I dig this song.
WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS?
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
I remember this from my childhood and it endures even today. This scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" served as a tremendous platform to tell many of the birth of Jesus Christ! Special thanks to the late Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
If you have a minute check out 2 Timothy 4:21.
Now back to my story...
I'm riding with one of our guys to our starting point. for clean up effort. As we pull up to the group he rolls down the window and says, "Look what I found - a preacher with a servant's heart." For some reason that just struck me. Are preachers not seen as men with servant's hearts? Or were they surprised by my willingness to help? Hmmm. A servant's heart? Now, I'd expect to hear "a heart for the truth" or perhaps "a heart for preaching." I don't know that I've ever been identified as someone with a servant's heart. Maybe someone thought it once, but didn't verbalize it!
A servant's heart? I need to work on this.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of he age to come, 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. (NASB)
There are basically four approaches to this passage. The first two should be quickly rejected. One argues that this passage isn't even addressing an authentic believer. This is wrong for several reasons, but I'll mention one: "To renew ... AGAIN to repentace (v.6) clearly shows they had repented previously. Another view argues that this passage is merely hypothetical. Huh? I just odn't buy that especially when you consider it the context of the entire book. The other two views of this passage have merit.
A Christian can fall away (be lost) yet can still return to Christ. Admittedly, I like this view on the surface and it is still the view I am inclined to accept. Jack Cottrell skillfully agrues for this view in his "Faith Once for All: Bible Doctrine for Today". Among other consideration, Cottrell suggests that The Lost Son" of Luke 15 should be considered . Billy Dyer and I discussed this passage last night and he holds this view. He pointed to James 5:19-20 for support. This camp would favor the alternate rendering of verse 6: if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[a]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
If you fall it's final = no second chance. This appears to be correct when I initially read the passage. Tim Warner of Pristine Faith Restoration Society makes a strong case for this view. This is also Roy Ingle's positon. You can read a good discussion of this passage on his Arminian Today blog. Douglas Jacoby sees a distinction between wandering and falling and supports this view rather than the above interpretation.
I'm not going to wade into all the pros & cons right here & now, but I will continue to look closely at this passage. Any insights are appreciated.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Since then he has written a lot more and received a great number of responses (pro & con). For the record I know longer teach the concept of monetary tithing. Ironically, Vince's quote above could have been mie a fews years ago! Back then I did teach "monetary tithing" with much fervor, but eventually abandoned it in favor of what I now understand to be the New Covenant standards. Giving in the the New Covenant is about the heart. 2 Corinthians is probably to most thorough teaching on giving in the NT. Notice what Paul writes... 2 Cor 9:7 - Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 is all about sacrificial giving and generosity, but no mention of a "monetary tithe."
Let me say I don't have any personal animosity toward Vince Antonucci. He seems like a good brother who is passionate about reaching the lost and Christ's kingdom. His blog offers lots of keen insights from someone who gets the mission of the church. I do, however, vigorously disagree with what he a has recently espoused about "tithing." It also appears that he isn't going to give up his position (at least not right now). If you want, you can read it all for yourselves.
The discussion (like most on blogs) had some very informed comments along with the occasional ad hominen, but it was a good exchange over all.
For a better understanding of this issue (IMHO) I'd recommend the work of Russell Kellley which can be found here.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
One is old and old school. He shows up on Sundays in his finest - the best he has to wear - suit, tie, neatly ironed dress shirt & shined shoes! His hair is neat and his apearance serious as he enters the church building. He does so because he wants to give his best to the master. He's coming to "God's house" so he dresses "appropriately". He reverently sings the old hymns. I like this guy. In his heart he is striving to please his Lord.
The other guys is young and of the new generation. He is unencumbered by the external trappings of this aforementioned older brother (or so he thinks). He comes on Sundays in baggy pants, awell wrinkled tee and his customary flip flops. The flip flops come off quicky as the "worship" begins. This is "Holy ground" and he removes his shoes just like Moses! He is in the presence of God! He quickly stands when first note is struck on a guitar. He claps, raises his hands and perhaps even dances. I like this guy too. In his heart he also desires to please His Lord.
What's the difference between these two approaches? I'd suggest not much at all. Yes, on the surface, these two seem very different. Yet, quite ironically, they really are the same... It's just different applications of the same misunderstanding. You see, both of these men believe that they are going to "meet God" in a place. Is this correct? Is this what the Scriptures teach? I think not.
Don't we believe in God's omnipresence? Don't we have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?
The first guy is guilty of the "edifice complex" and the "temple mentality." He should revisit Acts 7:48-50: "However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says: " 'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?'
The second guy has the popular "encounter God" mentality. He needs a broader understanding of worship based on Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
They both should read....
Acts 2:38: Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:9: You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.