Thursday, August 26, 2010

Acts church as a paradigm? Part 1 of 2

Should the Church in the book of Acts be used as a paradigm for the church today? In short, I will say “yes.” However, one thing that occurred to me while thinking about this is how we only see small aspects of the church in the Scripture (cf. Acts 2:42-47). In saying that, there are significant changes that must be made today which I think – because of Western culture – would make it virtually if not completely impossible to do as such. Keep the following items in mind: I have only been attending church with a personal relationship in Jesus Christ for 1yr-11mos. Additionally, I have never been pastor of a church; I have only attended 2 church board meetings; I have never provided spiritual council to an individual/couple in crisis; I have never (to my knowledge) led anyone to church and/or to ask Christ into their life. Shortcomings or lack of professional experience aside, here is my first supporting statement behind saying why it is “virtually if not completely impossible:”

We (Americans) are too concerned with materialism to set “everything” aside for Christ; are we not? (cf. Mark 10:21) I do not say this as if I’m one of the only who will do as such. However, I find myself asking, “Is it possible in my life; to sell everything and follow Jesus?” I have a job that supplies our mortgage payment; food, clothes, health insurance, home insurance, auto insurance, et al.

What does that have to do with Acts as a paradigm? Read the account of Ananias & Sapphira in Acts 4:32–5:11. I am one who, to be honest, is an Ananias. Thankfully the Lord has not brought forth His judgment on me in the same manner; otherwise you would not be reading this. Before citing my second reason as to why I believe it is “virtually if not completely impossible” for the church today to be the Acts church of the Bible, take a moment and read the story of Ananias and Sapphira. (Ac. 4:32-5:11)

Scripture references:
Bible Gateway. (2010). Retrieved August 26, 2010 from site;

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rick Warren & Gregory Boyd on Charlie Rose

Pastor Rick Warren (Saddleback Church) sits down with Charlie Rose to discuss the direction of the Christian movement; globally as well as internationally.

The second half of the interview is with Pastor Gregory Boyd (Woodland Hills Church) discussing his book The Myth of a Christian Nation.

While this interview was conducted four years back, take some time to review it and ask yourself: How are things now compared to then?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Are you good fruit or bad fruit? Think about it.

Next, I felt was extremely important to examine, briefly, the fruit that makes us who we are; a follow-up to ‘Yes or no? Which is it?’ This Scripture comes to us, again from Jesus, in Matthew 7:15-20. Jesus says, “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:17, NIV).

Throughout the entirety of this teaching, Jesus uses very harsh rhetoric to address the crowd. Words and phrases like: false prophets, ferocious wolves, thornbushes, and thrown into the fire, are certainly designed to grab the attention of both the disciples and the crowd – YOU!

From this Scripture, it is implied that from the ranks of even our neighbors – whom we are to love – many will seek to undermine God’s authoritative Word to fulfill their own selfish desires. And those that seek to undermine the Word of God will not do so gently. This passage tells us that we must always carefully evaluate a person’s motives and ambitions; being fully on-guard against teachers that aim to deliver false doctrine. Moreover, we can apply this today, even in the very Body of Christ. While Sunday morning faces and fancy clothes fill the sanctuaries and fellowship halls, from the tongue will spew both slander and gossip that will tear-down the Body like none other. This infilling of ‘fire’ as James describes (Jas. 3:6) is more detrimental to the Body than anything. For this very reason, we must be ready at all times.