What is the motivation behind the building of the NYC Mosque? The Apostle Paul said of our Christian freedom in Jesus, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)” Why would our President get involved in this clearly religious matter by stating their lawful right to do so? It may be lawful, but is it profitable or beneficial for the U.S.? And if we do, are we allowing ourselves to be mastered by a clearly opposing religious and politically motivated world view?
The followers of Islam have made it clear that the U.S. is the infidel to them, that we are worshippers of our wealth and arrogant. Islam is clear in both its teaching and history as a religion of violence and domination whose goal is to eliminate the infidel. Islam is not a religion of peace. As seen in the video below, true believers of Islam cannot be friends with non believers and it teaches them to outwardly befriend but inwardly curse them. If this is true, how can Muslims claim to want to build the symbol of their beliefs as an honor to those that Muslims killed and to what Muslims believe was the symbol of our worship as infidels, the World Trade Center? And again why would our President get involved, other than knowing what the Quran teaches in this regard?
My opinion is obvious. But I am interested in what all of you think? The can’s open, comment away.
Please take a moment before you comment to watch this short video?
Posted in Apologetics, Current Events, Politics, Questions
Tagged Acts 17 Apologetics, Allah, christianity, God, Islam, Jesus, Mosque, Muslim, New York, NYC Mosque, Politics, Quran, religion, www.answeringmuslims.com
We’ve all heard the phrase “tough love”, maybe even experienced it in our adolescence as we clumsily navigated through some rebellious patch of our life growing up. Hopefully you are not still stuck there. It can be painful both as a parent and a recipient of tough love. I however, have been experiencing tough love of a different nature lately and this morning took a moment to meditate on it. What I’m dealing with is how love can be tough. It’s hard to love people sometimes.
I have had a number of instances over the last year and especially recently where I was deeply struggling to feel and be loving toward people. I have felt like the Apostle Paul in Romans where he said:
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.” Romans 7:18
Paul endured all kinds of things at the hands of other people and he struggled with doing the right thing, the loving thing. He reveals our inner conflict between the spirit and the flesh in us. I have a desire to do the loving thing but sometimes my mind is saying stick it to them. We have a tendency to justify our feelings or subsequent actions, because after all we were done wrong, they are being unreasonable or we are the victim. That all may be true but the conflict remains and reveals our true problem. To be true to the Spirit in us, we must love and be loving.
As I read Romans 5 I find the problem with and answer to my dilemma:
“and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
The demands of life and the demands of God are so great that I don’t have a chance to do right without Him. God knows the selfish and self-preserving nature of our flesh. We are without the hope of consistent love without the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. Without Jesus and the gift of His Spirit we do not have the capacity to love the unloveable. We will revert to our flesh and flesh will always protect flesh. It defaults to self-preservation.
However, even as a believer we will have to believe the promise of God’s love. Through His Spirit He has poured out His love in our hearts giving us His capacity to love even in the harshest of conditions. Love is tough, but its impossible without God’s love. So before we begin to excuse our unloving behavior by what others have done to us, we need to draw deep from the well of God’s love and remember that even in moments of injustice and persecution God gives us the capacity to manifest the love of Jesus through our mortal flesh.
Love may be tough, but not impossible.
Who do you need to forgive today?
Posted in discipleship, Inspiration, love, Questions, Relationships
Tagged christianity, conflict, disappointment, discipleship, forgiveness, God, Holy Spirit, injustice, Jesus, life, love, persecution, Relationships, religion, spirituality, tough love
This entry from my friend Robbie made me think. Are we collectors of God’s Word or consumers of God’s Word. I hope we are all consuming God’s Word and meditating on it daily. So, here’s the poll for the day.
How many Bibles do you own?
Leave your comment with how many.
Posted in discipleship, Questions
Tagged bible, christianity, collectors, Consumers, food for the soul, God, God's Word, Jesus, life, Poll, religion, Robbie Bridges
If you remember learning about icebergs in Elementary or Middle School you know that what you see sticking out of the water is only a small fraction of the whole thing.
Over the last 2 years I have walked through a major change in ministry. God began some things in the church I serve that have caused me to take a fresh and new look at my faith, my theology, my walk, and my views of what the church is and does. This has been an incredible journey of discovery. However, not everyone around you is ready to take the journey or handle what you discover. Like Jesus in John 6:66, many of His disciples turned away because they could not handle what He was saying to them, and they quit following Him.
