In Deed and In Truth

thoughts from a Christian

Easter? Resurrection.

As a Christian, I for one, cannot refer to this holiday as the “Easter” holiday.  Here is an excerpt from the sermon last year during this holiday:

Let’s discuss the term: Easter.  It has now been associated with Christ’s resurrection for as long as we can remember.  Unfortunately, the Scriptures nor any Biblical scholars ever agree that the term Easter should be associated with Christ’s resurrection.  The term “easter” stems from ancient polytheistic religions.  It is a pagan term dating back to the flood, the original beginning of the Babylonian empire.  “Easter” is the name of the Teutonic goddess of Spring or fertility, which was then associated Semiramis, the wife of the first ruler of Babylon.

As far as the bunny goes, rabbits have always been known as the sexual symbol of fertility.  Additionally, the easter bunny is associated with the mother goddess of Spring.  The easter egg, draws from it’s ancient traditions that the egg is a sacred symbol from where the Spring goddess of fertility, Semiramis hatched.

Isn’t it interesting that the act of Jesus Christ that destroyed death has now been obscured by the term easter, Ishtar, bunnies, and eggs, all of which come from pagan traditions that mock the story of Christ?  Isn’t it even more interesting that we’ve accepted it and never questioned it, not even church leaders today?  This is the reason why we try to change the thinking and call this day, Resurrection Sunday.

This day should be about Christ.  And too often, the word association of easter contains words of bunnies, pastels, and eggs, hunting and painting.  Today, we try to remind ourselves and teach ourselves new things regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The devil is the great deceiver and the father of lies. (John 8:44)  He’s taken this crucial moment of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice and has created a misconception that has not only infiltrated the general society but the Christian church itself!  Does anyone really think that it’s a coincidence that the automatic response to this day is that of pastels, bunnies, and egg hunts?  Do we really assume that during Christmas the character of Santa Claus just miraculously and coincidentally appeared for the convenience of little children everywhere?  Remember the line from C.S. Lewis’ book The Screwtape Letters that the greatest victory that Satan has achieved is making the world believe he doesn’t exist. (paraphrase).  For us to assume that on the day of Christ’s birth and the day of His resurrection, these other fables have manifested itself by sheer coincidence would be buying into that very statement.

Even a subtle title change of acknowledging that this is the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection to the pagan goddess of Spring is a victory, not for the Christian, but for the deceiver.  It’s even more sad that proclaimed Christian leaders all around the world still will not hesitate to call this holiday Easter, not because of their understanding of the term, but because of the name association that falls behind it.

“I’ve always known it to be Easter.”

Yeah.  And I’ve always known Christ to have risen from the grave, not because of deceit, but because of truth.

(Picture taken from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_b1riZLz_O3c/SeHd1WtxGlI/AAAAAAAABBM/sjttyRPnbpk/s400/easter.jpg)

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April 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Concerns for Un-Biblical Worship Pt. 2

MAN

(Taken from work on my current doctoral dissertation)

Our first part of Concerns for Un-Biblical Worship centered around the improper perception or perspective of who God is.  The second part focuses on the object of our worship no longer being directed toward the God of the Bible but rather on man.

1 Peter 4:11 cautions us that “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God.  If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.  Amen.”

Concerning the exegesis of 1 Peter 4:11, the context is in regards to preaching.  This is an aspect of the ministry that cannot take away from the attention given toward God.  Preaching, spoken by man, must give glory to God through Christ Jesus.  The word “oracle” here is logion.  “This word refers to God’s written revelation.  The ministry of preaching must be confined within the bounds of God’s inspired Scriptures.  And this should be done according to the power, ischuos, which God supplies.  The supreme aim in preaching is to glorify God through Jesus Christ.  When Christ is proclaimed in His power and glory, then God is glorified.”[1]

Many preachers approach the pulpit lacking a sense of reverence and humility, but instead, as if the gift and calling bestowed upon them was of their own volition, preach with the subtext of God, but implicitly (or at times explicitly) claim the power as their own.  It becomes a stage to introduce and showcase the wonderful talents, skills, knowledge, and intelligence, masked by the intent of preaching the Word of God for the purpose of the congregation’s edification, when in fact, the preaching is done to excite, motivate, inspire, and direct the emotional appeal of the lay person toward the one preaching, yet done, “all in the name of God.”  When the preaching is given so that the attention is directed toward a fallen person, in need of a Savior, as opposed to the God who saves him, it is no longer Biblical.

