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.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"I Believe in God"

This post is inspired by several authors, among them, Dr. John MacArthur and Dr. Erwin Lutzer. I can't forget the upcoming inaugural ceremonies and the many people who will be offering prayers there.

I read today how President-elect Obama has invited the openly homosexual Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson to pray at one ceremony. Bishop Robinson has reportedly studied the prayers of many past inaugurations and has concluded that they are too sectarian and too Christian in nature. He has said there will be none of that in his own prayer offering. Indeed, he suggests, perhaps he will offer his prayer in the name of the "god of our many understandings." My question was "huh?"

You see my friend, one of the goals of 21st century North American Christianity is to be as inoffensive as possible to anyone. Try not to upset anyone. There are many ways of doing that. One is to downplay unpopular doctrines like the existence of hell, or the fact that there is a moral law established by God. You know ... stuff like that.

Another way of not offending people is to make our religion as broad and all inclusive as we can. To that end, we talk a lot about God. God doesn't upset people much because when you use the term "God" it is a nebulous term that can be defined many ways depending on the hearers. God is a big idea. He or she (depending on how you define him or her) is almost too big to wrap your mind around. So, when people are in public, it is popular to talk about God. Many times, on TV, the radio, or the Internet, you will hear that nice phrase ... "Yes, I believe in God." One pollster tells us that up to 98% of Americans believe in "God" or a "higher power" or a "cosmic force" or something "bigger than we are." Think of it ... 98%. God is popular in America.

But not Jesus. If you want to start a fight, and I mean a real knock down, drag out, my fist on your nose, punching match, quote John 14:6 "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through me." Tell people that means you have to have a personal, relational faith in the Person and finished work of the God man Jesus Christ or that person will go to hell. Tell them that and you will end up finding out if you wasted your money on all those self defense lessons.

If you get asked by your state government to open a session in prayer ... if you pray in the "Name Above ALL Names" or in the name of the "Lord our God" or the "Most High One" or some thing like that, no one will bat an eyelash. Finish a prayer in the "Name of Jesus Christ" and you will be reprimanded and banned from ever returning.

Tell people God has one savior for the world, Jesus Christ, and you will be labelled a bigot, a racist, as delusional, as an idiot, as not being in touch with the real world, among other things. People will laugh at you to your face. Or they will marginalize you and shunt you off as a caveman or a nutcase who needs to be put away for the protection of society. Most broadly, it is hip to be religious. It is almost a crime to be a Bible believing zealous follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian, in today's North American society.

We Christians are more and more under attack. Our foundational beliefs are questioned. If a Christian should end up in public life, they are quickly attacked and their intelligence questioned. Not long ago we had an Attorney General for the United States who was a member of an Assembly of God church. In his confirmation hearings, it was claimed that he was unfit for office because he believed the Bible to be true. In Canada, certain provinces are questioning whether public school teachers should be credentialed if they believe in a literal creation. A list of similar things could very easily and quickly be filled.

Charles Spurgeon once asked "Here is the day for the man; but where is the man for the day." This is our day. This is the time in history when the Lord our God has US be born to live in it. It is our time to be the Church and to leave our footprints in history. God, Jesus told us, is looking for those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth. It is time for Christ's disciples, his Body, his Church to stand up and let herself be known. It is time for the general "I believe in God" to give way to the bolder "I am a Christian, a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ." Goodness, 98% of Americans believe in God. How many really believe in Jesus?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Pastor Jeff said...

So, I guess Obama caved in to the leftists who threw fits over his choosing of Rick Warren? Or is this a different ceremony?

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Warren is not opposed to the gays having civil rights. He is a compromiser-a wolf in sheep's clothing, so why not have robinson also/

4:19 PM  

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