Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sun Tzu and The Art of Church

It is the perfect name for a book. Allow me the indulgence of begining with the enemies strategy. The enemy knows if he can keep us busy with the duties of our religion then we are safe with the radical life altering changes that can occur when we become consumed by relationship with God.

I am at camp, and I am working to be a positive example in the lives of these kids. I am trying to show them the glory of an almighty God who loves them in an amazing way. While I am in the midst of all of this, and should be spending my thought life figuring ways to bless these kids, instead I am consumed with plotting my revenge on a fellow soldier.

I know for a fact I am smarter, better studied, and more articulate than this brother. I know for a fact that my analysis on the problem of pride was correct. I know for a fact this brother is merely reguritating the poor theology of an out of touch...

Intresting to me, I would be having these thoughts. I preached on the problem of pride, I was attcked by a fellow soldier of Christ, and I am consumed by my own pride. I am a victim of the problem of the message. How can I impact these kids, how can Christ impact me when my focus is on ME and my hurt for his attack. How can I have room to teach humilty and service to these kids when I am planning a response and revenge?

I cling to his violation of Matthew 18, as I wallow in my own pride. The Bible equates pride with witchcraft and I am the brother with a plank in my eye.

The art of Church is humbly understanding who the enemy is. My brother, though his attack was quick and pointed is not the enemy. The readers, who rallied behind his attack on me, who responded to act upon his sugestions that I be tarred and feathered (OK, I know he didn't suggest that, but it seemed better in the flow) are not the enemy. The enemy is Satan. The fallen morning star of heaven, the accussor of the saints, the father of lies.

The key to victory as a church is to understand the enemy. Know who he is and how he works to face us upon each other. Know who he is, and understand his agenda. Know who he is, and do not be sidetracked by the diversions he creates.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Pornography, Homosexuality & Adultery

A Diocese in England has barred a local politician from church duties for backing gay marriage. Now I respect the Church's commitment to truth and give a big "YOU GO!!!!" Well sorta...

Everything I write from the point on will probably be considered by some as my treatise of why I am going to hell. I am sure this will come back to haunt me later in life, but that it OK, because it must be said.

The church needs to get over Homosexulaity!!!!

Where is all the out cry over the 90% of church leaders who told Barna they have looked at pornography "within the last year?" Where is all the outcry over the fact that porn is the most profitable industry on the World Wide Web? Where is the outcry over men who are cheating on their wives, women reading smut novels, teens who are deeply involved in fornication, and segments of all population watching movies and television that at the very least is Soft Core Porn?

There IS NONE!!!! Pornography, Fornication, and Adultery are the quiet undertow of so many Christian families while homosexuality affects (using the most inflated numbers) only 10% of the population. This is a CLEAR example of "speck thinking" when there is a plank in the Church's eye.

The churches I have been invloved with have yet to attack our own problem of pornography, fornication, and adultery like we have attacked homosexulaity.

I believe (and I know I will get myself in more trouble here) that there is a GREATER DEMONSTRATION of the "Flesh Nature" in the lifestyle of our teens (fornicators) and men (pornographers) than there is in a committed life long homosexual relationship. I believe that the Church should reprove those invloved in sexual sin. I believe that Sexual Sin should be intolerable, and I say "YAY!" to the church taking that stand. Yet, as has always been the case we have tolerated, and by conscience ignoring therefore condoned hetrosexual sexual immorality. The church MUST be a place where all people are challenged to be rid of the "Old Man" and filled with the spirit as a "New Man"

So as far as the church's response to the GLBT community goes, I believe that the gospel is for people of every language, tribe, and nation. This means that the message of salvation is for the Gay Community and should be taken to the gay community just the same as it is for and taken to any other community. It should not be taken as a method, or as a mode to rid the world of tha "dark stain" of homosexuality. It should not be taken to "the gays;" instead it should be taken as the message of Christ to ALL PEOPLE. It should be taken as the message that calls us from ALL SIN.

Now I entreat the church STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE GAYS, and take a look at yourself, your own struggles in the flesh, your own sexual behaviors. Let's fix the problem in our own lives and in our own homes before we use cameras and microphones to condemn the sin outside our lives, our families, and our congregations. This hypocrisy makes us look foolish and renders us ineefectual as ambasdors of God's grace.

Let us not waste the precious time and energy of the church and of our lives on "Great Moral Crusades", instead let's work together to be conformed to be like Christ in our own sexual lives and our own sexual purity. Let us spend time being a community of people available to SERVE those who have spent their lives with unfulfilling sin encounters. Let us be a community of servants, who have open homes and open lives to those in need. Our active servanthood will have a greater impact on the world than our moral righteouness.

Andrew Petersen - Reflections On His New Album

Andrew Petersen has a new album releasing at the end of next month. Yay!. In his delighful and brilliant way of pulling back the curtains that veil us from realizing God, he reflects on the title of his new album.

'God is at home. We are in the far country.'- Meister Eckhart

I read that quote in an Annie Dillard book several years ago and it never left me. Too often we tend to imagine that heaven is a cotton-white cloudscape, a place that doesn't seem desirable to us here in this sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrifying world. We're comfortable here, and the skewed notion we have of eternity is that it's like a never-ending church service, where we'll be standing mindlessly around a throne, singing bad praise songs to a white haired God for the rest of our existence. From what I know about God, what I've read of Him in scripture and what I've seen of Him in what has been made - towering mountains, howling wind, purple budded trees, a baby's touch and a panther's roar - He is not a tame God. The City He's prepared for us is not a retirement home. Zion is not a country club. Death is but the cusp of a great adventure, hinted at in Hebrews 11, 'People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own...they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.' The songs on this record were born out of a longing for that better country, and it's my hope that whoever listens to them will feel that God-given flutter in the stomach that reminds us who we are - and where we're bound.

I was deeply moved, and even more deeply excited about this 5th album by such a talented singer/songwriter.

begin with grey: 100 Things I've learned about church

The Author Grey, says these are the things he writes in Anonymity.

begin with grey: 100 Things I've learned about church

I think his finding are a great and well articulated challenge to us as Christians.

I know myself, I struggle with the challenge of why is it easier to love religion than to love people? EVERYTHING boils down to the 2 greatest commands.

Love the Lord your God...
Love Your Neighbor...

God, I wish I could get those two down!!!!

Bishops Who Don't Believe In God???

Intresting findings about the Church in England. The rise of the religion of secularism should be the greatest threat we go to war with as churches. The pagan gods of today are humanism and secularism and we should combat with them with the same fervor Israel and Judah were commanded to battle the gods of Baal and Ashera.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A Few Great Quotes On Evangelism

What we need in America is not more relationships. Weneed a different kind of relationship. We need relationships where we have granted eachother refrigerator rights. - Will Miller

Christian Community is the FINAL Appologetic - Francis Schaffer

One well documented Study shows that social isolation contributes to illness and death as much as smoking. So if you must smoke, for goodness sake don't do it alone - Randy Frazee

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

VBS Lesson Plans

Our Vacation Bible School is this next weekend and I thought I would publish the 4 lessons. Out theme is He Is Increible - A Study In Be Devoted to Our Incredible God. You can see all the details at

Thursday Lesson Plan
Friday Lesson Plan
Saturday Lesson Plan
Sunday Lesson Plan