How often do we come across preachers who bask in the glory they receive from their congregation members after preaching?  Unfortunately, there are those who step off of the pulpit looking forward to the admiration given to them by their respective laity.  It is what fuels them, inspires, motivates, and encourages them to continue “preaching” to others, as opposed to the sincere desire to bring glory to God by preaching His Word and edifying God’s children.

(Picture taken from http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblarge_314/1222459336H79UV3.jpg)


[1] Isidro Annotated New Testament, p.454

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Pride

One of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with is comparing myself to others who have walked the same road that I have.  There are many people whom I admire and respect, those who have accomplished so many things, accomplishments that I hope to achieve some day, achievements that I can’t seem to wait to lay a hold of.

Then there are individuals who are walking the same path that I am currently.  It’s a hard-fought battle for me, not to see them as competition or adversaries, but rather teammates and comrades.  It’s a feeling of one-upmanship, being pushed to be greater, to do better, to do more than the next person.  In a capitalistic American society, this is the right mind-set, but in the area of ministry, one can be considered delusional.

It was the apostle John that stated “He must increase but I must decrease.”  How absolutely necessary when speaking about our Savior and apropo when talking about our peers.

In my mind, I use Proverbs 27:17 as a quasi-justification for my emotions: “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”  My friends, my peers, those I look up to, are used to sharpen my countenance, therefore I must do the same.  I must be an iron to them to help sharpen their countenance.

But this in turn transforms into a challenge, a competition, a desire to “beat” and “win.”  It no longer becomes a humble ministry, but rather a prideful contest.

I can do more.  I can influence more people.  I can be more popular.  I can win.  I will win.

What sad state of affairs when this mentality has infiltrated my character.  I loathe myself because of it.  And it is not something that I can simply set aside.  I’ve been working so hard at it.  Everytime I see someone I love accomplish something great for the Lord, I hate that my first gut reaction is to ask myself “How can I top that?  How can I do better than him?”

This is all for the Lord.  And one of my greatest weaknesses is to assume otherwise due to the pride of life that has permeated throughout my thinking and my heart’s direction.  It is James that reminds me not to boast in my tomorrow, “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’ (James 4:15)

Unfortunately, I have “boast[ed] in [my] arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.”  (James 4:16)  My pride is but one of the thorns of my flesh.  It is this relocation to the Philippines that I hope my pride will be set aside in place of humility.  “For God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (Prov. 3:34)

To my friends who walk this journey with me, in sincerity, humility, and love, your progress and achievements inspire me to do more but to be LESS.  Though I may not have voiced it to you, I ask that you forgive me for challenging you, and placing myself in a position to try and supercede you in my superficial, fictional contest of ministry.  Please pray for and teach me how to be more humble, to approach ministry and friendship the way you have with me; with genuineness and a fervor to simply serve the Lord out of obedience, not acclaim, prestige or rewards.

My delusional idea of a competitive ministry has brought me to the edge of my cliff.  It’ll be my pride, or lack thereof, that decides whether or not I take another step.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded! – James 4:8

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Productivity


Ever wonder how anything ever gets done in this world?  Not specifically the world objectively, but our own personal world.  How do we truly measure our own productivity?  Is it by the size of our paychecks or the amount of critical praise received from our superiors?  Is it a personal barometer where a little voice inside of our heads tells us we’re doing a good job?

Half a world away and I’m considering the financial obligations I have left to pay.  When I worked full time to eke out a living for my family, I felt the LEAST productive.  I worked to earn a paycheck and immediately there was a standardized method for the allocation of funds.  Groceries, diapers, school loans, credit card bills, rent, and utilities.  Over and over again.  Once our second daughter came along, the expenses rose while the income stayed the same.  I was treading water every day.

Sorry, but treading water gets you nowhere nor is it productive.

Now here I am, across the Pacific Ocean, no longer tied to a paycheck, but without the bi-weekly income that I received for the last 13 years.  Each week, depending on the God of this universe to consider His servant just enough to survive for a few more days.

