Negativity of reform

It means very little to say that we need a new kind of church if we can’t show it to anyone. Otherwise, freedom from tradition becomes an excuse for freedom from obedience. Jesus came to empower us as well as to liberate us. Without his power, we aren’t free from anything. Until the church of Jesus is restored, we are in desperate straits, and desperation is appropriate.

What Satan wants to say

Satan desperately wants to say that God isn’t big enough. He can only redeem certain kinds of people. He can only fix problems with a certain degree of difficulty and no more.

Satan rejoices to see a church where only certain people feel welcome. If its members can handle only one kind of music, he likes that.

Satan enjoys it when Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or agnostics can convince themselves that Jesus isn’t for them. He enjoys it even more when Christians agree with them.

Satan is ecstatic when a church can’t provide healing for emotional or social hurts, and must send its members to experts who aren’t even part of the church.

Open your presents

Becoming defensive if someone questions your spiritual maturity is like becoming defensive if your parents tell you that you haven’t opened all your birthday presents. It’s a good thing, not a bad thing. God has more gifts for you. Open your presents.

The case against calmness

Calmness is common among those who are ignorant of impending disaster or approaching victory.

Calmness would be appropriate if there were nothing at stake.

Some Christians have said “faith is not a feeling” too many times. They mock spiritual passion and praise religious niceness.

Though the apostle Paul groaned, and all creation groans, we feel we don’t need to.

Calmness is appropriate for those who are not in love. Passion is appropriate for those who are in love.

American civil religion

Have you heard of something called American civil religion? It says that if you don’t do anything real bad, or if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to heaven. We’re all familiar with its teachings, yet no church officially teaches them. Yet if you deny its teachings, people look at you funny, as if you’re being uncharitable or heretical. Continue reading “American civil religion”