Among the many traditions that have eluded me over the years is the tradition of the New Years resolution. I can honestly say that I have not broken a new year’s resolution, but mostly because I cannot remember ever having made such a resolution to break in the first place. It’s not that I have something against self-improvement, or that I don’t have plenty of things that I could change or do better, its just that I never really felt like making a promise to do better simply because it is a new year would help me to accomplish any of these things.
Monday, January 2, 2012
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This week, during my hour long commute, I was listening to a radio program that is produced by a national evangelical ministry. They were interviewing a well known leader of another national ministry about recent events leading up to the current financial crisis. Although I do not normally involve myself in politics, I listened for a while, right up until the person speaking said the number one problem with America, and particularly the Church in America was that we have lost our "Puritan work ethic". I changed the radio back to my music channel and began to ponder just what the speaker meant by this statement.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
For those of you who know my family and I, you probably already know that things did not work out like we had been planning. After the last two of our children were born quietly at home with little fuss or trouble, we had planned for baby Zeke to enter the world in pretty much the same way. For the last few weeks we have been preparing our home for the birth, gathering and staging the supplies needed. When this weekend came and Zeke's due date approached we had everything ready and we were as prepared as we could be.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
When thinking about who or what constitutes a "Church" it is really impossible not to look at Matthew 18:20. In this very well-known verse, Jesus says that wherever there are two or three gathered together in His name, He will be in their midst. The words of this verse have long been used by both those inside and outside the traditional denominations to claim the authority of Jesus over what they call "Church". The argument is that if we have a group of people, no matter what size, who come together, and talk about Jesus, or in some way claim affiliation with Jesus then that IS Church".
So, is this really what Jesus is saying to His disciples here, is he really placing a rubber stamp in the hands of His followers that allows them to declare any gathering loosely related to Jesus as the "Church"? Somehow, I cannot see this really being the intent of Jesus; in fact, I think it may be quite far from the actual intent. I will attempt to explain the process that lead me to believe this.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Growing up in a traditional institutional church, I was constantly reminded that one of the greatest enemies of the "local church" was the so-called para-church organization. An organization that existed outside of the "authority" of the local church and that, more importantly, competed directly with the local church for precious monetary resources. The para-church organization was a parasite sucking resources that should rightly have been committed to the particular local church group, or at least that's what I had been taught.