In this episode:
- A reminder about becoming a free Premier Subscriber to Theodio (visit the homepage to sign up). This offer will close at the end of 2020.
- Even the heroes of our faith are sinners
- A comment about our culture’s fascination with tearing people down
- The relevant segment of Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices
- Episode blog post: Why ‘Everyone does it’ doesn’t work with God
- Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo and marque: Jeff Lyons at Light & Story
- Original music: Makeup and Vanity Set
- Kindle version of Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by John Hendryx at Monergism.com
- Text for Precious Remedies provided by GraceGems.org
Welcome back to the Theodio Podcast. I’m your host, Dan Kassis.
We hope you’re here because you subscribed to the podcast. If not, why not today? That way you’ll be sure not to miss any new ones. If this is your first episode, welcome! Consider subscribing after you listen. We’re on all the major podcast services.
If you’re not familiar with our format, we usually begin by introducing our episode topic. Then we hear more about that topic from the book Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices, by the Puritan pastor and author, Thomas Brooks. In each segment Brooks talks about a “device,” or scheme, the enemy uses to draw people into sin. Then he shares his “remedies” for overcoming that temptation.
Today’s “device” is one of the oldest in the history of humanity: “Everyone does it.”
The best men sin. The most upright persons stumble. The greatest heroes of the faith fall.
If we could peer into the hearts of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Mother Theresa, Billy Graham, and even the Pope, we would witness things that would make us lose all hope.
Year after year, television and the internet parade venerable citizens and role models past our eyes who succumb to temptations. The media splash their names across headlines and relay every detail of their wrongdoings. Advertisers pay for our attention, until our attention wanes. And we all move on to the next victim of our appetites.
We rarely see any follow-up stories, though. Investigative reporters don’t show us the pain and loss that happen years after a “good person” destroys their life with sin. Similarly, “repentance” is a terrible word to put in a lede.
Thomas Brooks says Satan’s fourth device to lure us into transgression is to make us focus on the sins of the faithful while passing over repentance, forgiveness, and restoration. He longs to have us think that we can engage in the same wrong behaviors others fall into. But he hides from our eyes the terrible price we will pay in the long road of recovery.
An automobile accident can hinge on a split-second decision. Run the red light. Go before you’re sure the way is clear. Look away from the road to your smartphone, just for a second. We pass by a wreck and see broken glass and crumpled steel. But we miss the months of litigation, physical therapy, the inconvenience of a lost vehicle.
Through the remedies he offers, Brooks wants his readers to see the whole picture of sin, from beginning to end. When we’re tempted, we should consider all the repercussions and consequences. We should look past the sinning saint and see not a role model but a foretaste of our own possible ruin.
“Everyone does it.” But everyone must face the consequences.
Now let’s hear Thomas Brooks explain how to fight this temptation to think if everyone sins, why not us?
That’s good advice for us today. The “Bernard” Brooks mentions at the end is likely Bernard of Clairvaux, an influential Cistercian monk of the 12th century. It wasn’t uncommon for Puritan writers to quote Roman Catholics. In fact, even Calvin referenced Bernard in his defense of the concept of “sola fide” – salvation by faith alone.
Reading great old books like these can be like mining for gold. Every now and then a choice nugget appears, and you can’t help but notice its glint as you bring it into the light. That’s what we do here at Theodio. And we hope you’ll keep returning as we work through Precious Remedies.
Next time we’ll look at Satan’s fifth device against believers – the temptation to see God as “all mercy.” It’s a common error today. I’m sure you’ll find Brooks’ remedies against it useful.
Thanks for listening. Please join us again.