Archive for April, 2012


recently i’ve been drawn back to something that was handed me several months ago.  it was a lengthy excerpt from an article posted on a web site.  the article, in great length, draws out the idea that sin isn’t a problem for the experienced/veteran Christian.  sin is something that someone willfully does that’s in violation of God’s laws.  willfully being the key there.  the article then talks about the “mistakes or errors” of the Christian that “are a result of human weakness, faulty judgement…”

the problem with  this approach is huge!

if it’s true that when once we’re a Christian, we’ve given our lives over to Christ, that we no longer sin, one domino simply knocks another.

if we don’t sin, we simply make mistakes or stumble, when does confession enter the family?  of course other than the heathen, outright sinner who has not given his/her life to God?  when do we confess?

if we don’t sin how does humility become a part of the body?

if we all we do is stumble does mercy & grace become irrelevant to the already saved?

does then the attitude of judgementalism &  a lack of forgiveness become epic?

what happens to pauls words in romans 7:14-25?  “what i want to do i don’t do…i know that nothing good lives in me…”

those are present tense verbs, that’s the here & now.

what about the very big & toxic sin of pride becoming so large that we can’t see anything except our own greatness – false as it is?!

______________

each day, through the YouVersion of the bible [availble on-line through a smart phone – brilliant tool!!] there’s a daily verse that pops up & today i was taken to ps.51:1 & was reminded to be aware of my sin/transgression.

so, can i be aware of myself enough to admit that i do, in fact sin?

do i belong to a community of Christ that engages all of scripture?  not just the parts that prop us up in the hopes of attaining something that we build on our own?

one of the problems that emerges is the gospel of salvation that ends up taking a back seat to this idea: “i don’t have to worry about sin once i’m saved.”  that kind of message has trouble all day long!

Advertisements

issues of life

so this morning [tues., april10] just finished watching the live stream from Q d.c.  this is an annual gathering of leaders hosted by gabe lyons in locations around the country; bringing together authors, leaders & culture shappers for the purpose of charting the direction of the church in the coming future.  check this link if your further interested.

one of the sessions today was a panel discussion on reducing abortion.  i know, hot topic!  esp. in the nations capital.  this was a good discussion & furthered the need to unpack the complicated details surrounding this issue.

the temptation is here to suggest that it’s not a complicated issue.  scumming to that temptation over-simplifies the issue.

yes, abortion needs to stop.  but if that is the only point we talk about it ends up creating a gap in who the church is able to help, who is willing to listen to the church & the kind of compassion the church offers.

consider this – 80% of unmarried evangelicals 18-29 have had, or are currently having, sex

also – of those having sex many are becoming pregnant & among those nearly 1/3 are having abortions

within the church how are we addressing this?  or more to the point…are we addressing this at all?

the short answer is this: no, we are not addressing this at all!

in our rightly placed zeal to end abortion we, the church, have turned our attention [in many, but not all cases] away from those that are pregnant or have had an abortion.  statistics bear out that many women who have been in this situation do not feel comfortable in their local church & wouldn’t know who to trust at church.

so the primary question becomes this; how do we deal with this?  how do we become a place where people in difficult circumstances, having made poor choices [not just issues of unplanned pregnancies] come to trust us, God’s people @ His church, again?

for one i think we need to be honest about what’s going on with the young people that are attending our churches.  secondly i think we also need to talk about alternative solutions like adoption.

may we be well-aware of the condition of the culture & wholly lean on Christ for direction, compassion & a vision for the future of His church.

…to the cross

do our lives point to the cross, or something else?

this sunday is easter, & it’s easy to talk about & prompt people to live in such a way that our lives reflect the cross of Christ.  easy because this is the one day that churches all over will point to the cross with greater intention & purpose.  and the rest of the year there can be a temptation to focus on other things throughout the year…things that are good & necessary for our lives, but they’re not the cross.

the question that ought to plague our mind this year is do we live out this cross-focus on a daily basis?

do our lives, in the way we live, give to the poor, participate in church, do our jobs, live, breathe & have our  being?  i want to make sure that all i do can, somehow, reflect the cross of Christ.

am i sacrificing, on a daily basis my wants/needs/desires/hopes/dreams/plans for the things that Christ wants through this life He has given?

the answer, many times, is NO!  i’m not living that way.  so my world ends up getting smaller & more confined; because it’s about me.  i can get so consumed with

my stuff, my pleasure, my acquisitions, my vacations, my…

and in this life, i become convinced, is about me.  and we forget that Jesus lived a life that  is just the opposite.

francis chan has a great quote, ” we are glad that Jesus went to the cross, suffered for us, died for our sins .  but we would never consider doing that.  we want to have as much fun while we’re here.  we think He’s a great man, just not a good role model.”

we acknowledge that what Jesus did was necessary & we’re grateful for it.  but we are not willing to admit that Jesus actually calls us to live that kind of life too.  in order to do that, make that kind of sacrifice, we have to be reminded of the cross daily. otherwise, that kind of living just doesn’t sound all that great.  “give up everything i have for someone else? i don’t think so.”

so be aware of the cross, turn to it often, run to it daily, allow it to affect your life.  don’t let it just be a piece of jewelry!