Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just a distant memory

I had something insightful, catchy, memorable, and/or amusing to write.  But then I forgot what it was.  I guess it wasn't memorable.  here are some brief observations worth mulling over, though.

1)  what does it mean to mull over something?

2)  why is it that Christians are held to higher scientific standards than scientists are?
i.e.  Scientists can just assume that the big bang happened w/o explaining how it got there but Christians cannot just assume that God existed.

3)  I burned my forehead on my muffler the other day.  Now the kids make fun of me and think I tried to pop a zit.

4)  A girl once asked her dad if Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn't have to die, why did mommy die?  Her dad's response was in the car on the way to the funeral:  You see that big truck over there?  Yes.  Do you see it's shadow?  yes.  If you had to be run over by the truck, would you rather be hit by the real truck or its shadow?  Jesus died on the cross so we only have to experience the shadow of death rather than the full eternal force our lives merit.

5)  that illustration just communicated more truth than my entire theology course has this semester, I think.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Be holy as I am holy"

For my NT class, I have to read a book called "patterns of discipleship in the New Testament".  I just finished the chapter on Paul's letters to the churches in Thessalonica. I am surprised at how simplistic Paul’s advice is to the Thessalonians.  In our churches today we have discipleship programs.  Usually they require a certain amount of time, study, reflection, action, etc.  Paul says one thing in these epistles:  be holy.


If Paul’s definition of a disciple is to be holy, how many people are truly Jesus’ disciples?  I am not asking in a judgmental way, but seriously.  Jesus said if you love me, you will obey my commands.  In other words, if you love me, you will be holy.  In other words, being a disciple is loving God? 


It is easy to take out the holy living part of the Bible and focus on God’s grace and mercy.  Unfortunately, this is what most churches do.  Again, Paul’s simple advice strikes me:  be holy.  Do I focus too much on doing different projects or inspiring people to be holy?  I guess my biggest fears with this newfound knowledge are simply that now I realize that to be and encourage disciples, we need to confront each other. 


I, personally, have been challenged by these thoughts as well.  I need to keep a better perspective on the things I do and shift my focus from accomplishments to holiness.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the result-driven culture of the day, but that is not the best thing. 


Paul calls the Thess. Churches to a higher standard in his challenge to be holy.  He is not satisfied by attempts or programs.  Paul tells the churches to step it up.  Pure holiness is always a higher standard than our current situation.  At least in this life.  We can all grow, and our relationships should reflect higher standards.