Archive for March, 2009

You Say You Want A Revolution?

 

            Remember when we believed that our economy was not vulnerable?  Remember when you could go to church and hear about Jesus, instead of about man?  Remember when we believed in the time honored faith that is Christianity?

 

            I do.

 

            I have come to the place, however, where none of these things hold water any more.  I am tired of a world where God loves America more than any one else.  I am tired of cultural beliefs replacing biblical theology.  I am tired of a world where we cannot tell the Christians from the non-Christians because we are all behaving badly.

 

            What is to be done?  My wife tells me that Joyce Meyer summed it up well a couple of days ago.  Joyce says that she, and others, believes that a revival will no longer serve us well.  A revival, they say, takes us back to the old ways.  What we need is a revolution!

 

            I did not hear the sermon, but it is clear to me that we need this spiritual revolution.  A revolution creates a new thing.  The American Revolution created a new country.  It is the nature of revolution to create something new from the ashes of the old.

 

            Here is an example of the problem we have as the American church.  It comes from the front page of the news reports and it expertly shows the cultural nature of our faith. 

 

            The current call for the dissolution of the dollar into a single global currency has set the American church into a panic of fear.  See, it is just like Revelation says it will be.  The anti-christ is rising.  It is the end of the world because the dollar is going away.

 

            I am not wild about the dollar disappearing because there is great fear that goes with any drastic change.

           

            I was, however, talking with a great friend of mine who is a lawyer in Germany about this issue.  He laughed it off and said it does not scare me.  Of course it does not scare him, his currency was already swallowed up by the Euro and the anti-christ did not come.  Besides, we know the anti-christ is coming.  It means that the end is coming and Jesus is returning.  We should be working to hasten his return, not fearing it.

 

            Now, I know, most of you are reading this thinking something like this.  Well, of course the German is not worried he is part of the anti-christ system.  It is from Europe where the anti-christ comes.

 

            I think this example shows the cross-cultural shortcomings of our faith in the American church, instead of the church universal.  This is one place where the Catholics are way ahead of the Protestants.  Their church is not American, it is universal.

 

Why is it a problem when we have a cultural faith?  It is a problem because Christianity was not designed to work only in the American culture.  Christian works without regard to culture.  And, because Christianity is based on changing the heart of a man rather than the head of a man, it is a cross-cultural phenomenon. 

 

Therefore, if it does not preach everywhere in the world, we should not be preaching it anywhere in the world.  See the question is not what would a showered, shaved, suit-wearing Jesus do.  The question is what would the Jesus of the Bible do.  That Jesus was a man who slept on the ground, because he had no place to lay his head.  He was not a Wall Street Banker, or a Hollywood preacher.  He was a man who lived life as God become man, beyond the reach of the stupidity that engulfs the rest of us.

 

Why are we still playing the show game?  Look what God did for ME!  He gave ME this.  Which asks the rhetorical question, what did God do for you at the same time.  I am tired of this game.  God is not a show piece.  He is not showing off to impress us.

 

God, instead of seeing the world through our eyes, sees everything.  He sees the triviality of the American Dream being pursued without excuse, all the while children are starving to death, women are being abused, and the world is going to hell in a hand basket.  But we are believing God for a new car, a better house, more money in our retirement account.

 

There is a saying that ran through this town for a while.  I think it came from one of the television folks.   Someone says, “God is good.”  The response is “God is good all the time.”

 

This is a true statement.  God is good, God is good all the time.  Let us not forget, however, that life sucks most of the time for most of the world.

 

What would Jesus do?  He would do exactly what he did the last time he was physically here.  He would go about doing good, healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, and setting the captives free.

 

I do not think he would be creating pat phrases that make life a joke and make Americans feel good about themselves.

 

It was Nero, not Jesus, who fiddled while Rome burned.  Jesus, through his church at the time, was walking through Rome seeking to save that which was lost.

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Finally, An Ex-President Who Can Keep Silent!

 

            There is something to be said about maintaining a certain dignity for the office of the President of the United States.  After all, this is the people’s office and we need men who have respect for the tradition that comes with attaining the trust of the largest number of people.

 

            It has been a while since we have had an Ex-President who did not feel it was his job to offer his opinion on the holder of the office.  Bill Clinton, a man without a mission, could not keep quiet about the man before him or the man after him.  How sad to be at the highest office in the land and still be so small that you cannot show dignity.

 

            Jimmy Carter, without argument the worst President we have ever had, could not help but offer his advice for the occupants of the office.  Perhaps we should learn from the peanut farmer turned nuclear scientist that once you have so miserably failed at a task you should not think your opinions matters.

 

            Now, George W. Bush has taken a pass at the chance to speak about the situation Obama finds himself in.  In fact, Bush’s words were, “he deserves my silence.”  Jimmy and Bill could learn from this.  When you did nothing to deal with Iran, Jimmy, and you proved yourself incapable of dealing with terrorists, Bill, you really would serve yourself and your country well to practice the art of silence.

 

            George W. Bush kept us safe for seven years.  You might consider him a terrible President, I do not, but he did keep us safe. 

 

            And now, instead of blasting those after him he is taking the decent man’s route and refusing to talk publicly about what a terrible job the current occupant is doing.

 

            Oh, and for my friends out there who do not think we should criticize, please consider this my call for you to pray for the current occupant of the Oval Office, the Lord knows we need God to intervene and protect him and help him to act in our best interests which seem to be against his normal positions.  This will in turn will protect us.

Faith and Karma

 

            Do not write me off because I am using the word karma.  I know that we often think of karma as some eastern religion concept.  The truth of the matter is that we live in a world filled with karma.  Karma is that what you sow you reap.  Karma is that what you give away you get back.  Karma is a world where you do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Karma is like begets like. 

 

            What all this means is that we cannot escape the rule of karma, except through faith in Jesus.  We live in a world where karma is the rule, yet our Christian faith breaks the back of karma in the instant where we become Christians.  It is the one moment in history where karma is not the rule of the day.

 

            Faith halts karma.  A moment of faith happens and breaks the cycle of karma.  Instead of getting what we deserve, instead of sowing what we reap, God reaches out and gives us what he has planned for us rather than what karma demands for us.

 

            Faithful moments break the rule of karma.  Jesus, during his worldly ministry, reached out and broke the chains of karma on the blind, the lame, and the lost.  He reached out and broke the karma that was destroying prostitutes.

 

            I think it is time the church got back in the business of breaking karma.  Instead of rebuking the idea, we have to embrace the idea that karma is the rule of this world and only the eternal kingdom can break the power of karma.

 

            Let’s vow to use the power that has been given us to do more than merely maintain the status quo.  Let’s vow to do more than build our kingdom.  Let’s vow to really build his kingdom, that way, no matter what comes we are ready because everything about our lives is dedicated to the concept that there is a God who reaches through karma and brings deliverance.

 

            He changes karma, not for fun, but for real.

 

            Let’s vow to be karma breakers in the lives of those around us—everyday.


Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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