For most, if you asked about or mentioned church, their first thought would picture a building located at some specific address. You know the question, “where do you go to church?” If this represents the iceberg above the water, what is below the surface. If all we experience is what we see on the surface, we miss the beauty of all that is below. Sadly, many believers will spend their whole life just on the surface and want nothing else or reject the notion that anything under the surface should be explored.
Let me prophecy (throw stones if you want), there is a shift happening – a global shift. As I have cried, prayed and searched, I am finding there are more people walking the way of Jesus than you will find warming a pew on Sunday. They are living in intentional communion and community with Jesus and other believers. They are committed to be the church, not just attend church.
The church as we have known it is in crisis. Our culture is changing and this current and next generation of spiritual seekers are looking for something more than church attendance. They are looking for more than religion. They want more than a life of lip service. For them, what is on the surface has no meaning without all that’s underneath.
What’s on the surface just doesn’t cut for me anymore. I’ve got to have what’s underneath. The truth is, the surface no longer satisfies and looses meaning without the beauty of the depths of Jesus and all that the church should really be.
Time is short, ‘ve got to leave off here. I will probably revisit this in my next post. I hope I have stirred something in you. If so please leave a comment. I cannot be the only one feeling this. I know I’m not.
Posted in Church, discipleship, Inspiration, Leadership, Mission, Missions & Missional, Questions, The Dwelling Place CC
Tagged changing culture, christianity, Church, Church in crisis, discipleship, God, going deep, iceberg, Jesus, Leadership, Missional, prophecy, religion, spirituality, the way of Jesus
I read an article this morning that made me think about the many trips I’ve taken with my family. When we pack the car to go to Grandmom and Pop’s house for Christmas with a family of five, packing becomes an art form if not an engineering miracle. If you ask my wife, I am the worst at taking less.
If you have flown lately you understand the value of less is more. Less baggage means more $$$$ in your wallet since they charge extra for each bag now. Not to mention less baggage to lug through the airport. We are having to learn how to travel light.
In the Fall 2008 issue of Leadership magazine, Skye Jethani, managing editor shares these thoughts:
Nothing to Declare (but the Gospel)
“To declare the gospel in a culture where fewer people are likely to step foot in a church means valuing swiftness over bigness, agility over security. This means smaller, missional communities with less baggage may be better equipped to advance the gospel than some larger churches burdened by their programming and overhead.
Does this mean we should abandon all our institutional baggage? Of course not. But like a smart traveler, conditions today require us to be more discerning about what to take on our journey, and what to leave behind.” (pg 5.)
What do you think?
I need your feed back. So please leave your comments and questions. Help create some dialogue here.
Posted in Church, Church Planting, discipleship, Leadership, Mission, Missions & Missional, Questions
Tagged baggage, christianity, Church, culture, God, Gospel, Institutional Church, Jesus, Leadership, Leadership Magazine, ministry, Missional, religion
I am at a loss for words. This takes me to a happy place. To my brother Scott I give a big Star Wars shout out! I’m sorry for making fun of you as a kid and calling you Star Wars Freak. I admit it I’m afreak too and I’m now coming out of the SW closet. I love you man.
What makes you happy?
“It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God – but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people – and this is not learned in five minutes.” Oswald Chambers
Discipleship is a process. It’s moment by moment. It’s the ordinary things that produce the character necessary to support the Great Moments. The exceptional things I may have the privilege of doing for God are only in proportion to the character built in the ordinary things. This is the stuff that qualifies you for the doing of exceptional things for God.
Living only for the exceptional moments in life will leave you with an emptiness most of the time. You will live in nostalgia, vicariously living through a few moments of your past or miss life all together being driven to achieve one moment of elusive greatness.
Discipleship is about character built through relationship. To be a disciple is to live so deeply and intimately with Jesus in every ordinary moment so when the time comes for me to do something exceptional, I will by nature be ready and not faulter – even if my greatest moment is the cross.
How are you doing in the ordinary moments?
What ordinary thing hae you done lately?
Posted in discipleship, Inspiration, Leadership, Questions, Relationships
Tagged character, christianity, discipleship, exceptional, God, Greatness, Jesus, life, Ordinary, Oswald Chambers, Relationships, religion, spirituality