TRUTH – - Hidden Under a Bushel??

October 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Church

I just returned from investing a week of ministry in Western Europe. This is the land of THE REFORMATION. One of the delightful experiences I enjoyed was a tour of the Delft Blue Pottery Factory. Our guide was a very well informed and gracious lady. She took us through a garden that is impeccably apportioned and groomed. One of the exits from that garden is through a door over which is a mantle with the greek letters Alpha & Omega. Between those letters is a carving of “The Lamb Slain From the Foundation of The World”. She knew nothing of the significance of the greek alphabet, and even more egregious, she knew absolutely nothing about The Lamb. I shared both with her. Her primary interest was completing the tour.

My question – How was the knowledge of the liberating power of the gospel lost? Luther, Calvin and a multitude of others to numerous to list here gave their very lives to decalre this Truth. I visited the burial place of William of Orange, credited with founding the Netherlands and a giant in promoting Truth.

Jesus made a statement that still shakes the citadels of Christianity – - A city on a hill cannot be hidden. His imagery in this passage is Salt & Light. He is speaking of those who are His disciples, His followers. When the church looses her saltiness and hides her light under a bushel, evil flourishes and the guide knows nothing of The Lamb.

How far is North America behind Europe? Not far.

Rise up oh men of God,
have done with lesser things,
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of Kings.
How bright is your light – how salty your leadership and life?

Brian/Katie/Charles & Reality

August 30, 2007 by  
Filed under Church

The USA Today (August 29, 1D) has a feature article on the continuing decline in the number of viewers watching the “Evening News”. The networks apparently still don’t get it. America is NOT even remotely interested in the daily droning of the network anointed guardians of our minds. They do not realize that the average American is quite capable and willing to acquire the facts concerning that days events, interpret them, and draw their own conclusions. All this long before the ‘triplets’ seek to invade our cherished privacy. We have turned them off and tuned them out. The stats look like this:

Brain = down 7%

Katie = down 7%

Charles = up 3%

Net Results = down 11%

However, this does not deter CBS et al. They continue to whistle through the cemetery as though some new fad, some new feature, some new ? ? ? will resurrect their decades old choke hold on America every evening at 6:30 PM. NOT! NOT! NOT!

The church in America engages in a similar lunacy. The tincture of reality seldom, if ever, graces the assessment of our, to quote Jim Collins, “Brutal Reality”. We continue to decline at a rate that accelerates faster than NASCAR. Denominations continue to bring sophomoric and utterly ineffective pseudo solutions to profoundly real problems. Their chief concern is to preserve staus quo and most of all, protect the ‘coffers’. Don’t do anything that might disturb the constituency and perhaps cause them to dry up the cash flow. The church in America continues to ‘count the numbers on the roles’ much like the networks count viewers.

The viewers are disappearing and so are the members. Soon, the church will be forced to face ‘Brutal Reality’ or resort to counting the dead in the cemetery out back!

We simply must face our ‘Brutal Reality’. We must confess that we have become so much like the world around us that there is little or no distinction. We have reduced the responsibility of belonging to a sporadic ‘guest appearance’ on an occasional weekend when we don’t have any other activity that we prefer. We have reduced Pastor/Shepherds to mere managers of the gig once a week with a lot of activity in between, but most certainly, nothing that grapples with the utterly essential dynamic of Transformation, redeemed sinners becoming like the Chirst who purchased a people for Himself and left us here to honor Him as Salt & Light!

So, we either change, or start numbering those grave markers out back. Which will it be?

Tom

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