just so many texts. Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord?” The lament of God’s people is just replete in Scripture. They’re lamenting because we live in this fallen world and we ourselves are fallen, and the struggle is real for God’s people.

Think of 2 Corinthians 1 where Paul says he doesn’t want the church of Corinth to be ignorant of the challenges and the struggles that they face brothers. “For we despaired of life itself.” We don’t talk like that in the church. We tend to not talk the way that the writers of Scripture wrote because we think it impious to talk these ways: we should be content in all circumstances, we should be joyful in the Lord.

Like you said, Jon, I think people mean well; I don’t ever want to impugn anybody’s motivations. But you come meaning well, equipped with bad theology, and then you tell people that they should be better than they are because the assumption is we should always be improving. Or you shouldn’t be struggling like you’re struggling because we expect that we are progressing onward and upward to glory. We shouldn’t look like we used to look, and that means necessarily in our minds that the struggles we had five years ago should just go away as we’re being transformed and changed.

Part of what we want to say here on this podcast today is that you will be sanctified in the Lord Jesus Christ. God has you; He’s doing His good work in you by the power of His Holy Spirit, and you being in Christ Jesus and being a new creation in him do not necessarily mean that your particular struggles will just go away, or that they will be easier in 10 years than they are now. Patently and empirically, that is just not true because many of us will fight the same battles that we’re fighting today for the rest of our lives—and that actually is meant to give hope to a struggle or not to discourage us. It liberates us to realize that the point of the Christian life is not just that I get better, the point of the Christian life is that I trust Christ through the struggle in the community of the church, and I lock arms with my brothers and sisters as we bear one another’s struggles and burdens. We look to the perfect One who has saved us as we are on this pilgrimage to the Celestial City, and there will come a day when struggle will not be our reality anymore—but that day is not now.

Jon Moffitt: This is a form of the prosperity gospel where if you do what’s right, then God will prosper you in whatever area. Here’s a scenario that just happened: the guy that I’ve been working with, Patrick Crandall, is planting a church with us here next year. Patrick had a friend who just passed away from cancer. He was in his thirties, and he left a wife and three kids behind. Often, we’re going to give the wife a grace period to get through that. But then there needs to be this miraculous story about whatever God is doing in her life. What we do is we want to eventually correct her and say, “We know that this is a tough time for you, but aren’t you excited that he’s in heaven with God?” Instead of carrying her through this death that she’s experienced, we ended up trying to correct her. It’s a whole lot easier to see someone get through it and just move on than it is to get underneath them. We don’t understand that the responsibility of the believer is to see the discouragement, the despair, and the struggle, and you get up underneath there in that dirty, mucky, not fun, slimy, gooey yuck, and say, “I’ve got you. I’m going to carry you through this as long as it takes. It may take until you die, but I’m going to be here with you.” That’s what love is.

When Jesus says in John 15, “Greater love has no one than this, than someone lay down his life for his friends.” Love is the sacrifice of anything that is beneficial to you. To carry someone’s burden is to set down anything that is beneficial to you. There’s a difference between someone who is in sin and someone who is in the midst of despair because of circumstance. That’s just one example.

I will tell you that recently, I have been struggling. There I go through seasons. It was just my dad’s birthday on October 11th and he’s been gone now for 18 or 19 years. There are moments where I actually fall into despair and discouragement because I would love to be able to communicate and have experiences with my father that I just haven’t had. I can get down, disappointed, and discouraged. Being able to share that within my own men’s Bible study, and with some of the elders, helps because I won’t have to carry this. These guys aren’t going to come over and try and give me a Bible verse to help me feel better. They just come sit next to me and you can hear them sigh. Like, “Man. That’s really hard.” It’s what I call a theological hug. Sometimes you just need a hug. You just need someone to say, “I’m going to hold you for a moment. I’m going to love on you for a second because what you’re telling me is hard and complicated.” And that’s it—you don’t offer anything else.

