Archive

Posts Tagged ‘theology’

Why Do You Miss Jesus?

December 20, 2013 4 comments

I called my friend Matt at work the other day.  I had to go off to take care of some business.  When I came back, he had left me a voice mail.  I called back and, tag, he was it.  We continued this game a few more times and never connected.  Both of our positions kept us from solving an issue that day.

We ran into each other walking into work the next day and worked out our issue.  The problem the day before?

We just kept missing each other.

*****

I wonder if we don’t do the same thing with Jesus.

We want to hook up with Him.  The problem is that we let so many things get in our way with connecting with Christ.  You name it and it has the potential to be a roadblock to our relationship with Him.

Spouse.

Career.

Family

Retirement.

Theological system.

We tend to tie ourselves to these things fairly easily.  We wrap our identities up in so many things, rather than identifying ourselves fully with Christ.  We become who our spouse wants us to be or simply become identified as a couple.  We become known for what we do.  We become our children’s parent.  We focus for thirty or more years so that we can retire.  We follow a theological system and let that label define us to those we meet.

We define ourselves by we say we are, who we were, or who we will be.  We end up missing Jesus.

Instead, we should be who Christ wants us to be.

What it really boils down to is that we have a problem with the sovereignty of God in our lives.  We don’t let Him rule our marriage.  We don’t let Him control our career.  We try to be the head of our families.  We not only retire from our jobs, but we retire from God too.  We let our theological bent define our relationship with God, instead of the other way around.

We end up missing Jesus.

It comes down to priorities.  We make everything a priority instead of prioritizing our relationship.  That’s what causes us to miss Jesus.

It’s time for us to stop it now.  Stop digging the holes that prevent us from reaching Christ.  Go to Him first, then let everything else fall in line from there.

It’s time for us to quit missing Jesus.

What is causing you to miss Jesus?

Mere Religion

February 12, 2013 8 comments

During World War II, C.S. Lewis gave a series of talks on BBC radio.  These were later transcribed and compiled into the book we now know as Mere Christianity.  In these talks and book, Lewis attempted to boil our faith down into what is common between  everyone who claims to have faith in Christ, whether they are Baptist, Anglican, Methodist or any other vein or strain of Christianity.

What, though, if we took another path?  What if we explored what Mere Religion looks like?  For our purposes here, let’s define religion as what we do in our attempt to reach God.  In other words, Mere Religion is simply what man does in an attempt to gain God.  There are two ways that we achieve Mere Religion that I want to discuss further.

Mere Theology

The first is Mere Theology.  This is simply building a system that we believe will get us to Heaven.  There isn’t wrong with building a system.  The problem becomes when we begin to trust the system more than the One behind the system.  Then it becomes mere theology.  It is one of the pillars of Mere Religion.  It gives us tasks to do and a man-made discipline that gives our life direction.  The problem we face is where that path leads.

Mere Doctrine

Another component of Mere Religion is Mere Doctrine.  These are teachings.  The teachings can be fine, but the they not be complete.  They may be pulled out of context.  They could be used to control others.  Mere Doctrine lacks the Spirit of the God they are meant to teach us about.

Don’t misunderstand.  I love theology.  I love doctrine.  However, they are not the answer.  We have to ask ourselves, though, what the solution is.

Mere Satisfaction

What is the solution?

Seeking our satisfaction in the God who overrides the systems we create and the doctrines we follow.    Placing our faith and trust in Him, not in mere scaffolding that we surround Him with.  If our system leads us to the satisfaction that we can find in Him, then it has done its job, but it wasn’t the goal.  If our doctrine teaches of Him and leads us to a relationship with the Lord, then it is a success.  We simply cannot have a relationship with our doctrine.  Theology and doctrine must simply be a means to an end.  The end, of course, being our Lord.

What do you think of theology and doctrine?  Where do you seek your satisfaction?

Have You Dropped In?

December 2, 2012 Leave a comment

Mickey Newbury wrote a song in the 1960’s called Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).  It was recorded by First Edition with Kenny Rogers singing lead.  If you want to do further research into what that song was about, that’s fine, but what I want to do today is just ask a simple question.

What condition is your condition in?

Are you dead in your trespasses and sins as Paul describes in Ephesians 2:1?  Or have you been made alive together with Christ per verse 5?

Are you darkened in your understanding as Paul says we are without Christ in Ephesians 4:18?  Or have the eyes of your heart been enlightened as he says in Ephesians 1:18?

Have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind or are you being conformed to the pattern of this world? (Romans 12:2)

Are you in Christ a new creature with the old passing and the new coming? (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Have you dropped in to see what condition your condition is in?

What A Strange Thing That Happened

November 25, 2012 11 comments

Once upon a time I was told, jokingly of course, that encouragement was not my spiritual gift.  That kind of hurt my feeling at the time, but after a few years of reflection I kind of have to agree with them.  There are simply some people in the Church who have the gift to encourage others.

Not me.  I have to work at it.  And I do so.  In fact, that  is one of the main purposes of this blog.  I want to encourage others to really think about what we in the Church do,  In turn, I hope that they come away from a blog post stronger in their walk with the Lord.

So, I was taken aback a bit to find myself in a debate this week with a rationalist/atheist.

Somehow they found one of my posts and decided that I would be a good person to debate how irrational our faith is.

I actually agreed with them.  From their perspective.  It is totally irrational from their view to believe in Someone we don’t see and can’t “prove”.

We went back and forth a bit until I asked myself a question.

Why was this happening?

Why after writing what is closing in on 600 blog posts would someone pick up one that I wrote weeks ago and had moved on from?

Here’s why I believe that happened.  It’s ok if you don’t, but I believe in this sort of thing.

My family and I have changed churches.  Not only have we changed churches, but we are happier in church right now than we have been in years.  We are taking it slow, but we are slowly submerging more of our feet each week.  Our lives are changing.

The enemy isn’t happy with that.

So, boom.  The enemy led someone to find a particular post of mine.  They engaged me in a way that I am not sure I have ever been engaged before.

You see, we don’t struggle with flesh and blood, but with rulers and powers and world forces of this darkness, and the spiritual forces of wickedness.

The real fight was not with any atheist that happened to find my blog.  The real fight was a battle that I could not see with my eyes.

What a strange thing that happened.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation and realized that it was a spiritual battle?