When I divide my existence into two separate parts—“ministry” and “my life”—guess which one gets the short end of the stick? Guess which one has to get by on my leftover time, my leftover energy, my leftover finances, and my leftover passion? If I see ministry as something that I do when I step out of my life—that is, when the church has programmed and scheduled some form of ministry for me—then the vast majority of my life is mine for the using. But Scripture teaches the reverse of those priorities. It challenges me with the reality that nothing I am or have belongs to me. I do not have a life divided into God’s part and my part. It’s all “God’s part,” the whole thing. He purchased it at the cross, when he redeemed me from a life of hopelessness on earth and eternity in hell. My life does not belong to me in any way, shape, or form. God owns me and everything my life contains.
What are some ways that you fall in to the trap of creating a “spiritual” and a “real life” kind of dichotomy? What are ways that the church falls in to this trap? How can we champion for people to be set free?
A Mormon television star stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial and calls American Christians to revival. He assembles some evangelical celebrities to give testimonies, and then preaches a God and country revivalism that leaves the evangelicals cheering that they’ve heard the gospel, right there in the nation’s capital.The news media pronounces him the new leader of America’s Christian conservative movement, and a flock of America’s Christian conservatives have no problem with that.If you’d told me that ten years ago, I would have assumed it was from the pages of an evangelical apocalyptic novel about the end-times. But it’s not. It’s from this week’s headlines. And it is a scandal.
This is an important read, not for the political or social implications, but instead for the spiritual implications that is posed to the church.
I would encourage you to read Dr. Moore’s perspective and consider the argument that he is making for the church.
- A La Carte (8/30) (challies.com)
The following is from an essay penned by the late Bishop J.C. Ryle entitled “The Fight”:
There is a vast quantity of religion current in the world which is not true, genuine Christianity. It passes muster; it satisfies sleepy consciences; but it is not good money. It is not the real thing which was called Christianity 1800 years ago. There are thousands of men and women who go to churches and chapels every Sunday, and call themselves Christians. Their names are in the baptismal register. They are reckoned Christians while they live. They are married with a Christian marriage service. They mean to be buried as Christians when they die. But you never see any “fight” about their religion! Of spiritual strife, and exertion, and conflict, and self-denial, and watching, and warring, they know literally nothing at all. Such Christianity may satisfy man, and those who say anything against it may be thought very hard and uncharitable; but it certainly is not the Christianity of the Bible. It is not the religion which the Lord Jesus founded, and His apostles preached. It is not the religion which produces real holiness. True Christianity is “a fight.” (Holiness (Abridged): Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots (Moody Classics) pp. 110-111)
From my wife Jen’s Facebook status (from Monday):
29 weeks today! Not too much new here, besides getting bigger and more uncomfortable with all that extra fluid and a growing baby! It doesn’t help being only 5 feet tall! I still contract regularly, but it’s not painful. If I make it to 34 weeks, they said I might be sent home if things don’t change.
I know that I, like her, am deeply grateful for all of the prayers that have been offered on behalf of our little one (and us, as well). Please continue to pray that God keeps him safe, secure, and stable inside his Momma… we are medically on “borrowed time”, and so our mantra continues to be “stay, baby, stay!”
Following the lead of the advertising world, many churches and worship services target specific age groups to the exclusion of others. They forget that, according to the Bible, the church is an all-age community, and instead they organize themselves around distinctives dividing the generations: Busters, Boomers, Millennials, Generations X, Y, and Z. Many churches offer a traditional service for the tribe who prefer older music and a contemporary service for the tribe who prefer newer music. The truth is, however, that if the only type of music you employ in a worship service is old, you inadvertently communicate that God was more active in the past than he is in the present. On the other hand, if the only type of music you employ in a worship service is new, you inadvertently communicate that God is more active in the present than he was in the past.
For a church to resist employing contemporary hymnody and song is to say that we have
peaked at a gold standard of worship. Dr. John Frame’s thoughts on this are helpful, because at the end of the day, if love and charity towards the other are not ruling us, then we have missed the gospel and failed to obey the second of the two great commands expressed by Jesus to his disciples in his ministry.