Monday, May 31, 2010

Naked Saints

This song was sent to me by a "sex worker" who found salvation while on the job. She told me "This is my special song, the song God gave me." She did not even know, until I told her, that the lyrics are Jesus words, from Evangheliei Marcu, 8:36. I explained, and she was overjoyed, that her heart had recognized the voice of Jesus, even in a foreign language.

Some church-people believe sinners don't like Jesus...well, they either do not know the world, or they do not know Jesus. I'm glad this pop band is preaching Jesus' parable afresh, to people the church sometimes overlooks. The video is profound.

(The group is called "MorCheeba" which roughly translates as "The Cannabis Way." They have some very cool stuff.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God's Chosen People?

"...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14)

You no doubt have, for years, heard that we should be praying for this great country of ours. That we should be asking for God's blessing on America, because God wants to heal our land. We, as a country, have gone against God's law by taking prayer out of schools, and that we need to bring this country back to God.

And you've no doubt heard that verse up there at the top, thrown right into the middle of it all.

Can I just say that we're going about this all wrong? Is it okay for me to say that?

If we want to use a passage like 2 Chronicles 7 (or the whole book of Jeremiah, or Malachi 3, or whatever scripture we choose), I think it's worth our time to delve at least deep enough to see who was being spoken to, and what the words mean within the passage. In fact, let's get simple, and just look at the phrase "my people."

God was speaking to the Jews, the people of Israel, the people of his covenant. (Specifically in this case, he was speaking to King Solomon.) Most of us also agree that because of Jesus' life and death, his followers have been "grafted in," and we now fall under the category of "God's people." Christians. The ekklesia, the church.

However, I can find no scriptural basis -- literal, figurative, anything -- that could somehow bring "America" into the picture. "My people" is not referring to America. "Their land" is not referring to America. How can we use this scripture when talking about "taking America back for God"?

Extrapolating this scripture to the "us" of present-day could only make it refer to the CHURCH, not to America. Let's try it this way:

"...if my church, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their church."

God is more concerned about his own people than he is about earthly geographic empires and lines on a map. HIS kingdom is our kingdom. "Our land" is the kingdom we share with our brothers and sisters in Iran and China and France. We, the people of God, need to be humbling ourselves and seeking Him. Maybe we need to make sure the church is turned back to God?

Don't let your flags become fused together. Don't let your sword become intertwined with your cross. Remember whose kingdom you are a part of. A kingdom where we humble ourselves, and pray and seek God's face.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"When He Heard This, He Became Very Sad, Because He Was a Man of Great Wealth"

Those that know me are probably aware that I think "Christian" often makes a poor adjective. We are to BE Christians, yes. But putting a Christian label on music or books or artwork or various other things is, let's just say, less than ideal.

However, as followers of Jesus, as CHRISTIANS, we are to exemplify love, service, and self-sacrifice. So in a capitalistic society, how well can "Christian" work as an adjective to go along with "Business"?

Go read the article. Then come back here and leave your thoughts. I'm not going to make some strong point here, I'm just going to see where the discussion goes...