Dying 2 Live...!

Dying 2 Live...!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God, Evolution, & You... (researched)

Why is evolution pushed as true and authentic? Do you really, I mean do you really believe you evolved from an ape? Next thing you know, that ape evolved into another ape, and so on and so forth. Why are scientists and philosophers so convinced that there is no God and evolution is legit? From a well researched perspective, I just may have an answer. 

Now we even have numerous Christians who see evolution as authentic and true. Are they right? The second most conversed upon genre within the doctrine of God, behind the Trinity is the doctrine surrounding “God and Creation.” It begs the questions of “Where did we come from?” and “How did we get here?” Academia has been one of the avenging culprits, alluding to evolution over creationism, science over Scripture. However, evolutionary theory is just one of an array of theories proclaiming origin decisiveness. Dualism as a theory of origins takes various forms, but the fundamental idea of dualism is that there exist two distinct, coeternal, self-existent principles.1 These are God and matter. One of the basic maxims of this sort of theory is ex nihilo nihil fit (“from nothing comes nothing”).2 Rather, God must be coeternal with matter so there is something to work with as he frames the world.3 Notable philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle held to this theory, as well as Gnostics Basilides and Valentinus. According to the Zoroastrian variation of this view, matter is not necessarily negative and imperfect, for it is the creation of the good being.4 This general form of dualism also explains evil in a way that doesn’t attribute it to God or the good spirit.5 So, from a dualistic perspective, God needs matter in order to fully be God, for he lacks divine providence over matter. Then there is the gaining exposure of the “gap theory.”

The gap theory was founded in 1814 by minister Thomas Chalmers. Chalmers decided that because science has spoken, and what it said must be accepted as true, it then was necessary to modify the Bible to make it agree with science.6 Chalmers suggested that a large gap of time passed between the first two verses of Genesis 1.7 This supposed accounted for “the heavens and earth being created,” and suddenly “the earth being formless and void with darkness covering the face of the deep.” This gap of time could account for both an old earth for the evolutionists and a more recent six-day creation for the creationist.8 Yet, evolution is inconsistent with any other portion of biblical text. Additionally, this theory implies a pre-Adamic race or creation that became lost to darkness; nowhere in Scripture is that emphasized. So this theory stands alone, apart from this Genesis 1 interpretation. Then there are emanation theories which are extremely pantheistic. Hence, the One or “God” is part of all that is.9 Though, as mentioned earlier, the grandest culprit used within the world of academia is evolution.
Evolution is in direct opposition to biblical creation. But there are those claiming these are of like minds. There are the theistic evolutionists. Theistic evolution teaches that God initiated the original creation process and then used the life-and-death struggle of natural selection’s proverbial survival of the fittest to complete the job.10 Then there are the day/age theorists. Advocates of the day/age theory believe that life evolved over billions of years.11 And similar to theistic evolution, God guided evolution through evidences such as the geologic column and fossil records. Although the nuts and bolts of this controversy is between only two theories: Naturalistic evolution and creationism. Naturalistic evolutionists claim that the origin and development of the universe can be explained in entirely natural terms in virtue of purely natural laws operating over natural phenomena.12 Many are unaware of the two diverse forms of evolution––micro and macro. Micro-evolution is the change within species.13 On the other hand, macro-evolution claims that the processes described also resulted in changes from one species to another, ultimately culminating in human beings.14

The macro-evolution present disturbing accounts such as humanity evolving from apes or common birds forming into dinosaurs. As to the origin and development of life, evolution says that from nonliving matter there ultimately resulted a living cell capable of reproducing itself.15 Contrary to every evolutionary theory is the biblical form of creation. Biblical theists have invariably held that God created the universe and all its contents.16 Creationists hold to ex nihilo indicating a miraculous creation. Creation out of nothing means creation despite the absolute absence of anything. 17 Implying this, God is sovereign, even over matter and science. Herein is where much of the controversy lies. Most evolutionists are atheists or share some form of agnosticism. And the thought of God agitates them. But the thought of a God that transcends what they worship, which is science and the ego of their superior knowledge within it, infuriates and belittles them. Instead of getting upset, they should surrender to a God of this magnitude that cares deeply about them, so much so to redeem their souls.             

