Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rethink Church

Now, the clip ends by promoting the United Methodist Church. I am not a United Methodist, and do not intend to switch any time soon. Let's get that out of the way right off the bat.

This video fairly encompasses what I have been thinking about a lot lately. I am a big fan of Jesus. Church? Well, not so much sometimes. Church can be a wonderful experience, but so often it falls way short of that. My faith is not about rules, looking a certain way, or any of that stuff that church so often becomes.

How, then, do I let God reveal Himself to others through me? That, my friends, is what it's all about.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jesus Never Fails

Maybe you know this song, maybe you don't. It's called "Jesus Never Fails," and it was written by Arthur Luther:
Earthly friends may prove untrue,
Doubts and fears assail;
One still loves and cares for you,
One Who will not fail.

Though the sky be dark and drear,
Fierce and strong the gale,
Just remember, He is near
And He will not fail.

In life's dark and bitter hour
Love will still prevail;
Trust His everlasting pow'r
Jesus will not fail.

Jesus never fails,
Jesus never fails.
Heav'n and earth may pass away,
But Jesus never fails.

I'm not even going to disagree with the song. ("Aint gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent." G.H.W. Bush) My question is this. Why is it that we will sing the song in church but won't test it with our lives? Sure, when things get tough in life, it's nice to have a song like this (or it's basic idea) floating around in your head somewhere. I just don't quite get why we don't always live like it's true.

I think we need to give God a chance to fail. Go out and pursue what you think His will is for your life. Maybe you'll succeed, maybe you won't. If you don't succeed, maybe it will help you to learn to listen to God a little better. But if you heard Him right, you'll certainly succeed, will you not? Or, is that just something we say at church?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

I'm not trying to pick on anybody, but not too long ago I read a blog in which the author discussed the acquisition of a new pet cat. The author attributed certain events in the pursuit of this acquisition as being the will of God. Their reasoning was that if God cares about the sparrows, He has time to care about their cat acquisition. That got me thinking. Does God really care?

While it's true that the Bible says (Matthew 10:29) that God knows when even a single sparrow will fall to the ground outside the will of the Father, I don't know that it means that He cares one way or the other. I imagine the text to be properly understood as, "Nothing happens against the will of God." I don't think that means God really cares about the sparrow one way or the other. The point is that if God did care, He would control the situation to please Him.

The larger theme of the passage is "Do not be afraid of them" (Matthew 10:26). I don't think it's accurate to interpret the Bible--here or anywhere else--to say that God will prevent evil people from harming us. He may, at times, choose to protect certain individuals or in certain circumstances, but I think the historical record clearly illustrates that God is willing to allow people to exert their free will, even at the expense of His people. For crying out loud, people killed His own Son! If the Father will allow them to kill His Son, why in the world would you think you're safe? Instead, I think that we are to live free from fear of our co-inhabitants on this planet not because they can't hurt us, but rather because in the grand scheme of things, if they do hurt us it doesn't really matter.

Getting back to the topic at hand, I do think God cares about even the minor events in our lives, such as our pets. Some pets are horrible little creatures, while others bring us more joy than our spouses. ;) I don't think, however, that God would take steps to thwart your free will to stop you from doing something, even if you are making an incredibly stupid choice.