Monthly Archives: February 2010

Righteousness not camouflage.

Christ blood is not some divine act of camouflage so that we can continue to sin unpunished.

Christ blood does not only cover our sin, but it cleanses us. We are WASHED in the blood of our crucified lord. Our sins are not just masked with a big red ink splat. It is by his blood we are welcomed as sons and daughters of God. The Holy Spirit comes to live and reside with us, teaching us to walk with him and be like him.

We cannot continue to treat the spilt blood of Christ as if it were something that little red light flasher in the movie Men in Black that makes people forget what just happened. Christ blood does not make God forget our sins, his blood cleanses us from them, it allows us to enter a new life were we are to live righteously.

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Wonderful cross or place of death?

We often sing of the wonderful beautiful cross. And because our mind cannot handle the intensity or cruelty of the cross we grow numb to the brutality of the cross. Yet, we have to remember the cross was torture leading to death. Jesus experienced pain at the highest levels of the human experience.

The cross was not just some uncomfortable experience, like the awkwardness of telling a stranger on the plain you’re a Christian, or the embarrassment of getting to front of the line at the grocery store with a cart full of items and realizing you forgot your wallet.

Jesus died on the cross. He bled, and breathed his last breath on the cross.

When we sing of the cross it should be in the sober reality of what happened, why it happened, who it was that died for us.

The cross is the anchor point of our faith, not some pithy poppy featurette of the Sunday lineup. Our God died at the hands of his creation; the creation he loved and formed. Our God suffered and was humiliated by the very people he gave life to.

The cross is not wonderful, it the shame of humanity, and the glory of God. The cross does not represent the best in man, but the worst. The cross is the premiere exhibit in our museum of disgrace.

I understand why people wish to forget the cross, and down play its reality. As a humanitarian why would I want to highlight the cross any more than I would want to highlight the holocaust as an act of human civility and love?

All one should do at the cross is fall down before it and cry out, “I will never deny you again. With my heart and with my actions I too crucified you, but never again. I will serve the King whom I killed. He will be my God.”

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Light unto the World.

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with Children in Ministry

As a Pastor or leader there are issues that one must addresses when raising Children in a Church environment.  One of these issues is, “if my children are not growing, or not fitting in at the church I’m (the parent) is ministering at what do I do.” This seems a particular issue of families ministering at small churches across America.

Some would say, “If God has called you to a church, he didn’t forget you had children. He has called all of you.”

Others might say, “Maybe God has not called us here, and we need to relocate.” This is particular hard for a family where a parent is a minister. For non-pastoring parents this seems to be the answer.

The third way might say, “As the pastor or ministry leader I’ll stay, but I’ll send my children to a place that best fits them, encourages them, and helps them grow.”

This is not an easy answer either. To break up the family unit, just so a parent can continue to minister at church is not ideal, even wanted. However, it may be necessary.

The picture of church should be a community of believers, a family. And it should be made up of families. Yet, a growing number of churches are more like hospitals. They are filled with dysfunctional people, who are beaten and broken seeking serious help and healing.

And just as if you worked in a ER or trauma unit on the front lines of a battle you would not want your children to see that carnage, some churches are not suited to raise a family. Some churches, like a job, only you have been called to witness the pain and blood you studied and prepared to see and handle.

I wish all churches were functional thriving places, but reality is not so kind. Like missionaries pastors are called to minister to a group of people living within a specific cultural context, dealing with particular hurts and dysfunctions. However, like many missionaries, we may have to send our kinds off to boarding school, or simply take them somewhere else while we walk into trauma room of our local church.

Our children need to grow up some place functional and healthy so they don’t get burned with the pain or hurts of others. The sights of battlefield ER would leave lasting scars on any child’s eyes. We need to have the same love for our children as to not let them see the inside of some of these dysfunctional churches.

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