Friday, October 18, 2013

Unafraid Witness

Stepping on toes is a fine art.  I was told recently that people want to come to church to be encouraged and lifted up, and they don't like to feel bad about anything.  They might not even come back if you challenge them.

Am I in Bizzaro world?  When did the Word stop dealing with the thoughts and intentions of the heart?  When did repentance cease to be the herald's message for a world bent on self-destruction?  How can we deal with the reality of our lives while perfuming our stench with false "uplifting" rhetoric?

As I have savored James McDonald's Vertical Church, I have gone through a personal renaissance.  The idea of pleasing God and God alone is liberating.  We live to God, not one another.  We love and care for one another, but we must not worship at the altar of people pleasing.  Our allegiance is to the God who saves and sustains us.

This chapter, "Unafraid Witness," puts our responsibility in sharp focus.  We are to boldly proclaim the Word of Truth.  We only cheapen the message when we try to make it more palatable.  We act as if we can improve on the perfect message.  We work to make foolishness common sense.  We adapt the never-changing good news into something relevant to this always-changing age.  We do a disservice to the God who saved us when we diligently work to sell the gospel.  Our job is to boldly proclaim, not con or convince or manufacture or persuade or enfold or adapt or . . .

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An Apology for Unapologetic Preaching

Last week was crazy.  Lots to do.  I didn't even make an entry into this blog.  I had added a post two weeks ago about Unashamed Adoration as the content for my message on October 6.  Unapologetic Preaching framed the talk for October 13.

It went really well.  I believe firmly that the modern church needs to return to a position of strength when it comes to preaching the revealed truth.  In the sea of relativism, we have given the signal that we have nothing to offer that is sure.  We must return to a foundation of preaching as the instrument of presenting the truth of God's Word as a source of certainty and assurance in our shifting world.

So, let me apologize for not blogging about Unapologetic Preaching.

Now on to Unafraid Witness.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Unashamed Adoration

I attended CIY with our youth group this summer in TN.  One observation stood out among the many obvious to me.  As the week went on, the kids and adults entered a status of unashamed adoration of the son of God.

The chaperon that accompanied us for the girls was amazed at the level of attention the kids gave to worship on the first night.  I told her that this will not even compare to the level of involvement by the end of the week.

God did some amazing things during that week, and I am convinced that our unashamed adoration had a real role in that.  Our openness to the worship of Jesus opened a way to the very glory of God.  God showed up because He was welcome there.

Is God welcome at your gatherings?  Do you have a special dedicated place for Him to show up?  Do you let Him do as He pleases?  Is He assumed to be spectator or fellow participant?