Justin Perdue: We want to make an appropriate distinction between ongoing unrepentant sin and struggle. Those are different things. We’re not condoning ongoing unrepentant, high-handed sin as though we give it a pass and say we’re all strugglers so we can’t ever confront anything. That is not at all what Jon and I are advocating today. We want to say and be very clear that the struggle as a Christian is our normal experience and we are battling against all kinds of things.

Even when we find ourselves mired in sin, and we are finding ourselves ensnared in sin, or there are patterns of habitual sin in our lives, but internally we are grieved and fighting it because we don’t want to be there—that kind of stuff is common for all of us. That is part of the struggle that we’re articulating alongside things like disappointment and discouragement, that frankly are sometimes reasonable in a fallen world. If we were not discouraged or disappointed by things that we see around us or things that we’re experiencing, if we were not grieved, then something is wrong. If we look around in this world where horrible things happen—loved ones die, we bury our children, and things like that—and we said that everything’s pretty good, that would actually be insane. We need to understand that for people to experience disappointment, discouragement, despair, and even despondency and depression at points, is not unreasonable in this world.

In a pietistic, hyper pious environment, we tend to equate discouragement or despair with sin—and that’s just not biblically true. You can be discouraged and not sin. You can be despairing of something and not sin. You could feel depression about something and not sin. There could be sinful responses to it, but that’s another conversation. It’s important that we have these categories in our minds that the struggle that we’re describing could be things that happen to us, and they could just be the ongoing reality of battling against our own corruption and living in a fallen world. It wears us out.

To not acknowledge those realities and act like that’s not the case end up producing tons of bad stuff in the church. It just breeds hypocrisy. We don’t talk honestly about what’s going on. We don’t confess our struggles and our sins to one another. We don’t look at one another and say, “I’m not doing well. I’m not okay.” We end up living this double life that I think many of us have experienced. We see it happening in the church and we lament that it’s the case. But we have to own the fact at many points, our poor thinking has contributed to that reality.

Jon Moffitt: I’ll even say that it lingers. A lot of people end up going into deeper despair and to deeper depression because they don’t have any relief at all. There’s no encouragement. There’s no one speaking truth into their hearts and into their minds. There’s no one there to bring that relief valve. They find themselves discouraged and in despair, and then they hide it. They internalize it. For some people, this is part of their personality: if they have a struggle, they internalize it and hold on to it themselves. But in the Christian community, this ought not to be. But we have created an atmosphere where it’s not okay to struggle. It’s not even okay to admit that you’re struggling with sin. “I hate my sin. I don’t like it. I’m underneath its control right now, but I’m too afraid to admit it. Because if I did, I’m afraid of the consequences of how someone wouldn’t be gracious towards me.”

Justin Perdue: And the reason that we wouldn’t be gracious is because we have been so conditioned to think that when somebody says to us, “I’m struggling with this sin. It’s habitual in my life. I hate it and I don’t want to do it,” we have been conditioned to respond, “Brother, sister, if you really hated it, you wouldn’t still be doing it.” Or, “If you loved God more than you loved your sin, you wouldn’t still be doing it.” I could talk for hours about how unhelpful that posture is. It’s that saint-sinner reality where in my inner man delights in God’s Law—and I want to love the Lord, my God, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength—but the reality is I still live in a sinful body and I have a sinful nature that is still a part of me. I have not done what I want to do completely for one second of my life.

Jon Moffitt: They’re in a culture where they don’t admit their struggle. They’re in a culture where they can’t fail, where there has to be constant progress, where everyone is superficial and everyone knows it, but what else do you do? But then I do think there are people who go to church and see seemingly perfect marriages and families. They’re doing relatively well compared to everyone else. That’s even a pressure that pastors feel. A lot of pastors are leaving the ministry right now because the pressures are just too high. It’s too much to deal with amidst the COVID-19.

The reason I’m saying all of this is that when you think about what’s coming to you from the pulpit, what’s coming to you from broader Christianity, you aren’t being trained and taught how to deal with the struggle of life. You are being taught how to become a better you. It’s always the improvement of self.

