Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Grace versus Being Right and Whose Stream is Higher Against the Barn , Yet All is Well!

Grace versus Being Right and Whose Stream is Higher Against the Barn, Yet All is Well!

The last few days have had some interesting things happening in the Blog sphere.

  1. Brian McLaren writes the clearest view about homosexuality yet!
  2. Mark Driscoll uses sarcasm and systematic theology in rebuttal.
  3. Punk Monkey is “tired of pissing contests”.
  4. Andrews wants us to know that everyone is “still friends”.
  5. Brian returns to clarify and suggest a better title “finding a pastoral response”

Now, what does iggy have to say on this?

I don’t know Brian, or Mark. I have talked to Punk Monkey (John O’Keefe) and he really was the one (besides New Kind of Christian by BM) that sent me on my way into postmodern/emergent thought/movement.

In the past I wrote about history repeating itself. As we begin to define ourselves as a movement, people will rise and either be appointed, or appoint themselves. Brian in my mind represents Grace. In his own words; “finding a pastoral response,” I agree. One should not paint every situation with a broad brush. We are to use wisdom… and depend on the Holy Spirit to “read” each situation and give the best response to it in grace and wisdom and love all wrapped in truth. Often some just “jump in” and rant about their view and slant on the Bible or the system they embrace and lose the ability to actually “pastor” a person in need.

The Bible defines Homosexuality as a sin… as it does gossip… (Uhemm), and lying, and adultery and abusive heterosexual relationships. Yet, the same grace that seems to cover gluttony, adultery, divorce, gossip, and on and on, seems to somehow stop at homosexuals. Saying this I am not pro gay or lesbian… as I am not pro abusive heterosexual relationships or someone being a sloth.

The answer is and has always been a personal interactive relationship with the Living Christ, Jesus Himself. To live in total dependency on Jesus for in this we no longer identify with our former self and are pressing on to maturity in the faith being grown by God Himself to the salvation of our souls FOR HIS NAME SAKE!

So to me “being right” has so much downside… because, what if in the end… you’re wrong! Then what?

On a personal level I am embarrassed, yet amused, ashamed, yet ROTFLMBO (edited for family). I really do not care who will be appointed to be top dog. I do lean against those who are Calvinist in bent as I see this, as cutting against the grain of what emergent is all about. (Yes, I hold a grudge that Acts29.com would not even consider me for support of my church plant… because I am too unconventional, and not Calvinist enough… it was not my fault that “Steve” could not reconcile eternal security and free will…. Maybe he needs to be better read… I recommend some Irenaeus… Polycarp and Ignatius. Then Calvin will seem like drivel and bad theology).

Ok, back to the topic.

These are great teachers and thinkers… I pray that as they aim at the barn the wind comes up and baptizes them both with true humility… if that happens, then I don’t care who leads… as long as he/she is humble and teachable and lead by the holy Spirit.


Monday, January 30, 2006

This guys says he is a pastor...

This guy claims that he is a pastor....

Welcome back to the blog world Russ!

Check out his coool new digs at the Stratopastor


Monday, January 23, 2006

Who is Jill Carol?

Who is Jill Carol?

If you haven’t heard of the Christian Science Monitor reporter, Jill Carol who has been abducted in the last few days then this is somehting you should read.

From the Blue Gal’s Blog


Good Coffee, Good Thoughts and a Lousy T-Shirt

Good Coffee and Good Thoughts and a Lousy T-Shirt

I just read a bit from mmmm, “that’s good coffee”, Rick Stillwell’s blog. He was talking about sharing Jesus. This was brought up from a post on Dan Kimball’s blog about a young man who was wearing a t-shirt that was, well you can read it here. You can read part 2 here.

In my life I really do not confront people with Jesus in any way other than live my life… and letting people know that I am a Christian. I then live my life as best I can with Christ in control. I am not perfect… and when I share, that is what I say is the first step… admitting we are imperfect and that is our job, while God’s job is to be perfect. I say we are redeemed fallen creatures that need the Grace and love of a perfect God. As I live my life I make mistakes, and then make sure I go back and apologize and admit my faults to those around me…. Admittedly this is not easy at all.

The closest thing that I do to what the man at the airport was doing is to hand out post cards that invite people to the Fellowship I am attempting to grow. (Most people would say “Church Plant”, I think Jesus already planted His Church and any church I would plant would have a bunch of vegetables in it.) = )

So, the question is, what do you do in sharing Jesus? If you are a pastor, what do you do to find the people for your … local fellowship?


Saturday, January 21, 2006

6 Months to the day...

Posted by Picasa 6 months to the day….
My daughter was born 6 months to the day….. Ciana, which means “God’s grace”, is such a joy. She loves to watch her brother and almost jumps out of our arms like she want’s to play with Fischer.

