… for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God… —from Acts 5:38-39
It has been asked in a variety of ways from the outside and the inside since the so-called "young, restless, and Reformed" tribe hit the threshold of unignorable visibility: Can this movement be sustained? Is it just a fad? What are your concerns, fears, and cautions for this subculture? (Aren't they really just "Together 4 Calvinism?")
Only God knows.
Whether one sees the tumult of the last few years as growing pains or death throes probably depends on what one is hoping for.
The internal squabbles and the external accusations.
The debating and the excluding and the parting of ways.
The scandals, the sins.
These could all mean the tribe is on its way to the dustbin of history, a "flash in the pan" as they say. Or it could be a great settling, a great sanctifying, a great re-reforming around Jesus.
My prayer as we sort out a lot of our junk is that the great settling I'm seeing throughout the tribe—the growing up, the looking up to the older and wiser and gentler, the increasing self-reflection, the spreading quietness, all of it—will be its strengthening. Yes, Lord, let the settling be a strengthening.
May we lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and may we run with endurance the race that is set before us. May we actually, truly, for the growth of the church and the joy of the world and the glory of Christ be gospel-centered.