Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Charismaticism is Easy

First, let me say I'm not a cessationist.  I believe that the 1st century church and the church today have the same access to the game God through the same Holy Spirit with the same power.  That being said, it's not the 1st century, there are no more Apostles.  To be an Apostle, you had to see Jesus in the body resurrected.  That isn't happening today, there is no one holding the office of Apostle.  Even so, there are churches everywhere that grow out of the excitement of the charismatic movement, let's talk about why for a minute, and go back in time a ways.

When Jesus was on the earth, He did miracles.  He healed people, fed a bunch of people with just a little bit, walked on water, raised the dead.  People flocked too Him and began asking to see more miracles.  They wanted a sign to see if He really was the messiah.  They said "do that one again".  They wanted to feel validated, they wanted proof.  Proof is easier than faith.  They wanted a sign,  and eventually Jesus got aggregated.  In Luke 11:29, Jesus says the generation is evil, for it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah (Jesus rising from the dead).

Are we an evil generation?  We sure do love signs and miracles and wonders.  If you tell people you are going to teach them truth, they may show up.  If you say you are going to heal the sick, raise the dead, speak in tongues and do wonders, they show up in droves.  Why is it so easy to focus on the miraculous?  Why do we push so hard for the signs and wonders of the spirit to show up?  We have begun practices not seen in the New Testament, like being slain in the spirit, falling down and twitching and vibrating.  Why?

If you are a charismatic and you practice these things, my goal is not to insult you, but to encourage you to question what is really happening.  For the 12 men closest to Jesus, we don't see any of these things, expect when they speak in tongues, which is intelligible languages at Pentecost.  We have some notes from Paul, but no explicate instructions except for tongues, to limit it and it's the least of the gifts.  Why focus so much on something that is discussed so little?  Maybe we are an evil generation that seeks a sign.  Maybe, just maybe it's easier to have proof than faith, but remember.  Without faith, it's impossible to please God.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Woven means Biblical First and Forever

I have seen some news recently that leaves me heartbroken.  Groups are on the fence about Biblical truth due to secular and worldly pressure.  As Christians, we are constantly being told by the world we need to compromise, to just give in.  There are groups and organization, churches and leaders who are abandoning the clear word of scripture in favor of social and political correct behavior.

It's not going to get easier.  Currently the City of Houston is putting pressure on pastors in regards to they way they speak about homosexuality.  This won't get better, it will come to the point that calling come sins what they are, sin, will become a hate crime.  Pastors will lose their pulpit, churches will loose buildings and jail time may end up being served.  It seems to be coming faster than we would like.

It doesn't matter.  Wovenism says that Bible is truth that is Woven into our daily lives.  Homosexual behavior is a sin.  Extra and premarital sexual activity is a sin.  It's not ok, but it is forgivable, just like hate and lying and stealing and gossip and every other sin that we often fall into.  It's sin and it breaks God's laws.  God's design is for completion of man and woman together to create the foundation of a family which serves as the building blocks of community which builds society.  As we have begun to view marriage and family as something that exists to make us happy instead of building society, we blew it.  Divorce rates went up, marriage is defined and redefined.  It's not about making a man or woman happy, it's about building a society that is focused on God and bringing Him glory.

As a Wovenist, I'll always stand for this.  I'll always stand on scripture and it's truth, and I will never have to stop and debate if I am going to trust in the Word.  It's a finished debate, Bible wins.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Still Live Post Surgery

Some of my readers may know, I just had an operation (oct 1st) and it's been a wild ride.  It was planned to be a laproscopic procedure, I have already had it done once.  The first time I was done in a couple of hours and home the same night.  Well, this time was a bit different.  Due to scar tissue and other difficulties, they opened me up, the surgery took 7 hours and there was a hole in my lung that caused it to collapse and I was in ICU for almost 3 days.  I was on oxygen for almost a week, I was out of the hospital a week from the surgery instead of the next day.

I have been home recovering, can't eat any solid foods and I'm exhausted most of the time.  Things have been harder and slower this surgery than last time, so there hasn't been much for blogging.  I have had lots of thoughts to share while I have been mostly incapacitated.  I hope to be able to share them with you in the days and weeks ahead.  Thanks for sticking with me as I had my insides rearranged.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Whose Advice Are you Taking?

I listen and I take note to many of the voices speaking in society.  Some of them are good, some of them are not.  Ok, most of them are not.  We listen to those who can speak the most elegantly, but often lack conviction in their lives or ministries.  I have heard pastors get excited from the pulpit and say they would do things they never did.  We listen to advice from friends who can't make their life work, and ignore those with wisdom and incite.  We listen to the young and popular, and it's a bad idea.  Look at Rehoboam.  He didn't listen to his dad's advisers, he listened to his buddies and he split the kingdom.  Ahab listened to his life (never trust a woman named Jezebel).  Job's wife and friends gave bad advice too.  Moses was smart, he listened to his father in law.

