September 29, 2004

This is What Jesus Meant!!

A book review in the Houston Chronicle really gave me a boost. The book is writen by a screenwriter who made a movie about growing up Fundamentalist. He spent three years with a Baptist congregation in Massachusetts, learning about their faith. He went to Bible studies, played with their kids, attended every service (something many Christians don't even do!).

The guy was a liberal, pure 100% (says so even in the review). Talk about incompatible lifestyles. Did the church go nuts trying to "win him for Jesus"?

Nope. They loved him.

Ault became aware of what he calls "the caring power of the congregation" when both his grant money for the film and his savings ran out and he had to stand in line for unemployment benefits. During this period the Valentis and others insisted that lunch or dinner was their treat, one church member tried to find a job in his insulation company for Ault, and yet another member left work one day with tools to fix Ault's car.
And the result?
to his great surprise he [Ault] found himself "turning more and more toward God" as a result of his years at Shawmut River Baptist Church. While he didn't become a born-again fundamentalist, he did start going to church and became a Christian.
Doesn't say what kind of church, and i'm sure there are some right liberal ones there to choose from, but the point is this:
They made a difference in his life. They cared. And now, if he isn't in an evangelical church, at least he's more receptive to the Gospel than he was when he started. Some sow, some water, some harvest -- and God grants the increase. Seems like I read that somewhere before ...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:47 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 296 words, total size 2 kb.

They Will Know We Are Christians ..... How, Exactly?

From Alertnet:

JERUSALEM, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Fistfights broke out on Monday at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre between Christian sects that jealously guard their hold on sections of the shrine built on the traditional site of Jesus's crucifixion.

"There was lots of hitting going on. Police were hit, monks were hit ... there were people with bloodied faces," said Aviad Sar Shalom, an Israeli tour guide who witnessed the fight.

The tussle between Franciscans and Greek and Russian Orthodox clerics erupted during a procession through the church on Holy Cross Day marking the fourth century discovery of the cross which some faithful believe was used in the Crucifixion.

A Greek Orthodox cleric said Franciscans had left open the door to their chapel in what was taken as a show of disrespect.
So, in other words, this whole thing started because someone left the door open.

And we wonder why people don't take us seriously. Forget What Would Jesus Do -- what would He SAY? Or would he stand there, shaking His head in disappointment that, even after almost 2,000 years, we still don't get it.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 01:21 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 204 words, total size 1 kb.

September 22, 2004

Creeds and Christianity

There's an interesting article here about Christian private schools in Australia, and how many times the religion aspect is forgotten, or downplayed. I was going to write about THAT, and how it is happening in the US as well, until I read this sentence.

"[W]e would sing our way through the limited repertoire of hymns, and recite the incomprehensible Nicene Creed."

Now, this is the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't find that all that difficult to understand -- certainly nnot incomprehensible.

I'm finding more and more, especially among Evangelicals, a resistance to creeds. "No creed but the Bible!" they shout -- not realizing that THAT is, in fact, a creed of sorts. Every Baptist church 've ever been a member of has had a creed -- of course, they called it a Statement of Faith, or their Articles of Faith, or something like that. Never a creed.

Even in the early days of the Baptist church in America, they had "Confessions", not "Creeds". Why?

Maybe the word creed, with it's Latin derivation, reminded too many of the Roman Church that had persecuted them -- though for Baptists, it was more often their fellow Protestant Anglicans who were doing the persecuting. Maybe a general fear of appearing Romish, or Popish, or whatever other -ish they were frightened of.

But maybe it's because they recognized that Christianity isn't just about believing (credo means to believe, after all). Maybe they saw that believing was only part of the equation. Didn't Jesus say that "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. "(Mat 10:32 KJV)? Maybe these early Baptists and Presbyterians and Congregationalists were on to something. Maybe it isn't enough to affirm that we believe something -- maybe we need to make sure we confess it as well.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 04:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 541 words, total size 3 kb.

September 17, 2004

God, Sovereignty, and the Really Bad Week.

This week started off bad. I got to Louisville Tuesday and realized I'd forgotten 1) my toiletries kit, including soap, deodorant, and toothbrush, and 2) my "dress" shoes -- suede, but nice-looking, for class. I also only had one towel. One. Praise God for dryers.
Tuesday afternoon I bomb my Philosophy quiz, because I studied the wrong stuff. Then it got worse, as I started to realize Ivan was going to hit Mom.
Wednesday, my car died.
Thursday, I spent worried about Mom, and wondering how I was going to get home with no car. And how I was going to PAY for said car.

Today, I realized how stupid I was to be that worried -- except for worrying about Mom, I mean. Car's fixed, and we had the money to pay for it. I wore shorts and sneakers to class, and it didn't kill me (you have to understand -- I have trouble doing business casual, let alone casual casual, in a classroom setting. Leftover from the shirt-and-tie days at Liberty). A new travel kit from WalMart cost me $6.10 after tax -- and I got everything I needed, including soap.

My problem was that I forgot that God is in charge. I was so stressed about how I was going to fix things, and what I was going to do, that I forgot that I am not in charge. God is. God was in control all week long. All I had to do is realize it, and get my hands off the controls.

I talked about temptation last Sunday night at church, and how sometimes God uses temptation to try us, to get us ready for His use (Deut. 8:2). Maybe I should have listened to myself.

And you shall remember the whole way that the LORD your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
(Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV)
And, yes, God already knows how we'll do. The purpose of the test is to make sure that we know what we can do.

BTW, got word from Mom. Some shingles are missing, the screen that went over the pool is messed up, but otherwise, the house is in OK shape. After looking at some of the pictures on Pensacolanewsjournal.com, and seeing some of the mess that used to be buildings near her, I was REALLY concerned. She's still going to be three weeks without power, so she may be headed here, or to my sister's place in Tampa. But it could have been SO much worse.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:35 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 456 words, total size 2 kb.

September 10, 2004

A Dangerous God

I cruised over to Credenda:Agenda this evening -- something I hadn't done in a while. The cover title started me thinking: "God the Dangerous".

First thing I thought of was an allusion made by Derek Webb. In The Chronicles of Narnia, the children ask if Aslan is a safe lion. They are told No, he is not safe. But he is good.

Is God safe? How do we define safe? Safe, as in people won't want to kill us for believing in Him? Too many people have been martyred for us to seriously believe that. Safe, as in people will think good things about us? You should know that isn't true; if you don't, you haven't spoken about Christ in public recently. People don't like it when they are confronted witht he truth of God's love, and Christ's death for them. They will think you are not intelligent. They will think you are a dupe. They will think you have no independant thought. You aren't modern (or postmodern) enough.

Safe, as in people will let you practice your religion as you are led by your conscience? Ask ministers in Canada who want to speak out against homosexuality, but cannot without breaking the law. Ask the house churches in China. Ask the underground church in Russia.

God is not safe. Christianity is not safe. We know that it is good -- and our job is to let the world know it, too. Sometimes we don't do such a good job. Sometimes we don't admit that we did anything wrong, even when we have. The world watches us, to see what kind of God we serve, by our actions. We must make sure that we show them the right one. Not the safe one.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 09:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 298 words, total size 2 kb.

<< Page 1 of 1 >>
25kb generated in CPU 0.0194, elapsed 0.1548 seconds.
57 queries taking 0.1467 seconds, 137 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.