Monday, January 30, 2012

SPUR: Conversation

I'm not sure if you are familiar with The Elephant Room or not. Basically here's how it works. A bunch of ministers/pastors/clergy get together. These individuals may disagree on any number of theologies (minor and major) and approaches to the ministry BUT they are solidly united by the blood of Christ. In that spirit of unity (all unity should flow from the blood of Christ) they discuss and even argue their views. My faith has been challenged by the few videos I have been privileged to watch. 

Here is the SPUR to love and good deeds this week. You are probably surrounded by individuals who claim to follow Christ. Ask questions. 

  • What do you believe about the Trinity? 
  • What do you believe about the tension of saved by grace and the necessity of works?
  • How does salvation work?
  • What role, if any, should the church play in politics, sports, school and so on?
  • Do all dogs go to Heaven?
Ask questions but more importantly, know why you have the answers you have. 

  • Are your understandings/answers/theologies (whatever you want to call it) "yours" OR did you just hear them somewhere? 
  • Are they from the Bible or a person or a t.v. show (you know it happens!)?
  • Why do you believe what you believe?
When you ask questions and discuss, show respect. As Christians we need to engage each other in these conversations for spiritual growth but we need to do it in the right manner.

Want to learn more about this format or The Elephant Room? Click here.

Taken from the Elephant Room: Round 2 on Vimeo.

And if anyone has the full video set, let me know!

all about Christ,

Sunday, January 8, 2012

For God so Loved Tebow

I will probably make some of you a bit upset with this post. My Facebook post inspired a huge discussion. It comes down to this. Tim Tebow. The man is amazing. He is on fire for God (just watch him). He is a humble man (just listen to him). He is putting up great stats (wins at the very least) and is getting the job done, regardless of how he throws a ball (seriously, it's ugly)! He is concerned about social justice issues and winning games. And there is no doubt in anyone's mind that he loves Jesus (this is the way it should be for all Christians by the way). Tim Tebow takes all the press with so much grace and dignity. But there is a problem. He has become an icon, an image, an idol.

  • Did you know Tim Tebow rode into Denver on the back of a donkey?
  • He once touched a pigskin and it came back to life!
  • He turned a pitcher of water into Gatorade.
  • His number is #15 because that's how many men it takes to tackle him.
  • He can dribble a football
  • He threw 316 yards, averaging 31.6 yards per throw, and getting a 31.6% viewer rating (whatever that is)...obviously God loves him and wanted him to win over the evil Steelers...(okay so I added the evil part because I am not a Steelers fan).

With all eyes on Tebow, he purposefully and appropriately redirects the attention to God...and so many Christians are enamored by this but they forgo Tebow's redirection and look to Tebow again. They tell their friends that God is giving Tebow wins. It's like the Bible Code. It makes me sad to hear things like this. Why? It's the Prosperity Gospel.

The Prosperity Gospel is a gross twisting of the scriptures. The way it works is like this: Love God and you will have all your dreams come true. Money? Yup...lots! to be 150! Want to win the Super Bowl...just watch Tim Tebow! While that is not how the Gospel works that is how so many have treated the Gospel in the midst of Tebow fever.

The Gospel does not promise us health or wealth or Super Bowl rings to pawn in our later years. Before you mishear me and start typing your angered response, the Gospel doesn't promise us heart ache either. God's goal is not our happiness or our sadness. God's goal is our holiness which is only accomplished through the blood of Jesus Christ.

When we say God is blessing Tebow, we start to sound an awful lot like Satan in the book of Job. I can just see God saying, have you considered my servant Tebow. There's no one else like him. And Satan says, that's because you bless him and give him wins. God says no, he is righteous and faithful. His wins have nothing to do with me or how he feels about me. Remove the wins and he will still bless me. Obviously I'm taking a few liberties here but I think the point is solid.

Now with all this said. I am pulling for Tebow. I lived in Florida during the Tebow years. I have always seen him as an upstanding Christian man, a solid player, and a model athlete. He's the complete package! I want him to win. I want, since the Bengals are out, the Broncos to go to the Super Bowl and surprise everyone. I would love to see him win. BUT I am afraid of the reaction of so many...Christians and non-Christians. OMT!

all about Christ,

Monday, January 2, 2012

The first iPhone and your dreams, goals, and vision

I read an interesting post on Mashable this weekend that really got me thinking about big goals and vision as 2012 rolls around. The picture to the right and below are pictures of the very first Apple iPhone prototype in 1983, yes that's correct 1983. I find it amazing that the first iPhone, as we know it, was not unveiled by Steve Jobs until January 9, 2007. 

24 years...1983 to 2007...24 years...just shy of a quarter century. 

I know 2012 just began and maybe you didn't get everything done in 2011 you wanted to. Maybe your dreams and goals didn't happen, maybe they didn't materailize, so what...keep working on it, keep praying about it, keep fighting for it. Apple and Jobs continued to tweak, work, produce and dream and now there have been 5 versions/updates of the iPhone and on March 2, 2011, at the iPad 2 event Apple announced that they have sold 100 million iPhones worldwide. 

Big goals, dreams and vision sometime takes time, don't quit.