Thursday, August 14, 2008

Giving God Your Best...Everyday

In a true testament to the adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” my site traffic has jumped since I was placed on the Pyromaniacs blog, and with that I feel an obligation to post more…and post “better”.

I’d like to explore an issue that is not a “heaven or hell” issue, but it is still important. As an introduction, I present to you the following “GodTube” video. I believe these videos were made with good intentions, but their stereotyping and passive condescension of the issue left a bad taste in my mouth, and led me to write this post:

I believe the “casual church” is indicative of the “seeker-sensitive” movement currently propagating itself through American Christianity, whether or not the church in question is part of that movement. Since this is a scatterbrained blog post, I will use a couple of rhetorical questions related to this idea of “casual” to get things started:

What is the purpose of attending church? It is to corporately worship and glorify God, or sing, sit and socialize? If churches allow newcomers to “come as they are” and its membership to “stay as they are”, what message are they trying to send about the Lord’s exhortation to take up one’s cross and follow Him (Luke 9:23)? If you don’t have to change your clothes for God (as the young man in this video didn’t), what else can remain the same while still calling oneself a Christian? Why do we feel the need to dress up for a date, a job interview or work, but can attend church unshaven and unkempt?

Some of these are more tired arguments than others, but I’d like to explore each of them (in addition to looking at James 2:3-4, the Hope Diamond proof-text of the casual church crown):

The purpose of attending worship services is to worship, glorify, and adore God, and learn about His Word in order to grow in our faith and sanctification. God does not need our worship, because He needs for nothing; but He commands it, and it is justly given to Him. In “seeker-sensitive” churches, the emphasis is on the attendee; they are to be praised for waking up early on a Sunday and making their way into the house of God to fill up their spiritual tank, hang out with their friends and get free child care, sip on some Starbucks, or merely do their duty as churchgoers. “I got/didn’t get a lot out of that service” is a common phrase uttered from those church halls, as the direction of the church lends itself to the people in it, not the God above it.

“Come as you are” is the mantra for many churches, and as an invitation to newcomers is fine. If any church on the street turned away a beggar or even some kid wearing holey jeans seeking the one true and living God, it would be committing a grave error with eternal consequences. However, encouraging members who are supposed to be the regenerated believers (with hearts on fire for God, believing the Word and striving to give Him their very best) to come into church with nothing more than what they would wear to mow the lawn can be looked at as evidence of their view of the most high God.  

“God never says dress up in the Bible” – The Word is sufficient, not exhaustive. There are thousands of feelings and activities that we participate in as Christians that do not have a “proof text” in the Bible. In cases where there is no Biblical directive, we give God our best out of gratitude and worship.

”John the Baptist dressed in camel hair and ate locusts…so obviously formal clothing is not necessary” -- Matthew 3:4 told about John the Baptist’s clothes to further demonstrate that one did not need the outward appearance of priestly robes for inward knowledge and spirituality (contrast the Pharisees).

”God loves us as we are” -- God loves you not for who you are but in spite of who you are.

It’s a tad stereotypical, but these are all responses I have heard from people in churches where casual dress and casual attitude are the norm. The clothing is not the issue; it’s the attitude behind it.

If we don’t have to change our clothes for God, what else can we hold on to? Explicit music, raunchy TV shows, or manner of speech?

I invite your comments!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A New Study on Jude

Dearest readers,

After a long absence from the blogosphere, I am returning to take up the task of seeking out God's truth by studying His word systematically and faithfully.

I've decided to start small: The Book of Jude.

One chapter, 25 verses...but in these times of postmodern assaults on truth, homosexual clergy taking posts in some of the largest denominations in America, and never before seen licentiousness and lewdness in our culture, this tiny book carries with it a powerful message.

I look forward to bringing you some posts in the near future. I am going to pick up a few commentaries on the book, as well as read through and study the Greek. Should take a few days (week or two) to crank out the first post, but I know that I will grow from the experience, and I pray that if you are reading this, you will as well!

Look forward to seeing you back soon!


Friday, November 9, 2007


I'd like to apologize for my lack of posts lately!

I've been getting an influx of new readers thanks to the guys at Pyromaniacs, but I have nothing to show them!

My wife and I, after much prayer and waiting, are finally closing on a beautiful new townhouse in Cary, NC. We have found a spiritual home at Colonial Baptist Church, and look forward to growing within the body as a couple and someday a family! During construction, we dedicated the bottom floor bedroom (complete with full bathroom) to all those serving Christ needing accommodations; from missionaries to potential seminary students to those coming in for conferences in the RDU area. We hope to fill it soon!

Praise God for His blessings in our lives, and pray that He continues to strengthen our resolve to live for Him with all of our heart!

I will resume posting sometime after Thanksgiving, once we are all set up. Thank you to those who continue to read and return to the ready for great things!

In Christ,