Feinberg, John S. No One Like Him. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001.
Hindson, Ed and Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics. Eugene, OR:
Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
1 John S. Feinberg, No One Like Him. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 541.
            2 Ibid.
            3 Ibid.
            4 Ibid.
            5 Ibid.
            6 Ed Hindson and Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics. (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2008), 155.
            7 Ibid.
            8 Ibid.
            9 Feinberg, No One Like Him, 543.
            10 Hindson and Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics, 154.
            11 Ibid., 156.
            12 Feinberg, No One Like Him, 543.
            13 Ibid.
            14 Ibid., 544.
            15 Ibid.
            16 Ibid., 548.

            17 Ibid., 552.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I Ain't Never Scared, I Think?

Far too often, individuals give lead way to the mantra "I ain't scared" but forget to inform their listeners of the whole story. Yes, you may feel invincible at a moment-in-time, however, those feelings could dissipate in the blink of an eye. Allow a loaded gun to be placed in your face, from someone with mean intentions, and then what? Where's your bold stance? What about your mantra? Even if you give a facade of toughness, the real you inside may be cringing like a little coward. But that's not what you want others to see, right? So you put up an enormous front, even for the gunman. C'mon man just admit it, you're scared. Sweetheart, it's perfectly okay to be honest with yourself. Fear is fear, no bones about it.

Actually, much of what we consider bravery and confidence is filled with fear, loads of it. Matter of fact, most systems and attitudes within the world thrive on fear. Let's take the systems first--The business and advertising industry: If you don't buy this product, you'll be in fear of missing out on some special purchase. The political arena: If you vote for this person they can supposedly take away many of your problems, and you won't have to be afraid of experiencing those issues apart from their assistance. The police force: If you allow us to take much of your state tax money, we'll protect you from harm (even tough all we really want to do is ride around in free cars, eat doughnuts and give you lots of tickets). As one can see, this list can become endless.

Now let's look at some of the attitudes. The bully, thug and gangsta: If I push others around or beat them up, I won't have to fear being picked on myself. The boss and workaholic: If I excel above the glass ceiling, I won't have to fear losing my job or never receiving respect. The controller and worry wart: If I fill my mind with anxiety on how I can control every single situation in my life, then I won't have to fear my life ever going awry. The insecure and jealous person: If I always hate on you for being better and more accomplished than me; then I won't have to ever fear you truly accepting that realization of betterment, and can keep you at my level of mediocrity or unfulfillment. The greedy person or thief: If I continue to take everything you have, I won't have to fear you ever catching up to me financially or being without something. The loveless, abused and lonely person: If I give my body away sexually and focus all of my attention on physical beauty, then I won't have to fear someone never loving or wanting me, never telling me I'm beautiful, or refusing to be with me. Again, this list can become endless.    

This could also apply to institutions such as the educational structure, marriage and family; and could even be an exposing realization of the church.Yes, that's right I said it, the church.

Even the church can be based in fear. It could be in keeping members to stay, or forcing congregants to tithe. It could be in making sure choirs and praise teams excite, and sermons garner acceptable responses.

Fear is a weapon, ya'll. And we shouldn't live our lives based on it. Hey, let the chips fall where they may. Be honest enough with yourself to admit, "a root for some of your reactions could be you're simply afraid. This is something entirely too new; it's out of your league, or maybe you haven't fully healed from some of the pains and hurts in your childhood." You just got older, with the same hang-ups and insecurities.

One of the first problems we see in Scripture, right after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, was they were afraid and hid themselves. So fear is a long standing problem for humanity, and many don't know how to function without it. At least in Adam and Eve's case, and after unproductive finger pointing, they fessed up to God that it was fear from their disobedience that was the problem. And after God dealt with them, He didn't remove the fear from the lives. Rather, He covered them up with a sacrifice. Down through thousands of years, He still has us covered; so the only one we need to be fearing is Him.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise." (Psalm 111:10 NIV)

"And fear not them that kill the body, but are
    not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him that is able
    to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 KJV)             

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Parable of the Cosby's (revisited)

What do we tell our Black children about their cultural heritage and identity? As a Black, Colored or African-American young adult male, the depiction of cultural placement can become confusing, at times. What should I do? Where should I work? Who should I actually be? Questions of this nature beg  for answers. Only many of these seem fleeting or lacking proper substance. Since I reside in a nation where our history was stripped for European exploitation, much of that history is forgotten. So how can I gain some bearing on my true cultural identity. Oftentimes the answer is, "I can't." Too much of it has been tainted, mixed up and messed around. Instead of wrestling with my heritage, it may be more pressing of a concern to find myself today. Unfortunately, that view is just as confusing as my heritage. As a Christian, I realize most of that identity is hidden in Christ. However, racism is still real, Whites still seem to rule and my cultural heritage is still tainted.

