But are we any happier as a society? Have the new-found freedoms brought personal peace? Based on the angry rhetoric from those who most loudly proclaim freedom from limits, I struggle to see that we are indeed happier.
Honesty demands that we admit our struggles to work out our faith. Real faith is at times a gritty mess and we all face difficult times. My experience is that God remains faithful even when we are faithless, as Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 2:13. Feeling doubt and even expressing doubt does not automatically disqualify someone from being relationship with God.
I have recently begun to understand that there have been times in my life when I pretended that I was displaying grace, but it was not grace. It was cowardice masquerading as grace. There are times when the lone, contrary voice needed to be heard and mine was silent. There are times when it would […]
My 50 or so years of church experience has shown me that most churches either have no plan to bring people into maturity or if they do have a plan it is not very effective. This is a shame and there is no good excuse for it.
The problem is that it is much easier to assess quantity and more difficult to assess quality. But the difficulty does not relieve us of the responsibility to have this priority.
We should expect our preacher to communicate to himself and to us the diagnosis that God makes upon our condition and the corrective action that God prescribes. We don’t need or want the preacher to interfere with this process by filtering out the inconvenient or disturbing bits.
I get weary of the call to be woke because in the end, it doesn’t matter how woke we are. It doesn’t matter whether we are liked and accepted by the social warriors of the day. It only matters if we fulfill our mission to make disciples.
I don’t think that we can place too much stress on Jesus’ statement about the responsibility for building the church. It is his; he claimed the responsibility and the resurrection proved that he has the power to do it. Maybe we should spending more time in prayer asking him how he wants us to participate in that building than we do in building our own strategies.
While the angry, “I guess I showed them” type of response may be gratifying in the moment, it doesn’t help in the long run. Such a response brings division which grieves the Lord who died to bring unity.
We are not called to ratchet up the rhetoric in the culture war. We need to see how Jesus used respectful dialog to point people in a different direction.