I can see in her eyes that she will be a little “pistol”.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Exactly 2 Years Ago

Exactly 2 Years Ago Today.

It was exactly two years ago today my boy Fischer entered this world…Suction cup on his head, a bit blue with the umbilical cord around his neck and covered with meconium… but alive and beautiful. He began losing weight and as the days progressed we became rather scared as to what to do. We put him on formula, and prayed and watched as Fischer seem to just lose more weight. Plain and simple we were scared.

I hit every prayer chain I knew and some I never probably would have… A good friend in Arizona set up a time that all our pastor friends across America would be in prayer with us with phone in hand, anointing Fischer with oil, and praying.

Fischer began eating almost right away… it was a new found appetite. He began to gain weight… our fear was gone and God was faithful.

Fischer is two years old today. He is my mini-me. He is beautiful and healthy.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

More on Pat Roberston....

Israel bristles at evangelist's Sharon comments, cuts ties
Associated Press
JERUSALEM - Israel has suspended contact with evangelist Pat Robertson for suggesting Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
The controversy has cast doubt on plans for a Christian tourism center that would showcase the growing flow of money and influence from U.S. church groups.
The decision, announced Wednesday by Israeli officials, does not affect other Christian groups that also consider it their spiritual duty to support Israel as fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
Tourism Minister Abraham Hirchson said he gave instructions to "stop all contact" with groups associated with Robertson. Last week, Robertson implied Sharon's massive stroke was a blow for "dividing God's land" with the withdrawal from Gaza and four West Bank settlements.
But Hirchson said the order did not apply to "all the evangelical community, God forbid."
Robertson is leading a group of evangelicals who have pledged to raise $50 million to build the Christian Heritage Center in Israel's northern Galilee region, where tradition says Jesus lived and taught.
Under a tentative agreement, Robertson's group was to put up the funding, while Israel would provide land and infrastructure.
But the fate of the project is now in question, said Ido Hartuv, spokesman for the tourism ministry.
A spokeswoman for Robertson's ministry declined to comment on Israel's decision.Copyright © 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

From the website of Pat Robertson

From the website of Pat Robertson. His “spokesperson” speaks for him… hmmm why does PR need a spokesperson? I think that PR does not explain himself is more troubling.


Robertson Spokesperson Addresses Comments Made by Pat Robertson Regarding Ariel Sharon

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA., January 5, 2006—Pat Robertson expresses his deep sadness over Ariel Sharon’s life threatening stroke and concern for Israel’s future security.
On The 700 Club broadcast this morning Robertson said he has met with Sharon at significant times and considers him a friend. Robertson, an ordained minister and bible teacher, has been a life long supporter of Israel and has continually expressed grave concern over dividing the land of Israel. Robertson pointed to the book of Joel in the Old Testament to show a biblical perspective of God’s view of Israel and efforts made from people who try to divide God’s land:
“In the book of Joel, the prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has ‘enmity against those who divide My land.’ God considers this land to be His. When you read the Bible, He said this is my land. For any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he will carve it up and give it away, God said, “No, this is Mine.”
According to his spokesperson, Angell Watts, Robertson is simply reminding his viewers what the Bible has to say about efforts made to divide the land of Israel.
She also expressed Dr. Robertson’s outrage at People for the American Way, who have a clear left-wing political agenda and who, on an ongoing basis, lift his comments out of context and widely circulate them in an attempt to discredit him.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pat Robertson going senile

Pat Robertson… going slightly senile?

