Monday, July 12, 2010


Thanks for your patience.

I was somewhat amazed when I opened my blog site to see when last I wrote. The last few months have been so intriguing, demanding and at times, overwhelming. That is the wonder of the God we serve. He is so preoccupied with the largeness of our journey, that he just will not let us surrender to the place of comfort, security and repetition that our hearts cry out for sometimes. We on the other hand, can choose to sacrifice these moments to choose a more simple route, but we will never know what we will leave on the shelf of unachieved opportunities, if we choose the safe...

Obedience not popularity:
In my devotional reading this morning, I was reminded that Jesus would not entrust himself into the hands of men and our fragile opinions. Of course I want to be accountable to friends, but the call to obedience before the Father, must still be our highest call. Every leader will experience a number of moments in his / her leadership journey where obedience to the mighty God will lead to a loss of popularity — even being hated for the decision. Will we be courageous enough to love God enough, to view this act as an honor, with all humility and tenderness? Followership of Jesus is just not a popularity contest. Please do not let your obedience to the Father be colored by pulpit lashings of those who do not agree with us or who even seek to destroy us. The pulpit is a sacred calling used to preach Christ and him crucified. It is not a moment of self defense, nor of attacks at those who are against us.

Humility not self promotion:
We live in a culture driven by marketing. The sell is so much part of the story. I have wrestled my way through the challenge of being culturally aware and relevant yet biblically filled with integrity. When the disciples approached Jerusalem, they commented to Jesus on how great this time would be, to really make a grand entrance. He would not. Can we still hold to the fact, that "our gift will make room for us"... is God still big enough to make a forgotten prisoner into a president as in the Joseph story? Of course one must not be passive, always walking through the doors that Jesus opens before us. We can even be bold in the closet of prayer, to ask him for things even if "my time has not yet come". However the raw naked self promotion that the Christian TV channels offer, matched with the celebrity status that so easily finds home in the church, must be resisted at all cost. When the coffee conversation is more around a personality and their gifting than around Jesus... danger, danger, danger...

Scripture not prophecy:
The last few months have made this question a very real challenge. When our backs are against the wall, do we turn to "prophecy" as our measure of truth, our rock, our fortress or do we hold true to the biblical text with all our might? There is such a temptation to work "words" to the place of "final authority"- meaning we base our decisions and justify our actions on these "words". The scripture is clear that we "prophecy in part". It has been saddening to see that the manipulation of prophecy has created an end that then justifies the means. Where does the fear of God fit into this? "God is in a good mood" may sound inspiring as we offer a Father Christmas God to the church. We cannot remove Acts 5 from the text as much as some would love to. Yes, the wrath of God has been fully satisfied in Christ and turned to favor, but he also disciplines those he loves.

Thanks for the read, but more importantly, thanks for joining in this journey together.


  1. Great read Chris ... really enjoyed the section on self promotion, been so challenged by this lately

  2. Appreciate you Chris! Words written from places that textbooks know nothing about... the master's welcome of "well done good and faithful" awaits (and presently whispers)

  3. Chris - glad you discovered your keyboard again!

    It was Tertullian who said: "Just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so this doctrine of justification is ever crucified between two opposite errors." Of course, he was talking about the errors of graceless truth and truthless grace - and therein lies so much of our struggle. We spend our lives trying to exist somewhere in the middle; we can never do it, it is not what Jesus was: He was full of both!

    We were faced with a difficult pastoral situation this morning wherein everything was crying out for grace-compromise, and yet obedience to the truth could not be avoided or circumnavigated! Oh, how difficult we find holding the fulness of grace and truth in the same frenzied moment! How desperate for the power of Christ!

    Grace pleads on behalf of the truth!

    O yes... thanks for the reminder to avoid the superstar who makes a ministry out of telling others not to be superstars! Ironic?!

    Blessings, Colin