The priority of my productivity has now transferred from the temporal to the eternal, from moth and rust, to streets of gold, from a rat race, to finishing the race.

The measure of my productivity now lies with my wife and daughters, with the church and ministry, with the opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and winning others to Him.

So the sacrifice that was made is an effort to remain obedient to Him, serve Him, be faithful to Him, because God has never forsaken me.  I will do my best to fight the fight, to finish the race, to keep the faith.  And on that fateful day, I’ll know that my effort was not in vain when He welcomes me with the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

Those are words that I’ve never heard from anyone… and simply want to hear from the only One.

(Photo taken from http://www.hclabc.bc.ca/files/images/4504118_good_job.jpg)

September 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Simply Unbelievable

It is simply unbelievable, (yet believable) that there are those in this world who sincerely claim to be followers of Jesus Christ and believers in His Word and yet apply and teach it in only a way that bears subjective reasoning.  Too often have I read, heard, and seen of pastors, preachers, and other church leaders who claim that their revelation comes directly from God Himself.

News flash:  There is no longer any DIRECT REVELATION.

God reveals Himself to us in His Word, not through dreams, visible manifestations, or audible voice that “speaks to us,” and that “our spirit hears.”  The idea that God has selected some to exclusively hear His Word while the rest of us are kept in the dark has us inching closer and closer to that other world religion that has its leader speaking Ex Cathedra.  Why can you hear Him and not I?  Are you more selectively chosen, more of a light, more of a salt than I am?  What makes your salvation greater than mine?  Have I not accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior?  Have I not been born again? Have I not been imputed righteousness?  Do I not also believe that salvation is by grace through faith in Him, not of ourselves, lest any man should boast?

Why did God choose you, not me?  Sounds more like a reformed faith to me rather than some selective relevant, revelation of grace.

If anyone claims to be a believer in Christ, follower of God, and obedient to the Word of God, yet claims direct revelation, the most basic, fundamental argument that they are making is this: “I need to hear directly from God because HIS WORD, THE BIBLE, IS NOT ENOUGH.”

For anyone to make this implicit claim does not believe in the veracity, inerrancy, and complete inspiration of the Scriptures.  God has given us everything we need to know in His Word.  This “New Covenant” does not revert back to the “Old Covenant” when God dealt audibly and directly with His followers through voice and anthropomorphism.  Again, defining this as a “New Covenant” in any manner subjects it to a post-modernistic opinion that it is your own subjective truth, that this is what you believe the New Covenant is.

I understand it appeals to the masses.  I understand that it brings more attention and glorification to the one claiming it.  People appeal to the emotional aspect of faith, hoping to create an experience of tears, goosebumps, and “Spirit-moving/slaining.”  I also can claim that God spoke to me and garner hundreds if not thousands of followers by following it with miracles that are spoken “in the name of Christ!”

But I’ve read, heard, and researched others who have claimed the same thing, as if they came in the name of God only to divert from the truth of apostolic theology.  And I know of one more who will come, sit on the throne of God, and commit the abomination of desolation, claiming to be God Himself.

Are these modern day individuals so far from them?  Haven’t the apostle’s spoken out to the churches in Asia Minor, Ephesus, Corinth about the false teachers that have come, not only from outside the church walls, but those who will come from within?  Who is keeping these people accountable, especially when others reach out to them, feeding and stroking their ego, believing that they are truly preaching and teaching the apostolic theology of the Word of God?

It’s hard enough to fight against the principalities and powers, against the various other denominations and ideologies that teach that Christ is not God, He is not Savior, and that there are other various means to salvation and to God.  Now we have to fight against those who claim to be His children as well, but distort and interpret the Word of God only as they see fit?

As the apostle John told the church, we truly are in the Last Hour.

(Photo taken from http://www.cowichanfamilylife.org/counselling/images/anger2.jpg)

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Autumn Reflection

Autumn Reflection 2

I suppose it’s time for some reflection.  It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on In Deed In Truth and it’s not for lack of content.  I’d even hate to pawn it off on lack of time.  But reality is reality.  Can’t fake the funk.

