Saturday, February 14, 2015
Friday, February 13, 2015
So, we are to be like God in many ways. We are to imitate God in holiness, by living in a way that is different from what is common in our fallen world. We are to imitate God in righteousness, by obeying God so that our relationships are just and healthy. Yet, we are not to be like God in omniscience. There is some knowledge that is reserved for God alone. And we are not like God in ultimate sovereignty. Unlike God, we are called to obey one who is greater than we are. God obeys no one. We obey the one, true God, living our whole lives in service and submission to him.How often to we want to be like God in righteousness and yet we also want to be sovereign over our own lives as well? It is truly amazing to me that those things are pretty much mutually exclusive. We cannot ever be righteous if we are sovereign becasue whatever righteousness we might lay claim to is entirely derivative. This maybe Satan's greatest tool. We so want to be good, but we so want to control.
And yet even God was a servant. Is this not exactly what happened with Christ's crucifixion? He served us. Even the sovereign God serves. If we are to be like God, we too must serve.
Christlike service sovereignty
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Moving Past the "Protest" In Protestantism
As far as I’m concerned the war is over. Of course, there is plenty to talk about, many areas of debate, and much work to be done to clarify the faith. But we are on the same side. So much has changed in the Roman Catholic church, especially since Vatican II, that it is ridiculous to rely upon old, tired formulas and stereotypes and to think we are accomplishing anything worthwhile by continuing to hide behind thick walls of separation. To do so is not only shoddy thinking, but it is also uncharitable to our brothers and sisters in Christ and unhealthy for our own spiritual well being.The church universal is under fire in this nation, and we want to pick nits with other Christians? The plain fact of the matter is Protestantism is losing in America, we founded the nation and now we have lost it. Only the Roman Catholic Church stands tall enough to begin to stem the tide that threatens to drown us. And we want to call them the enemy?! That does not sound like claiming victory in Christ to me.
I also continue to take C.S. Lewis’s iconic illustration of the Great Hall and rooms from the preface of Mere Christianity as my fundamental perspective on questions like this. No one is suggesting that we have to give up our own rooms wherein we find fellowship and fuller agreement. I’m just saying we should also spend some time in the Great Hall together, recognizing and welcoming one another as fellow Christians. We may and indeed do differ significantly in our convictions and practices, but in the Great Hall can’t we find a place to mingle, unthreatened by each other and open to learning from each other?
Th devil's greatest success is our being our own worst enemy.
church cultural action ecumenism
Related Tags: Illuminated Scripture
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Truth In Cliche'
Well, I have news for you friends, cliche's are usually true. I too during my single years (which extended a lot longer than this guy's to date) resented hearing those cliche's. But guess what, in the retrospect of 19 years of marriage, every one of them is true - and they applied to me when spoken to me. I was single for a reason and I am now married only through the grace of God and my wife.
Maybe, just maybe, if you stopped concentrating on the fact that the advice is cliche' and just listened to the truth contained within the cliche' you might not be single anymore.
cliche reality single truth
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
"To Engage Our Emotions?!"
- We Sing To Own and Affirm the Word
- We Sing to Engage Our Emotions with God’s Word
- We Sing To Demonstrate and Build Unity
We assign our pets emotions, but do they really have them? Certainly not like we do. The affection my cat expresses towards me is a function not of emotion, but of attachment as a result of my being a source of food and warmth. The line between love and sucking up is a fine one in a cat. Emotion is an expression of something more primal, but it is not of itself primal.
Many of the problems the church faces today are being faced because we have come to act as if emotion is humanity its the most primal. Emotion is, as CS Lewis once said in a round about fashion "subject to the state of digestion." Emotion is far to fickle to be primal.
We live in such abundance that many of our more primal urges, food, shelter, sex, are satisfied without a great deal of effort. Therefore, emotion seems to be the motivating thing in our lives. But it is not, we are just not built that way. In point of fact, all of those drives, hunger, shelter, and emotion, are drives towards something much, much deeper. The fact that we need on any level is indicative of our need for God.
All need - need for food, need for connectedness, emotional need - is a result of our separation from God. Need, on any level is a symptom of our state of sin.
If you want to emotional needs to line up properly its not about singing - its about confession. If we cater to our emotional needs we are catering to sin.
need primal sin singing
Monday, February 09, 2015
“I say this in love” has caused a lot of damage over the years.He's right here, but in my experience there are usually two things going on when this phrase comes up. One the person offering the zinger has a genuine insight, but simply lacks the linguistic skill to offer it less painfully, and two, it "seems" unloving because it hits home so hard.
I’ve been the recipient of this kind of “love” and sometimes it doesn’t seem very loving to me.
I’ve seen people preface a mean-spirited zinger of a comment with a disclaimer of love, but it’s still a mean-spirited zinger. [emphasis added]
Yes, there are mean and cruel gossips in the world that use the phrase "offered in love" as some sort of "get out of jail free" card, but I think they are the exception, not the rule. I think we would be smart when we hear the phrase to lower, not raise our defenses. I think we would be smart when we hear the phrase to believe the speaker. In this fashion we can listen to what they say before we decide they are mean-spirited in their comments. We can put it through our filters and make a determination before we write it off.
We need criticism to improve. We need to take it, even when it hurts and even when it is offered by those that sometime lack grace in the offering. My best chemistry teacher routinely called me a "retard." No grace, but a great teacher, all I had to do was listen. (And yes, decades later he is a friend.)
criticism grace love