Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
I Think The Holy Spirit Fits In There Somehwere
Holy Scripture is no dogmatics. It contains all the knowledge of God we need but not in the form of dogmatic formulations.... Scripture is a gold mine; it is the church that extracts the gold, puts its stamp on it, and converts it into general currency.That is so, right, though I would prefer the formulation, the Holy Spirit uses the church to extract...."
See, people who tend to be dogmatic, and I am among them, tend to overlook the role that the Holy Spirit plays in our lives. One of the important keys to overcoming our legalistic/dogmatic tendencies is to try and tap into the spiritual side of life, that is to say have a genuine encounter with the Holy Spirit.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
So, Justin Taylor had to try. He quotes scripture on:
- One thing to know
- One thing is necessary
- One thing to do
- One thing to ask for
BUT WAIT - That's four(4) things not one! Good scripture all of it, good ideas all of it, but can we PLEASE stop trying to make something as incredibly complex as being a Christian look simple? We just end up looking silly in the process.
Christianity does not have all the answers! What is has is the capability to make a GOOD person who will be able to figure out the right answer when confronted with a new situation. When we stop trying to supply answers and start trying to build people, then and only then will we have figured this thing out.
Until that time we are just idiots in a movie script.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Desperate or Misguided?
We look at the work it’s going to take to rebuild our mainline churches and we’re met with anguish, difficult times and frustration.On the right we have the answer to dying mainlines in Evangelicalism. On the left we have the answer in "Social Justice." What we really have here are agenda's plastering over a problem that runs much deeper.
We feel little to no creativity after examining the debt and despair that creeps past the sanctuary doors.
We feel the work it’s going to take to become a necessary influence on the community is enough to cause anyone to give up and walk away.
So instead of influencing anybody, we just tell stories of how it used to not be this way.
We retreat inward, knowing it’s too painful to think about what we’re not.
If we choose, though (and I believe it’s our choice), to become passionate about social justice, offering peace instead of war, giving hope to a future that needs it, educating all people, loving all people, blessing all people, practicing authentic spirituality, worshiping as a community, and praying for the brokenhearted, then the church is forever needed.
We can escape the turmoil in our own exile when we realize the church isn’t dying.
The church is neither a reproductive organ, though reproduction is a byproduct of its primary activity, nor an instrument for God's justice, God is quite capable of executing His own justice and sometimes He will use the church for that.
The church is the Body of Christ and its purpose is to bring life - abundant, joyful, eternal life - life expressed in LIVES. The church builds people, and becasue each person is an individual, no agenda can meet that "vision" - only people can.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Sin and Hidden Sin
That people who struggled with temptation to a particular sin felt the need to hide it from the community of faith did not help them deal with their particular “thorn in the flesh.” In fact, to hide a temptation frequently enables acting on the temptation. To reveal the proclivity helps the community work with the person to avoid the temptation.Excellent point! But to which I must add the question, what do we do when those that are now in the open insist that sin is not sin and they are not sinners?
Too often the church community would be “shocked” to discover Bob was tempted by homosexual desire, but not at all shocked by Bob’s abusive temper. He would be fired for the first from any church job (especially if he faltered), but not for repeated examples of brow beating.
We judge the sin as sin and the sinner as a sinner. We don’t stop there.
We pray for mercy as we have received mercy. The closet, hidden sin, is wrong. The Lord Jesus points out that every hidden thing will be revealed. The future of the Church is not a return to the closet, but a blessed release from that bad, un-Christian system to real holiness.
There is a step further the church must take - it must discuss sin both hidden and unhidden and it must discuss it frankly as sin. I cannot tell you how many times I have had co-habitation and divorce thrown in my face when discussing homosexuality.
The closet is wrong, but so is picking and choosing which sin to condemn and which to tolerate. Not marrying same-sex couples is a public statement. Marrying couples have have co-habitated, should also require a public acknowledgement of the sin and of the repentance.
Inconsistency is its own form of mercilessness.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Using these spatial metaphors of up/down and high/low to describe leadership make sense. To lead, you need a view of the whole landscape. You need to be propped up in an umpire’s chair where you can see whether the server has stepped on the line, or if the ball has bounced out of bounds.Phil 2:5-8:
But here’s the thing: being a good leader also means learning how to lead from the bottom up. It means being a foundation, a buttress, a platform for the activity of others. You employ the authority you’ve been given to enable others to run, to work, to minister. You become the platform on which they live, the stage on which they dance.
Or let me put it like this: Leadership is not about running after all your dreams and ambitions, it’s often about getting on your hands and knees and making your life a stage on which those you love can pursue their ambitions, hopes, and ministries. It’s about building up as much as it’s about moving up. It’s about equipping and enabling and empowering.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:'Nuff Said!
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!