Monday, March 24, 2008

1 Corr. 5-8

This has been a tough month. The writings of Paul here are very convicting and he challenges us to hold our brethren accountable. The challenge is doing so with compassion and love, but frankly doing it period in a culture that frankly "just do it" and "me, me, me" are the norm - even in the church. I'm not sure our culture is as bad as 1st Century Corrinth, in fact I'm sure it's not...but I think our church is just as now what.

Here are the basic takeways...
Ch. 5 addresses church discipline and the need for church purity. Paul makes it very clear that within the confines of the church, a bad apple spoils the bunch. He's very specific in the area of sexual purity and references one of the members' transgressions...but he's broad enough in his teaching here that I'm very sure that our churches in America today, that claim Christianity as their faith, aren't very good about staying's all about the numbers today baby...let's not offend anyone shall we. I'm in a Bible study with a group of luke warm men, some of whom could be considered bad apples...I'm really being challenged here.

Ch. 6 talks about settling disputes and specifically staying out of court. I found myself in a discussion with one of my closest friends, who is an attorney, with a "deputy dog" personality...who forwarded me an article about a Christian Librarian who was terminated for outing a library customer for viewing porn at the library. The Liberty counsel is taking up the cause. I'm not sure how the existence of the Liberty Counsel even can be rationalized if you read 1 Corr. 6...Paul's better to be wronged for the cause of Christ than to take someone to court...again, how does my discussion with my lawyer friend (who is a very faithful Christian) build him up...or did I just challenge his career choice?

Ch. 7 addresses married vs. single. Paul gives lots of guidance here. He even differentiates opinion vs. God's instruction...this is helpful.

And Ch. 8, the shortest, but most powerful, addresses freedom in Christ vs. liscence to do whatever, and how we should be more concerned with our Christian brother than our right to do/eat/drink stuff. Very heavy stuff here.

Anyway...I'm still very engaged in the process. 9-12 in April.

Your thoughts are always welcome.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Competition and the Kingdom?

We all have varying degrees of competitiveness. It manifests itself on the athletic field formost, but can raise its head while playing board games, and should play out at work (assuming you are in business).

In this case the business side of competition is weighing on me a bit. You see, we have financial metrics we need to meet...these include targets for growth, profitability, debt reduction, investment, etc. We're measured against those in our industry and placed on a "here's how you're doing chart". It's a very useful tool this chart, for those of us who are competitive, to get you moving. And if you're not competitive, well I guess they'll find someone else who is.

Anyway, all of this led to us making a tough decision to discontinue a service offering that wasn't profitable...which in turn led us to eliminating a job. At the end of the day, our need to compete, costs this guy his job...and for the life of me, I can't seem to rationalize this in scripture anywhere.

Go figure.

And it's weighing on me right now.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It's on...

It's official. My teenagers are more enlightened than me. Last night my 15 year old came in my office and led me to this site...she said, Dad, it's hysterical!

Funny thing is...she's right. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A quick left turn...

First let me say, I LOVE this form of Bible study. Thank you Chip Ingram. I started I Corr. 5-8 and lets just say it took an unexpected turn. I was expecting Paul to start laying on the know the grace he is so known for...but noooooo...he's not done laying into them yet.

In fact, he was just getting started.

In Ch. 1-4 he's getting after their pride and scorekeeping...he's getting after motivation, the internals if you would.

In Ch. 5 - 8 he is laying into behaviors that are just unaceptable. He talks Church discipline, Sexual purity, legalism, husbands & wives, single life, gluttony (why we eat and how much - by the way, this gets more print than anything on alcohol, note to Churches everywhere)...and he gives specific examples...all IN THE CHURCH...he doesn't condemn the lost at all, just the Church.

I'm going to be reading this for the rest of the month, but I was so blown away by where this went...I had to make note.

Side note, my son's Bible verse from school is I Corr. 6:'s the one about your body being a holy temple...interesting how we are having him memorize this at 11 years old at his Christian School...the context within which that was written was relating to sexual of two things bother me here...
1. Either the need to teach this within context at this young age bothers me (if our culture is such that 5th graders need to learn Paul's intent)...or,
2. They are taking it out of context and talking about other things (probably a legalistic list of do's and don'ts with the body).
Just a thought.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Thoughts on I Corr. 1-4

February was 1 Corr. here are my thoughts...

It's pretty clear Paul is a bit disappointed with the church he planted in Corrinth. They appear to be prideful, catty, malcontents. They seem to want to jockey for position, get the credit for things...and Paul sets them straight.

In essence he says, look, I planted the dadgum church and Appolos has been working with you guys, and compared to Jesus, we consider ourselves nothing. It's all about HIM, and nothing about anyone after him, so quit your jockying for position and "scorekeeping" and start loving each other.

I'm not quite to the love each other part yet, but I know it's coming. Paul spends an inordinate amount of time laying down the law and letting these folks know how pissed off he is at the whole situation.

So March is chapters 5-8. You'd think I'd take more away than this, but I'm working on majoring in the majors.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Out the other side...

You know the guy...Travel Guy...has the Pharmaceutical or Regional Manager Job...leaves Monday, comes home Thursday or Friday...never at the games, claims the "it's quality time, not quantity time line"...

Well I've been that guy...and it sucks.

Since August, I've been to Venezuela, Guatemala, Argentina, Cleveland, Gettysburg, Cleveland again, Mexico, Atlanta, Cleveland again, Jacksonville...and Ft. Lauderdale (once a month).

But now there's nothing on my calendar until June...and it's nice...time to make up time.