It has been a ridiculously insane 2 months.  The beginning of autumn was a progressive, forward thinking, looking toward new and exciting developments, time of the year.  On August 7, 2009, we welcomed our second daughter into the world.  The last 3 months has been filled with diapers, wipes, breast milk, screaming newborns, screaming older sisters, and not nearly enough time to cultivate and nurture the marriage between a husband and wife.  Up’s and downs.  In’s and Outs.  Kriss and Kross… don’t it make you wanna jump, jump.

Not only did the Lord give me another beautiful baby daughte, but my secular full time job maintains its consistent demands as well as the church in Pasadena, CA.  Unfortunately, many things had to take a back seat and the last 6 months has forced me to prioritize big time.

I’ve tried to maintain the level of activity with Events For Christ, but my family, church, and work has demanded more of my time and attention.  As much as I wanted to keep EFC going and growing, it was just far too difficult.  But things are starting to slow down and get into a nice rhythm.  EFC seems to be back on my radar and I can’t be more excited.  Thank you to all those who continue to encourage us with your support for Events For Christ

Not only is EFC back on my radar, but a brand new ministry movement has pushed itself to the front of the line.  The Road to Peace is a new ministry that the Lord has placed on my heart and I’ve obliged to undertake.  Starting with a rally this month, a conference in January, videos, pictures, books, t-shirts, sponsorships, collaborations, and the sort spewed about, needless to say, not much else has found its way into my schedule.  I have a team of 4 individuals with another 4 consultants.  It’s God’s providence that He doesn’t allow me to feel how big this may get.  We are the US division.  We already have a South African contingent.  Sometime in 2010, we’re hoping to be able to travel internationally and bring this movement overseas.  (We’re looking into penetrating the Philippine market starting in 2010 as well.)  Big ideas.  An even bigger God.

Speaking of the Philippines, a little birdie told me that there’s a need for my presence in Forest Hills, Cebu City, where the main organizational ministry is located.  As vice-chairman of EL International Church Inc, it’s important for me to be in the midst of all the goings on of EL International.  Lord willing, we’ll be opening our elementary school next year, continuing the construction of the building, attending to the details of the library, and adding more components to the computer lab.  Not to mention the 7 additional congregations that are currently planted.  There’s a congregation in Valenzuela city, PI that is still without a pastor but diligently worships and serves weekly.

As busy as I think I am here in the US, I know that things are 100 times more arduous and hectic in Pinas.  It helps me keep things in perspective.

My older sister warned me earlier this week of the work load that I’m carrying.  From her viewpoint, being the sole provider of my family and carrying everything else is unhealthy and hazardous to my heart.  A myocardial infarction might be in my future.  I pray that it’s not.

All in all, as busy as my days, nights, weeks, and weekends may be… as overwhelmed as I may potentially feel, I’m having fun.  I’m doing what I love to do, which is serve the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  I don’t feel like I’m wasting any of my talents and gifts because I’m just focusing on giving it back to Him.  It brings joy to my heart.

And as long as my daughters rush to the door every time they hear me and usher me into my home with open arms and wide smiles, welcomed to a family based on love and support, God’s goodness is revealed to me every single day.

And I challenge God…Can it really get any better?

(Picture taken October 2009, Keilah Naomi at Finkbiner Park in Glendora, CA)

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Autographs Please

No Autographs Please

A while back, I remember having a conversation with someone at an event.  Our conversation was going quite well and we were discussing many issues of the ministry.  Mid sentence, he stopped me from talking and asked me if I could take a picture of him and the speaker for the evening, that had just so happened to be within proximity of where we were.  At that moment, our conversation ceased as his conversation with the other person began.

What am I to think?  Obviously what I was saying wasn’t nearly as interesting as what he could be talking about with the other person.  In retrospect, the look on his face as I was speaking made it look like he had mentally checked out and was just looking for an opportunity to ask me to take this famous photograph.

I can’t fault him for his actions.  If you want to talk to somebody, then you want to talk to somebody.  I just hope that I’m never the cause of a cancelled conversation.

Coming in a day and age where there is so much exposure, self made, man made with an ease of publicity, anybody at any time can become popular on many levels.  Want to show your face?  Youtube it is.  Got something to say.  Podcast.  Afraid of exposing your face or voice?  Get a blog.  Anybody, anywhere can come out of nowhere and rise to prominence and fame.  (Daniel’s little horn anyone?)

