One for the Hall of Fame

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Even by our exacting standards, it has been a vintage few weeks for complaints about ref21 and I have found myself to be named Public Enemy No. 1 by numerous groups, from transformationalists (who think my theology wrong because it is not the same as that of Tim Keller) to American Vision (who think my theology is wrong because it is essentially identical to that of Tim Keller), to those who think the advent of Aimee Byrd on MoS represents a crisis in taste (have they listened to earlier episodes, I wonder?).  But the winner has to be the following, if only for the closing punchline which guarantees it a place in the ref21 Complaints Hall of Fame.  The problematic post was my comment on pornography legislation in the United Kingdom.  Here is the offending paragraph and the reader's response.

Delingpole raises important questions about the extent of government power and, indeed, the nature and purpose of government itself.  I am very sympathetic to the principle he is trying to establish.  After all, I do not smoke; but I cannot help feeling that British pubs lost something (not least the revenue that keeps them alive) when the government decided that smokers in the snug were a greater danger to human life than a visually impaired amateur darts player with five pints of Old Peculier inside him staggering up to the oche at his local.

Here is the email of complaint:

Why is Mr. Trueman more concerned about the possible loss of revenue at local bars and pubs than the fifty thousand deaths per year from secondhand smoke? What a shock that was to read.  What saith the Scripture? There are countless verses that address this but here's just one...  "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right" (Proverbs 16:8).  Isn't Carl a professing Christian? What an appalling position for one who should be loving his neighbor as himself.   The government has not "decided" that secondhand smoke causes tens of thousands of deaths via heart disease, lung cancer, etc. Tobacco kills. It's the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and the second cause of preventable death in the world.   The Bible calls it sowing and reaping. 
No one has ever had the right to inflict deadly disease on another human being. Governments aren't overreaching, they're correcting a long overdue permissiveness rooted in callous indifference and ignorance - and oh yeah, lust for big, fat profits.  I thank God that I live in a county in the state of New York (Suffolk) that was one of the first to enact such laws that banned smoking in restaurants and bars back in 1995. Yippee!  

If Trueman doesn't get on the right side of this issue then he
'll continue to mar the Gospel.
We need educated and informed people preaching God's Word, not Sarah Palin types.

In mitigation, I can only plead that statistics on injuries caused by passive darting are currently unavailable but, when released, will no doubt bear out my concerns.  I can assure readers that I do not myself smoke and have only the greatest admiration for the courage of governments who do everything to stop smoking except actually make it, you know, illegal (an anomaly which, I am sure, has nothing to do with "great revenues" as the Bible calls them). And further,  I knew that, sooner or later, somebody would rumble the secret Palin.jpgconnection between myself and Sarah Palin.  In fact, as one friend recently pointed out, it is amazing that nobody has thus far seen fit to publish the photograph of the moment when one of her aides pointed La Palin to the author of her favourite political book, Republocrat, in the crowd at a recent GOP fundraiser. A moment to treasure.





Posted August 29, 2013 @ 10:36 AM by Carl Trueman
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