Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ted Haggard

Here is a good article on the upcoming movie on Ted Haggard. I won't be watching it as I do not have HBO, but I thought the last quote by the director of the movie to the CT's author when he said he would watch the movie and then write the sidebar was interesting seeing as how it comes from a self-described "cultural" Catholic. (BTW: What IS a cultural Catholic? Why would someone want the culture and not really believe in it?)

Just don't make God look bad. Let God win.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just a Simple Christian

I was just at another blog reading comments and noticed that there was a commenter who made sure to point out that they were a calvinist. The blog in question, which is Wade Burleson's blog, has often been the site of many a debate (let me translate that word for you: knock down drag outs) on the validity of folks' various viewpoints - of which none of them would budge no matter how much bickering took place. I often wonder why people try so hard to convince someone to switch sides in the midst of an argument... I have never seen it happen.

I long for the day when we identify ourselves and one another as simply "Christian" or "Christ-follower" rather than "Baptist", Calvinist", "Dispensationalist", "Pre-Millenialist", etc.

When I see a Christian referring to another as "my brother" or "my sister" it's a fresh breath of air and takes me back to the simplicity of the gospel message. We need to open a giant trash can and chunk all these titles out the door and follow Christ. who, if my memory serves, told us to have faith like a child.

When's the last time you heard a child outlining the finer points of Calvinism?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jesus Lies?

John 7:1-10:

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus' brothers said to him, "You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, "The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet[a] going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come." 9Having said this, he stayed in Galilee.

However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hell.

I have gotten back into walking a couple of miles each day after work. I always listen to something while walking so I stay interested. Today I was listening to an abbreviated version of Jonathon Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" sermon.

Some thoughts I came away with:

1. Church and secular folks hated the idea of hell back then as much as we do now.

2. The Great Awakening, resulting in untold numbers of people converting to Christ, was the result of this sermon back then. Today, it would have the opposite effect - and I am not just talking about secular world either. People in and out of the church would not only reject the idea of hell, they would ridicule Edwards. There probably were some who ridiculed him then, but I can't help but think that the force of our overwhelming secular world we live in today would squash his sermon like a bug.

3. These days, do we accept the gospel because it saves us from hell? Do we really accept Christ's ultimate sacrifice for us so we can stay out of hell? Or do we accept it because it offers us a better life? Or maybe because it offers us emotional healing. Or maybe because we just want some fire insurance.

4. The reality of hell needs to be studied and preached in church again. When was the last time you heard a sermon about hell?

Women, Culture and the Bible

The headline makes it sound like I am about to write a pretty involved piece huh?

Not.

This is just a thought on paper. Not well thought out. Not researched. Just a thought.

As I approached the open elevator door after a long day at work, a woman came rushing around the corner to catch it as well. I automatically stopped my approach to the door, stepped aside and allowed her to get on first. You see, as a man, I have been conditioned by the culture we live in. By the American culture at large. By corporate culture. By my family's culture. It has all played a role. Because it is so ingrained into me, I cannot, without at least feeling guilty, go ahead of a woman in amy situation.

Now think about the famous passage in 1 Timothy 2:12 and beyond about women and their role compared to men. The picture Paul paints of a woman's role is, at the very least, one of submission and 2nd place to her husband.

Among other reasons, I have always heard the argument that the reason Paul wrote this into his instructions was because of the over arching culture that already placed women (as well as children) 2nd behind men. I wonder if Paul wrote what he did much like I might write to my sons to always allow a woman to go ahead of you? To always treat her with the utmost respect. To always defend the honor of a woman.

Like I said, just a thought...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baptism Last Night at Church

There was boy who was getting baptized last night who looked to be about 4 or 5 years old. He also might have been special needs, but I am not sure. Here is the exchange (Johnny is not his real name):

Pastor: Johnny, is it true that you have accepted our Lord Jesus as your savior?

Johnny: unintelligible screech

(The pastor took that as a 'yes' I guess as after he was taken aback by the screech, he plowed on ahead)

Pastor: Johnny, have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins?

Johnny: Ummm, I don't know... maybe!

(Long pregnant pause... pastor is not sure what to do...)

Johnny's Dad (who was standing by him in the water): Psst! Say,"Yes sir!"

(Johnny smiles a big grin and says nothing)

Pastor awkwardly says: I now baptize you Johnny, in the name of the father, son and the holy spirit...

It was hilarious! Everyone was laughing. It was one of God's children at his finest!

Anonymous from Wade's Blog...

... You can post here and I will dialogue with you. Seriously. I'm not kidding nor am I playing with you.