Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fight Amongst Yourselves

Mad Magazine used to have tiny cartoons in the margins. One was of a bearded religious zealot wearing a robe on the sidewalk, carrying a sign that said “The World Will End on Tuesday.” He was fighting with another bearded zealot whose sign read “The World Will End on Thursday.”
Whatever happened to the hymn “Just as I am…” A new Christian just needs to surrender and accept Christ as their Savior. After that they can learn and grow to make Jesus the Lord of their life, and discover and grow closer to God by reading the Bible. They don’t have to know and understand and believe and accept every bit of Scripture before accepting Christ.
But some Christians publicly call out some preachers, saying they don’t preach the “full gospel” when they don’t emphasize every bit of the Bible. Christians should keep their battles out of the non-Christian public’s view. When the world sees Christians fighting amongst themselves it keeps people from God. Why can’t a preacher just preach the Gospel? Jeff Yearwood says he only preaches from the four gospels. Maybe he uses other verses from the Old and New Testament to illustrate and emphasize his point, but is he a heretic for not dwelling on the Old Testament? No. Jeff wants to use what little time he has to share Jesus Christ. 
While the Creation story is amazing, and shows the great love and omniscience of almighty God, arguing whether the seven days were 24 hours long or how old the earth is, be it six thousand or six billion years, only turns people off from Christianity. Debate behind closed doors – not in front of the unsaved.
I need to listen to Andy Stanley’s recent sermon series. It drew fire from finger-pointers from creationists like Ken Ham. Stanley never lowers himself to fight back, but will sometimes reiterate or clarify his position in interviews. Some people are leaving North Point because of this sermon series – leaving mad. Perhaps they’re forgetting North Point’s mission statement.
So often I hear people say “our church isn’t like other churches.” Uh, yes it is. Andy makes it clear that the only purpose of North Point Ministries is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s a church for the unchurched, so sermons are structured accordingly. The founders made it that way because they saw so many leaving and turned away from the church. The whole point of North Point is to attract unbelievers, lead them to Jesus, and grow their faith. Eventually people may reach the point where they want to leave North Point and join a more traditional church. That frees up seats for visitors.      
For some people it is hard to make friends at Passion. At North Point the “community groups” are made up of at most four to five couples. At Passion these “small groups” are one hundred people. Passion is a church made up of extroverts. Very few type B personalities. Introverts don’t fit in.
Seems like SPdL was in it’s golden age in the late 70’s, when the choir loft was full of teenagers in Chapel Choir. Church volleyball. Annual church picnics at Chastain Park. As Bruce would always say, where else did most of the staff (like Condra) get so involved with the youth? Camp SPdL. Really made an impact on the kids that went, giving them a foundation in the faith they could take for the rest of their lives. But by the mid-90’s all that faded out, because we were told teenagers didn’t want the low-tech relationship based experiences but instead the high tech light shows and loud music, and young speakers.
Monday: worked until 6:15 or so. Stopped by RaceTrac for a Snapple to drink, then Taco Bell for a burrito. Turned on something on TV. When I came back wrestling was on. Spend some time watching YouTube videos on my new laptop – sneaker stuff and shopping in Hong Kong. Over there to get a good price you have to barter.
Ceil is in SC this week. Tuesday she and Teresa are taking her mother down to Charleston for the day, to see Dic Dac’s new house north of town.

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