15 August 2014

This 'n' That

I love gathering with my church family on Sunday morning. Being around my brothers and sisters in Christ—my true family—is the highlight of my week. We meet at 9:00 AM, which never seemed all that early to me . . . until now.

I was flipping through the paper last night and spotted this:


What? Sleep in and still make it to church? Why, that's the best of both worlds! After all, it's so annoying when Jesus encroaches on our beauty sleep, wouldn't you agree?

Yes, I'm being sarcastic and yes, this church ad grieves me deeply. It encourages the mentality that Jesus is just a side dish to the entreé of your weekend. Would you like fries with that? Only if I'm in the mood for them. Would you like Jesus with that? Only if I feel like it.

This mentality is a blasphemous one, and yet it is startlingly pervasive. It's the same attitude that leaps at the chance to attend a Saturday evening church service so that one may have the entire day on Sunday to do with as one pleases—even sleep in later than 11:30. To my shame, I once possessed a similar mindset. To God's glory, He rescued me from such shallowness.

Ultimately, of course, it is not the day or time that we gather for worship (cf. Rom 14:5, 6), but the attitude and motivation of our hearts as we come to worship our Lord. The attitude displayed in the church ad above is one that exudes a self-satisfying, narcissistic, seeker-driven approach to church, not one that seeks to gather with fellow believers in order to praise and worship Jesus Christ and hear His Word proclaimed.

So, even though it is only Friday, I am already looking forward to Sunday morning (at 9:00 AM). Why sleep in when you can hear the Word proclaimed with faithful boldness? But, until that time, let's all take a few moments to relax and enjoy the week in review (kind of):
  • This might have to be tonight's nighttime snack.
  • I like my job, but Jesse Duplantis Ministries is looking for a copy editor, so now I'm really torn.
  • Robin Williams committed suicide this week.
  • I haven't had a chance to listen to this yet, but I'm really looking forward to it. Tom Patton from Grace Community Church teaching on the life of J.C. Ryle.
  • There's quite a bit missing from Perry Noble's list of seven things that Newspring Church believes.
  • Last week, August 6, would have been Lucille Ball's 103rd birthday. I Love Lucy has always been my favorite show.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • LifeWay stores are no longer selling Mark Driscoll's books. Never mind all the other garbage that lines their shelves, though.
  • Is a lie ever white?
  • Jesus is the door.

16 comments:

  1. Oh so sad! But I guess you do want to limit it when it is weak and not the awesome powerful proclamation of God. I, too, tend to want less of water-downed things but the fully concentrated Truth gets me out of bed, as well. I was just thinking yesterday how so many people have made a Jesus that is like a condiment or accessory. You determine if he enhances your life or situation at the moment and remove him when he doesn't.

    There is no reason they're going to change without God opening their eyes. Very educational weekly rundown.

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  2. I think you should apply for the copy editor job. Consider the benefits . . . possible trips to heaven, and then writing about it . . . book deals . . . movies . . . mega dollars . . . fame.
    On second thoughts, no; I prefer the truth. You too.

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  3. Thanks again Erin for these blog posts (especially the 'this n that' on Fridays)

    Suicide - a tough topic. Chris Rosebrough tackled this in his radio ministry with the suicide of Braxton Caner on August 7, 2014 (36 minutes into the broadcast). Very, very tragic.

    http://www.fightingforthefaith.com/2014/08/biophoton-spirituality.html

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  4. Wow, I love you Erin as a sister in Christ, but I couldn't help but take that in a legalistic way. To say that the people who worship on Saturday evening or at the later services as those who think of Christ as the entrée of their weekend is going just a tad far. I am sure that you can probably think of a few reasons why someone would attend a Saturday night service or a later Sunday morning service, such as work. But the reason they choose to attend those services are their own. Maybe next time we shouldn't paint with such a broad brush. I still love ya and enjoy reading your posts. Blessings, CJ

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    1. Hi CJ,

      I think you may have read my post a little too quickly. I said,

      It's the same attitude that leaps at the chance to attend a Saturday evening church service so that one may have the entire day on Sunday to do with as one pleases…

      Meaning those who opt for a Saturday evening service because they'd rather do something more 'fun' on Sunday…like sleep in. It was not intended as a blanket condemnation or as a legalistic stipulation that a true Christian must attend an early morning Sunday service. It was instead intended to speak against the mindset portrayed in the newspaper ad I posted. A mindset that says, 'Let's make Jesus as convenient as possible so He doesn't encroach on your comfortable life. That way you can stay as you are and just toss in Jesus when you want." That is what I was speaking against here.

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    2. Thanks for clarifying, and as I re-read your post again I realized that is what you were saying. My apologies. Blessings

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    3. On the flip side, it is not our job as Christians to create barriers to worship. There are enough already; we need not make more.

      I remember being a youth leader, and the youth pastor intentionally put the youth group meetings on Friday nights in order to conflict with school and family activities. Then he was amazed that the teenagers would not, "choose to worship God instead of following their own worldly desires," like school dances and seeing their non-custodial parent.

