OK so the one or two of you who read this blog...I am going to be on leave so not sure how much I will be posting on it for the next five weeks... see you August!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The reformation cry was sola scriptura – by scripture alone, sola gracia – by grace alone and sola fide – by faith alone. And whilst at first glance these may seem quite obvious, the interpretation of what that may mean may be quite different from person to person. The scriptures and the way that they are used vary immensely from person to person and from church to church. I have so often sat with someone and found that we have quite different understandings of a single passage because of our culture and worship style.
This page has a great article about sola scriptura outlining some of the different views. It is only part one so check the site in a day or two for the rest of the article.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Secondly these 'churches' have become cults and I use that word because what is happening and what is being taught is beyond the realm of Christian orthodoxy as it is recorded in the Bible and as it has been passed to us through the early church. I understand that to criticise in this pluralistic culture is not really popular. My aim in not so much criticism, but to point out the immense dangers that the church faces. This is a little like your child running around the garden playing around the edge of a large hole - you obvioulsy warn of the inherent danger of doing that. That is my aim - to help us remain true to the teaching of Jesus.
Let me share with you two of the teachings that have gained massive popularity these days:
Joel Osteen and the prosperity cult: Joel is a prosperity teacher. Basically properity teaching is a heresy where we are taught that not to be healthy, wealthy and wise is to be outside of God's blessing. People are desperate for wealth and with the immense commercial pressure on them, they are finding that desire fulfilled in this teaching. Mark Driscoll is a preacher who I think preaches solid doctrine, he makes some comments that you might find helpful in understanding this issue.
The Florida outpouring: There is a supposed move of the Holy Spirit happening in Florida at the moment. The leader of this movement is Todd Bently, who whilst immensly passionate is dealing with something that is not God. I found this video - it really needs no further explanation except to say that for those who believe that this is of God are being led into the world of the demonic.
There seems to be a general lack of discernment in the church these days. Perhaps it is or desire for the next big thing, or the belief that new is better than old. But whatever it's cause, it is reason for concern to all of us who follow Jesus, because these teachings are not about following Jesus, they are about self and self-fulfilment. Jesus says whoever loses his life will save it...sounds quite a bit different to a lot of what is being peddled as Christianity these days....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
1 Korinthiers 13 vir Pa
Al sou ek die mooiste huis in die buurt hê en met die duurste BMW ry, maar my vrou en kinders geniet nie die weelde van my teenwoordigheid nie, dan is ek so waardeloos soos 'n bankkrediet met 'n nulbalans.
Al het ek die gawe van woorde sodat ek 'n direksie met my argumente kan swaai, of skares na my preke kan laat stroom, en ek het nie die liefde om na my kinders te luister nie, doen ek meer kwaad as goed.
Al ken ek die geheimenisse van die Beurs en die Reserwebank; en besit ek al die kennis van rugby- en die krieketreels; en al het ek al die geloof dat ons hierdie land met gebed kan verander, maar ek het nie die liefde om my kinders die gevare van baie geld te leer, langs die baan te staan as hulle speel of hulle te leer bid nie, dan het ek niks bereik nie.
Al gee ek 'n dubbele tiende vir die armes, en al beroem ek my dat ek in elke liefdadigheidsraad op my dorp dien en vakansies my gesondheid opoffer om in malariagebiede sendingwerk te doen, en ek is te moeg om saans vir my kinders boeke te lees of naweke in die veld te gaan stap, baat dit my alles absoluut niks.
'n Pa wat liefhet, is geduldig met kinders wat sukkel met wiskunde;
'n Pa se liefde is vriendelik met 'n kind wat nie wil rugby speel nie;
hy is nie afgunstig op pa's met slimmer of mooier kinders nie;
hy is nie grootpraterig en verwaand oor sy kinders se prestasiesn ie;
'n Pa se liefde handel nie onwelvoeglik met die ma van sy kinders nie; soek nie sy eie belang sodat sy huismense laaste kom nie;
is nie liggeraak en nukkerig as 'n kind bietjie ekstra aandag soek nie;
'n Pa wat sy kinders liefhet, hou nie boek van hulle foute en peper hulle met verwyte nie.
'n Pa verbly hom nie oor 'n kind se foute met "Ek het jou gewaarsku maar jy wou nie luister nie".
Hy is verheug as hy sy kinders die waarheid hoor praat - selfs tot hulle eie nadeel.
Daarom wil ek my kinders se skandes met liefde bedek; in hulle glo, die beste vir hulle hoop, en hulle kleredrag, klaery en kritiek verdra.