Justin Perdue: You’re taught self-improvement in Jesus’ name, which we would contend is not the emphasis of Scripture. It’s not the emphasis of the New Testament.

Jon Moffitt: As a matter of fact, I agree that we should be improving. But the thing is, what we’re improving in is completely… I just did a new members class and in this class, we had several families. The families were saying that this form of Christianity is so foreign to them. They see it and can’t unsee it. It seems like Ephesians has completely transformed their understanding and perspective of Christianity. The comment was this: I have always been trained to be focused on me and my individual growth and pursuit in Christ.” I know that the Bible tells us that we are to be pursuing holiness and that we should be growing in godliness. But how that happens is not you individually working on you. As a matter of fact, the love of neighbor basically fulfills the whole Law. When you understand that life happens together and it’s about bearing each other’s burdens, it’s about Ephesians 4: “When the body functions properly, it builds itself up in love. Consider how to build one another up in love and good works.” All of these coming together. You cannot accomplish that; you cannot accomplish love if you aren’t willing to get down and dirty, to accept failure, to accept discouragement, to accept people to abuse you, hurt you, and misrepresent you. All of that is there if you’re going to carry each other’s burdens.

Have you ever been around someone who is in despair? They will say mean things and they will say hurtful things to you.

Justin Perdue: Something that is important for us in this conversation as we’ve acknowledged is we are to be improving. But we need to properly define what improvement is and we need to better understand what sanctification even looks like. God is the one who does the work of sanctification, and He often does it through suffering and trial that we would never sign up for. He does that work supernaturally in us.

But then even just the marks of godliness—I think sometimes we get this all confused. If you were going to ask biblically what the number one Mark of a godly Christian is, it’s love for one another. That is overwhelmingly the answer of the New Testament. A lot of times our sanctification is going to manifest itself in ways that we have not been conditioned to look for it. We tend to think about our own personal thought life, or our own personal experience of life, or whatever it may be—our affections and things. It’s not that those things are irrelevant, but it matters a ton that if we’re going to talk about sanctification, you cannot talk about it apart from loving the brothers, bearing one another’s burdens and sorrows, rejoicing with those who rejoice, being patient with one another, bearing with one another in love, pursuing unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace I could go on. It has everything to do with how we live together in the church. That’s how we see that that guy or that gal is different than he or she used to be. Because look at how he lives in the church, look at how she lives with her brothers and sisters—praise God for His work in that individual’s life. But we have not been conditioned to think that way sadly.

Jon Moffitt: I do have a thought on that real quick. I just want to reword something you said. I think this might be a moment of clarity here. Sanctification in the New Testament, if I were to give you examples, is you learning how to love with patience, grace, mercy, and long suffering. Think about the fruits of the Spirit. The fruits of the Spirit are what it requires of you to actually show love. It requires patience, and mercy, and long suffering. This is Ephesians 4: “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling of which you have been called.” Then what does he name? Patience, mercy, and long suffering. You go to 2 Peter 1:3 and following. he says add to your faith mercy, grace, patience, and long suffering. So sanctification is you learning how to love other people. But we look at sanctification as praying more and struggling less with sin, reading the Bible more, or being a missionary. That is not what sanctification looks like according to the New Testament,

Justin Perdue: If you think of the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, even that last one self-control—when people think about self-control, they think it’s like battling lusts better, or battling whatever else better. It’s as though self-control only exists for you. Self-control is for the benefit of your neighbor. Whether it’s your lust and cravings of your flesh that are sexual in nature, or whether you tend to be explosively angry and God has worked self-control in you and you don’t blow up as often and bludgeon other people to death. Even things like that, we tend to think that self-control exists for me and my thought life. No, self-control is about you loving your neighbor—your brother and sister, and you’re going to wound other people far less if you are a self-controlled person.

I’d want to touch on two things before we move into the members’ area. One is kind of autobiographical and one is a little more punchy.