This dynamic probably won't change anytime soon. As long as the damage is done, it's done. I can't stop slavery from happening in the past. I can't make Blacks less subservient to Whites. Neither can I make Black men be placed on a higher priority chart: We're last on the totem pole after White men, Jews, White women, Asians, Latinos, children, other races, Black women, elderly, and then lastly, Black men. I can't stop Africa and Haiti from being the most used up places on the planet, where everything is took, yet nothing is returned. I can't get the police to stop harassing us. But I can at least speak up about it, about it all.

Rapper, activist and magazine contributor Sho Baraka recently wrote an article on KING Internet magazine (not the paper one with the half-naked Blacks chicks). He alluded to this issue in more precise verbiage. Check out his article here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Revive Us, Again?

     Revive us, again? This question begs to offer clarity on the concept of overall revival. And why do we need it commenced in a repeated and powerful fashion? In other words, we need done AGAIN! But when was it done in the first place? This book can give you more understanding on that matter in depth. Also, this video can give some experiential clarity on a modern day revival. However, if something/someone needs to be revived, that means it has actually died. The defibrillators need to be modulated for immediate charging and placed on the chest, to reignite the heart, garnering a pulse back into motion. Unfortunately, many churches have failed to realize something is drastically missing, something has considerably died. So how can a church, better yet a nation and world, be revived?

What Is a Revival?

The eternal human quest is to know and experience God.

     Some want God to split open the heavens and descend to earth so they can see him. Others want God to write his message in the sky or on a mountain so they can see it and know for sure what to do. Still others want to hear the voice of God shouting like thunder. And still others want God to “zap ‘em” so they’ll quiver on the floor or jump like a kangaroo. Though most won’t admit it, in one way or another they want God to quit playing hide and seek, to come show himself, to visit his people. True believers want God to intervene in their humdrum experiences. But for most, God can’t be felt or touched. Many feel that God isn’t with them.

       A Working Definition

     One way God responds to this basic human longing is to manifest himself in a revival. But what exactly do we mean by that term? A variety of definitions have been offered by pastors, theologians, and historians, but we would describe it this way:

An evangelical revival is an extraordinary work of God in which Christians repent of their sins as they become intensely aware of his presence in their midst, and they manifest a positive response to God in renewed obedience to the known will of God, resulting in both a deepening of their individual and corporate experience with God, and an increased concern to win others to Christ.

This view of revival recognizes several distinctives, common to historic revivals, that
we should keep in mind as we study them:

• An extraordinary work of God should be distinguished from the more ordinary
work of God in the life of the believer.
• The realization of the unique presence of God during times of revival is
consistently reported in the testimonies of the revived.
• Revivals naturally lead to a significant evangelistic outreach and harvest of souls in
the community touched by the revived church.

While there may be isolated exceptions, these are the manifestations connected with the normal experience of a Holy Spirit outpouring as we read about examples of it in Scripture.

   Nine “Faces” of Revival

     All people have the same basic facial features, yet these features are arranged differently. In a similar way, revivals display the same essential features as they reflect God’s presence, yet they have different “faces”; that is, revival is expressed in different ways. The nine “faces” of revival have been described in an earlier book, Rivers of Revival (written by Elmer Towns with Neil Anderson, Regal Books, 1998; see pp. 116-17). That list of revival
types, each with its characteristic focus, is worth repeating here:

• The repentance revival emphasizes a moral cleansing of individual lives and of society as a whole.
• The evangelism revival focuses on winning souls to Christ.
• The worship revival centers on magnifying God.
• The deeper life revival emphasizes the experience of God’s indwelling.
• The spiritual warfare revival devotes its energies to battling Satan and the other demons.
• The Holy Spirit revival is characterized by extensive manifestations of the Spirit.
• The reconciliation revival leads to the removal of barriers to racial and ethnic harmony.
• The liberation revival focuses on gaining freedom from corporate and personal bondage to sin.
• The prayer revival displays considerable efforts at intercession and other forms of prayer.

     Though any given revival may manifest several of these characteristics, most revivals tend to display one trait more prominently than the others. Just as the face of a child often reflects a blending of the faces of both parents (and grandparents), so the “face” of a particular revival often reflects a blending of two or more of the revival types listed above.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

True Discipleship is...?

