I’ve been thinking about my pragmatism post lately. In it, I said that maybe the event wasn’t as successful as I thought, even though it had good “results.” I had read a post on pragmatism saying that we shouldn’t be happy with results and should instead focus on obedience, which I agreed.
The problem I have been wrestling with however, is that, as heretical as this may sound, “obedience” is exceedingly difficult to define. Can any church service, any event, any ministry be 100% obedient? If it isn’t completely obedient, how obedient does it have to be? What aspects have to be obedient? The preaching? The worship style? The worship lyrics? The worshippers? How “disobedient” do things have to get before you can say that an event wasn’t faithful to God?
Tim Challies’ post seemed to say that it will be obvious when an event is obedient or not. I don’t think that simple, clear delineations like that exist though. Instead, it seems to me that obedience, especially in terms of ministies or events can be judged on a sliding scale. So the question is, how obedient do we have to be, or is there some other criteria that we should be using?