Who are you listening too?  Gossip columnist and movie stars, musicians, politicians?  Maybe it's a young, hip pastor or leader or CEO.  Lots of advice books and columns and radio shows.  I put my trust in the Word of God, lots of dead men (Edwards, Owens, Spuergeon, etc).  I'm not telling you who is listen too, you don't even have to listen to me.  Just be wise with who you seek for counsel and who you are listing too.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sometimes You Need Some Space

I think that sometimes the best thing you can do in relation to other people is sometimes limit contact.  In this modern world of ours, we have this fake interaction we call Social Media.  Some of it is good, some of it is bad but much of it is too much.  We share what we eat for breakfast, where we are with who doing what and when.  We assume the world wants to know what time I brush my teeth and where I got my coffee from this morning.  Most of it is pretty harmless, and even fun or funny.  Sometimes, it's not as harmless and we need to be proactive.

We all have things that get on our nerves, and sometimes that thing is posted all over social media.  Mine is when people isogete (take the Bible out of context to make a point) or make theological statements that are in contradiction to the Bible, just because they don't really like what the Bible says is true.  Drives me up the wall.  My other issue is Pharisee-ism, people who want to condemn everyone, but care about no one.  We can call it judging and condemning from afar.  We are to hold each other accountable WHILE carrying one another's burdens.  We were never meant to stand with arms folded and critique.  When people do that, it makes me want to fold my arms and critique.  Yes, it's hypocrisy, and I'm aware of the issue.  It's because of I have this issue that I recommend some space.  Sometimes the best thing you can do when someone drives you nuts, pushes your buttons and makes you crazy is take them off social media, avoid prolonged contact and learn to love them from arm's length.  Don't judge them, don't critique them, help and pray for them but don't follow them on Social Media.

We are commanded to love one another, and sometimes the best way to do that is with some distance.  Give them (and yourself) some breathing room.  If you have a pet peeve and I bug you, you have my permission to love me from afar.  I may be the best thing for both of us.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Surviving the Blah Days

Ever had a blah day?  A day when you didn't feel like getting out of bed, let alone do anything productive?  Maybe you're tired or the weather is bad or you just don't feel like being a contributor to the world at large.  You feel emotionally void, physically drained and spiritually dry.  Know what I'm talking about, or is it just me?  The blah days, when you want to eat too much, sleep too much and do nothing worthwhile.  I have those days, and let me tell you, those days are hard.

It's in the blah days that temptations seem the most available.  On blah days, it's easy to sit around on social media, look at things and say things.  Some things you shouldn't look at, some things you shouldn't say or post or tweet.  It's a temptation to be rude on blah days, because you feel blah.  It's easier not to care about someone's feelings.  It's easy to say or do things you'll regret.  What do we do with blah days?  Where is God when things are blah?

Blah days happen, and we have to live through them.  A few things you can do during those blah days.  Find a project offline, like a scrapbook, model, paint or draw or write or sew or something.  Find something to work on, something to focus your energy on.  Listen to a sermon or Christian music while you do something.  Fill your mind with positive things that will keep your mind from drifting to negative things.  Play with your dog or your cat, I'm sure they would appreciate it.  Do for a drive or a walk or a swim and take time to breathe.  Most of all, keep the lines of communication open to the Father.  Maybe God is taking a day to slow you down to tell you something important.

Blah days come, but they also go.  Hang in there during those days of blah-ness.  I hope you find a blessing on the other side.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bear Fruit, Don't Work Fruit

So one of the things that I have realized is I can't produce fruit.  I can't work the fruit of the spirit, but I can do the works of the flesh.  The fruit of the spirit comes through me, not from me.  The Holy Spirit produces the fruit, it's the Spirit's work.  He makes the fruit, we are just there to bear the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

So, here is the implication.  We need to change the way we teach and preach.  We give lists of dos and don'ts, we make rules and laws and tell people how to modify their behavior.  We tell them to be loving and forgiving and gentle and humble.  Guess what, they can't.  Only the Spirit can produce love and peace and gentleness and self control.  All we can do, all we should do is abide in the Spirit.  We do this by thinking about those things which are good and noble and right and pure.  We transform by the renewing of our mind, thinking about Christ and His mission, His message, His goodness.  We focus on God, we think about God, we pray and think about scripture.  We put our mind where it needs to be and as a result, the Holy Spirit puts our lives where it needs to be.

We have focused so much on changing our behavior, on following the rules that we have missed the basic fundamental responsibility.  To fix our eyes upon Jesus, to focus on God and let Him do the work in us.  He will make the fruit, we just bear the fruit.