Thursday, August 28, 2008

A new era: The decline of Christendom

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Christian spirituality has been the integral and fundamental part of society. Popes have been in charge of government and the world used to look to Christian ministers for decision making.

Times have changed. We live in a post-Christendom era. That is, the church is no longer the centre of society. In Australia, the church is on the sidelines, sometimes yelling out principles of holiness to a coutry that doesn't always listen.

It's not good enough to try and make the church the centre of it all again. Let's face it, the early church grew fastest during the first three centuries when it didn't have governmental authority and some new followers of Jesus were persecuted for their faith, some even martyred (read about a guy named Polycarp!).

So how does the church exist in this post-christendom era? I think we need to stop pumping up the idea of the church to people who are anti-church. Lets rather talk about God and the fact that Jesus can bring freedom into people's lives. After all, we're about witnessing the growth of the Kingdom of God, not the Kingdom of the Church.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Is it taking hold of you?

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As I walk down the street and see someone with their new hotted up car,
As I stroll past the electronics shop I witness someone buying a new plasma screen, and I realise I'm getting the symptoms...
When I envy my neighbour's financial position, and when I gossip about the new possessions of my friends, I realise I'm coming down with something...
As I trade my new phone in for another one, and as I complain about my other mate having a new X-Box, I realise the sickness is taking hold of me...
When I struggle to pass the clothes shop without wishing for more, and when I throw out clothes just to buy the latest fashion, I realise I have caught this wretched illness...
I've read the symptoms, I've worked out what I'm coming down with. I know the sickness that is taking hold of me; this wretched illness...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's time to unroll the scroll!

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Here's a sneak preview of my message tomorrow at Melbourne Corps - Project 614:

Jesus walks into the synagogue following his baptism, and his time in the desert. A Jewish leader asks him to come and teach the congregation. He unrolls the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and finds where it says:
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lord's favour...'

Right here, at this significant moment, Jesus tells the people his future mission. He says, and this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing this day (see Luke 4:14-30).

It's time to unroll the scroll. Too long have churches rolled up the scroll, and said, this mission is too hard, it's too costly, it's too demanding, it's too tiring. Hey. Unroll it. Check out the mission that Jesus is on about, and be on about the same.

Lay aside your life for the task of winning the world for Jesus. No other task seems to compare. Then, we won't be able to hold back the Revolution that God will bring.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Everyday an Adventure

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There's lots happening on my side of the woods, here at the Training College. We've got TACO Trivia Nights happening in Sept/Oct, raising (hopefully) heaps of money for Cadets in Third World Countries (Stay tuned).

Chris and David, officers from Tanzania, shared their stories recently at the TC, and spoke of the need to realise the power that there is in the name of Jesus, especially in a place where down the street the local witch doctor is doing business!

Do we believe that we can be sanctified (holy) this side of heaven? I mean, not merely inputed righteousness (as if we were holy...), but imparted righteousness - actually being holy! I believe it. After all, God is the one who sanctifies.

Started a microchurch (small group) at Melbourne 614 recently, and have enjoyed discussing Salvationism 101; understanding the history of The Salvation Army, and how the mission of the Army is still relevant today: Souls and Justice...

So everyday is an adventure. Ready to be lived out for the glory of the Lord. Ready to be expressed in love and service towards people, and passion and holiness before God.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A Bold Faith; A Bold Mission

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Here's some thoughts for you:

In 1881, no less than 669 of The Salvation Army's men, women and children were either knocked to the ground or brutally assaulted, because of their bold faith.

Mr. E. Denison, quite a few years back said this, 'What is the use of telling people to come to church when they know of no rational reason why they should; when, if they go, they find themselves among people using forms of words which have never been explained to them; ceremonies performed which to them are entirely without meaning; sermons preached which as often as not have no meaning, or when they have a meaning, intelligible only to those who have studied religion all their lives?'

Surely the job of a theologian is to communicate and teach the truths of God in a way that the average Joe Bloe understands!

C.T.Studd said this, 'Some wish to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell.'

Win the World for Jesus.

And a big hello to my Mum and Dad who are reading from Michigan, USA.

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