Robertson suggests God smote Sharon
Evangelist links Israeli leader's stroke to 'dividing God's land'
(CNN) -- Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.
"He was dividing God's land, and I would say, 'Woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the [European Union], the United Nations or the United States of America,'" Robertson told viewers of his long-running television show, "The 700 Club."
"God says, 'This land belongs to me, and you'd better leave it alone,'" he said.
Robertson's show airs on the ABC Family cable network and claims about 1 million viewers daily.
Sharon, 77, clung to life in a Jerusalem hospital Thursday after surgery to treat a severe stroke, his doctors said.
The prime minister, who withdrew Israeli settlers and troops from Gaza and parts of the West Bank last summer over heated objections from his own Likud Party, was breathing with the aid of a ventilator after doctors operated to stop the bleeding in his brain.
In Washington, President Bush offered praise for Sharon in a speech on Thursday.
"We pray for his recovery," Bush said. "He's a good man, a strong man. A man who cared deeply about the security of the Israeli people, and a man who had a vision for peace. May God bless him."
Daniel Ayalon, Israel's ambassador to the United States, compared Robertson's remarks to the overheated rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (Full story)
He called the comments "outrageous" and said they were not something to expect "from any of our friends."
"He is a great friend of Israel and a great friend of Prime Minister Sharon himself, so I am very surprised," Ayalon told CNN.
Robertson, 75, founded the Christian Coalition and in 1988 failed in a bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He last stirred controversy in August, when he called for the assassination of Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez. (Full story)
Robertson later apologized, but still compared Chavez to Hitler and former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the process.
The same month, the Anti-Defamation League criticized Robertson for warning that God would "bring judgment" against Israel for its withdrawal from Gaza, which it had occupied since the 1967 Mideast war.
Robertson said Thursday that Sharon was "a very likable person, and I am sad to see him in this condition."
He linked Sharon's health problems to the 1995 assassination of Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the Oslo peace accords that granted limited self-rule to Palestinians.
"It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless, now he's dead," Robertson said.
Rabin was gunned down by a religious student opposed to the Oslo accords. The killer, Yigal Amir, admitted to the crime and was sentenced to life in prison.
Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, criticized Robertson's comments Thursday, saying the televangelist "has a political agenda for the entire world."
"He seems to think God is ready to take out any world leader who stands in the way of that agenda," Lynn said in a written statement.
"A religious leader should not be making callous political points while a man is struggling for his life," he said. "I'm appalled."
Ralph Neas, president of liberal advocacy group People for the American Way, said "it is astonishing that Pat Robertson still wields substantial influence" in the Republican Party.
"Once again, Pat Robertson leaves us speechless with his insensitivity and arrogance," Neas said in a written statement.
According to The Associated Press, Robertson spokeswoman Angell Watts said of people who criticized the comments: "What they're basically saying is, 'How dare Pat Robertson quote the Bible?'"
"This is what the word of God says," Watts told the AP. "This is nothing new to the Christian community."
Copyright 2006 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

Find this article at: http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/01/05/robertson.sharon

Monday, January 02, 2006

Living with the Detritus of Past Theologies

Living with the Detritus of Past Theologies

My fundamentalist "friends" may be amazed at this, that I do agree with them one some points. One being, that we need to return to the scripture as the final word on what God says on a topic.Many think that all the answers are in the Bible. There is not one subject that God has not touched on that is not given light to in Scripture. I would disagree with that as I think that it is obvious that the Super bowl, VW bugs, and a few other things are not mentioned so the obvious is that not all things are in the Bible. I would go as far as this. All the basic and mental and spiritual guidance to life and understanding who you are and who God is; is in the Bible. Many, who contend as I said, that the Bible has the final word, seem to also base their understanding on some other man’s understanding. John Calvin, Jacobus Arminius, or even modern Theologians such as C.S. Lewis may have had many things right, but they were just mere men.

To often I hear teachers and preachers without realizing it equate a developed, system of theology with the Bible. One is in grave danger to do this. Yet, to ignore the vast history we have as people of faith is even more of a danger.Many of the early Fathers wrote against heresy. This is evident in the bible as Paul and John and others wrote against many different groups such as the Judaizers, Nicolatians, Gnostics and some who preached the gospel out of impure motives. This was carried over into the letters of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Irenaeus. Yet, these men wrote from the authority of eyewitnesses and/or men directly having been disciple by one of the Apostles of Jesus.

I love the quote from an article/interview of Uwe Siemon-Netto who is religious-affairs editor and senior writer for United Press International. In the interview he says:

“It became clear to me that by separating yourself from history, and especially the history of the church and Christianity, you become woefully shallow. And if you become woefully shallow, all sorts of things can happen, with the demise of the Protestant church in Germany as one example. Other examples are the "German Christian" heresy in World War II [when certain biblical critics rejected everything in Scripture they deemed too Jewish], and the incredible homosexual and feminist heresies that now abound. If you don't have something to relate things to, you are certainly at a loss.”

We need reference points. We need to have a grasp of who we are, yet still in the grand context of our identity in Christ. I remember the first time someone brought up the crusades and the inquisitions as an argument against Christianity being a “religion of love”. I don’t remember exactly what I replied, it was probably lame anyway. Yet, if someone brings it up now I own it and say, “You confuse religious power with true Christianity.” Yet I never once deny that these are part of our heritage as a whole. To do so would be dishonest.

Yet, though I accept that there are portions of our Christian history that I am not too proud of, I think the connection of power overshadowing love is even present in many peoples theology today. To use our “faith” to push political agendas is a dangerous game. This is the territory the Catholic Church treaded as it also became a political power… in fact more than that, a sovereign nation.

In some ways we have two “histories”; one being of the Paulian house churches and the other of the tradition of Jesus choosing Peter as the temporal Head of the Church. If I had to choose, I would tend toward Paul as I see that in the scriptures more played out. I do not see that the many churches in the NT are showing any special honor to Peter, nor to the Church of Jerusalem, which would be the church Peter started according to scripture. I see through Paul’s writings that Jesus is always the Head of His Church and never does the Body get severed and handed over to a temporal “Head” on earth. It is as Jesus prayed, “On earth as it is in Heaven.” Jesus reigns in Heaven and also on earth.

