I was talking with a couple at lunch yesterday and mentioned how I don’t usually like it when people throw “The God Card.”
What I meant is that the statement, “God told me…” immediately cuts off conversation and puts others in an awkward spot. Either they agree with you, or they seemingly go against God.
Far too often, I’ve seen the God Card used as a form of manipulation by religious leaders. It can lead to control rather than conversation and followship rather than ownership.
Jesus, who could have thrown the God Card at will, took great pains to educate and reason with people so that they would grow in their wisdom and knowledge of God and his values. He discipled and grew people up rather than just controlling and moving them around.
There are times, however, when a person truly does believe that God has said something or told them to do something. And it seems that sometimes a person needs to let another know that they feel deeply convicted about a decision based on a time of prayer or fasting.
Maybe in these situations we still need to spend some time reasoning with others (like Nathan did with David) and we still need to have grace and humility – after all, we’re not Jesus and we can be wrong, misunderstand things or have a piece of something that will fill out as time goes on.
Maybe, when we feel that God is saying something to us, we should have God inspired conversation rather than just “Play the God Card.” I’ve always thought that we’re one step away from pride and becoming the Pharisee… and there’s nothing we should be more careful and humble about than invoking the name of God (just see the first 2 of the 10 Commandments!!)
Yesterday I showed a satirical video clip of Jesus.
I posted it on the blog over a year ago, but I thought I would repost it as I’ve had several requests for it since yesterday.
Satire can be a beautiful thing… I think the value of this video is that it shows us how ridiculous it would look if Jesus acted the way we often portray he would act through our critical spirits, comparisons and obsession with judging others rather than loving and helping them.
This Sunday at Antioch we’re kicking into a new series on the book of 1 Peter.
I wanted to start on Easter Sunday because the beginning of 1 Peter is an amazing and simple picture of just the gospel. No frills… just what the good news is.
We tend to try and dress the gospel up with a lot of our own stuff. We add little traditions and fun little cultural things.
Accordingly, the theme for Sunday is, “It’s not about the bunny.”
(Nothing derogatory meant toward bunnies… just that the gospel and Easter are squarely about Jesus and not rabbits).
I’m looking forward to diving into 1 Peter week after week from now through sometime this summer. There’s nothing quite so cool as seeing the context and the development within an amazing book of scripture.
Community is what always excited me most about being a church planter and moving to Bend. I told Tamara when we got married that I wanted to put down roots and find some people worth growing old together with.
So I guess thinking about community means that I’m thinking about who’s worth knowing when they’re old and I’m old. It’s not always easy figuring out who’s going to still be fun at age 80 :)
I’m also putting a lot more time into thinking about community at Antioch. Churches are really nothing more than a group of people or a “community.” What we do at the staff and office level will either help facilitate the development of relationships or it won’t. We’ll either be good at building community or we won’t. My prayer is that Antioch will only continue to grow as a safe and warm place to fellowship.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to a lot of cool connecting things coming down the pike… new community groups, marriage retreat, summer bbq’s and, of course, family camp 2008!!
Below is the cover of the intern brochure for our summer intern program at Antioch.
The name is taken from Numbers chapters 13-14 where the nation of Israel sends out spies into the land of Canaan. Some came back excited about what God had for them… and some didn’t.
The Negev Circuit Internship Program is really unique in that it doesn’t view interns as cheap labor. Rather, the program is designed to help college age students discern God’s calling in their lives and to help them leave “excited about what God has for them.”
We’re pretty excited about the partnership with Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where we will be able to present the program and leave booklets with the various department heads. Linda Janney, our Middle School Director, is heading out the weekend of April 11-13 to Chicago to meet with students at Moody.
If you would like to receive more information about the program, are interested in being an intern for the summer or know of someone who might want to come “play with us” in Bend… e-mail email@example.com and we’d be glad to help you out!!
Ben Edwards put this video together of the day he spent in Rwanda on the recent Africa trip.
It shows an orphanage run by a woman named Naomi… who seems to be one of God’s amazing people in this world.
Ben made the presentation for the national convention of wedding and portrait photographers in Las Vegas this month. It is being shown by a renowned photographer based in Bend to thousands of photographers as a motivational piece about how they can use their craft to make a difference in the world.
It’s amazing to watch how God is using Ben and his experiences in Africa to touch the lives of others…
Sunday we’re giving a kind of “State of the Union” talk with reports on Africa, the partnership with World Relief, the partnership with Moody Bible Institute (more on that later) and everything else but the kitchen sink!!
There’s been so much happening lately that I can’t wait to be able to catch everyone up to speed.
More than anything else, I love talking about vision and dreaming big dreams. This time, it will be especially fun because of all the things that God is already doing!!
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