A fresh inspiration designed to encourage you while in between Church Services. WWW.TheHillMinistries.org
Technically I always have reservations about “Good Friday”. Jesus was crucified 3 days and 3 nights away from His Resurrection. So if we are lifting up Sonday as His Resurrection Day then He couldn’t have been crucified on a Friday. (Do the math.)
I have learned with many Christian traditions to just keep quiet and kind of match the mood of my brothers and sisters in Christ. A higher principle is that Jesus wanted us to be unified. If my brothers and sisters want to be more pious today even if its based on a non-biblical tradition….at least folks are trying.
So as I reflect on this day and that day 2000 years ago, I am thinking about what Jesus went thru on the way to the cross. Men who told Him, “Jesus I got your back” were now swearing and doing anything possible to disassociate theirselves from Jesus. As Jesus went to the cross a relatively small group stayed with Him. For all the miracles and provisions that Jesus performed and provided….very few had His back in the end.
This week makes it easy to see how that could happen. Today in American Culture the attitude towards the Church has quickly changed from “Hosanna, Hosanna to crucify them!” We are widely considered to be bigoted, uneducated and hypocritical people. In every movie and in almost every TV show the “Christian” is the hateful bully or child molester. As a result, the attitude towards Christians taken in survey after survey of people under 26 is brutal. We are a generation away from Christian persecutions in America.
American media and corporations do not surprise me. That part doesn’t hurt. What hurts is the betrayal of so called “Christians”. I have many Christian friends who are claiming to love Jesus but this week as the traditional marriage definition goes down to defeat they are back pedaling from Gods Word so fast that they are falling all over themselves. They quote weak knee mega church pastors that have sold out years ago to justify their betrayal. They have no courage of their convictions. They want wordless churches with plenty of music and entertainment but no principles.
Here is the craziest part of their betrayal, some where along the way they stopped believing in the bible and didn’t tell anyone. I don’t understand how Christians can ignore large passages of the bible over a long period of time and still identify with Christianity.
I just wish that someone had told me that our fellowship was not real. I wish someone had told me that they really don’t believe in the bible and that church was all a social activity. I wish someone had told me that the bible was just a fairy tale book to them and communion wine and crackers.
Here is the good news to the sincere disciples: It looked bad on the night He was crucified and betrayed….but the world looked different to those few sincere disciples just a few days later. To my sincere roll dogs, things look bleak for Christians right now….but Jesus has planned a comeback tour! Hang in there!
Same Sex Marriage
And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him. ………………………………………
Sometimes we in the church get trapped by our own non-biblical traditions. For years we have been bugging people about getting married and not “shacking up”. In our American Culture that meant getting a marriage license from the government & then getting a clergy member who has been sanctioned by the government to perform marriages. The clergy performs the wedding, signs the license and then sends the paperwork back to the government.
The non biblical portion of this, that the church backed for years, is the governments involvement. Jesus said, “what God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (paraphrase)! So if God put something together how can government magistrate over this divine institution?
Marriage use to be a tribal issue. As far as I can tell historically, governments involvement in marriage grew much later in civilization. Most would agree that governments interest in marriage grew from taxation and accounting policy.Lets examine how psychologically screwed up we are on this issue. In most minds, “Marriage is only ‘real’ when the government makes it real.” That’s garbage. Fidelity and Gods Will authenticate marriage.
Psychologically we have made government our divine arbiter. As a pastor I think I know why we hand over this institution to the government, I think I know why we are comfortable with the governments involvement. Deep in our hearts, we know the promises that we make to God are widely broken or forgotten. Most Christians that I know are not reliable. Just because a Christian tells you something doesn’t make it so. Likewise within the church there is very little accountability when people don’t keep their word. When some Christians tell me that they are going to be somewhere, I count them like a spade book, ‘They are…,a possible’!
This is why we are comfortable with government running marriage. We know that if its left up to Christian Faith alone, it won’t mean anything.
Are you a Christian frustrated with the same sex marriage issue? Well the answer to it has nothing to do with lesbians or homosexuals. Same sex marriage is not the problem, it is a symptom of the problem. The answer lies within the faith and integrity of the church!
If traditional marriage reforms itself, the same sex marriage issue diminishes.
If the Word of Christians once again begins to mean something, the same sex marriage issue diminishes.
If the local church becomes empowered and accountable one to another, the same sex marriage issue diminishes.
In closing, don’t blame the gays,
Just be real with your yeahs and nays!
12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. 13 So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father
Beyonce recently released a song and video called “Bow Down”. In the song she frequently uses the term for a female dog and encourages the listener to bow down to her because she is rich and famous.
In the Scripture above I posted a message from the Apostle Paul. He bows down to a different person for a different reason. He states that he bows down to The Father because of what Jesus did for him and us. He bows down because of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. Because of Jesus, we have access to a holy God. Because of Jesus, despite our sins, we don’t need a religious figure to intercede on our behalf. Because of Jesus we will not be eternally damned but accepted as adopted sons eternally.
It’s also interesting to note Paul’s circumstances as he bows. He is bowing in a prison where all he would have to do to secure his release was renounce Jesus and bow to Caesar. He is bowing as an old man with a broken body. He is bowing in a prison filled with human waste. Regardless of the circumstances, the Apostle Paul bows!
For close to twenty years Beyonce has given her fans entertainment. At both Obama inaugurations “Bey” had some memorable moments. As the world defines great…she may be the greatest female entertainer.
When we contrast her desire to be revered to Paul’s reasoning for bowing down to Jesus, we are sobered or should be. Whether or not Beyonce should even be honored at all is a debate for another day. Does her commitment to excellence trump her questionable lyrics, suggestive dress and shallow persona? I don’t know, I love her grind but hate the end product. She’s dangerous because she makes sin look so respectable especially to young women in the church.
Bowing down though? I will reserve that for the Father and Jesus.