The Lost Art of Listening, Luke 8:4-15 (Here’s the iTunes link)
Here’s an Oklahoma boy preaching the gospel at Southern Seminary. Listen to the whole thing but at about 18 minutes, the Disciples get taken down a notch or two. A great discussion of God’s sovereignty and why Christians understand the Bible. Perspicuity folks–its a gift. Sometimes we preach repentance to justify judgment. Check it.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.–Romans 6:1-4
Between my bouts of finding podcasts and listening to them today I was reading Centuri0n’s blog. I can’t even link to it because I don’t think he wants people to–its not that sort of post. But its on top right now…don’t go read it unless you just really can’t help it. And his warning is for real. The link leads to a post thats bar room/locker room raw.
I’m still trying to figure out if the claims made by this fellow about the Bible are any different than the ones we make about it. I don’t think they are in that they’re based more on our experiences that upon what the Bible says. I lost a child so election can’t be right, I know a drunk so drinking must be evil, “Come on Joe les go blow up an abortion clinic”, etc. Whatever evil we want to hang on the Bible as our reason for doing it–it isn’t any different that what those people who beat up his Dad were thinking is it?
In the end its not the sin of the beaten or the blown up, its our own that causes this sort of thing. We WANT to beat the crap out of that person and insert your rationale here. If I was a good Baptist I’d suggest that perhaps ‘they weren’t saved’ but I think we’ve already established that I’m not that good a Baptist because I think thats a cop out. I think it goes deeper than that. I think its the same reason that the SBC was so opposed to Emancipation to begin with and why now we feel like we have to have someone to fight against ALL THE TIME. I think its the same reason as why we have to have fifty different discipleship programs all based on a some different formula of verses guaranteed to grow your church.
We’re not dead. Not yet. We’re still clinging, as a Convention to our life. We are not satisfied with the risen Christ and the Holy Word of God so we have to make more stuff up to go along with it.
Think about that one. Don’t blow it off, think.
One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. –Galatians 6:6
Why do we act like this is a suggestion? Why do we treat our pastors like hirelings? Why do we continually strive against the authority of the Word of God?
Yeah deacons, gossips, busybodies, I’m talking to you. Next time you feel like griping about the pastor’s sermon, take time to talk to him about it. When you find out what all he did that week besides prepare the sermon, offer to help out. When you see that he doesn’t have access to that many pastoral resources, ask him what he needs and find a way to get it for him.
I suppose its easier to just play ‘blame the pastor’. I mean, its the Southern Baptist way right? And I admit, I’ve met some folks who were sloppy in the pulpit BUT, and here the thing we need to hear, I’ve also looked at their congregations and said, “No wonder.”
“But the Word of God is not bound!” Are you?
OK. I’ve finally gotten some broadband internet.
Anyone have any suggestions for podcast receivers, pod catchers, or whatever they’re called? Let me know and thanks.
This is the second part of our series on frugality. Last week I wrote about how we discovered that we were bleeding cash. Today we’re going to work on that theme some more with probably the best tip for saving some money right now. I don’t know anyone who’s not crunched for cash right now. Milk is about four dollars a gallon. Do you have any idea how much milk four kids can drink a week? It’s crazy. But it has to be bought unless we want to go buy some cows and frankly I’m not ready for that. Getting up at three a.m. to feed babies or change diapers is hard enough. Milking the cow everyday would be way over the top.
One of the ways we began to fix the holes in our grocery budget was to stop eating out. I left this hanging out there yesterday, but the secret is that you can get by without going out to eat at all. Let that one sink in for a moment. Three meals a week for the cost of twenty one is what we’re faced with here. The big question, if we go out, is what are we going to do about the other eighteen meals? Starve? Kill our own meat? Of course not, we’re going to pony up the other hundred or so dollars a week for groceries so we can cook those other eighteen meals. This effectively doubles our grocery budget for the year and let me tell you we can flat put away the groceries.
