Monday, July 16, 2007


This is a quote worth pondering, from Darin Hufford in his book "God's Honest Truth":
Christianity has become the Harley Davidson of
religions. It’s a classic, and it’s the most authentic, however, it
breaks down every hundred miles and needs to be revived. When
we stand on our stages in front of the world and pray for revival,
or proclaim that revival is upon us, we are, in the same sentence,
admitting to the world that our religion keeps dying on us. We
have history books that meticulously analyze every historical
revival that the Church has ever had in an effort to predict when
and where the next one might take place. All the while, we never
stop to think that if our religion keeps dying, something must be
drastically wrong!
The word, “Revival” is not even in the Bible. It was never the
intention of God to have a religion that routinely suffered from
heart failure. Sadly, we have come to expect it. We have become
addicted to the electrical shock that God has to routinely use in
order to bring our religion back to life every hundred years. We
preach to the world that if they come to Jesus Christ they will
have life ever lasting and then we completely discredit everything
we just said by laying down and
dying right in front of them. We
invite our friends to the revival that
our Church is holding and we
wonder why they don’t show up.
Who in the world would want to subscribe to a religion that
cannot maintain its own life? Have you ever heard of any other
religions that routinely need revival? Why is Christianity the only
one? What is it about our religion that causes it to die over and
over? Revival is not the answer!
The answer is actually quite simple. So simple, that to some
people it might even be a disappointment.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Is God interested in Projects or People?

This week I have been a witness to some ... um, shall we say unloving actions that erupted around disagreements over 'ministry' events. I was sad to see the anger, hurt feelings, and friendships nearly come to an end over these disagreements; I was left wondering why we do this? All this got me thinking about how often this happens, and how we can get so focused on a task that we forget that all we 'do' is really about people.

In Matt 20:1-16, Jesus tell us a parable about a landowner who hires men to work in his vineyard. Some he hires in the morning, some at noon, and some near the end of the day. At the end of the day, he pays them all the same amount and the workers who were hired at the beginning of the day are upset by this. There are many lessons that can be drawn from this story, but one lesson that seems especially clear in this story is that the landowner (God) is more interested in the worker than he is the work. God isn't in need of people to work for him, he has no needs at all. In this story Jesus is trying to get us off of the works orienting mindset, and to start looking at the people around us in relational terms. What he desires is a relationship with people, and he expects us to have the same attitude.

I heard a Guy say that if this was a parable about a cook-out, then we would see things quite differently. We would say to the people who showed up at the end, "I'm so sorry you missed all the fun and fellowship, here have a hamburger and hot dog!" We would eagerly share all that we could with the latecomer, glad that they came at all. Wouldn't that be a wonderful way to live as brothers and sisters in Christ?

I dream of the day when these words of Jesus are fulfilled in us: 'by this all men will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another' (John 13:35)