Monday, September 24, 2007

The Cornerstone

This morning I was reading in 1 Peter 2 about Jesus as the cornerstone rejected by men. It's interesting how after you take the filters off you begin to consider applications outside of the ones you've always been taught and to which you've held on for decades. We typically gravitate toward embracing less than what God wants for us.

I read about Jesus being the cornerstone. A cornerstone that God has set as the foundation. A cornerstone "the builders" have rejected.
"Look! I'm setting a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone  in the place of honor.
Whoever trusts in this stone as a foundation
will never have cause to regret it...
The stone the workmen threw out
is now the chief foundation stone.
For the untrusting it's
a stone to trip over,
a boulder blocking the way."

Wow! As I remember back to Jesus affirming Peter's profession that He was the Christ (Messiah), the son of the living God, I am reminded that Jesus explained to His closest followers that it was upon this realization and profession, which He notes is not revealed by flesh and blood but can only come from God, that His church would be founded.

As I reflect on two millennia's worth of a centralized focus on "building our churches" I'm reminded of the outcry from "God's chosen people" for an earthly king to lead them when God had already revealed Himself time after time as their sovereign and one true God. A God like no other was not enough. We had to have a king like everyone else around us.

Our God took on the form of man so He could reveal to us His true nature and teach us about Himself.  In those days the rulers were kings and the domain over which they ruled were their kingdoms. Jesus explained the truth about God in terms the people could understand. Thus, an ultimate Kingdom with one true King made much more sense to those who lived in a world of kings and kingdoms. John Revell, a friend of mine who is writing a book helped me to think about this in regard to the fact that those of us living in America or similar countries who don't have kings and kingdoms struggle to understand some of the fullness of kingship. Hence, some of the extremely rich understanding we could glean from thinking about God as the ultimate king whose kingdom is unmatched is lost in our lack of familiarity with kings and kingdoms.

It always intrigues me how often new gatherings of Christ Followers shortly after they first gather long to have a building where they can gather; a building they can call their own. In the Old Testament we see a people who, though they already had "a king", were crying out for one like the nations surrounding them had. Likewise, this morning I find myself intrigued that Christ Followers almost always seem anxious to set a cornerstone for an earthly building so they can have their structure like, and be like the other religions that surround them, when they already have a cornerstone unlike any other. Why do we keep exchanging the things not of this world given to us by God for the things of this world? Could it be that this exchange began as early as the first generation of Christ Followers? Could it be that two millenia of established "church" practices are also diluted from the things not of this world given to us by Jesus?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, the things we say sometimes!

Okay, so I read this in an email newsletter today and had to post about it. You read it and think about it first:
Christ's Original Mandate to Church Leaders

In the beginning, after Jesus had overcome his temptations in the desert, right when He began His public ministry, the apostles Matthew and Mark faithfully recorded the first words of Jesus to the leaders of His Church. 19 And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Mt 4.19 & Mk. 1.17 NASB) Jesus was not in the least confused about the Father's strategic plan to advance His Church. His first words carry particular import. They were not just a cute turn of phrase to catch the attention of some professional fishermen. They speak to the very heart of the matter of church leadership.

Now, it's your turn. I see so much to comment on... but why take all the fun myself. What do you agree with and why? Is there anything in this statement with which you take issue and why? I'll comment on your comments along the way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome to

Some will persecute me for doing so, but after much contemplation I've decided to pull all my spiritual related posts to a separate blog from my personal/family one.

It's part of becoming amphibious and being able to move openly among the a-churched (they just don't care if they are churched or unchurched... they are a-church) without them discovering some of my religion-ramblings which might both scare them off from the relationships we are developing and make them feel I was deceiving them as a zealot-wolf in sheep's clothing.

Everything from here down (older/previous) has been moved from my personal/family blog (the old life|simple one).