Friday, May 13, 2011
I find it troubling that Joel Osteen’s book about wealth and health guaranteed through faith being thought more Biblical, than a God offering eternal life through grace.
It makes me frustrated and downright sad that those who follow Christ are more known for what we prohibit than what we freely offer. Jesus’ words “they will know you are Christians by your love” still holds true to this humble believer, but I find myself asking if I am in the minority?
I never like to sugar coat the gospel of Christ. Jesus did not fear telling people that it would cost them everything to chase after the Messiah. However, if I only have one opportunity with someone, if I have only one message or one word to get across to someone about the power of Christ and his message, if I were given just one small 140 character tweet, I would not spend it dividing up who I believe make eternal life residency and those who do not. Instead I would spend the time sharing the enormity and cleansing power of the cross. I would share John 3:17 that Jesus is not looking to condemn but to save, and I would share my time, money, food, and life as a sign of his transforming love.
The truth over Bell’s controversial book is based on our fear of an open gospel means a universal gospel. Eugene Peterson says it best “There’s very little Christ, very little Jesus, in these people who are fighting Rob Bell.”
Let us stop fighting on this public stage about who has the keys t the kingdom of God, and let us stop our dogmatic tug-o-war match, and let us simply allow the controversial grace of Jesus Christ heal.
But if you had learned what this means I desire mercy not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent - Jesus (Matthew 12:7)
Friday, May 6, 2011
The book takes a long time drawing out the problem, (so long for the reader that it almost completely lost my attention) but the content in the heart of the book is useful for any and certainly as the title suggests, every man. With prayer, encouragement, and a few scriptural truths, Every Man’s Battle lays the groundwork to equip men to become sexually pure. Along the way the reader is remind of the several other people from all walks of life had struggled with the problem of sexual sin to varying degrees. This book is certainly worth reading no matter where one stands in their relationships with women! Arterburn and Stoeker are absolutely prophetic when they express that no little amount of sexual impurity is innocent or acceptable, but man can and are expected to have pure eyes, a pure heart, and pure intentions.
A free copy of this book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
War, violence, and retaliation are not powerful enough to stop evil. Jesus proposed a new way, a new weapon, and a new method to change the world and make everlasting peace. He showed that loving your enemies was how we lay down the pavement for diplomacy. He thought us that sacrificial death can erase the sins of many, and that a surprising resurrection would be the only true way to make things new!
May you not hate your enemies! May you be a true follower, a disciple, a believer in the Christ and obey his command to love even your enemies. If you want to belong to the man who made peace possible, if you want to reside in an everlasting home, if you want to expertise true fearless love and acceptance, than follow the way of the Son of God and love your enemies and transform the world!