musings on the church revolution

20060709

fundamentalist


So as I sit in McAlister's Deli, blogging on my girlfriend's really cool MacBook, I wonder what ever happened to decent (okay, not decent, freaking awesome) fundamental Baptist preaching? It seems as though Baptist Fundamentalism has fallen into a state of complete idiocy! Nearly every Independent Baptist church I can thing of has been sucked into the King James Only heresy, which, if you'll click on the link, you find that even Bob Jones, Jr. didn't support.

The great fundamental Baptist preachers of yester-year, such as Bob Jones, Jr., G. Beauchamp Vick, and Fred Donnelson, have passed from the scene, to be replaced by the likes of Peter Ruckman, who founded the Pensecola Bible Institute, specifically because his alma mater, Bob Jones University, supported the use of translations of the Bible other than the King James.

The fundamental Baptist have made the King James such a lynch-pin of their "theology" that they can't see the forest for the trees! We need a modern Charles G. Finney, or C.H. Spurgeon, who will thunder from a pulpit in this nation the Word of God. A pastor that is unafraid to support the great fundamentals of the faith, without descending into heresy, such as King James Only-ism, or worse...

20060702

church

So my girlfriend and I went to church this morning. All in all, it was an intriguing experience. I was unaware of the fact that apparently the United States is "the land where God resides". That was a new one. I know from the Bible that God has designated a holy land, which I apparently believed mistakenly to be ISRAEL, and in that holy land has designated a holy city, which is built on a holy mountain. But I didn't know that Jerusalem, et. al., was located right here in the United States.

I also didn't know that God has apparently forgotten His name (GOD), and that you must remind Him of it by repeating His name with every other breath while praying...

But that, and the constant babbling of "Hallelujah" by the worship leader aside, I really liked the pastor, Jerry Weinzierl's sermon intro. I believe if you gave the brother half a chance, he'd cut loose and preach on you. As someone who is a partial cessationist, and decidedly non-charismatic, I really liked his preaching. No unbiblical "name-it, claim-it" theology, no crazy "cast an uncommon seed in uncommon ground" stuff. Which unfortunately is the impression that most folks have of the charismatics. The Word Faith Movement has hi-jacked the charismatic name and taken it in a whole new, and totally unbiblical direction.

I'll blog more later...

20060424

speak to God...

When you speak to God (prayer), speak from the thoughts that fill your heart. If you feel drawn to the presence of God, to love Him, then tell Him that. Praying this sensibly during your time of prayer will make the time fly by without exhausting you, and all you're doing is praying from your abundance, and telling God how you feel.

But what should you do in times of dryness, of spiritual coldness? Just do the same thing. Tell God equally what is in your heart. Tell God that you no longer feel any love for Him, that everything is an awful blank, that He wearies you, that His presence no longer moves you, that you long to leave Him to engage in the most boring activity possible, and that you won't be happy until you have left Him and can think about yourself.

Knowing this, why do we even ask what there is to talk to God about? In reality, there's only too much! But when you tell God of your misery, ask Him to cure it. Say, "God, behold my ingratitude, my inconstancy, and my infidelity. Take my heart, for I don't know how to give it to you. Have mercy on me in spite of myself." In this way, either God's mercies or your own miseries will give you enough to talk to Him about, and the subject will never be exhausted.

But in either of the two states I've described, tell God every thought that enters your head, with all the farmiliarity of a child sitting on his Father's knee...

20060413

omnipotence on its knees (maundy thruday)

So today is Maundy Thursday as part of the Holy Week celebrations. Today we remember Jesus, as He stripped off His outer garment, knelt with a basin of water and towel and washed His disciples feet.

In reading and rereading this passage in John today something struck me that I had never thought of before. Just hours from now, Jesus will be in the Garden of Gethsemanae, and the Roman soldiers have to ask which one of them is Jesus. Just imagine if they had come into the upper room, there in Jerusalem where Christ is meeting with His disciples for the Passover. What would they have thought.

