Just One thing… Remember the Poor!!!

Galatians 2:9-10

and when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that had been given to me, they gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”

Isn’t it interesting that when Paul was commissioned to take the message of Christ global, the only request that the leaders and so called “pillars” of the church had, was that they remember the poor.  Clearly taking care of the poor, as seen lived out in Acts as well as spoken of in other letters of Paul was central to the mission.  And when we look at the message of Jesus, we see exactly why they would have said such a thing.  Jesus constantly taught on selling one’s possessions and giving it to the poor, as well as several parables, clever comments, and teachings on the rich and the poor, and what was neccesary to follow him.

As the Church of the 21st Century, how do we take heed to the same ancient caution and exhortation that was given to Paul and Barnabas 2000 years ago to Remember the Poor?  Freestyle with me…

Color Blind or Color Conscious?

Many times people talk as though being color blind is the goal that we should all be attaining. I guess the first question is whether or not being color blind is even actually possible. Secondly, is being color blind really the goal that we should be pursuing? Tim Wise in the video talks about another possibility… color consciousness. Do you think that is where we need to go? And does color have consequences? Freestyle with me…

The Cross Of Jesus

The pinnacle of the Christian faith is undoubtedly found in the Cross of Jesus. No matter what tradition you glean from we (Christians) have always seen the cross to represent the climax of history for all humanity. Commonly, in response many Christians are filled with a sense of gratitude for the great sacrifice done our behalf.

I think that response is an appropriate one, but is that really all that we are supposed to do in response to the cross. Or is there a deeper more essential response that we have neglected in the latter end of Christian history when gleaning from that old rugged cross. Consider Philippians 2:5-8…

“In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a human being, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

It seems as though the cross of Jesus for Paul was not only something to be grateful for, but also something to be mimicked. Paul takes a very hard look at the sacrifice, service, and suffering Jesus took on, and tells us to have that same mind that Christ did… interesting. In fact in verse 3 and 4 he explains what that looks like for us…

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

That is a life shaped by the Cross of Jesus rather than one that is only grateful for the Cross of Jesus. Of course, this is not the only place we see this application of the cross in the Bible. When we look at 1 John 3:16-18, we see an expectation of us to imitate Jesus cross in our daily lives again. Except in this case, we see a more specific example of what it looks like. Check it out…

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. If any one of you has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in you? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

As I understand it here, love is to have our lives shaped by the Cross of Jesus, in which we lay down our lives for others. Probably the best example of this lived out in America would have to be Martin Luther King, Jr., who not only literally gave his life to better the society he lived in, but he was shaped by the cross during his life as well, as he gave tirelessly of himself by putting others welfare before his own.

So we must look inward and ask, am I only grateful for the Cross, as though it is something only done for me, or am I in response also shaped by the cross, bearing it for the benefit of others as well? Freestyle with me… Is your life shaped and conformed by the Cross? What are the obstacles?

Pastor Encourages Members to Bring Guns to Church…

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky pastor is inviting his flock to bring guns to church to celebrate the Fourth of July and the Second Amendment.
New Bethel Church is welcoming “responsible handgun owners” to wear their firearms inside the church June 27, a Saturday. An ad says there will be a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.
“We’re just going to celebrate the upcoming theme of the birth of our nation,” said pastor Ken Pagano. “And we’re not ashamed to say that there was a strong belief in God and firearms — without that this country wouldn’t be here.”

Family, I’m not sure what you think about the merging of Faith and Patriotism… Furthermore, should we be people who bring PEACE, or people who bring our PIECE??? Freestyle with me…