Dluxe's World

Monday, July 17

Only the good stuff...

I have learned that 'borrowing' bandwidth from neighbors while we wait for our cable to get hooked up is less than reliable. After getting good connection speeds the first couple nights, everything went downhill.

I'll have the Joshua Generation review up in the next day or so... In the meantime, I promised Bible stuff early this week, so I'll deliver!

First, check out Deef's neat unpacking of an often misunderstood passage in Matthew 17. It's stuff like this that makes me so grateful for good, Godly friends.

Once you're done reading that, check out this sermon for a good, swift kick (the registration can be bypassed). Paul Washer is a missionary who runs HeartCry Missionary Society... And in this message, he really lays the rubber into a group of teens at a youth conference. I wonder if this message grips us the way it should?

More later. Thanks for sticking around!

5 Comments:

  • Great message from Mr. Washer. I have never experienced the "sign on the dotted line" form of evangelism (must be a Baptist thing", but I have experienced the form that says you are saved by membership (via confirmation). Cultural "Christianity" is an insidious and rotting kind of faith that is undermining American churches. Mr. Washer is right on the money.

    The sad thing for me is that his message was considered shocking. To whom? I wasn't all that shocked by any of it (convicted, yes). What kind of people call themselves Christian who would be shocked by such clear biblical teaching?

    By Blogger paradigm shifter, at 6:27 PM, July 17, 2006  

  • Well, I've only listened to half of Washer's message so far, so I might learn something more yet; but I can't say Washer was "right on the money". He had a very challenging and convicting message, that's for sure!

    I have trouble with his scriptural interpretation, particularly about the believer's security. After all, is a believer "sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise," (Eph 1:13) so that "no one can snatch [him] out of my Father's hand." (John 10:29)? It sounds as if Washer is arguing that not only can that happen, but in fact it is the majority case for those who place their faith in Christ and can point to a date and time for that event.

    Now, it's a bit more nuanced than that, and any of us can still walk away from that sermon with a challenge to be not like the world, but I haven't "bought" the particular theology he presents.

    By Anonymous Alan, at 7:16 AM, July 18, 2006  

  • It sounds as if Washer is arguing that not only can that happen, but in fact it is the majority case for those who place their faith in Christ and can point to a date and time for that event.

    I didn't hear it that way, personally. Of course, that could be my own faulty ears...

    I think Washer is making more of a point about what constitutes 'a believer'. Let's start from the vantage point of the original audience (in this case, youth). I think we'd all agree that there is, to a large degree, a trend towards some sort of easy Christianity in the church - particularly, perhaps, in youth ministries. We tell people that all it takes to be saved is a prayer and acknowledgement of Christ as Lord.

    Is that really it? I think it is and it isn't. The point Washer is making is that the quality of that ackowledgement matters... If I genuinely claim Christ as my Lord and Savior, isn't that decision going to have an impact on how I live my life? As I grow in understanding, shouldn't I be changing my behavior (by God's grace) and becoming more like Christ?

    I think Washer would say we're too lukewarm... We live duplicitous lives: Sitting in churches on Sunday and singing, 'Amen'ing, etc while going back to the office on Monday and ripping off our customers to make a buck. And all the while, we don't feel the conflict that our sin should cause us.

    Ok - That's an adult example... What about teens having sex? "I love Jesus and know He's Lord, but I love my boyfriend too. So, I'm just going to keep the status quo and continue our intimate relationship."

    *sigh* As you can see, I can never be in youth ministry. I know of no kids that would refer to anything as 'status quo' or 'intimate relationship'.

    Anyways... If our faith is simply an intellectual understanding or belief that has no impact on our lives, is that really saving faith? If we aren't submitting our lives to being transformed, are we any different than the demons who know and tremble?

    By Blogger HeavyDluxe, at 8:49 AM, July 18, 2006  

  • I see - it does seem mainly a difference in how we've heard the message!

    I particularly honed in on his mockery of the typical youth worker who asks a person concerned about their salvation, "did you make a commitment for Christ... was it SINCERE?"). He's got a great point, since the faith involved in salvation is at once more deep, and yet more basic than whether a date is written on the back of a kid's Bible. But I've also run into lots of people who are in Christ, yet unnecessarily agonize about whether they really are saved because of something a speaker says. Like after a Pentecostal speaks, some will say, "I must not be saved because I haven't spoken in tongues,"; or after a message like this one, the worry could be "I have trouble getting victory over sin", "I don't feel God answering my prayers,"... ergo: "maybe I'm not saved". Whatever the excess, whether it's personal sin, or an excessive self-focused worry about salvation (or both), it can lead to spiritual paralysis - while the real goal is maintaining and loving that relationship with Christ and allowing Him to transform us into His image.

    But at that point, it sounds like we're actually saying the same thing.

    By Anonymous alan, at 10:21 AM, July 18, 2006  

  • Whatever the excess, whether it's personal sin, or an excessive self-focused worry about salvation (or both), it can lead to spiritual paralysis - while the real goal is maintaining and loving that relationship with Christ and allowing Him to transform us into His image.

    Just to pump more good sermons out into the blogosphere, Josh Harris touches on all this in his July 9th sermon CovLife. You can get the sermon (streamed or DLed) via this page.

    By Blogger HeavyDluxe, at 10:48 AM, July 18, 2006  

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