Friday, February 5, 2016

Rebel With A Cause


REBEL - re.Ÿbel, verb: 1) To refuse allegiance to, to oppose the established ruling authority. 2) To resist or defy the generally accepted convention and beliefs. 3) To dissent and express a repugnance for.

THE WORLD’S CLUELESSNESS

It’s interesting. The dominant mindset of our world says, “Rebel. Reject authority.” And that dominant worldly culture thinks they are being independent and free. They pride themselves in being non-conformist.

Here’s a secret: The world demands conformity. The dominant secular culture insists on fitting their mold.

Here’s the really deep, dark secret: It’s not even their mold! The world is clueless that they are conforming to a false reality. They are oblivious to the fact that their sin mindset is leading the whole world astray.

Notice how the Apostle Paul said it. Really notice his words (emphasis, mine).

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

There is a pattern, a mold, that the whole world follows—in lockstep, like zombies. The whole world conforms to it, blindly fitting their beliefs into the belief system and value system that is patterned after centuries of rebellion.

And Paul is not saying, “Don’t start being conformed.” He’s saying, “Stop being conformed . . . don’t be conformed any longer.”

The whole world lies in darkness, blind to the fake reality, the falsehood they hypnotically obey.

For all the arrogant sophistication that the world claims, the truth is that the spirit of the age is shallow and simple. Here it is.


Materialism: This world is all there is. There is no soul—all is physical. “If you can’t see it, touch it, or feel it, then it does not exist.” Live for this world. Laugh and scoff at those who have eyes to see. The one with the most toys wins. Deny faith.

Now-ism: This moment is all there is. There is no eternity—all is temporal. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you die.” Live for the moment, for now. Don’t see beyond today. Certainly don’t believe beyond the grave. Deny hope.

Me-ism: You are all there is. There is no reason to live for others—all is self. “You are the only one you need to think about.” Live for self. You are all that is important. Demand that others serve you. Don’t sacrifice. Frame the whole of existence with a capital “I!” You are the captain of your fate, so steer the ship only toward self-fulfillment. Deny love.

Those are the dominant messages of the dominant culture. People think they are so free and independent, when the reality is they are living in the matrix, beholden to the three grand lies: the three narrative myths of “Earth!” “Now!” “Me!”

A REBEL WITH A CAUSE
Paul calls on us to be rebels with a cause. Listen carefully.

“But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Paul says:
“Escape the programming of this present world.”

“Rebel against this present darkness—see with eyes of faith, hope, and love.”


“Oppose the lies of the world, the flesh, and the devil.”

“Express repugnance at the shallow values of ‘materialism, now - ism, me-ism.’”

“Resist being enslaved by the dominant world-view.”

“Voice your dissent, regardless of the cost, against ‘materialism, now-ism, me-ism.’”

Who are the true non-conformists?
Christians! Christ-ones.

Who are the true rebels in our world?
The redeemed, the new creations in Christ. Those with imagination to see with spiritual eyes, with faith eyes, with 20/20 spiritual vision.

Who are those who have had the blinders removed?
Believers. Those who believe in:

Faith: This world is not all there is. “Heaven!”
Hope: This moment is not all there is. “Eternity!”
Love: I am not all there is. “God and Others!”

Paul says it like this in Philippians 2:1–11.

“Live like the ultimate dissenter against this world’s dominant culture: Christ!”

“Rebel against the mindset of this world, and let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

“Be like Jesus who rejected the values of ‘earth, now, and me,’ and lived, died, and rose again for the values of ‘heaven, eternity, and God and others.’”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Notes From Culture of Honor by Danny Silk

Culture of Honor - Danny Silk

Relationships in the body of Christ are intended to be eternal.


We live in a cultural that is so temporal in nature.

Broken covenants are a target of our enemy....Our enemy is empowered through our minimizing the value of covenant.

Covenant relationships are meant to last a lifetime.....they are built into our lives as living stones intended to be a dwelling place for the Lord. We allow relationships to be dishonored... to be taken down into a worldly perspective.
We have established a Culture of Honor in this place...... We have learned to protect our relationships and our momentum to practicing honor.