This is a pertinent interview with a good friend of mine from college, Damian L. Boyd. Damian is now the pastor of a budding church-plant (Vertical Church-Atlanta). But more than his position in ministry is his heart for God. In this candid interview, I sat down with him to prick his brain about the matter of true and Godly discipleship...

Lead pastor: Damian L. Boyd

Destiny Metropolitan Worship Church: 12 years associate/young adult pastoral experience

Vertical Church–Atlanta: 1 year lead pastoral experience and counting

Defining Disciple/Discipleship: (Mark) M (Pastor Damian) PD

M – “How is a disciple or discipleship defined?”

PD – “I think in the simplest of terms, a disciple is someone that is being spiritually mentored… Not just a mentor but a spiritual mentor, someone who is being brought under another person’s wing with the expressed purpose of teaching them Biblical principles, giving them the examples, showing them how to live the Christ-like life, ‘life-on-life.’ Jesus was the best discipler. He actually was phenomenal… His example was: He lived in the midst of people. He did what He did among people and then taught them and showed them along the way. Life was discipleship for Jesus. He showed them based on His life and He taught them out of what they experienced. I think sometimes we can call ourselves making disciples by just telling people a lot of information, give them information and they’re disciples, have them rememorize a bunch of Scripture and they’re disciples. But that’s not real Biblical discipleship because that doesn’t mean they know how to work it out in life. Truthfully, the Bible says, ‘knowledge puffs up,’ so people who just learn more aren’t necessarily disciples. They can become Pharisees if you’re not careful. But disciples are people that [have] you in their life, you’re living in the midst of them and you’re growing them with the expressed purpose of them looking more like Christ."

M – “In that case, what is your version of a discipleship model, or a metamodel that you utilize?”

PD – “Our discipleship process looks like this: Our strategy is "Be, Do, Learn, Show." (1) Be – meaning who I am, who I am on the inside. Where we get rid of pretense and all the things we try to put on to look religious, to look spiritual. ‘I am who I am by the grace of God’ so as I’m being, that is something people should learn from my example. 1 Peter 5 starts out with Peter exhorting the followers of Christ spread abroad, the Diaspora of the Christians out there. He actually taught them. He was teaching the elders to be an example. We hear Timothy being taught the same thing by Paul, ‘Be an example.’ That’s where it starts, if I’m not living anything of any worth, I can’t expect the people that follow me to live anything of any worth. (2) Do – okay, we need to do something with what we believe. It’s not enough for me to mentally ascend to what I believe of my faith; I have to actually do it. I have to live it out. I have to walk it out; I have to do good for others. I have to be an example; I have to love one another, all the ‘one anothers’ of Scripture. That’s doing, that’s the things we do. Doing is the works that we do; that follow the faith that we have, not trying to prove our worth or value to Christ, but because we are worthwhile and we are valued by Christ.

M – “So your do is not something done out of duty, religious form or for numbers?”

PD – “No, it’s an abiding love for Jesus Christ. ‘That’s why we do. We do because He’s already done!’ I’m more about ‘impact’ than I am size and look. I can careless about the size and look; I care much more about impact. I’ll take 50 people that are engaged to make a difference than 5,000 that are just content to sit and look at and listen to me. Then the other one (3) is to Learn – there’s a ‘serious’ learning component in discipleship. It’s that growing; it’s understanding Scripture, understanding Scriptural background [historical], [and] understanding the depths of the Scripture. We’ve just taken 12 people through 6 months of intense discipleship at my home, based on Acts. ‘They committed themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship and to the breaking of bread.’ And all those things come together for us... Discipleship is intense and it’s intentional but we do it in several different ways to learning. We want to make sure that we’re learning; we’re understanding more Scripture. The more we understand, the more we can live out. Then you have the last part (4) which is to Show – you aren’t a disciple if you’re not willing to show somebody else. Jesus spent 3 years pouring His heart into these guys so that they could show it to other people. It wasn’t just enough for them to have been with Jesus and learned, no, they had to show and model that out. Jesus didn’t just preach to His disciples; He lived in the midst of His disciples. And He expected them to go and live that out before everybody else. You look at the Great Commission, you know, ‘Now go ye therefore.’ Why? Because I’ve given you 3 years of My life, and then given you My literal life. So guess what? Now you go and you do that for others. You make disciples among others, everywhere. That’s your job. Live in the midst of people. Yes, teach them but also be who He’s called you to be; do the work I’ve told you to do, teach them so they would learn and then show them the way I’ve shown you. See, the disciples knew how to cast out demons and they knew how to multiply fish and bread and do miracles. Why? Because Jesus showed them how, He didn’t just tell them to do it, He showed them; He modeled, He was a model for them.

