|Posted on February 27, 2015 at 12:05 AM|
Every now and then people are asking me what those „strange“ pages and groups do on my facebook page that do not seem to fit at all into what they believe my Christian faith is all about.
That reminds me of the old days when people took offense when Jesus hung out with prostitutes and all the other “scum” of society.
What are the two things each Christian should know and obey as core rules? The Great Commandment and the Great Commission.
The Great Commandment teaches us to love each and everyone. If we only love those who love us in return, how would we be any different from non-believers?
As to the Great Commission – it tells us to go OUT, spread the Good News and make disciples. It doesn't’ say improve your programs, get better entertainment, water down your message, hire professionals and work on your fundraising and publicity strategies in order to get more butts in the seats and with them more money. Jesus did not build a physical temple either to sit there and wait till people would come knocking at His door. He went out and hung out with those who needed Him most. The “untouchables” that all the others were shunning.
Now with that having said, there are rules and boundaries for that. You need to be stable in your own faith, hold yourself accountable and make sure you have a daily spiritual structure in order to do that. These are dangerous waters where the Prince of the Air rules. If you are somewhat unstable or still in a recovery process whatsoever, you better be careful. For all the rest, however, this is part of their calling. If we feel weird doing that, we might think about our own understanding of what a disciple of Christ (a “Christian”) is all about – and what not.
|Posted on February 8, 2015 at 8:10 AM|
We as Christians are called to go and and make disciples. We should never content ourselves just meeting on a weekly basis like a religious club and listening to nicely sounding messages. Going out, however, means going out to those who need the Lord most: The poor, the sick, the lonely, the drug addicts, the hookers, the sexually broken, the gays, the desperate, the criminals, the inmates and many more. That means diving into their (!) waters. Only working on finding new ways to lure people into the Church (building) won't cut the deal. Those people will not even waste a thought on our nicely thought-out programs. If we go to where they are at though, we need to be aware that this is the kingdom of the Prince of the Air. These are highly dangerous waters, even though they offer us the greatest challenge for a rich harves for the Lord. To go there means to prepare - to put on our spiritual armour. Having a daily spiritual structure and surrounding ourselves with good and solid Christians is crucial if we want to face the evil. Then again - there is nothing like that. THIS is what Jesus wants us to do and where he wants us to be at. All the angels in heaven will cheer for each sould saved, for each sheep that finds its way back to the flock! Hallelujah!
|Posted on October 5, 2014 at 8:05 AM|
Go big! There is nothing I dislike more than passive people that are constantly whining and pitying themselves and put the blame for their miserable life on others. People that have no fire or dreams and visions inside, that wait for others to provide for them and pull them out of the mud. What a life is that. Dare to go for the alternative: Life is a daily adventure. Go big! Dream big! Your dreams and visions should never bee too low. What's the point if you have a tiny goal and reach it - as opposed to having a huge goal and reaching "only" fifty percent of it - which is still way beyond option #1. Stop pitying yourself. If you keep on blaming others for what's going wrong in your life, there will never be any change or progress. You canl only change yourself. Other people usually are beyond your reach and responsability. Have visions! See yourself standing on top with the medal around your neck! Get the feeling for it and act as if you already have it! Don't be shy asking others for help. Most of all: Go new ways. Things will never change if you always do what you've always done. Don't be a copy of somebody else as everyone around you is already taken. Find your own way and learn to think and act completely different from everybody else! God has provided each one of us with passions and talents. Go for it! What do you have to loose - as opposed to the many things you could gain! And if you stumble and fall on your butt, get up again! There is nothing wrong with falling, but a lot with staying on the floor! Get into the ring and become a fighter! God needs courageous men and women who know what they want and are willing to give it their all to get it! Go big -and go now!!
|Posted on June 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM|
Sounds good to me. But, why is it so awfully quiet out there? Thankfully there are organizations like Voice of the Voiceless that face gay activists head on and stand up for ex-gay rights. What about all the other ex-gays though? What about the Church? Silence.
Bing German, I find that very interesting. Not so long ago we had times where many Germans – and the rest of the world – stayed silent too when the Jews where being taken away. Why bother? I ain’t no Jew. Even most of the Jews stayed rather passive and offered no resistance (not that I reproach them that). Like sheep being taken to the slaughterhouse.
How is it we get paralyzed like deer standing in the flashlight of a car as soon as times get rougher?
How is it people who formerly self-identified as “gay” and found freedom later on stay silent and hide?
Most in the Church probably think that’s none of their business. Let the gays do what they want. We don’t have that problem.
Really? Each Church from a certain size on has that “problem”. And even if they don’t – you cannot escape a political force anymore that is strong enough to bring the mightiest men in the world to their knees. Why stop at churches? Why not force them to allow gays on their staff, to perform gay weddings? Not to even mention what’s behind the curtain once the gay kid is out.
