Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
"I am four days into my ‘Lessons’ tour and so far loving it. My time to date has been spent in Calvin College engaging in fascinating debates with Kevin Corcoran, Jason Clark, Jamie Smith, Lori Wilson and Michael Wittmer. Many subjects have been covered, but perhaps the most pertinent one revolved around the place and nature of belief in faith.
At one point in the proceedings someone asked if my theoretical position led me to denying the Resurrection of Christ. This question allowed me the opportunity to communicate clearly and concisely my thoughts on the subject, which I repeat here.
Without equivocation or hesitation I fully and completely admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ. This is something that anyone who knows me could tell you, and I am not afraid to say it publicly, no matter what some people may think…
I deny the resurrection of Christ every time I do not serve at the feet of the oppressed, each day that I turn my back on the poor; I deny the resurrection of Christ when I close my ears to the cries of the downtrodden and lend my support to an unjust and corrupt system.
However there are moments when I affirm that resurrection, few and far between as they are. I affirm it when I stand up for those who are forced to live on their knees, when I speak for those who have had their tongues torn out, when I cry for those who have no more tears left to shed."
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Personal Life Mandate
My biblical purpose is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. His love, grace & mercy are beyond my finite ability to fully comprehend, but I am invited to stand in awe, or “Ahhhhhh!” of it. Through the finished work of Jesus, I am invited into the most loving relationship possible. I am eternally embraced with a divine hug that will never end. None of this is based on anything that I have done, merited or deserved, but simply out of the love that is the very essence of God. There isn’t even any point in asking why God would do this for someone like me. The only answer that would come close to making any sense is simply that “God is somehow like this.” He loved me enough to make me his child, and that I will enjoy for all eternity.
My life purpose is to be “Salt & Light” in a world that God created, loves and desires to redeem. (Acts 17:22 & 23, 1 Cor. 9:22 & 23, 1 Pete: 2:12) I am to proclaim the Good News of the kingdom through both word & deed to my family, friends and co-workers; that is that God loves them more than they can know, and desires a true & deep relationship with them. My purpose is to challenge and inspire others to think beyond the man-made religious systems that cause people to jump through hoops in an attempt to earn God’s favor, but instead to simply embrace the truth of what Christ accomplished on the cross and through his resurrection.
My Passion is two fold. I wish to awaken the Institutional church in America to look beyond the walls it has built around it’s self…politically, culturally, socially, and to ask it to engage this modern culture, not in a state of fear or in a defensive posture, but through a hands-on & positive interaction that proclaims the gospel through both thought AND action (Orthodoxy & Orthopraxy) This serves as a witness/testimony to the truth of Jesus, and causes all who see it to praise God. (Gal. 6:2, Eph. 4:12, Phil. 2: 2 & 3, Heb. 10:24, James 1:2 & 2:1-7) I also desire to work with the marginalized, the Square Pegs, those in society that are too often overlooked and ignored. Because it is when I engage “The Least of These”, in the mud, the pain, the DIFFICULTIES of this life that I feel the closest to God and learn the most from him.
Major Role Characteristics
My major will be not all that unlike my biblical hero, Elijah, who spoke truth to power and proclaimed a passion for staying true to God even when he felt all alone in that pursuit. In humility and grace, I will challenge fellow Believers to think through the tough issues that plague our society. I will encourage the church in America to be a holistic body, a body that puts its faith into practice, combining both head knowledge with heart knowledge. I want to be a vital part of the local body that I attend, but also an encourager to the church at large. I also hope that regardless of where I am, my faith and love for Jesus will simply be as evident as my breathing.
My unique methodologies are a result of personal life experience, natural & learned strengths, and the spiritual gifts that the Father has blessed me with.
- Through the difficulties and struggle of my past, both through my own stupidity and those that simply come with being alive, God has recycled all of them to give me a richer perspective on life. 1) I have developed a rather high tolerance for things that would easily offend others. This allows me to serve in some rather dark places, and to difficult people. 2) I have developed a strong sense of Empathy for those who struggle. 3) God has taught me to understand what really matters, and what doesn’t. (1 Sam. 16:7, Matt. 5:3, 9:35 & 36, John 3:17)
- I am very Relational oriented, and God allows me to be open & authentic in the relationships that he helps me to establish.
- God has blessed me with a mind that is curious and loves to learn.
- God has blessed me with a large Knowledge base, but has further blessed me with the ability to take complex biblical ideas and to make them understandable & practical.
- My faith is strong enough so that I am not frightened by controversy. My faith also allows me to trust God even when I do not understand every issue or circumstance, and to just enjoy his mystery from time to time and listen for that gentle whisper.
When I die, these are the kinds of things I want people to say about me.
- “He never pretended that he was perfect or better than me, but instead was always “Real” when he talked to me about that Religious Stuff.
- “He never judged me…I would have.”
- “He was OK with admitting his problems. He always said that Jesus loved him anyway, and was helping him through them.”
- He was there for me when I was at my worst, and told me that in that moment that God was even closer to me.”
- “He wasn’t embarrassed to be my friend, and he said that Jesus wasn’t either.”
- “He lead by example, and showed me that I don’t have to be “Perfect” to be loved by God.”
- “He made a difference to me at least, because I now follow Jesus too. Not because he was such a great or important guy, but just cause he lived it all out in his own imperfect way. He just seemed to let God introduce himself to me through his own life and the way he lived. He was honest, vulnerable & genuine. God reached me through all of that.”
- “He could be such an idiot at times, but man, he sure seemed to love Jesus.”