Relationships of heaven are held together by Honor.
Where there is no honor, everyone is afraid..When people are afraid, they want control ...fear begets control in relationships 1John 4:18 Perfect love casts out fear. (likewise fear casts out love)

What are we going to cultivate in our culture or what are we going to manufacture as a church, family, government, etc.?
If the system that we use produces fear, there is no place for love to take root and to manifest. What will motivate someone towards a person and to protect what is important to that person and protect that relationship if there is freedom to choose?

The Culture of Honor comes right out of heaven If you don’t know how to create and protect freedom as a culture you will not know how to bring heaven to earth and keep it there.

What do these have in common?
Jesus Kings (1 Peter 2:17) Parents (Ex.20:12) Wives (1 Peter 3:7) Widows (1 Tim.5:3) All people (1 Peter 2 :17)

Who gets Honor from me?
Those who deserve it? Those who earn it? Everyone? those who don’t deserve it or who did not earn it?

You and I are to honor all people because I will never let your character defects control me.

I am not going to allow how respectful you are to determine how respectful I am....or how honorable you are to determine how honoring I am.

Honor is something we cultivate everywhere we go.... as leaders, we create culture.....we are responsible for the culture around us....to lead in strength , passion, and honor
The culture of honor comes through the head...but it is mutual...it is not just those honoring the leader better.

Rev. 4 .....The twenty­four elders bowing down in worship. Where do we get the honor and power and glory to give to God? However much I have to give to Him is nothing except I understand He first honored me and in doing so he changed something about me and the relationship...honor changes the relationship...the greater always blesses the lesser with honor­through honor.
Honor : ( according to dictionary) to glory in, to promote to elevate another’s status to give prestige to somebody great respect and admiration

To Glory In.... (The 10 commandments) Honor your Mother and Father ..... promote and glory in your mother and father
2 ways to bring an inheritance into your life....honor and unforgiveness You bring an inheritance from your parents by what connects you to them and what you connect to is
what you inherit.

To elevate status
I Samuel 18:4 ( David and Jonathan) Jonathan takes off his robe, belt and sword and gives it to David. David’s status
is changed because of the honoring that Jonathan showed him. No longer nobilty/servant status.
This elevating of status is what Jesus did for us...We are now co­laborers!

Prestige ­ the kind of honor, awe or high opinion that is inspired by a high ranking, influential, or successful person.

Respect­ a feeling or attitude of admiration toward somebody or something

Admiration­ a feeling of pleasure and approval, and, often, wonder

We need to be searching for the wonder and uniqueness in individuals ...What is it about that someone are we going to fight and protect, preserve, build and promote..what in them are we willing to die for?

One is elevated in their status as a result of their relationship with us.....there are no expendables...none that we look as disposable .... that attitude creates an environment of safety and freedom

Points to Ponder...
Honor is about the “wonder” We elevate the status of another Look for the “glory” in their life We are honoring/honorable people

The children and young people are elevated in their status through Honor ...as peers they are called to steward what we are pouring our lives out for....

(Story of Josh and Robin) We need to be drawing greatness to the surface in people’s lives Honor is often tested in failure,disagreement,struggle...It is easy to honor people who perform well

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Normal Christianity - Dan Mohler


I had the privilege of leading worship at a meeting Dan was speaking at in Marietta Ohio several years ago. I have always loved his sincerity and passion for the gospel and his desire to see the church step into who they are called to be in Christ. These 3 videos are challenging.





Sunday, January 24, 2016

Learning To Keep The Vision

The church I pastor just turned 2 years old this past month. It has been a fun ride of ups and downs. Church planting is never easy. This is the 2nd church I have planted and it has become clear that you can not please everyone. The Vision has to be at the forefront. Once you deviate from the vision you start to lose ground. We live in a society of consumers. The attitude of the consumer is "how can you serve me?". The mantra of the day is "The consumer is always right so if you do not meet my needs I will go somewhere else". Sadly this mentality has creeped into the church. Instead of missionaries working to spread the gospel we have become consumers of the latest "tickle my ears" teaching or fluffy moments that make us feel good about ourselves.

