The Honour Cycle

22 January, 2017 § Leave a comment

This is a brief thought that I have been wrestling with the last couple of days:

To give honour to someone is to interact with them in light of their identity in Christ; to recognize the weight that has been attributed to their name because of what God has done through Christ Jesus. Honour leads to respect; our own gift to that person of admission and recognition of their value and identity in Christ. Respect leads to submission as the recognition of God’s name, His servant and His sent one calls us to give them precedence over ourselves and assuming the towel of servitude we wash their feet in an effort to identify with Christ–honouring them through our submission.

black-couple-fighting-100Honour, respect, submission, this cycle of selflessness is what we are called to in the scriptures in all of the “one another’s” in the New Testament. But often we come out of the cycle and demand one or other without the rest. Submission without respect is slavery and respect without honour is the blind leading the blind. You cannot come out of the cycle and demand that a wife respect her husband or that a husband love his wife if neither of them honour one another for who God has said that they are; the helpmeet–the headship and go forward from their identity into their deeds.


What is a Missional Church? Part 2:Feast

24 November, 2015 § Leave a comment

Welcome to part 2 of What is a Missional Church. You’ve joined us in the middle of a series. If you want to catch up check out Part 1: Foundation.

Generally when people hear about missional communities their brains explode trying to figure out how they can add it to their mosaic of religious practices. It is enormously frustrating for believers who are under the illusion that they are already massively involved in church programs to hear that it is not enough. This is where the Pharisees of Jesus’ time found themselves; busy doing everything but obeying God in all of life. A missional community is a family of servant missionaries on mission in all of life to see the knowledge of God’s glory cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. This brings us to Feast.

If I were to tell you that communion is supposed to be a feast you might pressure wash my face with the coffee from your red star bucks cup. For me growing up, I had heard of “love feasts” and only ever been in one church who practiced this, but the communion part was as it is in any church; a cracker and a shot of grape juice. I won’t go into the gruesome details of the symbolism of the stage in the passover supper that Jesus enacts communion because that is another long article for another day, but the bottom line is that when God in the flesh desired to put into place an event specifically designed to remind us that His death made it possible to have union with God and man, he fulfilled the feast of passover which foretold of this event and revealed what passover looks like for the AD believer. Theologians and church secretaries have struggled with the “As often as you do this…” clause of Jesus’ command for thousands of years, even going as far as carrying the elements to the sick and in prison whenever it was that they decided “as often as you eat/drink” meant.

I believe that we have been asking the wrong questions about communion. We ask, “How often,” when the question ought to be, “When should we not claim to be one with Jesus?” When the Apostle Paul deals with communion He never admonishes the Church for taking it too often, (Hint: it was daily back then. See Acts 2:46). No, Paul warns against unbelievers and those who intentionally hold bitterness in their hearts towards a brother or sister; in other words, those who are not one with God and man. (See 1 John for more teaching about oneness with God and man). We also ask the question “How much,” which I believe to be irrelevant as well. We acknowledge Paul’s admonishment to the church for the manner in which they took it which was heaping curses upon themselves, not because of overdoing it, but because they thought that communion should be more of an experience, so they made it a private affair inviting only those who they considered influential in the church to their private communion parties and would drink to the point of drunkenness and think that they were experiencing some sort of Holy Spirit high. We tend to focus on the part where they neglected the poor and stuff their faces and ironically have decided that the problem was how much bread and wine they were partaking in not that they decided that some are more deserving to be one with Christ than others who appeared to suck off the church. What we believe about God ought to influence what communion looks like. If we really believe that our God is a generous God who gives good gifts to his kids then why do we remember him in as austere a fashion as possible? Our celebrations ought to make harikrishna’s look like a bunch of kids shaking maracas and babbling nonsense. By examining our hearts to see if we are one with God and man and by examining what we believe about how generous God is we will come to the point where we celebrate with generosity which will overflow into our everyday lives.

A Christian’s Solution to World Poverty

6 December, 2010 § 1 Comment

Dr. William Brown, President of Cedarville University, writes in Cedarville’s biannual publication, The Torch, that, “…many agree that the absence of basic needs to sustain life is the level where true poverty begins” (Fall-Winter 2010 Torch, Brown 3). With this “absence of basic needs” as a starting point, it can be said that obtaining and maintaining those basic needs for the impoverished should be the goal of those who have the means to give aid. In Peter Singer’s essay, The Singer Solution to World Poverty, Singer gives a convincing argument: he instructs each person in the world who makes over $30,000.00 annually to give the surplus completely towards the total elimination of poverty (The Best American Essays, Singer 395).   While Singer’s solution is the kind of dramatic and idealistic plan needed to eradicate the problem of poverty quickly, we must realize that the world is not under one socialist government levying people’s bank accounts, and that the actuality of enforcing such a financial overhaul would be a logistical nightmare.
                The solution to world poverty lies partly in the heart change of those who are able to give towards ending world poverty, and those who are impoverished. The propagation and coercion that occurs when convincing people to give towards humanitarian efforts is astounding, but it is tiresome as well. Instead, if we encourage those who are have means to give precedence to the needs of others, the result will be natural and automatic care for those who are less fortunate.  In the case of the impoverished, no one wants to throw money into a black hole. Many people will not give to an impoverished person (especially in the case of a homeless person on the street) for fear that he or she will misuse the money on drugs or alcohol. These fears are not entirely unfounded. In an attempt to protect investors, and to accost the heart of the issue, we must teach the impoverished that every gift that we receive is ultimately from above and that it is our responsibility to be good stewards of what God has given us. Therefore, the heart change of the financially able and the impoverished towards selflessness and stewardship would start the ball rolling towards a financially stable world. This would be a world in which the inhabitants would sustain each other willfully out of genuine concern and responsibility.  However, if we forgo the attempt to change people’s hearts, we will affect neither their habits nor their wallets.

Prayer Update

15 November, 2010 § Leave a comment

  1. Finances: Update: 11/14/10  My school bill is currently $9,162.35.  Until I pay it, I won’t be able to sign up for more classes. Please pray for God’s will to be done. If He wants me to continue going to school here He’ll find a way. Pray for me to be a faithful steward of what He gives me.
  2. Church: Update: 11/14/10 I may have found a church for Sonya and I to attend. I’m still praying about it. I may look at some other churches while I’m at it.  More news to come…
  3. Sonya: Update: 11/14/10 Sonya found a way for us to check up on the  Fiancé Visa! More news to come…
Check Out my Prayer Requests Page for more information, or previous updates.

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