Tag Archives: community

Community is a Buzz

A recent post from a friend found here, got me thinking about terms that grow in popularity only to eventually disappear into the ancient evangelical vernacular. How many terms have we used over the years that once were the future of the church? That was on my mind as I was recently reading a book given to me a while ago. I have been taking my time working my way through this book, and Ihave found that pace to be quite beneficial. I came to realize that community is not just a buzz word for Christians. How often have we heard the term community used in the recent months/years specifically in regards to the elections? It’s something to think about. How are you connected to your community? Here is the quote that specifically got me thinking.


Family, unity and community are the key words. But be careful. Christians aren’t the only ones using them. Have you noticed that many people are getting tired of individualism and self-focus? Self-interest, self-worth, self-esteem, what’s in it for me, the “me” generation, unbridled introspection and personal analysis-we are finally ready for a change. Individualism is out. From a strictly pragmatic perspective, we have found that individualism doesn’t work. As an antidote, the new buzz word is community. The problem is that unless there is a radical change in the way we see God, ourselves, and others, community will become just another strategy for us to feel better about ourselves. It will relieve the loneliness, and we will feel more “connected,” but if we pursue community for self-fulfillment rather than God’s glory, the community movement will simply be a passing fad. – Edward T. Welch.


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So it has been quite some time now since I first realized my sin. As a child I knew that God was God and I was not, however, the sin did not eat at me. I did not have guilt before God, I only had guilt before man. I was upset that I had let someone else down. Later in my life, that sin that ‘so easily entangled’, was for the first time seen as between God and myself. I needed help. Jesus is the help I needed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a guy, I can handle it. I grew up in an evangelical church that taught us the good way to live life in such a way that no one knows you are hurting. As M. Chandler says, “My friends all came up from being baptized quoting Romans while I just said…that was weird.” I didn’t however say anything about it since it was obviously my problem. People in leadership wore a cape…I wore a diaper. It wasn’t/isn’t about the heart, it is about knowledge and actions. We don’t talk about the heart much here in church. North or South it doesn’t matter. We don’t talk about the heart much. Jesus is calling us to a relationship with Himself and we continue to make it about what we can do for Him.

I was good at it. No rated R movies, no swearing, no TV past 9pm, no drinking the devil juice…I’ve even read Knowing God by JI Packer! I could do it all, and I still try to do it all, for the sake of pride. Romans 4-8 does not leave any room for pride.

Pride looks different from person to person. Pride takes on many faces depending on the situation and the company you keep. When the Pharisees would pray and thank God that they were not like the gentiles who surrounded them…they were merely using their context to act like us. Why do we call them lost, UN saved, UN churched, NON christian? With those very titles we are thanking God that we are not…lost etc. We look to them in the negative. Un, Non…

Romans 4-8 tells us that we all exist as one thing. Under God’s grace. The fact that people can breath God’s air, live on the earth God created, enjoy the sex God created…is grace. They can not enjoy any of these things however AS God intended, but they CAN enjoy them. Grace, what a powerful word.

I am convinced that it is because of a lack of transparency in my life that I am not closer to Jesus. I can fool everyone else, but I can’t fool God. Psalm 32:1-5 speaks volumes. Unconfessed sin decays the bones and kills your soul. Is this some sort of cleansing? No, you will not see me all of a sudden confess to killing a guy or bombing a bank. What I hope you see is some one who is starting to get it and who wants to find that place where it is ok not to get it but doesn’t let you stay there.

In his book Organic Church, Neil Cole makes a good case for bringing everything down. He takes many of his ideas a little too far, but the premise is solid. We need to get into a place where we meet with 2 or 3 people (same sex) and open our hearts. No more of this ‘small group’ stuff where we get together and do mini-church. We need life changing ministry form each other. We need to realize the power of the gospel, the power of Jesus, the power that the Holy Spirit can have on us and our relationships. The church needs to grow organically. We need to confess our sin (looking for another s word) in order to fertilize it.

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So with all that is going on, the question is once again the same question that must be asked at all times. How can God be glorified in this? I am currently searching for an earthly future and this has lead me to various thought streams. I have dipped into the emerging thought and swam around enough to see that swimming is all that it is about. There is no firm footing. You need the Bible people…all of it.

I have chewed on what I has been termed ‘solo Scriptura’ and found that what we have is short sightedness. Solo Scriptura has been defined as Scripture alone…not first…but alone. So, since the Bible does not speak of open heart surgery, that can not glorify God. Many of the people in these churches would argue against that label for them, however, that argument does not by itself, disprove the theory.

I am scared for some of the Christians that I come in contact with who do not take their Biblical thought process seriously. They do not understand that their worldview shapes every decision of their life. So, when they need to make a decision, whether or not to attend an event, which books to read, which church to attend, how to live out their responsibilities…whatever the case may be. These decisions are made based on their worldview.

Whatever they choose, it shows what they truly believe in and what they hold up as truth. Some people will base their decisions on finances and some on relationships. Some might say, “I chose to make such and such a decision based on what is the best for my checkbook.” Still others might say, “I want to do what is best for my family.”

This last one is one of the most dangerous of all. We can fool ourselves into thinking that our families are the central theme of our lives. A case can be made that family is the center of society in general but it can NEVER be the center of our lives. God MUST be that center. Some will often disguise their selfishness ass holding their family in high regard but when our families are not laid at the foot of the cross, sin is the center of our lives.

Emerging, solo-Scriptura, family first…no thanks I’ll take Jesus. Jesus is all we ever need and when we can finally make all our decisions based on who He is and what He did for us; the church will see the spiritual awakening that we so desperately need.

the main thing

the main thing

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