Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cognitive Disconnection

When I was in grad school studying education I found I had a problem. I learned a great deal about being a better teacher but for all the knowledge in my head, I found I often failed to apply much of it to the classroom. I knew a lot, but I failed to use it. My professors said I suffered from a cognitive disconnect. I admit I have that problem. I suspect the Church suffers from it too.

It has been said that America is under judgment. Our failures in foreign policy, the lack of integrity and basic honesty in our politicians, the rise in crime and other factors all show us symptoms of God's hand of judgment falling on the nation. But it has been said that "as the Church goes, so goes the nation." If the nation is under judgment the Church is MORE under judgment. That is as it should be since "judgment begins at the house of God." And why wouldn't the Church in North America be under God's judgment? We have compromised the gospel, we have cheapened worship, we have changed the message of scripture until it is all about us. We have become worldly. We are weak, mean, biblically illiterate, smug, self centered, and complacent in our mediocrity. In my mind, the Church in North America is the best illustration for why salvation is by grace alone. If it depended on our works, there'd be no hope at all.

So, we say God is judging us, the Church. And we go on doing the same things we have been doing in the past. Nothing changes. THEN we study the great passages of scripture dealing with judgment like Isaiah 1 and 1 Chronicles 7 and we talk about it ad nauseum. But for all we do, we do nothing. We talk a good game but we are way short on delivery. In short, if we are under judgment then let us be judged.

Judgment is punitive when dealing with the reprobate. But it is restorative in dealing with His children. Read Isaiah 1 closely. The condemnations of God's people always turn to invitations to come back to a restored relationship with God. Verses 1 through 15 give way to verse 16. God invites us "Come let us reason together..." and that is a great passage unless we will not do it! If we are under judgment and the purpose of that judgment is to cause us to confess our sin (individually and corporately as a Church) and repent and turn from the sin that has turned God's hand against us, then isn't it time we admitted we are under judgment and that we started dealing with our sin?

Cognitive disconnection is knowledge divorced from application. Now, today, this moment is the time to have a cognitive connection ... a place of knowledge AND action.

A Proposal

I propose, to all who read this ... that we (whoever "we" may be) set part time on the Sunday before Easter Sunday this year, as a day of fasting and prayer. Let us spend time apart from food, with the intent time with God, to confess our failings and beg God to grant us mercy and to return to our churches, our families, our personal lives, and our nation .. with glory and power. He has done it in times past. I pray that we will beg Him to do it again. Let us turn away from mediocrity, worldliness, unholiness and every thing in our lives that battles against God and let us renew our surrender to Him completely. Ultimately, may we remember that we live to bring glory to God, first, last, beginning, end and always ... soli Deo gloria ... "To God alone be the glory!" That is how it should have been all along.

1 Comments:

Blogger Rev. said...

You declared, "And why wouldn't the Church in North America be under God's judgment? We have compromised the gospel, we have cheapened worship, we have changed the message of scripture until it is all about us. We have become worldly. We are weak, mean, biblically illiterate, smug, self centered, and complacent in our mediocrity."

Unfortunately, I can't disagree. Thank our gracious and merciful Lord that the judgment He has in mind for His people is for the sake of purifying us and restoring us. Amen?!?

Thanks for the good post!

2:06 PM  

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