Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jesus as a Party Animal

Sometimes I think we need to rethink what Jesus as a man was actually like. Just because he lived a perfect sinless life doesn't mean, as I think we often assume, he led a bland and boring one.

I was thinking of these verses from Matthew 18
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." (18-19a)
His enemies saw him eating and drinking with those they considered lower than themselves, and made the accusation that Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. But they must have had some basis for their accusations. And I think the accusations were probably correct inasfar as Jesus did indeed eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners. I imagine they ate well and that the wine they drank was of the alcoholic variety. Otherwise there would have been no basis for the 'drunkard' accusation. (I am not saying that Jesus got drunk, only that I believe he probably consumed wine with alcoholic content.)
And I think people of all stripes would have enjoyed being around him, not because he was always pious and preachy, but because he was probably fun to be with. He was probably the life of the party, clever and witty and engaging.
But as much as he was willing to associate with outcasts and sinners, he did not do so to share in their lifestyles, or to affirm them in their choices, or even to be satisfied with leaving them there. Those today who emphasize this aspect of Jesus' ministry seem to forget that his message was a call to repent or perish. When we read the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery we need to remember that Jesus did not stop at, "...neither do I condemn you," but continued, "Go now and leave your life of sin."

Take Care

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The More Inclusive a Church Tries to Become, The Smaller It Gets

This seems like a contradiction, but the Bible is full of seeming contradictions isn't it. To live one must die.; To be first, one must be last; to lead one must be a servant. to find life one must lose it.

A church that loses sight of it's true mission (worshipping the One True God, and proclaiming to the world the truth and good news of salvation only through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ) becomes merely a self-preserving organization, often going about this self preservation in exactly the wrong way. They will think that by appealing to the broadest range of people they will attract the most members. But the opposite result is what most often occurs. What they are trying to do is to be an organization that requires very little committment from those it seeks to attract. And thatis just what they get -- people who really don't want to change their lives. In other words, people who really don't want to make any kind of committment that requires any kind of sacrifice on their part. They want a form of spirituality wih no accountability. These are mainly those who may receive their "message" with joy initially, but quickly fall away. Because at the end of the day, if the church becomes the same as the culture, why bother with the church? And of course, from such churches most true Christians, the ones who really would be and remain committed, eventually and invariably flee.

But today's "liberal" churches just don't get it. They seem blind to reality, wearing the rose-coloured glasses of "inclusivity." They sanctimoniously waltz down the broad road of compromise, emasculating God and accepting, even blessing, immorality.

And all the while oblivious to the fact that they are becoming more and more irrelevant, heading down that broad road toward the death their organization so justly deserves.

Take Care

Saturday, 11 April 2009

What?????

Fresh on the heels of This story from the Vancouver Sun (which includes this bit of imaginative speculation)...
When it comes to liberal Anglicanism, (Dean Peter) Elliott (of Vancouver's Christ Church Cathedral) defines Christianity’s “good news” in a somewhat different way than many evangelicals and Catholics.
Instead of emphasizing that “salvation” offers a guarantee of existence in an afterlife, Elliott defines salvation primarily as “healing.”
Instead of teaching that the Easter Sunday story is about the literal “resurrection of a corpse,” Elliott said it is a mystical account of “a new experience of God,” something beyond the confines of language.

...Comes this bit of nonsensical bafflegab from a column in the Edmonton Journal.
Easter introduces us to a God entirely without wrath. Easter reveals that it is our wrath that demands appeasing, our cursing and ostracizing violence that Christ takes upon himself. And it is his face that then approaches us in forgiveness and love.
The "atonement" of Easter, far from being a matter of right belief, is something that happens "toward" us. It opens within us a faltering but persistent realization that there is something so dark about us that we can't see it until we are forgiven of it.
But undergoing the mercy of this realization forever unsettles all our old ways of self-preservation -- from abject subservience to passive aggression to herd violence. And the degree that we sink into this forgiveness is the degree our world expands into possibility. And not for us alone.

Most of which makes no sense at all, but what was plain is a real headshaker. Jesus appeased our wrath???? And God, rather than a God whose wrath, apart from the covering righteousness of Christ we deserve, has become some kind of teddy bear god? He has become, in short, a lap dog god.

And guess what denomination the author is.

Makes you wonder what book he is reading as a substitute for the
Bible.

But in truth (and in spite of anyone's theological fiction),
The Lord is risen!
He is risen indeed!
Alleluiah!

Take Care
h/t Anglican Essentials blog

Friday, 3 April 2009

Is It Possible To Bend Over Any Further Backwards?

A quote from a "resource" from the American Episcopal church, made available by the Anglican church of Canada about hope in today's economy. I won't link to it but check out this quote,
"Christian hope is based on trust," explained the Rev. Laurel Johnston, the Episcopal Church's Program Officer for Stewardship. "Trust that God will continue to fulfill God's promise in a new way to each generation that leads to freedom, free to be the people God intended us to be..."

Can you imagine constructing a more awkward sentence to avoid referring to God with the masculine pronouns 'His' or 'He'?
That Rev Johnston sure must be able to limbo!

Take Care