Roseanne Barr and Blood Sacrifice

This brief post should not be read as an endorsement to Roseanne’s recent explosive comments. It is simply an observation of the fallout. Roseanne has become a sacrifice to the gods of the culture, and this situation creates an opportunity for Christians to point to the One True Sacrifice for sin, Christ Jesus the Lord.

Because all people were created in the image of God, everyone has some sense, however vague and confused, of God and his ways. In other words, God created us and stamped eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). So even the most committed pagan knows deep down that sin demands sacrifice. But unless our culture turns to Christ, the last sacrifice, there will continue to be a clamoring for blood.

Roseanne sinned against God and against Valerie Jarrett, plain and simple. Interestingly, you might actually get a hearing right now if this was the only point you wanted to make. But the observation I want to bring to light is the demand for payment. The people might as well have been screaming, “Crucify her!” A slap on the wrist will not do. The sin is deep and the payment must be significant. Boycotted. Blacklisted. The people want blood.

Whether or not Roseanne should have lost her show is not my concern. But I do know that this payment will not suffice in the end. It is not enough. The masses will continue to clamor for more blood because there is a whole lot more sin where that came from. Rosanne was yesterday’s sacrifice, but there will be more today and more tomorrow. Only in Jesus, the last sacrifice, is there full and final payment for sin. His blood was sufficient to pay not only for Roseanne’s sin, but it was efficient to cover all of the sins of all of his people for all time.

WHAT ABOUT THE NAME?

Jeremiah 6:16 reads as follows, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls…’”(ESV). Some translations call these ancient paths “the old paths” and that’s where the name comes from. The Old Paths and The Good Way are descriptions of God’s paths… God’s way that he lays out for us in his word, the Bible. And these paths aren’t only meant to be studied, though study can be helpful. They are meant to be walked in. Thus the subtitle: Doctrine for Life.

The title has a pretty broad scope on purpose. Jesus is Lord over everything. My goal, on this blog as in the rest of my life, is to seek to understand his word and apply it in real time to real life.

ABOUT ME

Back around the turn of the century it looked like a long shot for me to become a Christian, much less to become a pastor. But among other things, God’s grace is surprising. I was raised in a Christian home and was also raised in the church I now have the privilege to serve. However, I walked away from the church and from the Lord at the beginning of high school, and that is putting it mildly. The short of it is that I ran from God, but he ran me down toward the end of college. And in a round about way he brought me back to my home church, which has been a great gift.

Speaking of gifts, in April 2009 God gave me my wonderful wife, Tiffany, who I do not deserve. Since then he has given us 4 wonderful children: Levi (2012), Eva Claire (2014), Sarah (2016), and Hannah (2017). This amounts to a lot of joy and a lot of work! I love the privilege and responsibility of being a husband and father, and take it very seriously. The same goes for the privilege and responsibility of being a pastor.

At Grace Evangelical Church I serve in an assistant pastor role, with various responsibilities. My primary responsibilities involve leading our Men’s Ministry as well as leading a ministry we call The Next Generation, which revolves around a Sunday morning class that I teach for couples and singles in our 30s and 40s. If you would like to visit, we meet at 9:30 in the Brown Room (410). Another one of my most important responsibilities is working through my seminary education in pursuit of ordination. Right now I am somewhere just beyond the middle of an MA in Biblical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary.

WHY WRITE A BLOG?

It is certainly not because I don’t have anything else to do (see About Me). There are five basic reasons that I can come up with for starting a blog. First, I have had the nagging sense that I should at least try it for a number of years. Second, I write a lot in my work and I could always stand to get better. From what I hear you get better at writing by writing, so here we are. Third, I am a pastor and many of the other pastors that have influenced me have been writers. Of course, they were/are preachers, but also writers. For example, the Apostle Paul. I, for one, am glad Paul picked up a pen. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t have much of a New Testament. Or how about the Reformers and their descendants, the Puritans? Again, these men were preachers, but if not for their writings the movements would have never gained steam. And then modern day, men like Doug Wilson, John Piper, and Tim Keller. I have heard a few of these men’s sermons, but have read far more of what they have written. Fourth, I hope for this to be a way to fill out some gaps in my ministry to the people of Grace Evan. I don’t expect everyone to read what I write, but it is simply another avenue for shepherding. Fifth, this seems to be an open door opportunity to engage the public square. One of the first seminary courses I completed was titled The Pastor in the Public Square and the basic argument of the course was that there was a day when pastors not only saw their responsibilities as at home with the flock, but also sought to engage the culture around them for Christ. The professor argued that this was better. I came to agree, and have come to see the unique opportunity we have in our day to do this through social media outlets such as a blog.