Saturday, September 08, 2012
Friday, September 07, 2012
Culture and Religion
Why are they playing “Silver Bells” when I step into the Port Authority? Does it not loosen the tightness of my purse strings and make me want to spend? To buy? To consume? Is that the Wired store over there? With the billboard still dazzling my eyes, I can nevertheless see clearly. Yes, 37 million Americans know myths when they see them. That’s because we live in one. Our myth says religion is still central to our lives, and, hey—is that the line for the Wired in-store wind tunnel over there?That's a reasonable impressive argument, and what it speaks to is a failure for the church.
We have allowed ourselves to be so identified with things that are not church that the church has become indistinct. Is it good that the church has had a huge cultural impact? Of course it is - but the church has to be more than just culture.
This is one of the problems when the church follows culture instead of sets it, and that is the key difference between where we used to be and where we are now.
I wonder what would happen if the church sought to be culturally distinct rather than culturally compliant?
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Good advice, but Edmondson discusses those steps, with the exception of "repent" largely in secular terms - but they have deep spiritual meaning - and he leaves one out that should be there. I want to focus on what he left out.
All failure can be traced ultimately to one source - failure to submit to God's will. Submit is the key word there. It requires submission to hear God's will. It requires submission to consent to God's will. It requires submission to execute God's will.
I think after repentance, but before planning, committing and growing, we must submit - then submit again.
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Using Your Tools
In fact, I would assert that, in essence, no new tools have been invented since the days of Jesus and the apostles (save one) that are absolutely essential for us to fulfill the Great Commission or encourage spiritual formation in the church.He fores o to talk about what those tools are. I think he is right and I want to make a related point that he does not.
In light of that fact, we do not need to learn how to do things differently or in t the current context, we need to learn how to do what the church has done since its inception well.
I am convinced that one of the reason we focus on the new so much is that it keeps us from focusing on what matters. In the end, it is not about what we do, but who we are. Christ did not come to build a "ministry" he came to build disciples. Such disciples will, of necessity, be the church - just like a bunch of trees together constitute a forest. The forest does not; however, spend a lot of time worrying how to be a better forest - it spends a lot of time making new trees.
Does that sound like Evangelicalism? To the contrary, the forest does not spend its time making saplings, it sends its time making trees. Saplings are a step on that road, but they are not the journey.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Go Ahead - Pick A Fight
- Can I move forward without holding a grudge or being resentful in my heart? – If not, do you need to confront simply to clear your heart to be whole again?
- Will I be able to change their opinion if I confront them? – If not, then is there any value in the confrontation?
- Is it impacting other people? – If your conflict is simply between two people then what’s the urgency of the conflict. If others are affected by your disagreement, then some sense of resolution may become necessary.
- Does my heart lead me to confront? – We can’t dismiss the Spirit of God working in our life. If the issue won’t leave your mind, you need to do something.
- Am I at peace with things as they are? – If you are at complete peace and the thought of confrontation only makes you miserable, then are you sure you are supposed to confront?
There is one other point I think needs to be added. After you have done the evaluation he looks at here, take yourself out of the equation. Is the conflict really about you? - Your feelings, your hurt, your desire = then maybe God is trying to tell you to get over yourself.
Christ picked one fight. It was about destroying His father's temple. That fight led to Jesus' death. Might just want to consider that when you want to pick a fight.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Labor Day Art
Related Tags: Labor Day Art