To help curtail this issue and to keep you (my readers) from becoming annoyed/ bored with me I have decided that it is time to add a little diversity to the site. It is with this in mind that in December, I began seeking other people to contribute to the website on a regular basis and I am glad to say that two have taken on that challenge.
I thought this was taking the easy path before, but now I am beginning to see that doing this in totality is one of the most difficult things a person will ever have to do.
Something has happened to me, born of God, brought about by the birth of my son that I had not expected; I now am beginning to understand the wrath and anger of God.
When the world persecutes us, we must remember that the world fights in a battle with a predetermined outcome. There is no glimmer of hope for its victory, for it will ultimately come to ruin and destruction under the wrath and judgment of God.
“You can't win, Vader. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” Obi-Wan Kenobi
This is where many pastors stop, and in so doing mare the text with their antiquated misunderstanding of the original language. In my mind, with texts like this the original language is where the pastor/theologian should be working, not from their English translation.
One of the most effective lies ever given to man from the forces of darkness has been, “follow your heart.” Seems like a pretty harmless saying doesn’t it? I’ve found that Satan’s most impressive lies are those that sound the most like truth.
You know, there a moments within the Christian life that make you question God. Sometimes these questions are good, helping us draw closer to Him in spirit and in truth, and some are damaging. In an effort to delineate the differences between the two, I am hoping to quickly outline how open God is to questions of a kind, and how absolutely closed He is to questions of another.
I asked a question at the beginning of the last post, a question that continues to resonate within me as I write this post almost 2 weeks later. That question was, “When did Jesus stop being enough?” We have need now to draw people into worship, into community, into the event that is “church” and in the midst of it all, who is glorified, who is the focus? Many churches making decision based on what is trendy or new or cutting edge such places generally place their own image or “church” ahead of the person of Jesus.
Question, when did Jesus stop being enough? At what point did we feel that God needed our help keeping members, or that God even wanted to keep every member? When did we begin to believe that church couldn’t be done without all of the music and technology? Don’t get me wrong, in every place I’ve been I’ve been one of those people pushing for the church I am attending to update and become current both with music and with technology. But, when did we begin to think that those things were needed? A foul spirit has infected the church, a spirit that preys upon the selfishness of human desire and envy.
My how the world has its priorities all messed up? I’ve seen more outrage over a lion being killed on an African hunt over the last 24 hours then I would ever care to see. I’ve seen more outrage over the last several weeks regarding the confederate flag’s defense then I’ve ever thought possible in the twenty-first century. My how we have our priorities all screwed up. I have seen more Christians champion these two causes (and many others over the years) that have made my stomach churn and my head shake in astonishment. Logic, simple logic has gone out of the window in favor of a rationale that defies the very word itself.
Well, I figured it was time that I write another reaction article to a piece someone shared on Facebook. Now this certainly isn’t a unique post, an article like this one comes across my feed almost daily where people share an article that doesn’t deserve any attention and usually they deal with how Christians bully other people. Granted, some Christians could use a lesson in grace, and some could use a lesson in tact. In the article authored by Stephen Mattson titled, “6 Bad Habits Christians Should Drop” he gives a rather brief list of things he deems harmful to Christianity.
This has been a long time coming and to be honest, its time. The topic I am about to tackle next is a topic that has taken me years to deal with in a tenable way. The title of this article, “Are We Freer than God” is a legitimate question. Most reading this will likely state that we are not. With this being said, what many are saying they believe verses what they actually believe are two very different things.
Last Wednesday night as I sat in a pew in my own church, another church experienced something straight out of a horror film. If you live in America, you know what I am referencing. A young white man, whom I will not name, walked into a church that was predominately black and asked if he could speak with the pastor. He then proceeded to shoot and kill 9 people, including the pastor. Now, some are willing to make excuses for this young man stating mental illness, and instability or are diluted enough to believe that this entire scenario was not motivated by racism.
The trinity is one of Christianity’s oldest and most mysterious doctrines. It has been a topic of much discussion and was in fact one of the first theological areas that theologians attempted to flush out. I’m not going to go into all of that here (mostly because a few books could be written on the topic) but the point I am trying to make ring home is that throughout the church’s history, this has been a topic of importance to the church. For this very reason, it is something worth understanding (as best we can).
Christians can be silly sometimes. There are times that it appears that we argue some of the most ridiculous things. Committees will be started to discuss and decide what kind of flower should be on the stage, what color a wall should be painted, and what carpet should be used. We don’t just argue over carpet and wall color though, we also argue about issues like; the wearing of a hat in church or whether a person can wear shorts on a stage. If this sounds remarkably petty to you, that’s because it is.
I’ve been a Christian for some 15 years now, and have had the privilege of working with all different kinds of faith communities. I’ve witnessed a lot of differing approaches to ministry some of which are wildly successful and others that are wholly underwhelming. What is interesting is that in all of these relationships I have witnessed a very consistent undercurrent within the universal body in America.