I recently read a blog post over at Context Coaching on this very subject. The one clear way to kill any church plant is "trying to please people in order to get them to stay." They go on to say:

Church plants often fail to survive long-term. When church plants fail, there are often clear mistakes that lead to their demise. One of these mistakes is trying to please Consumer Christians in order to get them to join you. We all want our churches to grow. A church plant that doesn’t grow will not survive for very long. But compromising your vision in order to grow will often come back to haunt you later.


Here are 4 ways to stay true to the vision and grow:

1. Have a Clear Vision for where you are Headed.

2. Realize that Church Planting is not about Pleasing Christians but reaching Non-Christians.

3. Recruit Missionaries rather than Consumers.

4. Don’t go overboard with your Idealism.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor.” We are called to disciple nations and raise up missionaries to reach the world. That's the mission. Once we walk away from that we have begun the process of death. I refuse to accept that diagnosis. It's time to wake up and do the work God has called us to do.

Jim Hodges - Kingdom 101

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Five Points from the Past that Should Matter to You


The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century changed Christianity forever. Roused to action by the corruption and abuses they saw in the Roman Catholic church of the time, visionary pastors and leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin spearheaded a movement that transformed Christianity and eventually led to the emergence of the Protestant denominations that exist today.

The Reformers were guided by the conviction that the church of their day had drifted away from the essential, original teachings of Christianity, especially in regard to what it was teaching about salvation—how people can be forgiven of sin through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and receive eternal life with God. The Reformation sought to re-orient Christianity on the original message of Jesus and the early church.

The Five Solas are five Latin phrases (or slogans) that emerged during the Reformation to summarize the Reformers’ theological convictions about the essentials of Christianity.

The Five Solas are:

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”): The Bible alone is our highest authority.
Sola Fide (“faith alone”): We are saved through faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Sola Gratia (“grace alone”): We are saved by the grace of God alone.
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”): Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior, and King.
Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”): We live for the glory of God alone.

Let’s have a brief look at each of these five points.

SOLA SCRIPTURA

The Scriptures are our ultimate and trustworthy authority for faith and practice. This doesn’t mean that the Bible is the only place where truth is found, but it does mean that everything else we learn about God and his world, and all other authorities, should be interpreted in light of Scripture. The Bible gives us everything we need for our theology.

Every word of the 66 books of the Bible is inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also helps us to understand and obey Scripture.

2 Peter 2:20, the Bible is about Jesus Christ and his role as God and Savior. Additionally, Romans 15:4 is 2 Timothy 2:16.

SOLA FIDE AND SOLA GRATIA

We are saved solely through faith in Jesus Christ because of God’s grace and Christ’s merit alone. We are not saved by our merits or declared righteous by our good works. God grants salvation not because of the good things we do, and despite our sin.

As humans, we inherited (from our ancestor Adam) a nature that is enslaved to sin. Because of our nature, we are naturally enemies of God and lovers of evil. We need to be made alive (regenerated) so that we can even have faith in Christ. God graciously chooses to give us new hearts so that we trust in Christ and are saved through faith alone.

We can only stand before God by his grace as he mercifully attributes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ and attributes to him the consequences of our sins. Jesus’ life of perfect righteousness is counted as ours, and our records of sin and failure were counted to Jesus when he died on the cross.

Sola fide and sola gratia express the teaching of Ephesians 2:8:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

SOLUS CHRISTUS

God has given the ultimate revelation of himself to us by sending Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:15. Only through God’s gracious self-revelation in Jesus do we come to a saving and transforming knowledge of God.

1 Timothy 1:5. Because God is holy and all humans are sinful and sinners, 1 John 1:1 Hebrews 7:25 Romans 8:34. Neither religious rituals nor good works mediate between us and God. Acts 4:12 by which a person can be saved other than the name of Jesus. Hebrews 7:23, and his sacrificial death alone can atone for sin.

SOLI DEO GLORIA

Glory belongs to God alone. God’s glory is the central motivation for salvation, not improving the lives of people—though that is a wonderful by product. God is not a means to an end—he is the means and the end.

The goal of all of life is to give glory to God alone: “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). As The Westminster Catechism says, the chief purpose of human life is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”