Archives For God

Let the Scriptures speak…

What trend do you see?

Is it the same trend or a different trend than you see in America?  In the American Church?

Matthew

6359417358769223841804779694_dream-act(Jesus, Mary and Joseph were immigrants / refugees)  Matt. 2:13-15       When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matt. 5:3-5    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth. Continue Reading…

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A cup of dirt my 4-year-old brought home from “Garden Club” sits on my kitchen window sill.

The transparent plastic gives all in the house a crystal clear view to this small sample of earth.

Three tablespoons of water a week, that’s what this cup of dirt needs.

Just three tablespoons of water poured onto dirt and absolute magic unfolds.

Three tablespoons of water into some dirt.  Included is a bulb, invisible to the eye while nestled into dirt’s darkness.

A bulb.  A seed.  Like the acorn you kick down the street.  Like one of millions of maple helicopters that descend from the sky. Continue Reading…

all roads lead to godWhat does the Bible say about other religions?

“All Roads Lead to God” isn’t as nice or humble as it sounds

Saying that “all roads lead to God” sounds nice.

Saying that “all roads lead to God” sounds humble.

You see it this way, I see it that way.

All the roads on this mountain lead to the same place.

Saying “all roads lead to God” makes God into a small and weak God that is unable to reveal himself in a personal way.  So right off the bat, all roads no longer lead to God, all roads lead to a small, weak God unable to tell people who he is in a way they’ll get it.  If you believe in a large, almighty God who is able to reveal himself to the people he created, sorry you’re out of luck, there’s no road on this mountain for you.

Saying “all roads lead to God” turns God into a jerk.  If he’s not too small and weak to reveal himself to us in a personal way, then he’s too big of a jerk to do so.  He’s disinterested and enjoys watching us fumble around in the dark in isolation.  If you believe God would desire to love us personally, telling us about himself and letting us know him deeper and deeper in intimacy, as well as be loved personally by us in relationship, then again sorry you’re out of luck, there’s no road on this mountain for you.

You’d never tell your college professor that all answers on the final exam lead to the right answer, yet you do this with destination of your eternal life!

Personally, I’d much rather go to bat and swing and miss then never even step up to the plate.

Saying “all roads lead to God” insults every single person in history who has taken a stand for what they do believe.  Why in the heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeck would Jesus have came to earth from heaven and die on the cross for our sins, if all roads already led to God?  Why would people have died to preserve the Bible if all roads already led to God?  Why would people have chosen God knowing their family would disown them, if all roads already led to God?

The idea that it’s bad to be exclusive is extremely barbaric.  Pluralism is pretty much equivalent with anarchy.  “Do whatever you want, it all leads to God.”  No thank you.  I want a God who is exclusively against rape, exclusively against child sacrifice, exclusively against sex slavery, exclusively against oppression, and exclusively against a whole bunch of others things, especially the deceptive selfishness that riddles my heart.  You can keep your barbaric inclusivism that would allow for all these things.

“All roads lead to God” is not nice.  It’s a cop-out to be your own god.  It’s a cop-out to get to do what you want with no accountability to anyone.  It’s a public admission that you believe you are the supreme authority on all things.  “All roads lead to God” is not humble.  An admission that I am God is the most arrogant statement a person can ever make, bar none.

The only thing true about “all roads lead to God” is that it is not many roads; it is one singular, wide, very easy to follow road that leads to a very specific, very particular, very exclusive god: you.

If you want to worship that god, you are allowed to do that.  But please stop equating that god as the same thing as my God and then acting like the rest of us need to follow that equation.

“Oh I’d never say you need to do that or need to do anything, that’s the beauty of pluralism!”

You just did it again.

Please re-read this article and then once and for all, stop saying that your god is the same as my God.

strengthening-the-soul-of-your-leadership-ruth-haley-bartonI’m re-reading Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton for the third time in 2015.  No book has brought such transformational change to my leadership and walk with Christ as this one.  I’ll be doing a full review of the book later this week.  Here’s a profound excerpt from page 118:

A recent survey of twenty thousand Christians around the world revealed that many identify busyness and constant overload as a major distraction from God.  Michael Zigarelli, who conducted this survey from his post as associate professor of management at the Charleston University School of Business, describes “a vicious cycle” prompted by cultural conformity.  He says, “It may be the case that 1) Christians are assimilating a culture of busyness, hurry and overload, which leads to 2) God becoming more marginalized in Christians’ lives, which leads to 3) a deteriorating relationship with God, which leads to 4) Christians becoming even more vulnerable to adopting secular assumption about how to live, which leads to 5) more conformity to a culture of busyness, hurry and overload.  And then the cycle begins again.

What motivates your busyness and overload?

For me it’s a twisted irony:

“I love ministry so much I’m going to do so much of it that I become so busy and overloaded that I hate ministry and want to quit altogether!”

It’s pretty hard to enjoy God when you are hating ministry, yet as a minister my calling is to help others enjoy God.  How can one help others enjoy something that they themselves are not enjoying?

What I’ve found so freeing about Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership is its ability to help me accurately identify what fuels my overdrive to overload and then to give practical (and essential!) ways to make sure God isn’t becoming marginalized in my life at the expense of all the pressing tasks around me.  More to come on that later this week.

Are you too busy?

Are you enjoying God?

The answer to the first probably indicates the answer to the second.