Tell the Ear to Shut Up – It Needs the Eye

President Obama tried to be coy when he admonished Christians by asking which Christianity we should choose: “James Dobson’s Christianity; or Al Sharpton’s?” You mean they’re different? Maybe a better comparison would have been: “James Dobson’s, or Jeremiah Wright’s?”
But the truth is, if they’re both following Christ, and lifting Him up as Lord Almighty, then the chances are they’re both in the “body of Christ.” And the “body” has many members: eyes, ears, noses, feet… you get the picture. What part of the body is your church?
If you practice the analogy given in I Corinthians 12, you’ll have to learn to accept people of differing denominations. Our faith is still in the Lord Jesus. Be we have different functions in His body.
The apostle Paul pictures a body’s members arguing with themselves. The ear “looks” at the eye (since it has no eye, I don’t know how) and it says, “I must not be in the body, ’cause I’m not like the eye.” I don’t know how it spoke, since it has no mouth. But Paul must have been having fun trying to point out the damage done when Christian churches downplay other churches, or outright condemn them, because of denominational doctrinal differences.
Truthfully, most denominations developed doctrines of exclusivism. Such singular doctrines were essential, in the minds of the founding fathers, to preserve the uniqueness. And today, although many modern pastors may quibble privately at their own denomination’s staunch preservation of its “preservation doctrines,” they won’t do so publically.
Paul was clear about the reason we need to accept each other, even though we are dramatically different. Christ prayed that all who “believe” in Him “may be as one” (John 17:20-22). And when Paul wrote his clever piece in I Corinthians 12 about the “body” being comprised of many completely different parts, he declared that there should be “no schism in the body” (vs25).
So whether your church is the eye, or the ear, or the nose… or maybe the knee… the point is that you should simply be gald to be who you are, and not look disdainfully at other churches that you don’t understand or agree with. If they worship the Lord Jesus Christ, and they’ve received the revelation that He is Lord, they are His. And so are you. So rejoice and be happy in your faith. And let the “eye” do the same.

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IS AMERICA BEYOND HOPE?

I have noticed that a number of radio or television ministers are speaking about America’s need for a revival.  Sometimes it is a genuine call from ministers who are agonizing over the demise of godliness in America, and sometimes it is simply a “get on the bandwagon” response to what’s current.

At any rate, the troubling thing about the call to Revival is that it is so “corporate.”  It is not directed at us individually, but at America generally.  And that’s the rub, so to speak.

As long as we sit silently by, lending our “Amen!” to a stirring sermon, then hurrying to dinner, and hurrying home to grab the remote and watch our nightly nonsense, and then spending six days away from church, and from our devotional sense of God, then revival will not come to America.

Because revival must be an individual thing.  I… YOU… WE must have revival.  We must examine ourselves.  We must pray. We must repent. We must change.  We must intercede.  We.  Not America.  Not them. Not those “cold” churches.   We. 

I love preaching to others.  I hate preaching to me.  I love trying to change the guy going the wrong way.  I hate trying to change my own habits, and trying to break out of my complacency.  Sometimes the tide has to turn against us before we get serious about changing.  And that being said, perhaps the greatest indication that revival is possible in America is the obvious media turn against Christianity.

The media was not really mean to Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his anti-America “God-d*** America” sermon.  Not really.  But have you see the vitriolic response of some to Brit Hume’s comments to Tiger Woods about finding Christ?

Forget revival coming to America.  Pray for revival to come to you.  If enough of “you” and “I” can genuinely have a revival of faith and character and courage, then it will automatically come to our “land.”    (2 Chron. 7:14)

Football, Moms, and Good Violence

I enjoy watching the bowl games at this time of year.  Young men on their way up in the world of football.  They’re playing to win a game, but they also know the eyes of scouts are on them.  The pros are watching.  Their future could be hanging on a great performance.

This football season was the first for my young grandson.  It was fun to watch him, to wonder if he’ll play in high school, or in college.  It was fun to watch his transformation, suddenly wanting to “muscle up,” and becoming much more conscious of “team.”

But I think the most joy this football season has brought me has been watching my grandson’s mother (my daughter) go through her own transformation.  This was the woman who a year ago might have said, “Ewww, don’t touch that bug, it’s nasty.”  Or, “Look how dirty you are.  Get in there and clean up, young man.”  She certainly said, “You be nice!”

This woman paced the sidelines after the first game or two, and yelled things like, “Hit him!  Don’t let him knock you down!  Move your feet!  Block him out!”   She would deny it under oath, but I swear I heard her say, “You better hurt that boy!”

Now I know she didn’t want her son to be violent.  And she knows nothing about football.  But after she began learning a little, she at least realized this:  If her son just stands there, he’s going to get his head knocked off.  And he’s going to let the team down.  So he must be aggressive.  He must be strong.  And he must understand the objective of the opponent, and stop him.

It’s a good object lesson for Christians.   So many of us are just standing around, posing.  We look like players, but we’re really just wearing the clothes and looking pretty.  Meanwhile, the enemy is charging over the line, wreaking havoc on our teammates.   Our kids are still getting messed up with drugs.  They’re still falling to the immorality of the age.  Our politicians continue to pass regulation that favors the anti-god crowd.  Schools have gone completely anti-religion.  And we’re posing.  

We need to get mean. We need to be violent.  In the sense that the verse says, “The kingdom suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  When Paul wrote, “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand,” he was letting us know that we have all the equipment we need to win.  We just need to put it on and get in the game.  And get violent.