Saturday, April 09, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Ever Want To Puke?
Ronnie Hill is an evangelist who is intent on "trying to reach the masses any way we can."Read the rest of the story if you want, but be sure and have a bucket handy....
"I want to dream bigger for God. I don't want to put Him in a box."
Such convictions helped inspire Hill to develop a website -- www.threeminutestory.com -- where people visiting the site can watch a three-minute Gospel presentation and then enter a contest for a chance to win a new vehicle.
Imagine Hill's surprise, then, when he won a car himself, a 2011 Infiniti IPL G Coupe worth $50,000. All he had to do to enter the contest was to take a test drive at a car show he attended.
Let's lay aside the whole prosperity gospel aspect of this story and focus on the idea that people will meet Jesus from a 3-minute video they viewed to win a car. No follow-up (unless you ask) no relationship, nothing but talk. I don't know what that is, but it sure as *&^% is not evangelism.
If we have reduced Christianity to something this shallow, there is officially nothing left.
I truly am not smart enough to know how God will treat people that prayed the Sinner's prayer and then continued life as if nothing had changed. But it is that very uncertainty that makes me long for to explore deeper and take others with me. To be satisfied with so little is to leave open the possibility that it is not enough and that I have accomplished nothing. to "put it entirely in God's hands" is to give myself permission not to care.
Maybe I don't want to puke, maybe I just want to cry.
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Start At Home
For more than three decades, the American Christian Church has participated fully and completely in the institution of no-fault divorce. Sacred bonds formed before God -- bonds that take two to form and two to live -- can be severed at the whim of one. Even worse, they're often severed even when Christian spouses are living fully immersed in the church culture. I've been in "accountability groups" that offer more empathy than accountability. I've seen counselors become puppet-masters for their emotionally vulnerable clients, marching them out of marriages the counselor subjectively views as dysfunctional. And I've read fashionable Christian bestsellers that offer such sweeping indictments of "judgment" in the church that they blur the distinction between judgment and mere reading comprehension.This is a must read and a must convict for anyone that is serious about living a life of discipleship to Jesus Christ.
I can only add that I have watched divorce do a great deal of damage in the lives of children - some that I love very deeply. Of all the divorce I have witnessed, but once should it have happened and in that case the botched the process so badly it made matters worse rather than better.
The fact that the church stands by and watches this is very much to its shame.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
He contrasts leisure with the world of work, which looks at life though utilitarian glasses.I could not disagree more. Firstly I think God calls us to be whole creatures, not divided into such realms. I think this confuses "rest" with "work."
These experiences are what foster our ability for leisure, and on Pieper’s thesis, as leisure develops, so does culture. He sees the two as almost synonymous, defining culture as human achievement that transcends utility: poetry, art, music, education. Piper argues that the greatest capacity for culture comes from philosophy, because it is contemplation of reality. Though culture is not more important than our real need to work, it should be our capacity for leisure which defines us.
Rest is not necessarily a state of inactivity, but rather a state of letting other power handle the burden. I rest in God's hands so that even when I am active, He does the "work" and I still rest.
Secondly, God defines culture, not us. If we rest in God's hands, whether in activity or inactivity, then God can do His work to define our culture, but if we depend on our philosophy, the our culture will be as corrupt as we are.
But what most amazes me about this is how hard we seem to work to justify doing what we want to do, instead of learning what God wants us to do and doing it - even when we think we can't He can, if we will but let Him.
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Distinctive, but not Different?
They make distinctions, but is there a difference? See, I don't think there is an intellectual answer to the issue. It is not about, "Where is the line where we have to split?" It's about who we are when we disagree.
I just wish that sometime we would quit focusing on the lines and start focusing on who we are when we are near them. It seems to me that if we are God's people, attuned to Him we will make the correct decision in each instance and it will not be the same decision every time.
Our first response to a divisive situation should not be to evaluate where it stands in the priority of things to get angry about. What we should do is drop to our knees and pray for guidance. The answer lies not in intellectual activity, but in submission.
Submission - that's a difference.
Monday, April 04, 2011
What Do You Sing?
OK, good - I'd have had to quote too extensively to say this so I hope you have read it.
The whole thing just did not sit right with me - two misconceptions. The first is that Singing=Worship. No, No, and NO - singing is part of worship, but it does not define worship. Worship is sacramental, it is obedience - it is granting God Kingship. Not to mention that singing can be as empty and void of genuineness as any other ceremonial activity - singing is singing - we make it worshipful or we do not.
Secondly, while worship is the basis for all that a Christian does, in a democracy it is not of itself a political activity. In a tyrannical nation where it is forbidden or restricted, it is political activity, but in America, it takes more.
Now, if you equate singing with casting a vote - then you have something, but that's stretching a metaphor don't you think?