M – “What are the materials and methods used for discipleship?”

PD – “I’ll use what ever possible. (1) I’ll use life, and I use life lessons. One thing we do is we serve in the community. So intentionally what we do is we take people out. New Christians, people considering becoming Christians: we serve the community. So you’re going to see me live it out before you. You’ll be in my life; you’ll be in my midst as we’re working. Actually serving others is how you learn how to be a disciple. (2) To add to that, we read books. We do a thing called discipleship journey, that’s the 6 months where you are in our home once a week, once every two weeks. And I taught very slowly, very intentionally through Mark 6-12, this is the most densely compacted teaching on discipleship in Scripture. Jesus is modeling; He’s showing, He’s an example and what we do is we look through those Scriptures with a very intentional focus on: ‘How does this make me_______?’, ‘What does this say to me as a disciple of Jesus Christ?’, and ‘What does this say to me as someone that’s a disciple-maker?’ So we look through those lenses… (3) We also do training and development for people to help them figure out: Who they are, How they’re wired, and Why they’re wired the way they’re wired, so they can do the very thing God has for them to do, rather than just doing the thing our church needs for them to do. We’re in the business of helping people find the thing God has for them, and we want to empower them to do that [very thing]. So we give them training and development to help them find that unique calling.

M – “So it seems like you’re saying 'God is bigger than just the four walls of Vertical Church or someone else’s building.'”

PD – “The Bible says that we are the Church. You can go to Europe and in Europe you’ll see these big, immaculate, beautiful buildings that have been turned into dance clubs and bars. So often we see the building for church; that’s not the Church. The Church are the people who are mobilized to communicate the Gospel.

M – “From that discipleship standpoint, as it relates to Church or discipleship, how is success determined in the discipleship process?”

PD – “We determine success in a few ways: (1) We look at the impact of people’s lives, outside of the building… as a community of faith, we have an impact in the community... the community knows us, they value us, we are important to the community. Why? Because we serve the community, but we want the same thing happening in the individual lives of the people; we want our people to have such an impact that others in their community, whether on their jobs, in their neighborhoods, other people around them are being impacted. (2) I think sometimes we look for such quick results, but real discipleship takes time. Jesus spent 3 years getting guys ready. So real discipleship takes time and the effect of discipleship is how people are doing the Great Commission, not how many people can be gathered in one place.

M – “Last question, what advice would a 'just getting started ministry or minister' need if they’re going to actually start a church, implement a discipleship process, and [successfully] evangelize?”

PD – “I think so often, one problem with many Seminaries is many of these people are going to be starting churches in a few years. But the problem is often these [folks] aren’t given enough of the background on what it takes to lead a church. Just because you understand the Bible doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good pastor. You need to understand business if you’re going to plant a church. You need to understand marketing if you’re going to plant a church. You also have to understand the shepherding side; the soft skills of working with people, the soft skills of seeing somebody fail you or fail God, and them still being able to see you believe in them, in the long run. You need to understand some basics around family counseling… Why? Because real people in their real lives go through real struggle, I mean those are all different things you need to know. One other thing that you have to have is perseverance and endurance. Church-planting is tough; it’s the toughest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and there are so many variables that can’t be calculated. You have to have room and space for the unknown. If you're a person that every ‘i’ has to be dotted, every ‘t’ has to be crossed, this may not be the right thing for you. Why? Because there are ebbs and flows to church-planting, you have to be very flexible and there has to be room for some things to not go the way you want them, and it be okay. Here’s one thing I scream, there’s one book around church-planting that I encourage and it’s 'Church Unique.' I had a chance to sit down with the author not too long ago and get a chance to know him a little bit. Church Unique, the one thing it stresses that I love, that different form every other church-planting book, it helps you find who you are, to do what God wants you to do, in the area you need to make the impact. It’s a failure always to correctly exegete Scripture, and incorrectly exegete the culture that you are called to reach. That’s the key: You have to figure out who are, the job God has for you to do and the people that are where you’re needed. All 3 of those will help you decide the type of ministry you need to have… when you marry those pieces together, you’ll have a greater opportunity for success than you could've ever imagined.

