Thursday, July 15, 2010

Emotionalism Vs. Secondary Doctrine

With in the last decade there has been a growth in Christian culture, regarding emotionalism and experience, and it's focal point in the modern Christian life. Some would argue that because of the emphasis on emotions and the experience an individual goes through, theology and sound doctrine becomes secondary to a Christians growth, even to the point to where THINKING is looked down upon.

I understand that experience is sometimes necessary when encountering a living God (i.e: Paul's conversion) but I do not believe it should at all become the dominant method in which Christians gain their beliefs and understand of God.

There's this book in the New Testiment called "Acts" (you might have heard of it) .. In it there is a society of people called Bereans. It's actually in Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message with great eagerness and examines the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" - btw Berea was the second missionary journey of Paul and Silas (appx 50-54 a.d.) ... Bible commentator Albert Barnes writes "This (noble character) means more noble by birth ... BUT here the word is used to denote a quality of mind and heart. They were more generous, liberal and noble in their feelings; more disposed to inquire candidly into the truth of the doctrines advanced by Paul and Silas"

The lessons from these verses about the Bereans is plain. There wasn't an experience that Paul was impressed with, not their emotional compacity in their spirituality ... more so their prudence/respect for Scripture and those who teach it. St. Paul, the guy who wrote 2/3 of the New Testiment, was scrutinized and his words tested against the line of scripture to confirm what he was teaching was correct. However, we can believe that Paul and Silas were glad that the Bereans were willing to put them to the test, because the scriptures call readers and believers to study the Bible and to test what they read. Example 2 Timothy "Study to show yourself approved unto God" and in 1 Peter "Always be preparied to give the reason for the hope you have" ... this is Apologetics 101!

Again, our foundations are not built upon frail human emotionalism nor the experiences, which we tend to give more credit to than should do .... Our faith is built upon 2000+ years of scripture and doctrine, study and a prudence attitude toward those who preach these sacred scriptures .... respectfully

Until Next Time

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Mix Tape

July 12th

Here are some of the BEST NEW and USED tracks to you! … Mix Tape style! HERE WE GO! VOLUME 3!!

Hillsong - Forever Reign
From the newest Hillsong release "A Beautiful Exchange" .. this song (Forever Reign) is one of the most memorable and emotive ... Musically - fantastic, Lyrically - edifying, worshipful, Christ-centered ... seriously one of the best cuts on this disc!

Andy Zipf - Our Voice Is A Weapon
Im a HUGE Andy Zipf fan, and since the release of this small (but epic) EP ... I can't stop listening. A Folk/Americana gem musically, hints of Dylan/Petty/Young style vocals and lyrics ... seriously amazing (also check out his "The Cowards Choir" EP) It was either between "Our Voice" ... or "Like A River" ... anything this guy touches musically, needs to be given a good ear to listen.

Joy Williams - We Mapped The World
Joy might be known for her AC Christian music ... but I hope more so for her ability to craft a ridiculously good song! She has a lot on her plate right now, with The Civil Wars and releasing EP after EP of seriously amazing Folk/Pop songs ... this girl is on a mission (or so it seems) ... We Mapped The World (off of the EP of the same name) is SUCH a great cut. With Fiest and A Fine Frenzy-esq sounds ... a sweet beat to accompany the music ... and her voice ... I'm not sure if there is one I could equate it too ... she's amazing!

David Crowder* Band - Shadows (Acoustic)
After the release of "Church Music" in 09' DC*B has changed (in a way) the face and sound of modern Christian music ... which is good! The album goes through these mountainous emotive tones, from high and perky to borderline industrial dark ... one of those cuts "Shadows" was re-done on "Summer Happiness" EP (which is an acoustic EP of songs from "Church Music") ... The acoustic rendition of this song is AMAZING! It's not so much dark, the industrialized pieces are still present but the sound and feel of the song changed ... and in so ... has become a little more beautiful than I had expected.

WELP! That should about do it for this months “Monday Mixtape” .. check out Aprils and Mays!
Do you have a Mixtake suggestion? .. maybe a song that you just can’t get out of your head?!
What is it?!

Until Next Time,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Check Out My Accolades!

You may know this kind of person, and maybe at times ... become this person ... The "accolade" kind of person.

It's OK to admit it ... we, as humans, sometimes fall into this "default mode" of pride and arrogance. But I'm not talking about the times when you become proud of something you've worked so hard to accomplished, more so the affirmation we want or respect we feel we deserve to show off whatever "accolades" we might have ... or for that matter, whatever "accolades" we might create.

I've known people who, for whatever reason, seem to grasp at whatever prize, medal, promotion that comes along to prove, either to themselves or maybe to someone else (or for a more common reason, to be affirmed by colleagues, classmates, family) that they are good, great, best. This isn't a terrible thing, but it's not what makes us who we are ... these "accolades" are all vanities (Ecclesiastes is a dangerous book to read depending on your mood) We're told not to store our treasures on Earth (Matt 6:19), but sometimes we concern ourselves with how we are perceived professionally, either with our titles, schooling, how many initials we have at the beginning of our name and even, at times, with trophies or diplomas of sorts. We hang them nicely on our wall as a means of being recognized for what we've done, or at times what we what other people to THINK we've done. Like I said, this isn't a terrible thing, but it definitely doesn't make us who we are.

Mother Teresa, being born in Macedonia, didn't receive a plaque of honor from the Sisters of Loreto when she first joined at age 18. She didn't get a "Graduate of 1931" diploma for her initial vows, in India. Nor was she given the key to the city when, by permission of the Holy See, She started her own order "The Missionaries of Charity" (whose primary task was to love and care for those who no one else would) ... Yet this woman is a modern day example of Christ's heart, hope, love, compassion, trust ... but also in a worldly manner: determination, commitment, work ethic ... She was completely unconcerned with the chronicling of her life that STILL there is dispute to WHEN she was born ... she didn't care to correct/confirm/recognize herself. This woman had MANY accolades ... but she didn't care at all about the ones for which she received here, on Earth.

Something to chew on.

Until Next Time

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mutual Edi-FICTION?

Romans 14:19 that says “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification” … This verse, in its context, deals with varying measures of faith, moral conviction and cultural practices.

It seems Paul dealt a great deal with followers bickering back and forth with each other and in a sense
“running to daddy” when they had issues. In Paul’s letter to the Roman church and both letters to the church in Corinth, he confronts the legalistic tendencies of faith, and identifies that the follower, individually, has been bought by Christ (1Cor 6). In doing so he chastens the believers in Rome and in Corinth, to not hold men accountable to their own convictions, but leave the conviction and convicting to God. (Romans 14:22)

It seems to be a common thing now to want to debate convictions based upon theologies and doctrines … I know I’m right there in the midst … but before all of that there’s this comedic analogy that Christ uses about a tree in the eye of the guy pointing out the dirt in his friends eye … Can’t you see Christ talking to the disciples about this ignorant man pointing fervantly at another man who’s rubbing his saw dust infected eyes. Christ then picking up a tree stump, holding it to his face and mockingly saying
 “why do you point out the saw dust in your brothers eye, when you have a stump in your own!” … it’s easy to be the finger pointer, but I think whatever differences believers have needs, first, to first go through a filter of GENUINE thought, to “make peace and find mutual edification”.

There will always be differences in the Christian World view, but always the same foundation! No matter what the convictions: drinking, movies, cussing, smoking, music, sabbath …
“keep these things to yourself and God” (R.14:22) and also in our differences “make EVERY EFFORT to do what leads to PEACE and MUTUAL EDIFICATION

Until Next Time,