Autobiographically, things that I’ve experienced in my own life recently—and this is not about my own struggle so much, but about how other people around me in the church have struggled with me and I’ve struggled with them and it’s been edifying. We have recently put forward three men who will be confirmed to serve our church as pastors moving forward. The eldership is growing at CBC and we’re really encouraged by that. Part of what we’ve been doing in elder development in onboarding them is to have them sit in on elders’ meetings so that they can get a feel for what the meetings are like. At the beginning of every elders’ meeting that we do, we sing and we open in prayer. We look at the upcoming Sunday sermon texts, and we read that and pray together. Then we pastor each other. That’s what’s in our agenda. We go around the table and we share about our lives, guys ask questions, and then we pray for each other. It has been remarkable to see some of these newer guys—who have not experienced this before in this setting—come to the Table and start to share about their lives. We ask very pointed questions or we’re sharing about our lives and say very pointed things that sometimes makes us think if they’re things we even talk about in the church. We’re sharing this stuff, we’re crying together, we’re praying for one another. One of the guys recently said to the rest of the group that what we did in the last elders’ meeting, where we all just shared what’s going on in our lives and we prayed for each other, is probably the single most edifying thing that he has ever experienced in his whole life.

The reason I even bring it up, and I feel this too, is it’s because it is actually safe and okay to say, “I’m not okay. This has been really hard. This is not going well in my marriage or in my family,” or, “I am really struggling in this way. Brothers, I just want you to know. Can you pray for me?” It’s a very liberating thing. That’s just a microcosm of what we pray is happening in the church broadly. I’ve been mega encouraged to walk alongside my brothers and my sisters, and be able to struggle openly even as the lead pastor of the congregation, to exercise discernment, and to share what’s going on—and nobody looks at me like, “Are you even saved, bro?” Because in some contest, you fear that. Like you said, if I really say what’s going on, people are going to question whether or not I’m even in Christ. And I don’t think that what you’re confessing is unusual—I think it’s the struggle of most people.

Jon Moffitt: I don’t think that this can really happen on a Sunday morning. I believe Sunday mornings are designed for the saints to be fed, equipped, and to serve one another in these ways. The church needs to be creative in ways to find those avenues where you can break down the walls and be allowed to admit those struggles.

For instance, my greatest desire is that when people show up on Sunday morning and they see each other, they have this look where they look at each other and they know what the other one is dealing with. There’s this look of, “Brother, I love you. Sister, I love you. I’m glad you’re here.” They don’t have to pretend or be fake.

Justin Perdue: I trust that’s happening in your congregation, and it’s happening in ours here imperfectly but really, where people do show up and they’re asked how they are doing and they say not well. The look is not one of condemnation but one of, “I get it. I’m with you. I love you. Talk to me.”

Jon Moffitt: Or they’ll say they’re doing great, but I know what they mean: what they mean is they showed up anyway. Part of me carrying that burden with them is to love on them, to care for them, and to say, “It’s okay if you’re discouraged this morning. It’s okay if you’re disappointed in your circumstances. It’s okay if you’re battling depression. Because you are going to receive mercy and grace from Christ. You’re going to receive that which is spiritual that you cannot find anywhere else. We’re going to carry you through this moment of discouragement. We’re going to carry you and hold onto you as long as it takes.” Because that is what the purpose of the gospel and the church is for; the gospel is the good news for the weary believer who just can’t seem to figure it out. And the gospel messages—guess who did? Christ figured it out. He completely brought you everything you could not bring yourself. There’s nothing that’s left.

The discouragement you are facing is the reality of the current circumstances you still find yourself in. You’re still living in a world that has not been redeemed. Even though you yourself have been redeemed, you live in a world that has not been redeemed; your body has not been redeemed. So you need to hear someone speak to you the message of the gospel. I’ve said this in the past and I’ve gotten trouble for it: the primary means of the gospel should not be coming from you. It should be coming from someone else because we’re not really good at telling ourselves what’s wrong with us and we’re really not good at telling ourselves good news. This is why the design of the church is to gather and receive the good news, because we’re not good at pulling ourselves out of pits.

