Archive for September 6th, 2008

Friends,

I sometimes visit a blog called Always Ready which is written by Samuel Guzman. I happened to visit this morning and I happened to come across this post: Lay Down Your Arms, Get on Your Knees. In the short post, he writes:

Brothers and sisters, I firmly believe that God is not pleased with the great majority of what is published on blogs in his name. Why? Because there is no humility in the writing, and very little sense of our own frailty and susceptibility to sin (Isaiah 66:1-2). There is no sense of grief at sin; rather, there is an ungodly glibness, almost a joy, in pointing out the error of others. Everyone wants to be a prophet, they just don’t want to know God. Everyone wants to be a Paul Washer, they just don’t want to spend hours and hours studying God’s Word, seeking God’s face in prayer, and growing in conformity to Him like Paul Washer does. It sure is fun to make the air crackle with sharp words against sin, but no one wants to face the sin in their own heart. Everyone wants to be a prophet, they just don’t want to waste time getting to know God. After all, condemning sin and defending the truth is so much more fun.

You know what? I agree with nearly everything in this paragraph and, indeed, the entire post! The only thing I disagree with is that ‘everyone’ wants to be Paul Washer. I personally have no desire whatsoever to be Paul Washer and I spend a lot of time studying and reading and praying and trying to follow Jesus. I don’t know how ‘growing in conformity to Him [I assume he means Jesus]‘ will make us more like Paul Washer? Why not skip the whole ‘be like Washer’ nonsense and go straight to being like Jesus? After all, if I am conformed to the image of Jesus, then being like Paul Washer is a rather meaningless exercise, right? (Personally, I’d rather be like well, just about anyone but Paul Washer (he cries too much and I don’t like crying, he has that small issue called ‘Calvinismitis’ (which he has trouble maintaining amidst all those altar calls), and, well, he’s so humble he wouldn’t want me to be like him anyhow. :) )

Anyhow, good job Samuel! It’s a great post and well written and I wanted you to know that we here at CRN.info recognize good substance when we see it. Now, if only we can get the right people to read what you have written…

Always For His Glory!

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Friends,

I have no particular agenda in posting this–in fact, I’m afraid someone may have already posted it in the past. Anyhow, I’ve been listening closely to the lyrics of The Jesus Record the last couple of days and the more I listen, the more I am amazed at their depth, their honesty, their orthodoxy. Again, I have no agenda here, I just really love this song and I am looking forward to worship tomorrow morning. Have a happy Sunday.

Well, who’s that man who thinks He’s a prophet?
Well, I wonder if He’s got something up His sleeve
Where’s He from?
Who is His daddy?
There’s rumors He even thinks Himself a king
Of a kingdom of paupers
Simpletons and rogues
The whores all seem to love Him

And the drunks propose a toast
And they say, “Surely God is with us.
Well, surely God is with us.”

They say, “Surely God is with us today!”
Who’s that man who says He’s a preacher?
Well, He must be, He’s disturbing all our peace
Where’s He get off, and what is He hiding
And every word He says those fools believe
Who could move a mountain
Who would love their enemy
Who could rejoice in pain

And turn the other cheek
And still say, “Surely God is with us, Well, surely God is with us,”
Who’ll say, “Surely God is with us today, today!”
They say, “Surely God is with us Well, surely God is with us”

They say, “Surely God is with us”
Blessed are the poor in spirit
Heaven belongs to them

Blessed are those who make peace
They are God’s children

I Am the Bread of Life, and the Way”

You hear that Man, believe what He says!
Tell me, who’s that Man, they made Him a prisoner
They tortured Him and nailed Him to a tree
Well if He’s so bad, who did He threaten?
Did He deserve to die between two thieves?
See the scars and touch His wounds
He’s risen flesh and bone
Now the sinners have become the saints

And the lost have all come home
And they say, “Surely God is with us (Surely God is with us)
Well, surely God is with us,”
They say, “Surely God is with us today!” (Today!)
They say, “Surely God is with us Well, surely God is with us”
They say, “Surely God is with us today”

Isn’t the Kingdom of God an amazing, wonderful blessed place to belong? I’m so glad to be a loser.

Always for God’s Glory!

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Are You Not Entertained?[NOTE: My apologies for the technical difficulties the past few days. I think they're worked out now.]

I read an interesting article this week about secret codes and cryptography. In one section, the author dealt with the recently deciphered diary of Charles Wesley:

The diaries reveal previously unknown information, including a sex scandal. Wesley wrote that after joining his brother John in an American colony, he fled home amid allegations that he had intercourse with a colonist after trapping her husband under a tree.

When I read this, I was reminded of how some things just don’t change – whether inside the church or out. I’ve talked to a minister in the past who always talked about the danger of young, unwed/divorced women and church pastors, in particular. For the protection of his staff, he’s implemented a set of unbreakable rules about dealing 1-on-1 with people, many of which are designed to prevent even the appearance of impropriety. It’s sad, but I have to say it’s needed.

Gossip is such an easy, insidious trap – when someone’s got “juicy” information, it just seems that the threshold for what is actually in the interest of the public is really low – especially when you’re already predisposed against the person. This is pretty much the flaw in the Armchair “Discernment” media (and the secular watchblogosphere, as well) – it’s basically 90% gossip disguised as public service.

Whether it’s disparaging a 15-year-old Christian singer who works for Disney or a pregnant 17-year-old daughter of a political figure, it’s sick. Whether it’s fudging the truth with out-of-context statements or outright lies (ex. “You folks who don’t believe in hell, like Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt …”), it’s sick.

We’ve discussed Jesus’ command to be in the world but not of the world many times. The world – kosmos – is the systems by which the world works. As we move into the political season in the US, it is sad how much the partisan kosmos of earthly politics is mirrored by the ODMery within the church – where polarized demonization is the rule and apology is just a sign of weakness.

And so it is, reading of Charles Wesley, centuries ago, that in some ways it truly seems that the more things change the more they really just stay the same…

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