But just as everybody is going in one direction, hoping for that recognition, I’ve been spending the last few years, trying to stay away from the pull of popularity.  (Even at this moment, this blog is read only by my family and a few friends.  Though this entry may make me seem hypocritical, I assure you, my intent for this blog is not for popularity.  In due time, it will be a vehicle meant for more theological, educational purposes).

As carnal human beings, there are insecurities that lie in wait.  When others begin to feed our insecurities, the more we crave it.  When others shower us with praise and push us toward celebrity status, it’s hard to remain humble.  The enemy takes hold of any opening, and we begin down a slippery slope.

As a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ, we should all be defined by service.  I work, do the things I do, sacrifice, and toil because I want to serve.  I want to serve because I was bought at a price.  I want to serve because greater love has no man than this, than a man serve (lay down his life for) his friends.  I need to serve… because Christ served me by dying for me.  This act of service shouldn’t be done with attaining worldy rewards in mind.

Other pastors, preachers, teachers, speakers, evangelists, theologians, and clergy leaders may love the attention, crave it, and possibly handle it better than I could.  Kudos to them.  However, let’s not be mistaken.  I’m not saying that ALL attention is bad.  I just don’t want any additional attention that might tempt me to think of myself as anything more than a servant of God.

I’m not walking that path.  Give me the path less travelled by.  Let me walk the road marred by sacrifice and tears.  Let me trod the trail that evidences no sign of celebrity compromise, blinded by the flash of photography.

And let me walk it with Christ leading me.

Picture taken from http://baseballsnatcher.mlblogs.com/paparazzi.jpg

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Book Cover

Book Cover

This self-revelation came to me.  A new nickname.  Just call me… The Book Cover.  Why?  Because I get judged, that’s why.  I’m just wondering if there’s some sort of vibe or look that I give off that makes people immediately judge me either positively or negatively.  I’m not sure.  But I always get the feeling that people see me differently than I really am.  Maybe I should work on my first impression.

Or maybe it’s because I’m 26 and when people introduce me as a pastor it means nothing to them.  Maybe in the eyes of many, I haven’t yet paid my dues, or my credibility is called into question, or maybe they “despise me because of my youth.”  Maybe I haven’t made it around the circuit enough.  Maybe I haven’t spoken at enough churches or taught at enough universities or my name isn’t as well known as others.

Maybe it’s the way I dress.  Shorts, t-shirt, and some kicks don’t necessarily scream out that I’m a pastor.  Maybe my look discredits me and leads others not to take me seriously when it comes to the ministry.

The Book Cover.  Don’t judge me just yet.

I have to be honest.  Most of the people who find out that I’m a pastor engage me in conversation and we begin to have a nice talk about the ministry, my life, my testimony, their life, their opinions and an overall “getting to know you, getting to know all about you” moment.  But there are some that seem to not want to have anything to do with me when they find out that little nugget of information.  And it’s not the people that first come to your mind.

These are the ones who are established members of various ministries.  They are other pastors, teachers, Bible school professors.  They are the elders, the deacons, the associate pastors and church leaders.  They are the ones that have years of experience on me.  They are the ones that I shake hands with and say but two words to me.  They are the ones that I hope to look to for encouragement, advice, guidance, direction, and possible mentorship.

Maybe I’m making a big deal about it.  Maybe it’s my insecurities.  Maybe it’s me creating some sort of internal controversy to further motivate and inspire me to do more and be more for God.

Whatever it is, the fact still reminds.

I’m human.  And I don’t like to be judged.

But what can I do about that?  I don’t know.  Prove to others that I’m not who they seem?  Work harder to prove to myself that I’m not who people think I am?  Judge others just as extensively and shallow as I seem to be judged by first impression, just to give them a taste of their own medicine?

I may just do that.  All of it may be justified, even urged by others.  I just may, but not just yet.

Because as of right now… I still have some reading to do.