'n Opregte drukkie en 'n intieme gesprek van 'n ouer bly lank in 'n kinderhart.
Maar die preek of toespraak wat ek liewer in die tyd wou skryf - sal oormore weer vergeet wees.
Vandag se noterings op die aandelemark - is volgende week niks werd nie.
In die lig van die Volmaakte wat kom, word al my kennis en besittings gerelativeer.
Toe ek 'n jongman was, was ek gesteld op my voorkoms, my motor en my
geleerdheid; maar noudat ek pa geword het, wil ek graag my kinders met liefde, balans en geloof grootmaak.
Nou kyk ek nog vas teen rebelse tienergesigte, maar eendag as hulle groot is, sal hulle verstaan wat ons hulle wou leer, en wat God ons
Geduld, aanmoediging en liefde bly, Maar die waardevolste hiervan is onvoorwaardelike liefde !!!!!
*Bron: Mini-stories vir pa's, gepubliseer deur Lux Verbi. *
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Read an article by Gordon McDonald about the benediction some time back that got me thinking. The last words that the minister says at a worship service. Normally “May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, And the love of God our Father and the fellowship of the Holy spirit be with you now and always” The benediction is one of those things that we take for granted or ignore completely.
A number of times I have been to churches where there has been no benediction at all. And i have felt let down...as if worship was almost anti-climactic. I was waiting for it to end and the next thing it was over and I felt like someone had stolen the last sip of my coke!
I think part of the issue is that ministers have forgotten our priestly calling, and this is true not only for ministers but for all christians who are part of the priesthood of all believers. The benediction is not just a tradition of empty words that are nice to hear. I really do believe that these words are a blessing, a commisioning and an anointing of Gods people. They are words that prepare God’s people for battle in the world.
Paul always blessed the readers of his letters...perhaps we should take our benedictions a little (lot) more seriously than we often do. We do after all have the Spirit of the Living God in us and he uses people to bless others. Let’s use our last words carefully and be God’s instruments of grace.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Last night at our discipleship group we watched Louis Giglio’s “Hope” DVD. If you have not yet seen Louis in action, he is an awesome preacher, really easy to understand really true in his doctrine. Hope is really one of his best sermons, I have only watched the first DVD so I am keen to see the second one. But his basic premise is out of John 16:33 that you will have trouble – but Jesus says take heart I have overcome the world...he has a really moving illustration from a family who lose their daughter...watch it if you get a chance it really is good.
He is coming to South Africa in August to do a Passion tour for 18-25 year olds (and their pastors J ) so I am looking forward to hearing him live!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
OK so the buzzword these days is the emerging church (not emergent…that is something else)
I love some of the ideas that the emerging movement is coming out with, an attempt at contextual ministry, rethinking tradition, trying to create a New Testament church..if that is possible. Really they are trying to engage the postmodern culture and some of the big questions that are being asked.
But the movement has at points, I believe, missed out on some fundamentals. There are some core things are missing. Rob Bell the influential pastor who does the ‘Nooma’ DVD series is a brilliant communicator but he never speaks about sin and repentance, fundamental themes in the New Testament (check out Romans 5&6) and this is ture for many other merging types...
It seems that I am not alone in my concerns…Mark Driscoll has this to say and David Fitsch responded...
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Michael Paton from Reclaiming the mind has a short but interesting post on Theologica. It’s a great conversation about what happens after death to those who have not received the Gospel offered by Jesus. Check it out! I’d be keen to hear where you stand…
I definitely think the post-mortem option is beyond the hope of the Bible, but other than that there are a number of options that are consistent with various statements in scripture.
Sometimes it really does seem like there are two gospels. One focused on fixing social ills and issues: poverty, racism etc. And there is the spiritual gospel where salvation is about eternal life. The gospel is more than just either of these…it is both of them and more than.
Other than social issues, and eternal life, I believe the gospel includes good news for the creation: For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross Col 1:20
But it is still more than this too…our gospel is often just too small. The gospel is the pinnacle of good things. The gospel is good news for everything in life that is bad news. It is the opposite of everything that is destructive, negative and evil. Paul writes in Romans 5 that sin came through one man how much more will life come through Jesus (heavily paraphrased – go read it!) Jesus came to bring life in every place there is death or the vestiges of it!
I guess the gospel is one of those perfect medicines…good to heal everything. Jesus really is good news in a multifaceted way, and some parts of his power will only be revealed in times to come…man I can't wait!