Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I AM TROUBLED!

I get that way sometimes when I think.  Seriously, I am troubled by what I see going on in our country.  This not political issue!  It is a spiritual issue!  Have you noticed that many leaders and influencers don't value truth anymore?  It is about their agenda not truth.  They have bought into the false belief that truth is relative.  To them there is no absolute truth, yet by definition real truth is absolute!  If truth is relative than it is just an opinion and we find ourselves fragmented and being pulled in hundreds of directions.  What "truth" guides us?  Is "white privilege", "black lives matter", "climate change" or any number of a thousand or more "truths"? The REAL truth is that truth is absolute.  Since we have so many conflicting "truths" being expressed, it would stand to reason that real truth is not being valued or followed by many Americans.

The problem is that this belief that truth is relative has crept into the Church.  You are probably rightfully questioning that statement.  We have brought these secular conflicting "truths" into the Church and are fighting over them.  Jesus calls us to be unified and Paul says not to argue over trivia but we have done it and are doing it.  We argue and divide over secular issues and spiritual non-essentials.

The real problem is that even in the Church our actions do not support our professed belief in absolute truth.  When we have theologians saying that Christ is not the only way but the preferrable way, we have a problem with truth!  When we have theologians saying that people can decide whether to accept Christ or not after they die, we have a problem with truth!  The list of examples could go on and on.  The truth is our nation and Christ's Church is in trouble because our actions don't demonstrate that we really believe in absolute truth.

So what can we do?  We can pray for our leaders (national and spiritual) and influencers (i.e. - newscasters, etc.).  We can pray that God will open their eyes and hearts to absolute truth.  The Bible is clear that Jesus is the Truth.  It is found in Him.  Our guide is the Bible.  We don't fight over it but we live by its tenets.  We also remember that where the Bible is silent so are we!

Finally, we pray for a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit on His Church and our nation!  That is the answer.  The question is, "Will we spend the time praying and adjusting our lives to be a real demonstration of His love?"

Just thinking!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are You Kidding Me?

We call ourselves Christians BUT does our behavior demonstrate it?  Our main attribute is LOVE!  It is an action word meaning, "to do well for".  Is that what is happening in our country...our churches?

I am just thinking...if love was really our main attribute, would we be seeing the lack of civility in our country and even our churches?  Listen disagreements can be very good.  When we discuss the issues without personal attack, we get creative and good things happen.  Do you see that in our government?  I see a lack of cooperation and character assassination.  That is so sad and so beneath  Americans.   Unfortunately, it has even crept into the Church.  We have a lack of peace because we often just go with the societal flow.  Consequently, the Word becomes watered down so it has little or no authority.  The result is unrest because no one knows what is right.  Everything has become subjective.  SO honest people can be called corrupt and authority is replaced with public or personal opinion which changes weekly. We can easily see the evidence and results in our nation but sometimes is harder to recognize it in the church.  In the Church, it is evidenced in disregarding the Word.  The Pastor is the one who opens the Word but if we don't believe in its authority, he loses credibility and influence. When parishioners tear down a pastor (for any number of reasons) they are ignoring the Word.  We are to love AND not sow dissension in His Church.

I am just thinking...if love was really our main attribute, would we be seeing the selfishness exhibited in our government and our churches?  It so sad when people will cause any amount of trouble to get their way.  In government, they will distort and even lie about an opponents position.  In the church, people will distort a pastor's actions.  I heard of a laymen who at an outreach event began to criticize their pastor to an attendee.  WOW, that is real outreach, isn't it?

I am just thinking...what if we actually did well for others?  What if we really demonstrated Christ's   love?  Would we involve ourselves in character assassination or would we honestly debate the issues?
Would be destroy a pastor's reputation or discuss our concerns face to face?  When a pastor we disagreed with left our church would we wish them well, offer to pray for them OR would we send an anonymous letter to his new church board destroying his character?

I am just thinking...isn't it time the Church really became the Church.  Isn't time we disagreed but still did well for each other?  Isn't time we defend our brothers and sisters when they are attacked?  Isn't it time we lived out what we preach?  Isn't it time we really demonstrated to world looking for authenticity, that we will do well for everyone?  Here is the "Good News"...when we really love, God will send multitudes to His Church but He will not until He knows He can trust us with them.

So I am signing off until next time when I am just thinking again.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Don't Get Too Political

Don't Get Too Political!

I have noticed that Christians spend a lot of time complaining about the various actions of the gov't but most don't do anything to correct it.  They don't want to get too political.  Recently I heard Dr. Jeffrees speak and he stated that there are 70,000,000 evangelicals in the USA.  The statistics of the election of 2012 are very sobering!  It was noted by Dr. Jeffrees that of those 70,000,000 evangelicals, 35,000,000 were not even registered to vote and of the 35,000,000 who were registered only 17,500,000 voted.  That is APPALLING!

Just think, if 70,000,000 evangelicals voted as a unified block (not to mention the millions of Christians who do not consider themselves evangelicals), they could control any election.  We pray and pray, even have election vigils, asking God to intervene and He has already given us the tool of the ballot box and we fail to use it.

It is time the Church opened its eyes and became a voice for the principles of good, rather than the victim of evil.  We have all we need to bring this about but we seem to be too lazy to register, too lazy to vote OR we want a candidate that shares ALL our values or we won't vote.  Ronald Reagan said that if he got 80% of what he wanted he considered that success.

