Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The King got up from his throne

This morning on my ride into work I had this amazing picture that gave me chills. I spent the next several minutes marveling and thinking on the implications of it. Imagine that God is a king. It's not that hard seeing that he is a king. Imagine him sitting on his throne, surrounded by a castle that is immaculate and orderly. The morning report comes in and he hears that his son's wife-to-be is in trouble her town is under siege. This future daughter-in-law, however, is only known to be of this status to him and his son. To everyone else she is simply a common citizen of his kingdom, which is vast. The king has ruled calmly and resolutely from his throne for years without leaving it vacant ever. Yet this news causes him great pain. And he does something no one expects.

He gets off his throne.

He stands up and resolves to personally fight this attack.

That image of a king rising for the sake of one person, it awes me. He got up and came to my defense. He actually made an effort on my behalf. Such power for such weakness.

Now, I'm not saying God actually left his rule and authority of the universe to become Jesus. No, he's three persons, he can remain on the throne and come down as a human, simultaneously. What I am saying is that he didn't have to do what he did. He didn't have to come to our rescue, he could have just sat there and been indifferent to our plight. But he didn't. And that's why I love him.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Jurisdiction of the Church

Click for sermon
Many of the ideas I am about to express come from the above linked sermon.

The issue in America again, because of the recent election, is gay marriage. I agree with Mark Driscoll's opinion that the United States is not a church. The jurisdiction of the church does not extend beyond the 4 walls of the church to dictate what people should do. This does not mean we can't preach the gospel in love and hope that people come to a knowledge of the truth. However, telling someone that they can't be legally bound to their partner on the basis of Church authority, is a little like a Canadian mounty pulling you over on horse back and giving you a ticket. You wouldn't pay that ticket, because his laws don't apply to you. Or if someone knocked on your door and said "You're breaking some of the rules in the Q'uran." You'd tell them "I'm not on that team, I don't follow those rules."

So how can we expect people outside the church to follow our rules.

It's ok for us to get angry with other churches, but there is no way we're going to see progress if we argue with those outside of it.

The problem is Satan has tricked us into believing we're at war with these people. We're not. We are at war with him and he has taken them captive. By fighting them we're effectively shooting the prisoners, expecting it to slow the enemy's progress. It's actually their goal that we fight the prisoners, we're falling right into their trap.

We are to love God, love people in the church, and love people outside the church.

There is no way anyone is going to come into one of our churches if we're judging them before they're on the same team. They are captives to the enemy and are following his rules. All we'll do is confuse and deject people. The bible doesn't make any sense to them.

We are called to lovingly explain the gospel in a way that is understandable. We are to love and instruct our brothers and sisters in Christ to do the same. We are to be men and women who know who our enemy is and fight him, not the people he's enslaved.