2008-11-14 3 comments

Friday Link Day

No Communion for Obama Supporters?
Wait, let me see if I understand this. If you support abortion rights, Jesus did not die for you? I'm confused. (That's not the Gospel as I understand it. Whatever happened to Romans 8:1?)

How Do Different Religions Define Death?
I'm not sure this is a point of contention in the Evangelical community. Or am I wrong? Anyone wanna weigh in?

Group Sues Over 'Day of Prayer'
Oh, come on. Get over yourselves. So don't pray. Or, better yet, celebrate the 364 days of the year when most people ignore God.

Text Messaging for Jesus
Give them credit. Christians will make a ministry out of just about anything.

2008-11-13 0 comments

Romans 8

Want to try one of these? You've got to visit Wordle. Just be careful...you can spend hours doing this.
2008-11-10 5 comments

What's Social Justice Without Jesus?

I had the opportunity to visit a college-town mega-church this past Sunday. It had a huge campus, a coffee bar, great decor, a ton of young people and a rockin' praise and worship service. It's truly remarkable what God is doing there, and I was certainly happy to be a part of the service.

The sermon was good, too. Its title was "Kingdom Living," and the pastor asked, somewhat rhetorically, if we truly understood what it means to live the way Jesus told us to live. He explained, quite rightly, that Christ's way of living is radically different from the way our culture tells us to live. Naturally, he incorporated some manifestations of "Kingdom Living." Cleaning up at a homeless shelter. Buying food for an orphan in Honduras. And so it went.

It's amazing to witness what God's Church is doing in what we're told is a post-modern world. Oh, His people have always been generous to a fault. Studies show Christians are much more philanthropic than the public at large. Even Christians in lower tax brackets are prone to giving what they have much more readily than those who make more money but don't identify with a specific belief system.

But what's changed in the last generation or so is an awareness of social issues that may have escaped Christians in another time. Evangelicals today focus their energies on environmental issues, believing it to be a moral cause and worthy of their God-given mandate to change the world for the better. We care about fair trade; sure, Christians have always been aware of global poverty--one of my Sunday School classes when I was a child sponsored a child in El Salvador--but today we think twice about buying a cup of coffee. Was the man who grew these beans paid a fair price, and can he feed his family in the name of my desire for a latte? That silk shirt I'm wearing--was it stitched by an eight year-old boy in a Indonesian sweatshop?

These are all critically important issues, and I'm so very thankful that today's Church cares about--and works toward a solution for--these and other problems of social injustice.

But there's an inherent problem that comes with this new worldview. It walks a dangerous tightrope between faith- and Grace-based salvation and a works-based system of belief. Scripture tells us Christ's sacrifice on Calvary was an act of supreme Grace, one that we could never merit, deserve or accomplish on our own. In short, there's nothing we can ever do to bridge the gap between our humanity and God's divinity. 

We must be very careful, then, that we keep spreading the Gospel forefront when confronting social justice. The old saying goes "No Jesus? No Peace. Know Jesus. Know Peace." That's doggone right, trite though it may be.

Fighting social injustice without incorporating Jesus into the mix doesn't mean anything to the one ministering or to the one being ministered to. That's because the minister isn't able to reconcile himself to God through works, and the one being ministered to cannot hope to find reconciliation to God through someone other than Jesus.

What's your take? Is tackling social injustice without the Gospel message worth anything? Why or why not? Share your thoughts...

2008-11-05 1 comments


The real hope of mankind...
2008-11-01 3 comments

Kurt Cobain

The assignment: go to a party dressed as someone who represents your favorite decade.
So, here's my Kurt Cobain impression. Did I come close? Or do I look more like Jeff Daniels?