Two scary articles in the Paper

28 10 2009

Tamaki’s 700 son’s swear an other of Loyalty 

Tamaki’s Church becoming a Cult

Both scared me a little this morning, as well as giving me a bit of a laugh.
When did we start swearing allegience to anyone other than Christ? This is insane. If people are prepared to swallow this, then they truly have not spent enough time in the Bible. The Church needs to stand against this type of behaviour. It is not edifying to the Church at large, and takes away from the sufficiency and centrality of Jesus Christ. We are not here to worship and deify our leaders.

What a difference the Gospel would make to that Church.


New Heavens and New Earth

24 10 2009

I caught myself feeling something strange yesterday as my wife and I were talking about the new heavens and earth. I had to ask myself “Do you really believe this?. Could this honestly be true? Would a rational person accept this kind of thing. I realised that to the everyday person this would seem like sheer nonsense, and even to some people who profess to be Christians for a few reasons. Firstly it may be because the world we live in in either so hopeless that we can’t imagine what a cosmic redemption would look like, or we’re too happy where we are and don’t want anything else.

For me the problem begins whenever I start to see God in impersonal terms, that is whenever I talk about God without ever talking about Jesus. This is the major problem with the world today. They are hostile towards Jesus. Many are happy to accept the idea of a God (or host of gods) who made the world, but if you want to talk about Jesus as the fullest revelation of that God you’re crazy. For a long time I’ve noticed that the kids in my youth group are happy to talk about God, but seldom if ever mention Jesus, and for me thats a concern.

When I start somewhere other than Jesus I’m in trouble. My Christianity quickly seems like a farce to be abandoned in favour of new evidence from science and reason. Jesus gives God eyebrows, kneecaps, saliva glands and a spleen. He brings God into the ordinary, and personal.  We must resist all efforts to depersonalise the Gospel, God, and Christianity. Our Gospel will be co-opted into the current cultural story and eventually will look no different.

Hope in the Headlines

18 10 2009

Just a thought – Don’t make Christianity your “high” religion, and consumerism your “folk” religion. Happiness is not another purchase away. We must place our trust and hope in the God who makes all things new. For us that means following Jesus with all our hearts, allowing the Gospel to work its way into our thinking at the deepest level so that it becomes our default setting, our way of life.

We will fail repeatedly. But its no excuse not to try. Where sin abounded Grace super-abounded.  I encourage you to get into the word and see all of scripture through the lens of the Gospel. Without Jesus this world has no Hope.

You cannot go back in time

4 10 2009

Lately a few events have reminded me ever so slightly that I cannot go back in time. The first was watching a TV show I used to enjoy as a pre-teen kid: Sliders. A friend of mine gave me all 5 seasons to watch, and after the first episode I was ready to give it all back to him. The CGI was terrible. The
“worm hole” that sucked people in looked like a Windows 95 Screensaver. The acting was even worse. How could such a terrible show could run for so long? I hear somewhere in the 3rd or 4th season the main actor was replaced and the show continued as if nothing had ever happened. It was painfully clear to me that I could not return to a time of innocence in my TV watching. Sliders was no longer cool. The world of TV had moved on.

The second incident was last night at a punk-rock show. My brother in law had a spare ticket to see NOFX and Bad Religion. I had grown up on punk-rock (but gravitated more towards metal as it usually meant better guitar solos) and NOFX was quite frequently on playing on my friends stereo when we were hanging out. I never got into Bad Religion for obvious reasons, but I went along anyway as I always love to see bands I know. I was dissapointed by a few things last night. While both NOFX and Bad Religion had been going for over 20 years. The lead singers of both bands looked terribly old, and their attitudes towards other people disgusted me. How could these bands still promote drugs and alcohol to kids when they probably had some of their own? How could they be so bigoted against Jesus and Christians? How could these grown men behave worse than teenagers tasting alcohol? Surely they would have grown up? The show left a bitter taste. I cannot go back to the music I liked when I was 14. My tastes have changed over the years.  Going back would not be anything remotely like reliving “the good ol days”. It would just be sad.

My advice to you, do not try to relive the past, instead forge new ground in the present and work for a better future. Grow up, and enjoy growing up. Don’t fight it. Fighting it looks like that scene from the wedding singer where Adam Sandlers character is in the Bar with his best friend, who is quite the player when it comes to the ladies. But for some reason all his philandering had left him deeply unhappy. Both Sandler’s character and his friend idolized Fonzie and Vinnie Barbarino growin up, and to some extent had modelled their lives on them. But what Sandlers character didn’t know was that their TV shows got cancelled. Why? “Because no one wants to see a 50 year old guy hitting on chicks.” If we’re honest, no one wants to see a 50 year old man trying to sing punk rock tunes to 15 year olds either.  

As a Christian anticipate God’s work to renew the existing creation, making all things new, in the present. Study the past, learn from your own past, but don’t live there. Trying to go back in time means ignoring all the good things God is doing right here and now, and if you are keep trying to live in the past then you will miss out on everything now!