Friday, July 29, 2011

Correct Theology or Correct Practices?

The Importance of Theology.

It seems that there are some out there in evangelical circles that believe that you cannot go out and evangelize, or even really serve, until you have your theology or doctrine just right. Now, I know that none of these groups or persons would admit that they felt this way, but I have noticed that in many circles they are acting this way. They get into deep theological debates and gather like-minded individuals to argue their cause with them. Once their position is clearly established,  they denounce anyone who may teach something even slightly different as a false teacher, or heretic, or worse.

Now before you denounce me as a post-modern relativistic heretic, let me say that I do believe that theology and doctrine are important; I even once believed that I, or at least some of the men I was following, had figured this whole theology thing out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Developing True Community (Part 5)

Part 5
Jesus and the Believer

In part 4 of this series, we briefly looked at how Jesus addressed those who were not yet reconciled. At this point in our discussion, we will look at Jesus' interaction with those who have placed their trust in Him for eternal life.  In this chapter, we will look at two types of people, those who have been reconciled with God, and those who have been reconciled with God but whose lives do not reflect that reconciliation.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Community is Hard Work

While I am working on part 5 of the developing true community series, it is taking a little longer than I had hoped. I think part of the reason for this is that the next section is about how Jesus interacted with those who had believed and been reconciled. But dealing with believers should be the easy part, right? In my own church experiences, I have found that it is often easier to deal with those who are not believers, than those with whom we should have unity and close fellowship.

In the last week I have had two examples of this. I do not want to give the details here, but in both cases, the goal of the interactions was to build unity, and single mindedness in serving Christ together. In one instance, theological differences sprang up, and the unity is now worse than before. In the other case, the individual involved agreed to work toward unity and after the meeting began to send e-mails justifying his actions and taking jabs at the other people involved in the discussion.

In both cases, there was a group of leaders who were attempting to build closeness and unity. In both cases, the goal was building a stronger, closer community, and in both cases, the community and fellowship was ultimately harmed. Both of these men I would consider friends, and I wrestle with believing that our unity in Christ has been damaged and at least part of the damage is probably my fault.

My point I guess is that really opening up yourself to other people, really connecting with them spiritually and emotionally, is messy. And the worst part is that the most messy are the ones that inwardly, at least, have been redeemed. Those we have the most in common with are often the hardest to really develop meaningful relationships with. 

Men of Praise Motorcycle Ministry

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Spiritual Snipers


During my time as a military police officer in the Army, I attended the long range rifle course. This course is the prerequisite course to become a sniper, which before my disability, was one of my aspirations. As part of the course, we were required to learn about sniper and counter-sniper operations and tactics.

One of the first things you learn in this course is that once a sniper is in a concealed position, he should do everything possible to keep from revealing his position to the enemy. The snipers job is to reduce the strength of the enemy, by drawing soldiers out of their secure positions and shooting them down. Of course the best target for snipers is the officers and leaders of the troops, but if it is possible to take out some foot soldiers without compromising their cover, then they are happy to do that as well. Snipers use all kinds of ruses, fires, nuisance firing, grenades, and booby traps to draw their enemies out into the open where they become easy targets.