I think it is time we put up or shut up!  I think it is time for the Church to really vote values NOT party. I think it is time the Church really began to function as the Church, with unity and a shared purpose!  It is time we came together and used the tools God has given us to reach the world for Him.  Tools like our financial resources to care for the needy; His love flowing through us to reach and heal a hurting world; and the ballot box to bring God's principles back to the public arena and bring healing to our nation.

It is time to quit being exclusively Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Catholic (or any other denomination), Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, any racial or ethnic group and just be His Church and bring real healing to our world.  If we will, then real change can take place.

Just thinking again!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I'm tired!


I’m tired!  No, I’m exhausted!  You may ask, “Why are you tired, you are retired?”  Well, I’m glad you asked!  Let me tell you…


I’m tired of a gov’t who won’t tell, or even acknowledge the truth.  I’m tired of a gov’t that spins everything politically.  I’m tired of an electorate that is gullible.  I’m tired of uninformed citizens voting.  I’m tired of people wanting a handout.  I’m tired of working to get ahead only to have it taken and oft times given to someone unwilling to work.  I AM tired!


But we can move quickly from “tired” to “exhaustion” when we look at the Church.  I see His Church living at both ends of extreme.  On one end the Church tries to enforce morality (often called holiness).  The truth is you cannot legislate morality politically OR ecclesiastically.  Churches define morality (holiness) and the gov’t also defines and then redefines morality.  The truth is real holiness comes only through Jesus!  We need to forget the definitions and just allow the Holy Spirit to make the changes in our hearts and enable us to live morally (holy) as He defines it in scripture and He applies it in our personal lives.  I’m tired of churches replacing grace and love with their law and calling it holiness.  The truth is, I can keep every rule a church has and not even know Jesus!


At the other end of the spectrum, I’m tired of churches winking at sin.  You know the routine, everything goes because God loves us anyway.  He’ll always forgive.  That is true BUT what about the consequences of sin?  They are still there and they are very costly.  We are to call sin what God calls sin AND then we are to offer and demonstrate real love so the offender may be loved into a relationship with Jesus. 


It takes us back to our second blog, “Are we going to be a country club or a hospital?”  It really is a law vs. grace choice.  The choice is ours and in that choice lies the future of the Church and our nation.


So in spite our weariness, let’s get busy.  Busy LOVING!
Just thinking!



Monday, November 24, 2014

Country Club or Hospital

Country Club or Hospital?

Well, I'm back to thinking again.  It seems to me that many churches are in a struggle to define who they really are and what their purpose is.  They try church growth methods, programs and special events.  All of these can be good to focus us and maybe create some enthusiasm BUT they do NOT define who we are.  In fact, in observing many churches, one might think that they are just duplicates of the Corinthian church, "having a form of godliness but denying the power...".

Here's what I am thinking, we have often made our churches little country clubs.  Oh, we do good but in order to be part of our church ("country club") you must conform to our set of standards and lifestyle.  Now it varies with each church what those standards and lifestyles are BUT it is all about conformity.  We spiritualize it by saying we are just trying to protect the church OR keep it holy.  Have we forgotten that Christ said HE would present His Church blameless?  It really is NOT our job!

We need to become hospitals, bringing healing not conformity.  We need to be safe places where the hurting can be open and transparent without fear of rejection or recrimination.  Now becoming hospitals will definitely bring change.  It will bring change in budgeting, focus, programming, lifestyle and the Spirit within the church.  It will mean people will come AND stay, who are dirty (physically, emotionally and spiritually).  It will also mean people will come who are hurting from addictions, abuse, guilt and hopelessness.  Your church may even become seen as the "garbage collecting" church BUT you will be doing what Jesus commands us to do, LOVE (do well for).  Love will absolutely transform your church through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We have a choice.  try to transform our world by attempting to make people adopt our standards and lifestyle OR actually transform the world by loving people where they are and bring healing by letting the Holy Spirit transform them in His time and His way.

Really, it is just a matter of law (country club) or love (hospital), but then again, it is just me, thinking!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Just Thinking!

Just Thinking!

We seem to be living in a morally divided world.  In some ways, things are black and white while in other ways things are blurred and relative.  The problem is the lines of right and wrong shift daily.  Right and wrong often depends on the news of the day and how it is slanted. That is what happens when there is no absolute authority.  Unfortunately, that is the world in which we live.

This blurring and continual changing of right and wrong seems to have infected the Church too.  The issues are often different but the message it sends to our world is very confusing and often detrimental.  However, it really is nothing new as even the Apostle Paul dealt with it.  You've heard it numerous times, this denomination or church is right and that one is wrong or that one doesn't follow the Word.  More often than not, what they are really saying is, "They are wrong because they don't agree with our interpretation of the Scripture."

Maybe it is time for the church to be less rigid in their positions and leave the judgment of other churches and denominations to God.  The truth is we won't really know who had the right interpretation until we get to heaven because we can all proof text our positions.  Whether we are once saved or not; speak in tongues or don't; baptize through emersion, sprinkling or pouring; have traditional or contemporary worship; and the list could on.  When we engage in that judgmental activity we are really dealing with non-essentials and it is divisive and destructive to the growth of the Church.  The essential truth is Jesus is God.  He came, lived among us, died for us, rose again and is coming back.  He did all this because He loved us as we were!  Maybe that ought to be our focus.  Maybe it is time for Christ's Church to come together and unify under the essential things!  Isn't it time to live out what John Wesley said, "In the essentials - unity; in the non-essential - liberty; and in everything - LOVE"?

Unity in Christ's Church would do much more to evangelize the world than all our differences put together.  Unity would release the Holy Spirit to work in more powerful ways and demonstrate to the world what real love looks like.  That would be appealing and transforming!

Just thinking!