The post-postmodern church will be a customized app so your “worship” time is customized and privatized by/to you. You set up a portfolio icon/image and discuss things with other members via chat and prayer rooms separated by age groups. Select a pastor from the menu according to the style and intensity you like. The sermons are then tweeted live at a certain time each week so that members can interact with them via likes or evangelically share them. If you don’t catch it live, you can always read it according to your own schedule. Periods of worship music are set aside before and after the sermon, but the app will allow you to bypass the preselected songs/hymns to access your our playlist so you can listen to what worship music suits you. Communion will be a clickable action for your icon to participate in as it’s symbolic anyway. The offering is more of an in-app purchase, where you can select a cause for it to go to, with just a % going to the church.
1 Corinthians 6:20 …”for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
“If we are not our own but the Lord’s, it’s clear what errors we must flee, and what we must direct our whole lives toward. We are not our own; therefore, neither our reason nor our will should dominate our plans and actions. We are not our own; therefore, let us not make the gratification of our flesh our end. We are not our own; therefore, let us forget ourselves and our own interests. Rather, we are God’s. Therefore, let us live and die to Him. We are God’s. Therefore, let His wisdom and His will govern all our actions. We are God’s. Therefore, let us – in every way in all our lives – run to Him as our only proper end. How far has he progressed who’s been taught that he is not his own – who’s taken rule and dominion away from his own reason and entrusted them to God. For the plague of submitting to our own rule leads us straight to ruin, but the surest way to safety is neither to know nor to want anything on our own, but simply to follow the leading of the Lord.” – John Calvin, A Little Book On The Christian Life, pages 22-23.
Current notions of coexistence are being proposed and propagated by liberal thinkers that strive to limit morals so that no one is offended. But a moral principle of coexistence cannot be the forced reduction of all moral codes to where no one is offended, for then there is no civil ethic and only anarchy and chaos. At best it can forbid individuals from exercising discipline of their moral principles upon an individual or group outside of its own adherents. This does not forbid a group from having moral principles that differ from others, and although one group may judge those outside of its body to be more or less wrong, misguided or heretical, no group can claim superiority by mandating others drop their positions because of the offense felt in being outside the bounds of what another group accepts. This should give all groups room to promote, advertise and recruit as best they can to convince others. Seekers and others can create groups to support their positions, but cannot demand the approval or acceptance of other groups.
I love my wife so much! It’s not because of all the stuff she does, our commonalities, her sense of humor or her being smarter than I. I can just lover her, all those qualities about her and more because I can see in us the picture of God’s love for me (and us). Without God’s love first I’m sure we’d place those expectations upon each other and that’s a weight neither of us could bear.
By way of advice, I know so many who want to just be “married”, as if that’s the cure for loneliness. It’s really not if you don’t have the right expectations and can really commit to someone without needing to get something from them. Something you should already be getting from God.
I sarcastically imagine God hears prayers from young Christians all the time asking for spouses, love, success and the like, all the while He’s thinking “Sorry all you got in this gospel deal was Me.” Yet some have the guts to even get angry with God that He has not condescended to their will. I guess if your that angry with Him you can always nail Him to a tree, oh wait we did that already.
If you say you trust God, then really trust that you have “God”. You shouldn’t need anyone else. If you ask for and He should grant you a spouse, don’t expect from him or her anything more than that their love and happiness are from God too. Then it’s an easy partnership and loving marriage where two people find themselves absorbed in serving and giving themselves in love to each other. A giving that I see in Whitney as God’s unfolding daily love. I love you Whitney.
In the adult sunday school class at church we are working through the book of 1 Samuel. As we got into chapter 15 there was discussion of two statements that God regretted having made Saul king (15:11, 35), but also a statement in verse 29 that God is not a man that he should have regrets. This post is some of my thoughts on reconciling the two points.
For me the key is to differentiate emotional terms as applied to a holy God, as opposed to how fallen humanity uses the term. I hold God’s regrets to be as like feelings, not that a poor choice was made but that the choice was necessary, yet grievous to watch play out (Luke 22:41-44). God’s providence is not detached from his character. He may have created the wicked for judgement (Prov. 16:4), and yet he can say this is not pleasing to his character (Ezekiel. 18:23). Although providential, He is not enjoying the judgement of Saul, in the same way Jesus/God can ordain Lazarus’ death, and fully know His intent to raise him from the dead, but be greatly grieved in seeing the death come to pass (John 11:5-42).
In the case of Saul, the people demanded a king, so God gives them one knowing what the out come will be. Yet the giving of Saul and now his removal is not pleasing to Him. He must teach his people a lesson, yet it is still grievous to have to do so and watch it unfold. Scripture is full of the Roman 1:26 judgements of God giving people what they want, in opposition to wanting him. God installed Saul, to teach a point that hurt Saul, the people, and God himself (taking our iniquities on Himself). He does not sit back, like us, waiting for the “ah-ha” moment so He can yell, “I told you so”! Instead He is a God that knows perfectly what is necessary and can sympathize with us, not withholding from us, or Himself, any pain that must come to pass as part of His design.
I think this teaches us to withhold judgment as long as possible, praying for the best in others, and not their swift destruction. Also we should be warned that what we demand of God, He may possibly give us in judgement. God is surely the great potter, making some vessels for honor and some for dishonor, but I believe the vessels of dishonor are wept over in their destruction.
One anticipated question is that, couldn’t God have made the people wait for David, or appointed someone else, instead of suffering through all this and making David’s rise to power so hard? The simple answer is, No. As this is what happened, it must have happened as God’s perfect unfolding of His plan. Just the same we could ask if God could have destroyed the classes of Scribes and Pharisees prior to Jesus, so to make His days less confrontational. But He didn’t, and it served its grievous and glorious purpose.
What Paul says:”And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (ESV)
Most segregate verse 28 from the rest, and without this context some common errors come up.
It’s not saying Christians will have any less pain, suffering or general hard/bad circumstances in life than anyone else. The “all things” is simply that, all of life – the good, the bad and the ugly, are part of the Christian experience. Jesus didn’t die to lessen our hard times in this life.
It’s not saying that because you did not get your initial dream job (bf/gf, car, college….) that the “working together for good” means that a better job (or whatever you’re after) is just down the road a few days or weeks at most.
It’s not a negative version karma where I look at bad circumstances in life as something that triggers an equal and opposite positive circumstance.
It’s not saying to look at bad circumstances as if they are good or come with silver linings. Bad things are really bad. At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus was mad and wept, because death was real, and it was bad. He didn’t look past the pain of death and approach the situation as if He was looking to prove a point with a smile on his face.
We so often tell people, who are in the midst of a tragedy that God will make it good, as in they will be able to comfort somebody else later on who befalls the same thing. That may be, but that’s not the promise here.
It is saying:
* That all of life, for God’s children, is fixed and structured in a manner that it works to mold us, more and more into the image of Jesus (our greatest “good”).
* That circumstances (good or bad) are the means/tools by which God molds us into Christ’s image. They are no less great or as bad as God intends, as He knows exactly what we need and can withstand. He never cuts off too much or too little.
* That within this image bearing, God can refer to all Christians (men, women, children, Greeks, slaves…) as inheritors (“sons” as a position/title, not just gender).
* That glorification is so fixed for the children of God, that it can be referenced in the past tense as already a part of what we are.
* That, as Tim Keller summarizes in a sermon on joy, Christians have joy that transcends circumstances because these passages tell us 1) bad things are for our ultimate good, 2) the good (Christ) we can never lose, and 3) the best is yet to come.