Justin Perdue: We’re not the best at preaching the gospel to ourselves. We need other people to herald the gospel to us, for us, and over us. I agree completely. It only squares with things that we say all the time that the gospel is objective and it’s outside of us. If we’re always looking outside of ourselves to save what’s wrong in us, why do we assume that strength and all these kinds of things will always come from within? Or that from within, we would be able to preach to ourselves? I understand that we have the Holy Spirit living in us, He does His work in us, and praise be to His name that He does. At the same time, I am going to need other people to walk with me and point me to Jesus—and that is God’s design. That’s His plan. That’s what He has set up for us in the community of the church.

A parting shot for me—and some of this may sound a little punchy, but I hope to land it with, with something that’s more compassionate—is we have had experiences in our church where we have had members who mean well, who have very high expectations of other people’s conduct, godliness, joy in the Lord, or whatever it may be. They say things about their brothers and sisters that are less than charitable at points. I’ve had people in the past—guys that I’ve known in the church that are trying to spend time with other people—come to me and say, “The people of this church just wear me out. Spending time with people exhausts me.” Implication: “All these people are just struggling far too much. They’re not godly enough. They should be more joyful. They should have it more together. I just don’t know that I can keep doing this whole spending time with people that are like this.” My reactions to that in the moment—and I aim to be kind and under control—is I’m thinking, “Brother, you might want to look in the mirror and assess yourself honestly for a moment in terms of your own struggles, the bends in your frame, and how you are probably not as godly or obedient as you think you are. Maybe you would be more humble and charitable.” Do you hear yourself talk? You’re saying that spending time with struggling saints—who are trusting Christ, whose lives are hard, and who find themselves fighting a battle that they feel like they’re losing a lot of days—that spending time with those dear people is exhausting to you and you just don’t know that you can keep doing it anymore. In addition to looking at yourself, consider the calling of even being one of Christ’s people. As I read Scripture, we are called to do that very thing: spend time, bear with one another, bear one another’s burdens, weep with people. Don’t just fix them because it’s not possible, but point them to Jesus and love them.

If we find ourselves with that kind of thought of not wanting to keep loving people, I think that’s a serious problem. If our theology ever leads us to a place where we have that posture, it is an indication of seriously skewed thinking.

What we are encouraging today is a New Testament pattern, a gospel, grace-driven pattern of love for one another, and acknowledging that the struggle is normal and real, sin is not okay, and we are called to bear with one another and to point one another to Jesus as we limp along as pilgrims and sojourners in this life.

It really irks me, as a pastor, when people look at me and say, “The people of this church are just not godly enough. They need to get their act together. They’re absolutely exhausting me.”

Jon Moffitt: Here’s what I want to talk about in the members’ podcast. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of other things, but I think that when you listen to the tone of the New Testament, Paul is pushing the believer towards love and unity in Christ to deal patiently with those who struggle. I think modern day preaching, especially in the Calvingelical world, is based on fear tactics to get people to start acting more holy and they are setting the standard of holiness that may not even be the true standard of what holiness is. Preaching that actually creates despair instead of encouragement,

Justin Perdue: It creates despair and breeds condescension and hardness toward one another. Sadly prevalent.

Jon Moffitt: What does that look like? What does that sound like? We’re going to do that.

For those of you that don’t know, Theocast’s way to support our ministry is to continue to write more books, provide more classes, and provide more resources for pastors around the world. Justin and I have been doing a book study on covenant theology for pastors, and we have had several pastors from Australia, India, Canada, and others—all of that is funded through our membership. Our membership is a way for people to come alongside and partner with us. We consider you our partners in ministry. You can go to theocast.org to learn more about that. There’s a free trial there.

We’re going to jump over to the members’ podcast. For those of you who want to join us over there, thanks. If not, we’ll see you next week.

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