Put yourself in their shoes. You're looking for the leader of a group of dangerous radicals that are intent on upsetting Jerusalem. Their leader, Jesus, has proclaimed that He is the King of the Jews. The stage is set...the soldiers burst in the room, and find twelve men, and their servant washing their feet. Who would you arrest?

Here, at this moment, we see the depths of God's love to us. This is God Himself, clothed in human flesh, walking among men. God...in all of His omnipotence, omniscience, and glory, and He is kneeling on the floor, washing the feet of fishermen...

When we see Jesus, first in the upper room and later in the garden, we see what love and omnipotence looks like on its knees...


20060412

blessed (the great separation pt. 3)

"Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." - Jesus of Nazareth.

This community of strangers possesses no inherent rights of its own to protect its members in this world, nor do they claim such rights, for they are meek; they renounce every right of their own and live for the sake of Jesus Christ. When reproached, they hold their peace; when men drive them from their presence, they yield their ground peacefully. They will not make a scene when they suffer injustice, nor do they insist on their legal rights. They are determined to leave their rights to God alone - non cupidi vindictae, as the ancient Church paraphrased it. Their right, our right, is the will of our Lord - that and no more. Their every word and gesture show that they do not belong to this world. Leave heaven to them, says the world in its pity, it's where they belong. An example of this from history is found in a letter written by Julian the Apostate, Emperor of Rome (letter no. 43), where he stated that he only confiscated the property of Christians in order to make them poor enough to enter the kingdom of heaven. The very earth belongs to these...these that are perceived as powerless and disenfranchised. Those that possess it now by way of violence and injustice are going to lose it, and those who here have utterly renounced it, who were meek to the point of the cross, will rule the new earth.

We should not interpret this as a reference to God's exercise of juridicial punishment, as John Calvin did; what it means is that when the kingdom of heaven descends, the face of the earth and all of its systems will be radically changed, and it will belong to the flock of the Good Shepherd. God does not forsake the earth: He made it, He sent His Son to it, and on it He has built His Church. So the kingdom of heaven has its beginning in this present age. A sign has been given...the powerless have here and now received a plot of earth, for they have the Church and its fellowship and community, it goods, its brothers and sisters....

The renewal of the Earth begins at Golgotha, where the meek One died, and from there it has spread, and will continue to spread. When the kingdom finally comes in completeness, the meek will inherit the earth...

20060404

blessed...(the great separation pt.2)

"Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." - Jesus of Nazareth

With each beatitude, the gulf is widened between the disciples and the multitude, their call to come forth from the people becomes increasingly apparent. By "mourning", Jesus means doing without what the world calls peace and prosperity. He means refusing to be in tune with the world, or accommodate ourselves to its standards. Such as these mourn for the world, for its guilt, for its fate and for its fortune. While the world celebrates its holidays, they stand aside, and while the world sings, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may," they mourn. They are aware that for all of the partying on board, the ship is sinking. This world dreams of progress, power and the future, but the disciples meditate on the end, the last judgment and the coming of the kingdom in power and glory. To these heights the world cannot reach. And so, as disciples, they (and we) are strangers in the world. We are unwelcome guests and disturbers of the peace....

20060403

synchronicity (link)

Just last night, my girlfriend and I were talking about the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and then today I stumble across this blog. One of those "syncronicity" kind of things, I guess.

I honestly don't know that there are any easy answers to the whole conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. As a disciple of Christ, I understand that Israel is land promised by God to His people. On the other hand, that land was in the hands of the Palestinians for hundreds of years. You displace one group of people in order to give land back to another group of displaced people. It's just a scenario that proves that two wrongs don't make something right.

I guess the question I'm asking myself after reading Seth's blog, and wrestling with the statements made by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount is this...

How are we, as believers, called to be peace-makers in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians?

I suppose I'll be tackling some of this question as I blog more on the Sermon on the Mount, but until then,

Answers anyone?