Topics: Church

A broad category for any subject about the Christian church. This could mean a local church, or the term that means the entire body of Christians everywhere throughout all history.

Christianity According to the Old Testament

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

31 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD,
“when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,
declares the LORD.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more.” – Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)

I find this passage fascinating – I can get out of this some interesting aspects of this “New Covenant” from this passage alone.  These thoughts were inspired by a class I was in a couple of years ago, but more recently have been on my mind…
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Father, forgive them.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

I’m taking a quick break from my weekly paper writing.  I was recently asked by my pastor, who didn’t know better :),  to give a short meditation to speak in church on Jesus’ first statement while on the cross.  I thought I’d post it, because in seeing Jesus’ reaction, I was immediately reminded of my failure to be anything like him when I was going though very painful times in my life, specifically my ugly church experiences where I made many enemies.  It has been an inspiration for me to read and think about this moment in Jesus’ life, and is a story about a person’s heart that we should all strive for, whether Christian or not.

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. – Luke 23:33-34

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Accountability & Authority

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Hierachy vs. Network

*updated on Oct. 15th*

I wanted to speak about a thought I closed my last post series with: accountability. This religious term has a lot of baggage for me, and I am assuming it may to my readers as well. But understanding what it really is, or at least defining a healthy version of it, is important for formulating a final idea I am trying to reach – what a good working spiritual authority structure looks like. I have concluded in my past post that current religious power structures don’t take into account the fallibility of human moral corruption. Human leaders + power = inevitable corruption. Just because people are Christian and are expected to be moral doesn’t protect them from moral decline that people in all other spheres of power are susceptible to. To temper this unfortunate truth, I believe a leadership structure overhaul is needed. In the closing thoughts of my last post, I mentioned that the glue to hold a better structure together is – you guessed it – spiritual accountability, a feature that is hopelessly broken due to the way traditional structures are designed.

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On Authority – Part 3

Monday, September 17th, 2007

This is part 3 of a 3 part series on my thinking about the subject of spiritual authority. If you are just beginning to read on the subject and are interested, check out part 1 and part 2. In the final installment of this series, I will attempt to determine what ideal spiritual authority is.

After surveying the disaster of spiritual authority that I saw all around me, I set about trying to understand what good authority might look like. I began at once to wonder if spiritual anarchy was the way to govern a religious movement. I quickly dismissed this after a small amount of thought – in my experience, it was a humble leader, whose authority came only from his/her adherence to a moral/scholarly standard external to themselves that got things moving. Any movement gains momentum though a charismatic champion devoted to some cause external to themselves. This seems true of a religious movement as well.

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On Authority – Part 2

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Last week, I talked about the dangerous of a spiritual community with unaccountable authorities and blindly obedient followers. I also mentioned that I attended a church like this and had to wrangle with this problem. So in this second of a three part post, I will continue to discuss these issues and my responses.

After leaving the first of many churches with bad leadership, I remember facing the struggle of thinking of religion as an evil thing- a tool for corrupt men to control the emotional and relational lives of the people under them. But in the end, even though the pain of loosing friends and a time of intense anger, the only thing that I decided was hopelessly flawed was church, not God.

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On Authority

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Two months ago, I decided to write on the topic of spiritual authority. As soon as I decided to do this, I realized that I have never talked to a single person who did not have a strong opinion about it in either a negative or positive sense. Because of this, I apologize in advance if this is something that has been beaten to death in the the course of your readings on the internet. My intention in this post is not to rant on about how much I dislike spiritual authority, or how badly it has been abused throughout history, but just to voice my honest attempt to understand it from my experiences. In addition to this warning, if you have never had problems with church or other religious authority, what I am going to say will probably not make sense, or worse make me sound like a person who hates authority because he is selfish. You would probably be better off not reading on because it will not be productive. But to everyone else, hopefully you’ll find my musings interesting, and if you are willing, to leave your own thoughts in the comments.

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