(Pictured: Pastor Damian with his lovely wife Zarat)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Your Barometer May be Too High, even for God!

If you are an aspiring "anything" the notion is often "the sky's the limit." So like many people on the planet, you take it and run. Parents push their children to go to college, looking for pursuits in either lawyer, doctor or engineer-related fields. Anything less of degrees in these areas are known as unacceptable and blatant failure. Once children struggle in these fields, maybe due to the fact, they're not very good at science and mathematical formulas, they become frustrated with school and dropout, knowing they can't live up to their parents' expectations. However, regardless of these occurrences, parents still try to shove their kids into these fields or ones similar. Even the country as a whole promote that shoving behavior with implementing standardized test-based curriculum or rigorous standards for simple graduation.

Many children say, "forget all this, I'm going directly into the workforce!" And that's exactly what numerous amounts of them are doing while in their late teens and twenties. Here they're able to grasp some major experience as well as decent cash flow. Over time, they move up to another position or better job, making even more money. Also added into the equation may be a spouse, some kids, a home, a pet, etc. Life seems good for the moment until inflation rises, gas prices sky-rocket and new bills pile up. And you and your parents are again reiterating thoughts of heading back to college for the very thing your decided to leave it for---the lofty pursuits of a high paying position in a field that had curriculum and terminology way over your head. So now what? I guess go through the cycle all over again...

Uh oh, hear comes another aspiring notion, as if the sky's the limit wasn't aspiring enough. Now society wants you to "reach for the stars." So let me get this right! After I've nearly made it to the sky, now I must strain even higher to get to the stars. I guess next, after I'm at the stars; I'll be "jumping to the moon" or "flying with the angels." Now no one is saying, "settle for mediocrity." But in our attempts to excel, sometimes we go overboard and just way too far.

Even as Christians, we allow society to push us and our families into patterns and molds God never created for many of us to fit in. Many of these things, He never even intended. He knows our destiny and plans for us much better than society does. Who said you have to be a doctor, lawyer or even go to college? Who said you have to reach some pinnacle that is so super lofty, that you won't be happy or truly satisfied until you get there? Who said you have to be the next Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Peyton Manning, Barack Obama, etc?

How about this: why don't you just be yourself, and be the best you that you can possibly be? Why don't you make the most out of every opportunity you're given and let the chips fall where they may? For some apparent reason, we're always looking to get to that 1%. We look at the individuals on the Forbes list, or the oil barons, top CEOs and most influential evangelicals.

"Ladies and gentlemen, these folks aren't our barometer!"

If I could, I would write that 1,000 times within this post. They're the 1% and what we usually fail to realize; we're doing better than much of the other 99%. Better yet, we could actually be exactly where God wants us to be, and not even realize it. Often times when Jesus relayed a parable, He would use the 1, 2, and 5 scenario. Which is, God (or an individual representing Him) gave 3 people something (skills and talents, money, giftings, etc.) and ONLY required each of them to DOUBLE what He gave based on their ability. However, in modern day, we would change Jesus' parables and want for the people who received the 1 and 2 to get just as much as the one who received the 5. Thus, everyone would end up having 10 of whatever they had, instead of double. But God didn't say change things to modern day times. He made it clear that the kingdom of God is based on ability, not measuring up to the so called "elite." But because of peer-pressure, pleasure and pride we want to do things society's way instead God's. My prayer is that we stop trying to measure to society, and only do what God called us to do, nothing more, nothing less.

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." (Romans 12:3 NIV)                              

Friday, August 10, 2012

Who's Your Theologian?(revisited)/Your Pastor is Too Famous!

I thought this post that I ran across from relevant magazine was worth a read. It'll expose a direction that Christians vividly go in that have little of nothing to do with Christ. Instead, it's all about us idolizing our theological, influential or ministry heroes. And it's totally understandable to want to glorify someone impressive, distinguished, talented, creative, ridiculously wealthy, intellectually sound or Biblically redefined. Thus, we flock to Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Barack Obama, etc. as citizens and John MacArthur, Charles & Andy Stanley, Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Joel Osteen, and John Piper as Christians. But, these individuals as well as ourselves truly amount to nothing, apart from Christ (John 15:5). Jesus should be the ONLY center of attention (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)! Furthermore, we are all just crafted dirt (living pottery) without the life-giving breath of God (Genesis 2:7). I could go on reiterating facets from the article, but I'll let Stephen Mattson fully speak on that matter here.