ReThinking Church, Part 9 – Christianity is NOT a Culture

Continuing our look at ReThinking Church, we find another difference between the modern church from the New Testament norm. It is in the area of culture. Today, especially in the West, there is little room between the Church and culture. In fact, the lines are so blurred that when we send out missionaries, they carry the baggage of the American culture and incorporate them into other cultures. (e.g. buildings with steeples, church furniture, meeting times, religious garments, etc..)

What was the position of the Church in the Scriptures? How did they view culture? What can we deduce from looking at their example of handling the various cultures as they were involved in the exponential expansion of the Faith? What did they understand that we miss?

Let’s answer these questions by stating some observances from Scriptures while ReThinking Church and culture.

  • The Faith is a Message – In the NT the Gospel proclamation is never seen in terms of having its own culture or subculture. Christianity is a message we are to proclaim to and among all cultures… to all nations. (Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8)
  • Culture Not Transferable – Paul and the Apostles did not take their native Jewish culture and attempt to impose it on the Gentiles. In fact, this is part of what the Jerusalem council was all about. (Act 15)  Continue reading “ReThinking Church, Part 9 – Christianity is NOT a Culture”

Remembering Francis A. Schaeffer

Down through Church History, the Lord has raised up leaders who seemed perfectly forged for the struggles of his generation. That is certainly true of Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. (1912-1984) He was a man where incredible simplicity, honest humility and aggressive application of biblical truths came together to give us a gentle giant in regards to apologetics.

Dr. Schaeffer understood where the real battle lines were at, and where we needed to drawn them. This is especially true in the area of the true spirituality of the Christian and the witness of the Church before a watching world. His writings were simple, yet piercing; straightforward, yet gentle; lofty, yet common. He had a unique talent of communication which has rarely been equaled. He authored 22 books before his death in 1984, all of which addressed areas where the Church was sloshing around in, either in unbelief or unconcern. And, while we may not agree to all his conclusions, we can safely say, Dr. Schaeffer never left you wondering where he stood.

Continue reading “Remembering Francis A. Schaeffer”

Let Us Preach From Our Knees – Street Apologetics

America is a nation which loves arrogant personalities with shock jock and intimidating communication traits. We see this in sports, news commentaries and politics. Sad to say, we also see this in preaching. In spite of the instructions from God’s Word, we constantly observe preachers, who are supposed to represent the “Lamb of God,” spouting insulting and obnoxious antics and statements…their speech betrays their own claims. It is the Shibboleth of our generation. (Judges 12:5-6)

Truth, as beautiful and liberating as it is, has baggage which comes with it. That baggage is the ability to make us arrogant and high-minded, as if we invented it and are the source. Nothing wrong about proclaiming truth, however, when we declare it in an coercive and arrogant fashion, we contradict the very spirit and character of truth…which is the spirit and character of Jesus. He is the Truth! (John 14:6)

If we keep ourselves upon the altar of prayer, repenting and dealing with our inclinations toward self reliance and pride, the Holy Spirit will work through us by making us broken vessels which reveal the glory of Christ. Satan and his imps are constantly waiting to pounce upon our lack of brokenness and humility, and to entice us to move into a disrespectful and graceless mode of communication. Let us be careful to preach from our knees! Continue reading “Let Us Preach From Our Knees – Street Apologetics”

Sprinting Toward Death….Finding Life

Death and despair have their strongholds in every culture and among all social classes. The human soul was created to be in fellowship with it’s Creator. However, when men and women have not heard the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, death appears to be the quick exit from pain, agony and emptiness. This is the back drop to the story of mankind in general, and to the following story in particular. (names changed for security reasons)

Lexi is a young lady in a rural village in India. Her young  life had come crashing down as the Doctor informed her she had HIV/AIDS. It was a death sentence. A result from a life of prostitution. However, the pain became even more intense when she was betrayed by close friends who shared her plight with the locals and brought even more pressure to bear upon her heart as she became an outcast to her village. The village Elders asked her to leave and not come back.

As a Hindu and a believer in re-incarnation, Lexi began the journey to bring about change in her life. She desired to end her present life and have a re-incarnation to a better life. She planned to accomplish this by casting herself into the nearby river to be taken down by the whirlpool. She ran, with tears in her eyes and brokenness in her heart….she sprinted toward death! Continue reading “Sprinting Toward Death….Finding Life”