Out of the Pews and From behind the Pulpit


Effective influence by Christians to the world does not emanate from either within the pews or from behind the pulpit. Those areas or zones are not areas of action but of comfort and times of rebuilding.

The very least they are would be for examples to the world of unbelievers.

I posit that our greatest role as Christians is not one of worship, but in fulfilling the great commission given to us by Jesus. And if I am correct that the church congregation is for believers and not unbelievers it would follow our battlefields should be OUT OF CHURCH and among the world giving our testimony.

And for those of us who suck at words, more power to us who demonstrate by example.  My point is that we should out and about those of whom we claim God loves.  And if God loves them why on earth are we inside an air conditioned church and not among His children?

The same is true for the preacher.  The preacher needs not to preach to the believers for they are believers.  It is the unbelievers that have need of a preacher.

For the need of resources? Here in the body of the church we have some of the brightest, richest, most loving people on earth yet all they want to do is sit down, worship and be preached to.

No, this is NOT Joel and there is really no lack of knowledge, but lack of leadership.

And this call to action is for the benefit of Christ, His church and in fulfilling His Great Commission. In a word, there is only one way to complete the task of this commission.

And that is to climb out from within the pews and from behind the pulpits and openly engage the world with the wonderful news of the Gospel and to live by example as the Christian witness and that we should all be as a part of the whole who are doing the same as one unified church.  Amen

When you don’t care that you don’t CARE


This is probably a guy kind of thing rather than a girl thing, but I think some girls go through it too.

And that is when subjected to times in our life where we simply get so fed up that we don’t care.

Oh, those are the times in our life where we do so many stupid things—such things likes pounding the heck out of a door with our fists or trying it out on a brick wall.  Man, did we ever show that door or wall who was boss.

How about when we were so down we made a desperate but futile attempt to drink up all the alcohol in the world only later we found our self hugging the toilet like it was our girlfriend.

And sure enough, you can ask the man why he did that stupid thing and he’ll owe up to it and admit it: “Because I simply didn’t care.”

During those moments, the man fails to listen to reason, fails to listen to friends and goes on as if he were driver and in total madness.

During those stupid moments, we might find we have gotten ourselves into a fight or smashed up the auto or told off a bunch of innocent folks who had nothing at all to do with our bad mood.

And so it does no good to tell a person who doesn’t care to care, and so what should we do when we’re like this?

WE SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM EVERYONE! That’s what.

So you see the insanity after all and whenever we’re unfit to be among the human race we should withdraw ourselves away from everyone.

And I know many of you out there will claim that this doesn’t happen to you, but I’m willing to bet it does.

And though all this process does is perform a whole lot of regrets, we fall for the trap many times in our lives. And now you’ve heard it officially about what to do…and that is to act like you care even though you don’t care that you don’t care.  That is what you can do.  Stay away from us all.

Judas the SCUMBAG


In this Easter season many are focusing on the events that lead to the cross and resurrection.

At least one man is constantly put on the Hall of Shame for his betrayal and that man’s name is JUDAS.

Let’s examine some of his more unusually noted traits:

  1. Judas was Jesus’ friend.
  2. Judas was in fact an apostle and chosen by Jesus
  3. Insomuch we have the 30 pieces of silver and all that, he ‘DELIVERED’ Jesus to the Jews. This was a necessary and vital component of Christianity.

Too, I state he really didn’t do much more than what we do daily and that is sell out to well, yes—MONEY!

Also along similar lines, we watch End Days movies hoping Christ will return soon and smite our enemies the same as Judas longed in his day.

In other words, we want to see the KING, not the man hung on a tree.  We want the glory and the good guys winning.

So in condemning this most despicable man, Judas, we might also wish to put ourselves into the plot and examine where we are in all of this.

As players, and as Christians I don’t think we’d look much better than any of the Apostles who were with Jesus at the time.

And for any of you who are better than they—okay, if that is true I’ll follow your lead.

Do You solemnly swear? (Well, Hell yeah, I do it all the time)


Now this seems rather odd to me when as Christians we are told not to swear any oath at all either here on earth or by the heavens.  Yet, as a witness inside a courtroom we are required to swear with our hand on the bible.  This makes no sense at all and yes, I can see that we are somehow held to a higher accountability at least in the past, if we swear something to God Almighty.

Yet, we are told NOT to do it.

This brings something else rather amusing and that is in use of the word to testify.

The same would be in the use of the word, testament.  There is something key here and it is all in use of English words.

A breakdown of some of the etymology:

To testify meant one was to put his testicles on the line.  In other words, if a man lied, he was to lose his testicles.  Thus, to testify mean it was a pretty important task for no man wished to lose his testicles.

And while we use this word rather freely today, we can see from history that it came with a rather high price.  And so when one were to swear an oath and testify, then they were doing this in front of God and at the risky cost of reproduction organs. Oh, yes, history can be fun.

 

Going into Huddle


In football, for every play the active team goes into huddle for instructions.  If the team were ever to fail coming out of huddle there would be no action and surely, no game to watch.

So it is also true for the Christian.  The pews within the church are the huddle area and gathering together is the formation.  There the instructions should be given and then the disciples should go into action.

And this is where things get all screwed up.  No football team Is going to stay in the huddle forever and always.  That would be stupid.

Now look at church—how long is the huddle.  For some it is exactly an hour and for others it can go on for hours even.  Yet, does it really require that long for instruction upon which to act?

And then where is the action?  For most, after the huddle, they go home.  Many even go home to watch, yes you got it—FOOTBALL.  LOL

This is all so insane!

One answer is easy enough and that is to remove all the pews or seats from the church so the members would be forced to stand for instruction.  This would certainly shorten the ‘huddle’ process so members would be eager to get moving and doing what Christians should be doing and that is ministering to God’s people.

Watching some Christians are like watching a football game where the players remained in the huddle for three hours, never to go into the play mode.

And as stupid as that image is, that’s exactly what many churches are like today.  WE huddle together into a safety net never to escape the clutches of our comrades.

And within the confines of our huddle (Sunday Worship) no one ever climbs outside the boundary of this inactive stage.  The result is eternal and proverbial stagnation.

Putting God in a BOX


In our at times, desperate attempt to understand our creator, we tend to place God inside a box.  We do this of course in order to compartmentalize and dissect characteristics in order to study those various parts.

What tendency we have as humans is to personalize God.

We even do this to dogs and cats.  It’s funny if you think about it as pet owners will speak of their pets ‘personalities’.  Such silly statements, but we do it.

Okay, I do have to back up for a moment.  God is a person—in a way.  He’s just not a human kind of person, but a spiritual person very unlike us but again, very much like us in some respects.  And that is true for he made us in His image.

Yet, to personalize God like us is to reduce Him.  Our problem in doing this is that God is so much way bigger than any person or any collection of people.

And while God is a spiritual person we know he has some type or types of emotions for he feels things.  He feels things such as joy and anger and hurt and sorrow as we reflect from reading the scriptures.

But again, personalizing God and forcing God into a small package, we find ourselves ‘cheapening’ God as once we dress Him up to our sales package, our final form is not even an image that resembles God at all.

That is how a prosperity appeal narrows and cheapens God among other routes to approach God.

In some respects I believe that ABBA, FATHER is at least one approach that does not reduce the status of God our Father for a father can be many many things.

As any fool knows, a Father is NOT a genie—a magical wizard we call upon only when we need something or when hurt.  A father is at least a symbol of a loving image, and all of that—God is.

Thus in speaking of God the Father, we should be addressing Him in reverence and in awe.  The key element here is not reduction, but ELEVATION and truly there is no real way we can elevate God to the plain he truly resides.  In truth, only in our hearts can we reach out to speak and to feel elevation for our heavenly Father for the mighty God that He is.

So then, we break away from the mold where we attempted to humanize Him and to grant all his wondrous personalities.  Instead, we switch our image of Image to a full featured scope of a being so far advanced above us and that we shake our head in baffled confusing, confessing we really don’t know who He is or what He is, but nonetheless we know He is our creator and that we love HIM for who He is, and that is GOD outside the BOX.

THERE ARE NO RULES !


For most of us church goers who were raised by the church, we learned a multi-layer system of mores and rules to abide by. Of course, all ‘good’ church people go by these rules and they are all installed even to this day.

At another point, they preach about Paul.

No, they say, we are NOT under the law.  Then they throw about 5,000 or so rules at you to abide by.

Many call this Christianity.

And it all works more or less until we see one preacher after another fall, and church members go by the wayside. It works until we examine the true role of the church and find we are failing and failing miserably.

For a person like me, following the rules suck.

In fact, for many, I don’t even try as I know I’m not exactly that straight and narrow type of guy.  I am just me.

Actually, almost everyone is that way.  Those who project such a clean, squeaky image are only good at hiding their dark side.

And no, I’m not saying that rules aren’t important.  Sure, they are important, only that should not be the focus of a Christian.

The focus for a Christian should be on Jesus, on the Father and His Holy Spirit and on loving and giving and forgiving and on doing.

When it comes to the rules, we’re going to screw up on those, sure enough and we should take that for granted.  It’s not like it doesn’t matter, it matters but what matters more is our great task at hand with Jesus.

In the end we will not be judged by a set of stupid rules.  Judgment follows from the heart and should proceed next by what we do that points to our heart.  And our heart should be reflective of only one man and that man is Jesus and with Jesus there are no rules.  I’ll repeat this:  with Jesus there are no Rules, only love.

What are our INVESTMENTS?


God, as an equal opportunity type of guy has place vast investments in us.  Through His son, Jesus, he has bet everything on a good long term outlook.  In turn, we too are to invest in His kingdom and actually should gamble it all in the name of Christ.

Many Americans enjoy money mutuals or IRA or a 401K.  Most realize that in senior years, money just might be scare when we are least able to work for it. While there is no such thing as a sure thing, many gamble for the future with these retirement investment accounts.

As Christians we invest by the process of our faith and affirmations.  And while most Christians generally do pretty well in the long term investment as a believer (eternal life), many fall short on short term investments that carry long term consequences.

This lack stems from a commandment given by Jesus of Matthew 25 and 26 where we are to care for those who lack and are in need.

What this means is that we do pretty well when it comes to investing and taking care of our self, but fall short when investing in the flock, the people of the church.

Our investment for others can only be done by word and by deed.  It is the necessary action of caring and demonstrating concern and love and resources and forgiving and showing patience.  There are no short cuts in this process, yet many choose to pay others to serve for them by one program or another.

While there is some merit in directing funds for others to minister, there is no substitute for actually performing God’s work.  Can you imagine asking for God and instead receiving a committee of those who have studied God? I doubt that would cut it when in a dire emergency.

So then, in tending worldly investments, we find ourselves at odds as we are to depend on God and rather than investing for ourselves, we are really supposed to be investing in others. The solution:  there is only one.  And that is to surrender, yield from our own earthy, fleshly ways and adopt the pathway, the spirit of Jesus and minister to the total needs of God’s Church.

The God in You


Often forgotten is the fact that we were made in the image of God. Whereas we are to be the image bearer of God, we are also that image.  Through Jesus we are to be made MORE of that exact image by following Him.

It may be that Jesus, with supernatural abilities, could see the God in us more clearly than we do as mere mortals.  It could be that is why He could love us so much and still does.

David in the Book of Psalms goes into great length speaking of the wonder of our making and how God knew us prior to our birth and so forth.

And so it seems aside from our fallen nature, we are to respect and appreciate the handiwork and masterpiece God provided with us in human life.

To that degree then, I should search more to see the God in you.

By virtue of the Holy Spirit Christ lives in us and by that same virtue Christ lives on earthy today so indeed, the God in us is made manifest even more than during the hours of first creation.  We are gifted to that extent.

And in all creation, the God in you is precious.  And it is precious not because I said so, but because Jesus has declared it as such.

Thus, when you raised me off the street with your hands, that is no longer YOUR hands, but those of our Lord, the Christ.  When you embrace and hug and kiss me, that is not so much you as it is God that lies within you.

So then, my task is to search your soul to see the good, to witness and to testify all that which dwells in you that is above plane on matters of the earth and focus on those elements that are from heaven.

From that point, it is impossible to miss the wonderful truth that because of God, because of His son, Jesus, I am able to appreciate all that is good and be part of the community of the God that is in you.