Sunday, July 17, 2016

Semi-Serious Look At The Way We Do Business

Reading this again.....
I like it when an author can put language to beliefs I have, and thoughts that are rumbling around in my brain. Language that puts into actual words the things you've been working through. Such is the way Ken Blues writes in this book.

I'd like to share some of his insight with you.

"Almost two hundred years ago, Western culture in Europe and the United States underwent its one and only radical religious change since the fourth century. That change, apparent among Europeans and Americans by the 1800's, was an utterly new thing: unbelief in God as an acceptable option."

While we live in the deep South and, as such, laying claim, or having it laid on us, that we are the Bible Belt region of our country, such thoughts as these were unacceptable. As a child it was more than frowned on for anyone to even speak badly against God, much less not believe in him. 

Ken Blue goes on to write:

"This is not to say that we did not believe in God anymore, but rather that He had become nonessential to the way we live our lives. We Western Christians may be religious in our heads, but we tend to act like secularists in our daily activities. The real authority in our world view today and the touchstone of truth for our society is science. Science is our savior, provider and fixer."

That is why I have taught all alone that there are a lot of folks out there with what I would refer to as "TWO BELIEF SYSTEMS".....
One they talk about in front of others....(Doing so gives the appearance of having life all tied up in a neat bundle with a big red religious bow)....
And another belief system they actually walk out daily. This is the one we follow and make our decisions by. We work really hard to keep the two separated. Guess what? When life comes down hard and whacks you up side the head, which one are you going to lean on?
The one you talk about? Or the one that you live daily? Well,the one we live daily by.

What if God only wants us to have one belief system? That it is both the one we share with others, as well as the one we rely on when times get hard. The belief system that point us toward God in all and every situation and circumstance that we might find ourselves facing.

Mr. Blue writes, "Virtually every policy of social life, government and education, as well as people's personal philosophies of life, are evaluated in terms of their being scientific or unscientific. It is generally believed that for a thing to be true, it must be scientifically proven. Truth has become more or less synonymous with that which can be scientifically established. Non-materialistic values----like love, justice, and religion -----which cannot be specifically proven are regarded as either irrelevant or simply a matter of preference."

This is why I believe that we (the church) need a marriage between the Word of God and the presence of His Holy Spirit.  The truth of God becomes more real when it is backed with a demonstration of power by the Holy Spirit in our communication with those outside the church. Isn't this the behavior that Jesus showed when He walked with His disciples?  Teach the truth and then validate it by healing, delivering or restoring someone? I think maybe it is.

The real tension in our world today is not between church and science but between a secular world view and a view of reality which allows for the activity of the Living God in our midst.  According to Ken Blue, "The church today functions more or less like other secular institutions---we rely on human effort. If we set goals at all, they tend to be "realistic". We do not live like we are anticipating power from on high breaking into our plans and goals significantly altering their effectiveness. Our message becomes  that we are sent to the world in the name of the omnipotent God of creation, yet we often stand helpless before situations which desperately need His power."

The thing that has always seem to be central in recovery is the lack of extra baggage that is needed in the church. We don't have to put on events or come up with some new and exciting thing to draw people. The main reason is that they are sick of the old life, and are in search of a new way of living. I was having lunch with a person who also heads up a recovery meeting when he asked me, "Do you ever feel as though we only have one message?" Giving it some thought, I replied, "Would that be the I Corinthians 2:2 message?" Old Paul hit the nail on the head when he wrote that one...For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Such a place is where real life is found. 

When the Word of God is taught to hungry hearts...
The power of God is present to transform.

Isn't that the heart who the church is suppose to be?
I think maybe yes.

God on you...

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