Picture taken from http://blogacademy.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/first-impressions.jpg

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Follow the Leader

follow_the_leader_2_b

I’ve always known that a true, successful leader is not defined by what they accomplish, but by what their followers accomplish.  For more than a decade, I’ve been placed in positions of leadership.  Is there such a thing as a natural born leader?  I’m not sure.  I’m leaning more to the notion that a leader is made, not born.  All I know is that as a leader I’m still learning.  And I’m confident that I’ll still be learning for decades more to come.

There are many leadership hats that I must wear.  As a husband I must lead my wife.  As a father I must lead my daughters.  As a pastor, I must lead my congregation.  As a project manager I must lead my team.  There are many people to lead.

The difficulty comes in how to lead all these different people.

How I lead my wife is different from how I lead my daughters.  How I lead one member of the congregation is different from how I should lead another member.  How I lead one employee is different from another.

Every person is different.  Every person has different buttons, different motivational hot spots, many insecurities, many talents, many strengths, and many different ways that they follow.

They are also detracted from certain types of leaders.  How in the world am I supposed to figure out how each person is to be treated?

One person needs affirmation while another person needs scrutiny.  Another needs structure while yet another needs freedom.  People will all react differently to how I approach them.  I’ve learned that there is no “cookie cutter” leadership.  One leadership style will mesh with one while resent another.

So what must I do?  Observe.  Adapt.  Understand.

Love.

To emulate the greatest leader ever to grace this world with His presence, Jesus Christ based His entire ministry on love.

I can talk to people differently, motivate them differently, criticize them differently, push them differently, educate them differently, instruct them differently, and overall lead each person differently.

But I must love them all the same.

Picture taken from http://www.chromasia.com/galleries/0701052111.php

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Where’s the Love?

Wheres the Love

Yesterday, in church, we studied the topic of loving one another as a commandment.  There were many things that we discussed and many thoughts crossed through my mind.  There was one, however, that we didn’t expound on too much, but stayed with me for awhile, even until now.  I talked briefly about it with a few church members and one visitor, which evidences to me how I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Jesus Christ gave us the greatest commandment when He told us to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).  As men and women, we strive to accomplish this.  I’ve noticed many people giving their all to the Lord, hands raised to the heavens, singing their hearts out, constantly praising God and expressing how much they love Him.  They reiterate it through their prayers, their songs, their verbal testimony, their preaching, and their social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and whatever else we get into.  They really do love God.

But what about the second that is just like it?  To love one another as oneself (v.31)?  It’s interesting how people will be more than willing to show how much they love God and follow that commandment, but when commanded to love others, there’s no evidence of obedience.

What?  Are we defined as Christians by how much love we show to God through our worship and church services?  Isn’t it ironic that in order to show how much we love God, we do it, not by putting on a public display of adoration, but rather through genuinely loving others?

I’ve seen self-proclaimed Christians who will worship and sing, preach and teach and tell everyone how and why we should love God.  But these same Christians will then ignore others who are unlike themselves.  They will be unwelcoming, lacking the warmth of love when visitors enter into their church or their territory.  I’ve seen Christians, attending other Christian events, (not their own) and lack respect by talking and laughing throughout the entire performance, displaying no sense of reverence for the message being brought forth.  I’ve seen Christians who will love only those who love themselves.  What good is that?  Luke 6:32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”

Are we only choosing which commandments to follow?  Do we have it in our minds that it’s sufficient enough to love God and neglect loving others?  Do we think loving God and not others is good enough to pass as Christians in this world?

As Christians, sometimes we do well to love God with all that we have.  But to love God with all that we have means to follow that which He has commanded us.  If we really love God like we publicly display we do, then shouldn’t we also love, not unconditionally, but volitionally?  Shouldn’t we choose to love others because Christ loved them enough to die for all of us?  If we really love God, shouldn’t we love others enough to serve them?

Greater love hath no man than this… that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Not martyrdom.  Service.  Greater love hath no man than this… that a man serve his friends.

Christ served us by dying for us.

For all those people who love to tell others how much they love God and willing to do anything for Him, are we willing to love God enough to love others?  Enough with this, Pharisee-ical, Laodicean, hypocritical Christianity where we will only follow the commandments that we want to follow.

So looking around, who’s really a Christian?  I’ll believe the one who will genuinely love others…

… rather than the one who says they already do.

Picture taken from http://gallery.photo.net/photo/5023830-lg.jpg

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments