"God is pursuing with omnipotent passion a worldwide purpose of gathering joyful worshipers for Himself from every tribe and tongue and people and nation…Therefore let us bring our affections into line with His, and, for the sake of His name, let us renounce the quest for worldly comforts and join His global purpose."
    -- John Piper

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    What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

    In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

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I am a sinner saved by God’s Grace.  I am a husband and father of two kids. I sit in a little box all day.  (Some call it a cubicle.)   I’m not sure that I like it all that much, but I think I am supposed to be here for now.  This seems to be my mission field for the time being.

It seems to me that we need to think about “doing church” a little different….OK, a lot different.  We need to make coming to church “safe” for those who are searching.  I don’t mean we pull any punches.  God is what He is.  The Bible is the foundation.  When people set foot inside the church (or school, or movie theater, or gymnasium, or where ever they gather for worship)  they need to understand sin.  They need to know that Hell exists,  but they also need to know that the whole building is full of people who are sinful and don’t have their act together.  Atonement needs to be talked about.  THE WHOLE GOSPEL must be preached.  But, people need to EXPERIENCE GOD’S LOVE, NOT PEOPLE’S JUDGMENT!!  I think it’s safe to say that when most people look at Christians, they see way too much hypocrisy.  That’s if they see us at all.  In many cases we are either totally transparent or we don’t come out meet them where they are.  If we don’t meet them where they are (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally), how can expect them to come and meet us as they are?   You know—broken and in need of a Savior. 

 I think we need to carefully consider the cost of following Jesus.  I often wonder if our evangelism efforts have failed to produce ‘good fruit’ because people didn’t really grasp the fact that following Jesus means dying to themselves.   This is hugely serious.  Surrender like this is really hard, but necessary.

You want to see people in Heaven?  Love them enough to make sure they understand their sin.  They need to understand God’s Grace.  They need atonement.  They need to hear the entire Bible and know what it says.  The church is failing on many accounts.  Let’s get on with letting God fix it.


8 Responses

  1. Where do I find out about your stance that “there is no gray”?

  2. The Bible. Start in Geneis and finish at Revelation. Context is everything. A few verses taken out of context can be interpreted a thousand ways. Scripture speaks very clearly against homosexuality, for example. The Bible is clear on adultery. Being “yoked” with an unbeliever is detailed in the book of Corinthians. Selfishness and pride are explicitly identified as sins.

    Issues of truth and morality need to be addressed as black and white. Not gray. I believe this because salvation is complete only when there is truth.

    Hope this helps

  3. Wow. that doesn’t help at all.

    You said somewhere, “You know where I stand on this”. Simply citing the Bible as proof text isn’t really telling me anything.

    If you are so clear on the meaning of the Scriptures I would have to assume that you are fluent in ancient Hebrew and Greek? If not, then I am afraid that you are making a huge leap in presuming to understand the Bible correctly as you are taking someone else’s word for their interpretation in translating the original text into some form of English.

    I agree that truth is black and white. The gray comes in when we try to figure out what is truth and what is not, or what is relevant to a current situation and what is not.

    Telling me that I am bald or overweight is truth – but not necessarily loving. If you’re violating the command to love by being rude or insensitive, then you’re citing of “truth” is sinful. This, or course, becomes highly subjective; what is more important, that a) you are factually accurate in your musings, and/or b) that you are offending the person to whom you are addressing?

    Claiming that you understand completely the truth of Scripture (is that what you are claiming?) is horribly arrogant and conceited – which are words related to pride. You have accurately said that pride is a sin, so that would make your claim sinful.

    I’ve been a Believer for nearly 30 years, and I must say the older I get the more ‘gray’ emerges in my beliefs. I do not think I am unique in this maturation process. More often than not, I am left with unanswerable questions; to be sure, there are those that would provide the absolute answers – but that doesn’t really cut it for me.

    For example, you say “the Bible speaks clearly against homesexuality.” Yes and no. The Bible has several references to “unnatural acts” and “man lying with man” but never, in any English translation that I’ve read does the word “homesexuality” rise up. I think the more accurate statement would be that the Bible speaks clearly against homosexual acts – not homosexuality itself. So that leaves room for someone that believes themselves to be a homosexual to be able to claim Jesus as Lord; to be a professed Believer, and still be a “homosexual.” The important distinction would be that they obey the law to not participate in any homosexual activity. I don’t see this as gray – but I suspect that you would think it is either gray, or compromising, or something else?

    At any rate, I look forward to dialoging with you online. I’ll bookmark your site for the time being (until I figure out the whole blog roll thing…)

    Blessings to you.

  4. Do you say you are overweight because you feel overweight or because some chart in some book written by some doctor says that for your particular height you weigh more than you should. Maybe both are true. My car will do 100 MPH. But it is posted that the speed limit is 55MPH. The fact that my car will easily travel at 100MPH and it may be fun, doesn’t mean that it is absolute that the legal speed limit is 55.

    I agree on the homosexual acts thing. I should have been more clear. This comes down to sexual immorality. I believe that one can proclaim to be a homosexual but so long as they do not act accordingly, they have not sinned. Conversely, Scriptue says that if I “look at a woman lustfully, I have already commited adultery with her in my heart” (Matt 5:28) This is a sin and is the truth.

    I certainly am no Biblical expert, but I strive to understand it daily. If I have presented myself as such, then I apologize.

    I do believe that there are many who claim to be experts, yet they lead many people astray with false interpretations. In the end, This comes down to my relationship with God and taking responsibility for it. It is my responsibility to seek out wise counsel and instruction. It is my responsibility to pursue holiness. It is my responsibility to ask God (and men) for forgiveness

    I wonder about your phrase: “I’ve been a Believer for nearly 30 years, and I must say the older I get the more ‘gray’ emerges in my beliefs.”

    Is this because God is working on you? (ie: calling you to consider the black, white, and gray) or because the world has become far more gray and it is pushing in on you? (ie: you have lost sight of the black and white)

    Thanks for your comments. Hope this finds you well out there in Oregon.

  5. “This comes down to my relationship with God and taking responsibility for it. It is my responsibility to seek out wise counsel and instruction. It is my responsibility to pursue holiness. It is my responsibility to ask God (and men) for forgiveness.”

    I agree with this statement – but would caution that this only applies to you. This does not apply to anyone else you encounter, but you must trust that they have the same attitude as they approach the scriptures.

    This is another gray area – how two people can be working out their own salvation with fear and trembling and come to different conclusions. Also, what may be considered sin to you, may not be a sin for me – and vice versa. This is very subjective, but it’s absolutely Biblical.

    I’m not in Oregon btw, but I like to drink Oregon beer!

  6. Beer? Hmmm. I should try some of that, but I quit drinking. After reading Romans 14:20 & 21:

    “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause a brother to fall.”

    I believed that if I was a Christ Follower yet continued to drink, I was potentially going to cause someone to stumble or fall. In effect, I was no different that the rest of the world.

    If an alcoholic that I know (who knows I am a Christian) drank with me or saw me drinking, he might conclude that his drinking was OK because he saw me drinking. My behavior might keep him chained in his sin.

    So, is drinking alcohol a sin? No.

    Is drinking to excess so that you become intoxicated a sin? Yes, I think it is. (Romans 13)

    Is causing someone to stumble because of your behavior a sin? Definitely.

    Is it legalistic and intolerant if someone decries all alcohol and judges everyone who consumes it, yet has no Biblical basis for their positions as outlined above? Yes.

  7. Good exegesis.

    The ‘gray’ part is that it would be okay for you to drink a beer in the privacy of your own home, but to do so in public would not be okay.

    Most people don’t get that.

  8. Just was browsing and read the “there is no Grey ” page – and the discussion .
    It seems most just don’t get the fact that we are ALL sinners bound for hell at birth. Nothing we ever do ourselves can save us , or make us more acceptable to God— we are only saved through the blood of Christ and his sacrifice.
    So to discuss if you’re a sinner because you drink ,or are involved in homosexual activity — is a useless discussion. We are all sinners from birth (Rom.5:12)
    The bottom line is we Christians are not going to convince anyone of anything. We just need to share the truth of the Gospel ( the death burial and resurrection of Jesus –according to the scripture ) express the need for salvation- and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

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