Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
"Tempted" To Be Good
One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up.I am struck that temptation strikes both the pious and the worldly, and that the enemy is capable of using our best impulses against us. We are tempted as Lewis discusses here. We are sorely tempted to make the means of faith the ends of faith. We make the church idol.
That is not the Christian way.
This is one of the ways that the impulses of Evangelicalism goes awry. In its constant outward focus it fails to see the inward damage that is being done. It allows perversion to creep in in a variety of forms.
The church is to evangelize, but it is to do so much more as well.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
What About 'Servant Leadership'?
Uses their influence for the good of othersand #7:
Serves others expecting nothing in return.I read those and I wondered why there was a rest of the list.
I recently enjoyed a meal with a good friend that is a retired military commander and now teaches ROTC to high school students. He told me that the hardest thing he has to teach is that leadership is not about the leader - that it is about serving the organization, and the members thereof.
Christ served us even unto death - think about that for a minute.
Things are not about us. In recent times I have had a number of customer service problems with people I deal with. When I confronted them, they were not concerned about my problem or how they represented their company - only about their own hides.
There is something deeply wrong in our nation. There is a reason people "Serve" in positions of authority.
Related Tags: Illuminated Meditation
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
...And Confusion Reigns
Well, let's see - in the hands of a Godly man, the law was a good thing, but ungodly men managed to make it something perverse - something Christ opposed, at least what people thought was the law. You get my point? Facebook is not the problem - people are.
If a church has 20 relationships hurt by Facebook interaction among its leadership, then it is not examining its leadership very well, nor is it doing a very good job of spiritual formation within that leadership. A hammer is a great tool for building a house, but it can also be a murder weapon - depends on who is holding the hammer.
To "order" a church's leadership off Facebook is lazy pastoring. The pastor needs to be ministering to his leadership team - it's as simple as that. And yes, some individuals with serious issues may need to get off Facebook, but its their problem, not Facebook's. This is just another example of building the church, but not building disciples.
The power of Christ lies in the fact that He and only He is capable of completely rebuilding US. It is time we started claiming that.
The Dangers of Study
We are frequently told, indeed, that the great danger of the theological student lies precisely in his constant contact with divine things.This is a great diagnosis, but the disease is more than the mundane "familiarity breeds contempt." Rather the problem is the structures, intellectual, physical and spiritual, that we build on top of the simple truth of Christ. In an effort to do things well, we come to rely on our understanding, not His.
They may come to seem common to him, because they are customary.
As the average man breathes the air and basks in the sunshine without ever a thought that it is God in his goodness who makes his sun to rise on him, though he is evil, and sends rain to him, though he is unjust; so you may come to handle even the furniture of the sanctuary with never a thought above the gross early materials of which it is made.
God’s stately stepping in his redemptive processes may become to you a mere series of facts of history, curiously interplaying to the production of social and religious conditions, and pointing mayhap to an issue which we may shrewdly conjecture: but much like other facts occurring in time and space, which may come to your notice.
It is your great danger.
We must remain in the mystical - without it, there is no alternative that what Warfield describes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
All worship was to him sacred, since he believed that in its most degraded forms, among the most ignorant and foolish of worshippers, there has yet been some true seeking after the Divine, and that between these and the most glorious ritual or the highest philosophic certainty, there lies so small a space that we may believe the Saints in Paradise regard it with a smile.Faith is a journey - more it is one that is started from a huge variety of locations. In point of fact, it is started from a unique location for every individual that undertakes it.
Think about that for a minute. If I living in California, want to travel to St' Louis, MO - along the way I might see Las Vegas, Amarillo, TX, Carlsbad Caverns, etc. But you, coming from New York to the same destination would see Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, and so on. Our journeys would have o similarities whatsoever save for the destination.
Now consider this - our faith destination cannot be reached until after our life on this earth is ended.
How do you know someone else is not on the same journey?
Is our response to this to remove all definitions from our churches? Of course not, but it is to employ those definitions with humility and to seek humility on all things. And humility begins by understanding that your journey is different from mine.
Monday, March 21, 2011
But what is "all of this"? We find an answer in the previous verse: "For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time--to show us his grace through Christ Jesus." The original language makes it clear that "all of this" is God's plan (or purpose) and grace. In other words, through Jesus, God not only reveals himself to us, but also reveals his plan to save us, a plan that centers in his grace. The gracious plan of God reflects and confirms his gracious character."...saved us and called us to live a holy life." Both are part of God's revelation in Christ. Both are expressions of God's grace. Both result from fixing ourselves on Jesus Christ.
If we want to know God, we must turn our eyes to Jesus. In his words and deeds, and most of all in his sacrificial death, he reveals God to us.
Can we truly claim to have appropriated that grace if we only take advantage of one?