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  5. I appreciate your Friday posts--thank you--and I am with you on rising Sunday mornings. It is wonderful to get up and get going for no better reason than to make Sunday School at 9:30. My life has completely changed since discovering expository preaching and finding a sound church close to home. I love church.

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  6. "LifeWay stores are no longer selling Mark Driscoll's books. Never mind all the other garbage that lines their shelves, though."

    Amen to that one... a real shelf-cleaning is in order in most "Christian" bookstores.

    The two suicides (Caner, Williams)... both very tragic. May those that survived them come to know Christ, if they do not already.

    "Matt Chandler likes mystic Ann Voskamp. Don't act surprised."

    Unfortunately, I'm not surprised.

    And just a gentle add on, your wording in your T'n'T intro this week does come across with an air of legalism. It took a double take to understand your point; perhaps your remarks could have been phrased differently. Perhaps this is why CJ also had a hard time understanding you initially.

    Prov 27:17

    -Carolyn

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    Replies
    1. Appreciate the honesty, Carolyn. While I've explained what I thought was the clear intention of my original words, since more than one person has expressed confusion I've added another paragraph above that hopefully better clarifies the point I was attempting to make.

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    2. I think your additional paragraph helped.

      -Carolyn

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  7. Father, in Jesus' name, I pray for Erin right now, that she will know your truth, hear your voice, see your hand at work, and that she will have a love encounter with you like nothing she's ever experienced. Father, I pray for her complete and total freedom from the lies of Satan and that she will know you in a deeper way. I pray for your Kingdom to invade her heart and her mind, that she will personally experience your signs, wonders and miracles. I pray that she will have dreams and visions from you THIS week, Lord. Touch her in a brand new way! Father, I pray that she will build up her brothers and sisters in Christ and earnestly pray for them. I pray that your Word will be a lamp unto her feet and a light unto her path. Jesus, woo her! Holy Spirit, fill and empower her! All in the name of Jesus I pray these things...

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    1. Father, in Jesus' name, I pray for Erin right now, that she will know your truth,

      IT IS GREAT THAT YOU WANT ERIN TO KNOW THE TRUTH. WHAT IS THE ONLY WAY FOR HER TO KNOW THE TRUTH?

      John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

      GOD’S WORD IS THE BIBLE RIGHT? SO YOU SHOULD BE TELLING HER TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES

      hear your voice, see your hand at work

      I AM SURE WHEN YOU SAY YOU WANT HER TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE YOU MEAN THAT FIGURATIVELY SUCH AS SHE HEARS GOD’S VOICE WHEN SHE READS HER BIBLE BECAUSE PEOPLE THAT HEAR VOICES IN THEIR HEAD ARE NUTS AND LOTS OF TIMES THEY GET LOCKED UP IN THE FUNNY FARMS SO I AM SURE YOU ARENT TELLING HER TO ACT INSANE RIGHT?

      and that she will have a love encounter with you like nothing she's ever experienced.

      THIS LOVE ENCOUNTER YOU DESCRIBE SOUNDS LIKE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GOD OPENS A SPIRITUALLY DEAD PERSONS EYES SO THEY CAN SEE HE IS REAL AND THEN THEY CAN LOVE THEIR CREATOR. SO THEY LOVE HIS WORD. YUP THAT’S ERIN

      Father, I pray for her complete and total freedom from the lies of Satan

      OK SO IF YOU REALLY WANT HER TO HAVE FREEDOM FROM SATAN’S LIES YOU SHOULD AGAIN BE TELLING HER TO STUDY HER BIBLE BECAUSE THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO DETERMINE TRUTH FROM ERROR. IF SHE TRIES TO GO BY HER FEELINGS SHE CAN GET IN BIG TROUBLE RIGHT? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN SURE OF SOMETHING AND THEN TURNED OUT TO BE WRONG? THAT’S WHY GOD GAVE US A BOOK SO WE COULD LIVE UNDER IT.

      and that she will know you in a deeper way.

      ERIN IS A CHRISTIAN THAT MEANS GOD CHOSE TO SET HIS LOVE ON HER BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH AND AT THE RIGHT TIME SHE BELIEVED AND GOD SUSTAINS HER GUARDING HER SALVATION UNTIL SHE IS IN HEAVEN HOW DOES IT GET ANY DEEPER THAN THAT? DO YOU THINK THERE IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO TO TOP THIS?

      1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

      (continued…)

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    2. I pray for your Kingdom to invade her heart and her mind, that she will personally experience your signs, wonders and miracles.