As to the ex-gays themselves: Well, I guess you can find a thousand good reasons why you are not the right guy to stand up for ex-gays and share the joy and freedom that the Lord has blessed you so richly with.
But there is one good reason not to: Jesus.
If we call ourselves followers of Jesus, we need to accept His radical call for discipleship. “Follow me” is a battle cry, not an invitation to come and watch a nice church program. He called us to hold unto Him – even unto death! And He warned us never to deny Him!
I remember a Bible study I did years ago. We talked about the persecution of Christians in the last days as I wanted to make sure that each one that passes my Bible studies should be prepared if that day comes up. One lady said, “Why, there is no way I can withstand persecution! I am too scared!” I told her I was scared too and I shared a story of the early martyrs that has been passed on through the centuries.
Beneath the circus of Rome Christians were held in captivity waiting to be taken up and fed to the lions. Among them a pregnant woman. When she got in labor pains she started to scream as the pain was so intense. One of the guards said, “If you scream like that already now, wait till you are up there with the lions!” She answered, “Now it is me that suffers, up there it will be Christ suffering in me”.
That’s how I feel about it. There is no way I can withstand the devil and his followers through my own force. I am certainly not the guy to do that. But, when the day comes, I know that Jesus is with me. I need not suffer alone.
“Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.” (Col 1:24 NIV)
|Posted on June 3, 2014 at 1:15 PM|
I don’t know about you, but if you go to any given Christian Sunday service (and it doesn’t almost even matter which denomination), you get the same picture pretty much everywhere: A nice service with nice people and a nice message. You can’t really say much against it, but then again – also not much for it. It’s all about love, forgiveness, nice & touching emotional stories and the like. Again: in and of itself that’s not really wrong. Is it not?
Let’s look back how Christianity started. Jesus’ radical call to give up everything – wealth, family and even life – to follow Him. Discipleship as the living symbol of the great Christian paradox: Die to live. Lives that spoke through their own examples, sermons that set hearts on fire, evangelizing at the cost of one’s life. Read the testimonies of the early Christian martyrs and weep.
What is left? Not much I dare say. Nice meetings, big events that don’t really say much nor do they have any lasting effects, church congregations that haven’t heard the words “hell”, “Satan”, “damnation”, “sin” for decades – not to speak of a godly sexuality and a Christian life. Right, Jesus is all about love. The hippie-like Jesus that paints everything rose. Who cares that back in the days Jesus could get really angry, spoke about Satan and hell like no other and did not care to shy away butts from the church benches as long as He had it right with God.
As to the Bible – well, technically it is still around, but man did they make something out of it. Back then it was a book that changed lives and gave people spiritual food. Now everything is “re-interpreted”. The biblical stories had been written by humans in their own historical and cultural circumstances. You can’t take that at face value and for sure it is not valid anymore. What’s left is that fuzzy “love”-feeling. Who cares that love in the biblical context is not a fuzzy feeling but a covenant where a person gives himself or herself in a life-giving manner reflecting the love that Jesus has for His bride, the Church – and in the marital context this love becomes so much “one flesh” that you have to give it a name nine months after – reflecting the trinity.
Don’t get me wrong – historical and cultural Bible interpretation has its place – but it is only ONE of many different aspects that need to be taken into account when studying the Bible. If you knock it down at that – and at that only – then you can throw away the whole book. If there are no lasting standards that no generation is allowed to change and that are valid across the centuries, then you can throw away the whole book.
Or – in other words: Then Christianity becomes the “me, myself & I” wellness-Christianity, where it is all about how I feel good about it, which church congregation offers me the best program, how the psalms give me feel-good-messages, how I can even mix things up with Zen-Buddhism, Yoga, pagan and even occult religious practices – or simply my own preferences, feelings and experiences. In other words: it all comes down to the satanic “do what you want” cult – with the sad side-effect that most are not even aware of that and would ascribe such thoughts to radical “fundamentalists”.
That’s the bad part of it. But then you have also the small gate to heaven that Jesus mentioned that few people will pass. Yes, they might be few, but they exist and they will get there.
You want to be one of the gang? Then go and check out what real discipleship is all about. Tell Jesus you want it, you want HIM and Him alone and that you are willing to give up everything for Him. And then let Him work in and through you. Yes, you will have to face consequences for that. People will mock you at best, or even harm you physically. You will lose everything and it won’t “feel good”. But then again you will find a sort of satisfaction that is beyond spiritual wellness. A satisfaction that unites you with Jesus’ life on the deepest level – the joy, the humility, the courage, but also the redemptive suffering.
You want all of that? Be careful before you answer. Because a “yes” might cost you everything – and give you everything: eternal life.