Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Let me start by saying that I have enjoyed my break from blogging. I have not had much interest in it over the past several months, but my zeal is back and I am ready give all of you such deep insights to life and Gospel.
I have been on a difficult journey through the past several years on how to live for the Kingdom. I believe that when Jesus ascended into heaven, He took seat on His throne and began reigning as King. As such, the Kingdom was instituted and we are now living with Jesus as our King in His Kingdom.
With all that said, I have done several posts on this blog called "Kingdom Living=Kingdom Giving." I have been so moved by the Lord to try and give "everything." Ondria and I by God’s grace have been trying to give to those who need things more than we do. As we have embarked on this difficult task, we have seen the hand of the Lord on our life - blessing us and always meeting our needs (just as He said he would in Matthew 6 if we meet the needs of the poor).
With this way of life in mind, I have been thinking lately about the Social Gospel and what its intentions were/are. I can say that the theology behind the Social Gospel is something I am certainly not comfortable with (Theologically, the Social Gospel leaders were overwhelmingly post-millenialists. That is because they believed the Second Coming could not happen until humankind rid itself of social evils by human effort. Wikipedia). Each time I hear of the Social Gospel, it is always being used as a tool to fix the broken social/political structure and bring poor people into a better financial standing. I would love to see another definition given to the Social Gospel - a definition that meets the needs of the poor, but does so for another reason other than fighting injustice and feeding the hungry. When I look around at my church's current cultural context in the Deep Creek Community I see surrounding it a multitude of homeless and hungry people. My heart brakes for them and I want them to be fed. But what food do they need? These hungry and homeless people need bread to eat. Bread that will feed their starving stomachs and Bread that will fill their starving souls.
In John 6 Jesus sees the needs of the hungry and meets their physical hunger. After he draws away from them that night they go looking for him. They find Him and Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you." Boy, have I felt this way almost every time we have reached out to the needy. They always come back looking for the physical food and not the spiritual food I was also trying to give them; yet Jesus uses the physical food as a tool to offer the spiritual food. He tells them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."
If we think of the Social Gospel as a tool to give the true Gospel through social means, than we must use the Social Gospel. The term needs redefining based on a Biblical understanding of the Gospel - Jesus giving all of Himself to a group of hungry, dirty, smelly people who think that all they need is get fed through physical bread and then hoard what they have. Jesus gave all of Himself to give us real Bread! We must find a way to use physical bread to offer spiritual bread. I would like to call this as the real Social Gospel!
I have so many more thoughts on this issue, but these will do for some introduction…
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
If any of you knew me in college (my sincere apologies if you did), you would remember a kid who knew nothing of the Word and promoted controversy everywhere I went because of it. I was one of those kids that spoke so confidently about what I knew nothing about. As I think back on those days, college seemed to be a breeding ground for such things. It seemed to be the cool thing to do - yell at those around you that didn't agree with your 100% accurate interpretation of a text that you had not studied.
As I think of the bigger picture in each of our current contexts, it does seem alarming that many men are still doing the same thing. This could be through preaching, teaching, writing, blogging, and such. This is harming our churches! Our people are not benefiting from such things.
I was reading in I Timothy 1 and was interested in this section:
3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. 7They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
Men is Ephesus are trying to talk about the law, but have no real understanding of it. This promotes what? Paul says, "These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith." These men wanted to be teachers of the Word, but did not know what they were talking about. Paul's charge to Timothy was to stay in Ephesus and command these men to shut up!
Don't miss-understand what I am saying, talking about the Word is good. Talking about the Word, stirring up controversies, standing dogmatic on something you may not know everything about, is bad. If you want to teach and preach - study the Word and know the Word. Otherwise, just shut up!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Saturday, May 05, 2007
I was given the website to Sharper Iron by a friend lately to read some thoughts on Joe Zichterman. I went to the website to hear what all the fuss was about. As I read the thoughts of Fundamentalist after Fundamentalist, my stomach became upset. I truly felt sick after reading what many of these angry people were saying about a man that left their camp for another. Now, I do believe that if you were to ask any of these men they would tell you "we saying this out of love for the truth" or "were angry with sin. Not angry with Joe." After reading their thoughts on Angry Iron, I am not so sure.
Read the opening to who Sharper Iron says that they are and what they are trying to do. This is from their web page: "Welcome to SharperIron! SI is a blog and forum whose mission is to edify Christian brothers and sisters by providing a place to publish and discuss news and ideas from a Christian, Biblical, Fundamentalist worldview. Our burden is to bring fundamentalist Christian brothers and sisters together for the cause of edification."
They clearly state that their goal is to edify Fundamentalists! Clearly from their website and its content they are only concerned with edifying Fundamentalists! There seems to be no concern for the larger body of Christ. Which is why you read article after article about the sin of Joe Zichterman for leaving the realm of Fundamentalism. Does Christ call us to love the Fundamentalists or to love His body? Does Christ call us to reach out to the Fundamentalists or to reach out to His body? If we do not agree with someone's position or where they are headed, is the answer to put up a blog to rake them across the coals? It is no wonder people are leaving their movement. The thing I find the funniest is they hold conferences and discussions all the time asking, "Why are people leaving Fundamentalism?" Stop hating people! Stop separating over nonsense! (ok, I drifted from talking about SI into the broader discussion of Fundamentalism. I don't want to go there.)
I will post more on the specific subject of Joe Zichterman later, but I wanted to share some thoughts on this website.
1. I prayed for grace to say the things I said in love. It is always hard to criticize a group of people for criticizing others.
2. I do not want to have discussion on this blog about Fundamentalism. Please do not post comments about it. I prefer comments about specifically Sharper Iron and what they are posting about Joe.