Home / Posts Tagged: The Church
I am a Christian. I am a husband, father, son, and friend. I am a pastor. I am an American. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the source of my feelings on a particular issue because I am complex. We all are. Because I am a Christian, I strive every day to make sure that I have a Biblical worldview, that is to say, a view of life that is entirely seen through the lens of God’s Word. This is not always an easy task. Why? Well, because as I mentioned I am a husband, a father, a son…etc… there are so many things that make up who I am. Plus, I am just straight opinionated.
Last night it was announced that one of the most evil men of recent history was killed. Is there an appropriate way to feel when you find out an evil man has been killed? The reason for my question is pretty straightforward. The responses to the news on Twitter and Facebook seemed mixed within Christian circles. Granted I would say that nearly 80 per cent …
Alright, this has been a fun “mini-series” for my blog. We will close it out today with Part 3. The chapter we have been studying begins by Paul stating his desire that this wild church at Corinth would stop being ignorant about the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I believe there is a lot of ignorance even today about these gifts.
Paul masterfully addresses the subject in question in chapter 12, writes chapter 13 about the superiority of love over any gift (one of the major problems still…no love), then addresses the protocol necessary for the functional use of the gifts in public.
1 Corinthians 12:3-6
3 Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
It is important to realize the context here because clearly Paul is …
Better to Receive?
If God gave you a gift would you receive it? That is the question I ended Part 1 of this blog with. I think when the question is asked with no context, almost anyone would enthusiastically say, “Yes!” God has, in fact, given us many gifts. Salvation is the greatest gift of all.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
I am happy that I received God’s gift of salvation. When it comes to the gifts He has given us there is such an awesome degree of intentionality on His part. It makes me want to treasure the gift all the more. As a shepherd, or a pastor, I appreciate the gift God has given me to help lead people closer to Him, to watch over them and to build them up. We see in this scripture that the Lord gave these gifts, which are many times are vocational, specifically so Christians could be built up.
Ephesians 4:8, 11&12
8 When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and …
A Wild Church
1 Corinthians chapters 12, 13, and 14 have always been so awesome to me. Let me explain why. The church Paul was addressing the church at Corinth, one of the most immature, enthusiastic, sinful, yet hopeful churches imaginable. They were messing everything up. They didn’t know how to do communion. They were going wild using spiritual gifts without order. They were having orgies and yet still showing up to worship passionately. They were trying to one-up all the other leaders in the church with their deep spirituality while still practicing extreme paganism. These people were wild, but they loved Jesus. They were new in their faith but they didn’t quit just because they were doing it wrong. They kept pushing forward (with the help of one extremely wise apostle).
In these chapters you find an amazing story of Paul explaining the “gifts” of the Spirit to these energetic people. The context of these chapters is one of rationale and gentle correction. He is not chewing them out. He is lovingly explaining why they are doing things wrong and how …
My wife and I have had the privilege of spending the last two days in downtown LA with some dear friends of ours who help run the LA Dream Center. My blog won’t be long today but the general idea is simple. This church does an impressive blend of sharing the gospel while meeting the practical needs of hurting people. The reason I’m pointing this out is because that blend is crucial. Too much of one side makes you a Christian clique and too much of the other makes you a humanitarian organization.
As we all are moving forward with what God has called us to do, let’s be willing to trash traditional methods of ministry while keeping the message of ministry intact. Jesus is the message. Why did he heal blind people different ways? So people would see message not the method. The Dream Center does some really progressive things for God, totally out of the box. I’m very moved and touched by their passion and grit.
Are you willing to rethink the way you do church to reach the unreached? …
We are living in a time where people live angry. Everybody’s angry. Non-Christians are angry at Christians. Citizens are angry at the government. Workers are angry at their employers. Man, even Christians are angry at each other. The Baptists at the Charismatics and the Pentecostals at the Catholics. Its a mess.
I saw a 6 year old throw down a game controller in Best Buy the other day. It apparently wasn’t working right so he screamed, “This is ridiculous!” (Wait until my man learns about gross paychecks vs. net paychecks).
With all that in mind it would seem easy to feel as if you were walking on eggshells when it comes to your faith. It should not be so! Most people are angry because they d
o not understand the superiority of God’s love to what they have been settling for. It would be a disservice to those angry people to withhold truth from them. Truth that ultimately could set them free.
Don’t shy away from truth. Let it shine in love. Your job is not to make people less angry, it is to …
I received an email from a person who was thinking about the story behind “How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan. If you are unfamiliar with the story I suggest that you search You Tube for the testimony, it is powerful. The idea is that a young man said in a prayer meeting that he would die if it led to a youth revival in this nation. That night he died in a car accident. The song was written by his best friend the next day about the young man meeting God for the first time. This email was pressing on me because the person was wrecked at the fact that they did not believe they could literally lay down their life for a stranger. They began to feel guilty because of their concern for their children and their own life above self-sacrifice.
I have been studying a lot lately about love. The giving of one’s self to prefer another, actually really simple, yet complex stuff. I wanted to post my response to the email in this note as I felt …
Remember Algebra II? I do. Let me prove it: -b ± √(b2 -4ac)]/2a. I can recite that to you at any given moment. The Quadratic Formula. On this test my score was 100%. Not because the principles and concepts of the Quadratic Formula are embedded in my brain, rather I had a teacher who sang it to me to the tune of, “When the Saints Go Marching In”. I will not make you wait much longer to decipher the meaning of this blog. I walked into a Christian bookstore the other day and something hit me… The amount of books in the store made me feel weird. Topics ranged from “becoming a more liberal conservative” (no comment) and “having great Christian sex” (uh….) to “what’s wrong with the Church” (wow, thanks for the diagnosis). Writing a book is no crime, (neither is writing a scarcely read blog) but how necessary are these books? I sometimes shudder as I hear my church members talking about the Christian books they are reading. People are reading more books about how to read the …
There is a question floating around the spiritual airwaves these days. As a fourth generation preacher, I must admit I have a lot of things about my ministry style that may be characterized as “old school”. I actually do altar calls. Despite my best efforts I have a “preaching voice”. I do not use the phrase “seeker friendly”. It may seem as if I am taking a jab at those who have a different approach than I do. I am not. I try every day to use the things that have been given to me to make sure that I am being as effective for God as I can in every way possible.
Now…on to that question. The question is, “Is the church relevant in the world we live in”. It is an interesting question I must admit. Growing up in a denomination that was anything but forward thinking, I saw countless opportunities slip away to reach hungry people with the gospel. It was truly heartbreaking. Especially in light of the fact that my aforementioned denomination, once a thriving organization, has …