The solution to this for us was spending time together. That’s all it took. With a little time spent together with my spouse—which is nice, actually, and hard to come by otherwise—we manage to get by on about a hundred bucks a week in groceries. This time is spent doing menu planning, writing a grocery list with what we need to cook those meals, and finding coupons. We’re about to start ‘comping’ sale ads too. We sit down together each week with a pile of cookbooks and our recipes and the calendar—as awful as that is—and decide what we’re going to eat for that week and what we have time to cook. Usually we can get by with two or three recipes with leftovers plus whatever can scrounge up on the weekend. It really depends on the week. Either way, for the cost of three or four trips through the fast food line I can cook all week for my family of six: Healthy, good, hot meals that never sat under a heat lamp or languished in a deep fryer.
Next I’m going to discuss some things that torpedo my resolve when it comes to begin frugal and what I can do to help prevent it.
I’m not a member of the Mark Driscoll Fan Club any preacher talking like that in the pulpit around here would probably get tossed over hand out the back door. But thats here in the Bible belt.
But here’s a whole world away from Seattle Washington. If my home county was paved over and you stacked folks three deep over the surface the population might get as high as Seattle. And the inhabitants aren’t nearly as nice there as they are down here. They’re a rough crowd. But they need Jesus. How about this, rather than griping and fussing about how they do it up there, lets go on up there and start a ‘proper’ church with elders–if you can find any who are qualified–and the whole shebang and see how long it lasts.
I can see the other side of this to, so don’t get me wrong. The same issues apply. Is there any real disciple making going on? Have they, as the Hindus did, just imported Jesus into their ‘groove’? I’m not actually in a position to respond to these questions because I have never been to Seattle or preached there–which can only be a whole different experience than it is here in Oklahoma.
I like Tim Challies ‘trajectory’ comment. I think it fits and I think it reminds us to remove the logs before we pluck at the splinters.
I have to think of the demon possessed man that Jesus healed, then left behind. Do I know why he did that? Nope. But I’ll bet it was because he was the one who could minister to those folks best. You know, the pig raising Jews who were so upset over their lost profits that they asked him to leave. Face to face with Jesus…I can’t get a grip on that one. But the man who was healed could. Think about that one for a while then, rather than griping publicly, lets look around and see why we’re not reaching out to the folks where we live and why we’re not all about discipleship and planting churches and things.
I just read this and thought it applied.
Every now and again I like to answer interesting search terms that come up in the wordpress dashboard. This week I got a good one, “answering for your sins on earth.”
I asked one of my pastors once about this and he said something that really changed my idea about what sin was. He told me, “I think sin is its own punishment, don’t you?” I had to agree.
I like this definition:
“Sin may be comprehensively defined as lack of conformity to the law of God in act, habit, attitude, outlook, disposition, motivation, and mode of existence.”— Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs
Sin separates us from God. It was Adams sin of disobedience and rebellion that started this whole mess to begin with. We are sinners by nature, it’s what we do. It’s what we have to do before we are converted. After? We do it by choice. For the saved and the unsaved Sin is its own punishment. The lost sin because they can’t help it. The Christian does it because they are willfully disobedient. Christians sin because they choose to do so. They are the free ones in the world, they don’t have to do sinful things. Romans 6:7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.
So why do they? Well I don’t know. Sin is also a symptom. It should serve as a sign to the one doing it that something isn’t right between them and God. If a person continues in sin and still calls themselves a Christian, some self-examination is in order. What is causing this? Why do I continue to do sinful things when I call myself saved? Am I really a Christian?
It’s helpful to ask yourself these kinds of questions.
Overall ‘answering for your sins on earth’ is merely a function of the effects of our actions. Godly actions serve God’s purpose. Sinful actions don’t and therefore they have bad consequences. Here’s the tricky part though. Here’s the thing that gets a lot of folks. Sin is fun and sometimes the consequences of sin are nice and easy and good. A lot of folks are fooled by that one.