Yet, again as many men worked out their faith in the midst of the Roman Catholic Hierarchical structure, we must not over look that here we have a great resource of writing that can show us where we as the Christian faith have come from.I do think first off our identity and purpose come from God. Without that foundational understanding we are completely lost in the sense of direction. That is why it is hard for me to accept books like, “Purpose Driven Life”, not that the book is bad or wrong or evil, rather that the Bible is pretty clear as to our purpose;

Ephesians 2:10. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 11. Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men) -- 12. remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 14. For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15. by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16. and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Philippians 2: 12. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13. for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. (all scripture form NIV)

From these scriptures one can see that our foundation is to fulfill the works and purpose of God through Jesus. Life is not about seeking our own purpose, but more about seeking to do God’s purpose in us. Some say that is the message of Rick Warren. I would say I agree then, yet it is not in seeking after purpose that we find our own, but in seeking after Christ we find His purpose in us and for us. I believe in a Christ Driven Life.We must be aware of who we are, or we can be lost in the seductions that come and toss us to and fro because it sounds good to us.

In the Emerging “movement” (I prefer to call it emerging thought) , we have a phrase. “It resonates with me.” Now, that is pretty cool. But still we need to seek to see if it because it is Good and brings us to a more mature relationship to God in Christ, or because we like how it, feels/sounds/smells. Are we tickling our own itching ears, or seeking THE REAL?
I view our history as many paths taken as in the parable of the sower. Some of our history is just sad. The seeds hit rock and birds take it away. Some of our history looks good but in reality it was not as the roots were shallow and when troubles came they did not stand against them. Then there are those in history who were caught up in the power/riches of this world. Sadly these tend to have the biggest impact and leave the darkest marks.Yet, though all this there is the History of those who have the Seed planted in their hearts and seek Christ’s purpose and turn history on its head as Jesus Himself did.

I would say Martin Luther was one as well as the Jesus movement of the 70’s and possible the Emerging Church Movement. We must be careful though to not allow the tares of this world to over take us in our pursuit of Christ and His Life and Purpose for us in Him. We must not put a person, movement, or anything in front of us that can obstruct our view of Christ Jesus.Blessings,iggy

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Psalms Study. Chapter 6.

Here is the latest in the Psalms series we are going through at Word of Mouth Fellowship.

Psalms 6
NIV Psalms 6:1-10

1. O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
2. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
3. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?
4. Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
5. No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?
6. I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
7. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
8. Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9. The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
10.All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

V1. Read Hebrews 12
V2. When we sin we should feel remorse…when one in the world sins often they do not unless they get caught. This is a sign we are changed… that we are now like David who had a heart after God.
V3-4 Deliverance… David asks for future deliverance now… we thank God for the deliverance given at the Cross.
V5. No repentance in the grave. We have one shot, after we die we cannot go back and repent of our sins… for the wages of our sins is death. (I found no commentary that approached this verse. I think to take it “literal” is to cause many a theology problems. To take this literal we must then accept “soul sleep”. I think the bulk of the Bible teaches that there is more than “soul sleep”; rather, Jesus Himself spoke of Abraham’s bosom as an actual place where the characters seem to be doing much more than “sleeping”.
V6. As we focus on the chaos around us, in a way it can blind us to the Truth Who lives in us. We can focus on sin or the daily grind… Man is made to have a tendency to steer toward what he focuses on. Think of a child on a bike who is riding in a huge parking lot. There is a light pole in the middle. As the child focuses on the light pole he fears he may hit it. And… he does. If one is driving a car and someone says, “look over here and see this.” As the drive turns to look the car tends to go in that direction also. If we focus on our sin, we waste away, for there is no LIFE in sin, or our sin nature, only death.
V8 - 10. Here David seem to change keys so to say, the first part is the Minor key of sadness and remorse, Here David seems to go into a major key, as he seems to stand and accepts Truth in his heart over the sin that seems to have overtaken him. Here David changes his focus not on his sin, but rather that God loves and hears him in spite of his sin. We must remember God’s character is not one of hate or one that is like the false gods of then or today who claim to be unknowable. God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 34.

Exodus 34
1. The LORD said to Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.
2. Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain.
3. No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain."
4. So Moses chiseled out two stone tablets like the first ones and went up Mount Sinai early in the morning, as the LORD had commanded him; and he carried the two stone tablets in his hands.
5. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD.
6. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
7. maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
8. Moses bowed to the ground at once and worshiped.

Our response to God’s mercy should be the same as Moses’, to bow down and worship God for His Grace and Mercy toward us.