      GOD CHANGED HER WHEN HE SAVED HER. SHE EXPERIENCED SALVATION WHICH IS THE ULTIMATE WONDER. SHE KNOWS GOD IS REAL AND SHE HAS HIS WORD WHY WOULD SHE NEED SOMETHING LESS THEN THAT? ONLY FALSE CONVERTS OR SUPER IMATURE CHRISTIANS WOULD WISH FAKE MIRACLES ON A BORN AGAIN CHRISTIAN. PETER SAW AND HEARD A MIRACLE BUT LOOK WHAT HE SAYS. WE HAVE SOMETHING MORE SURE THEN YOUR EYES AND EARS WE HAVE GOD’S WORD.

      2 Peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

      I pray that she will have dreams and visions from you THIS week, Lord.
      REALLY? CHRISTIANS ARE TOLD TO AVOID DREAMS AND VISIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE SUBJECTIVE. IF WE ARE TOLD BY GOD TO AVOID THEM WHY WOULD YOU PRAY THAT ERIN WOULD RECEIVE WHAT GOD SAYS TO STAY AWAY FROM. MAN YOU ARE DOWN RIGHT MEAN. YOU MUST HATE ERIN. I THINK YOU SHOULD APPOLOGIZE FOR WISHING SUCH AN AWFUL THING ON A WONDERFUL CHRISTIAN.

      Colossians 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism (mysticism) and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

      Touch her in a brand new way!

      WHAT THE OLD WAY WAS NO GOOD? IF GOD NEVER CHANGES AND GOD NEVER LEARNS ANYTHING NEW AND GOD PROMISES ALL HIS BLESSINGS ON HIS CHILDREN THEN THERE CANNOT BE A BRAND NEW WAY OR GOD’S A LIAR. DO YOU READ THE BIBLE? I WILL SEND YOU OWN FOR FREE IF YOU NEED ONE

      Malachi 3:6 “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

      Father, I pray that she will build up her brothers and sisters in Christ and earnestly pray for them.

      THIS IS WHY ERIN SPENDS HER TIME AND TREASURE RUNNING THIS WEBSITE SO OTHERS CAN BE EDIFIED AND BE INFORMED OF ALL THE FALSE GOSPELS OUT THERE. IF YOU WOULD READ WHAT SHE WRITES AND TEST IT TO THE SCRIPTURES INSTEAD OF TV EVANGELISTS YOU WOULD KNOW HER GOAL IS TO GLORIFY GOD AND HELP ALL OF US TO UNDERSTAND HIS TRUTH.

      I pray that your Word will be a lamp unto her feet and a light unto her path.

      THIS IS REALLY NICE OF YOU. THE WORD IS HER LAMP AS SHE MAKES HER WAY THRU THIS DARK WORLD FULL OF FALSE TEACHERS WHO DO FAKE MIRACLES AND CLAIM TO HAVE VISIONS THAT DON’T COME TRUE

      Jesus, woo her!

      WOO HER? YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT THE GOD WHO SPOKE EVERYTHING INTO EXISTENCE. DO YOU REALLY THINK HE SITS AROUND AND GOES “ HERE ERIN HERE ERIN COME TO ME” NO HE INTERUPPTED HER LIFE AND CHANGED HER WILL SO SHE LOVES WHAT SHE HATED (GOD) AND HATES WHAT SHE USED TO LOVE (SIN). IT IS SILLY TO TALK LIKE THAT ABOUT JESUS

      Holy Spirit, fill and empower her! All in the name of Jesus I pray these things…

      IT IS NICE THAT YOU WANT TO PRAY FOR ERIN BUT WHAT ARE REALLY SAYING IS THAT ERIN IS ALL WRONG AND YOU AND YOUR MAGIC TRICKS ARE RIGHT. IF THE WORD IS TRUTH THEN ERIN IS RIGHT. IF IT’S SALVATION THRU BARNUM AND BAILEYS CIRCUS YOU AND YOUR KIND ARE RIGHT. HMMM HOW COULD WE SETTLE THIS DEBATE? IF WE ONLY HAD A WAY TO KNOW WHAT GOD THOUGHT ABOUT THIS ALL. OH YA WE DO AND IT’S THE BIBLE. WHERE CAN I SEND YOU ONE?

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    3. "I pray that she will have dreams and visions from you THIS week, Lord. Touch her in a brand new way!"
      ~ AnonymousAugust 19, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      "The only feeling I ever want to have is just this,—I want to feel that I am a sinner and that Christ is my Saviour. You may keep your visions, and ecstasies and raptures, and dancings to yourselves; the only feeling that I desire to have is deep repentance and humble faith; and if, poor sinner, you have got that, you are saved.

      Why, some of you believe that before you can be saved there must be a kind of electric-shock, some very wonderful thing that is to go all through you from head to foot. Now hear this, "The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart. If thou dost with thy heart believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and with thy mouth dost confess, thou shalt be saved."

      What do ye want with all this nonsense of dreams and supernatural thoughts? All that is wanted is, that as a guilty sinner I should come and cast myself on Christ. That done, the soul is safe, and all the visions in the universe could not make it safer."

      Charles Haddon Spurgeon


      Blessed are the paupers in spirit... "rich" are the visionaries...

      Despeville

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