When did Christianity become fun

Here are just a couple of tweets by well known people in Charismatic circles:
1. If what you’re doing isn’t fun enough, maybe you’re out of the will of God!…
2. “Giving is not just about money or ministry. It is also about bestowing life, love and laughter into the lifestyle of others.”

We live in an increasingly hedonist and selfish society, is this really the message we want to get across ?

The Apostle Paul’s message to a hedonistic culture didn’t mention them having fun, or that he was there to bestow laughter into their life. Maybe Paul laughed though his shipwrecks, beatings, stonings, or maybe he wasn’t in the will of God. He had to deal with a Church at Corinth that had serious problems, bestowing laughter wasn’t one of his concerns.

Whilst I welcome the desire to move away from a Church that has a constant diet of sin and misery in their sermons (did I mention Southern Baptists), let’s not over react and move too far to the other side.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless

Not many people dare to preach on this verse. It’s a life changing verse, and to obey is to have your life changed, how could it be otherwise. For the Western Christian, brought up on a menu of Hollywood movies, TV, video games, you tube and internet sites, this verse offers nothing but frustration. There’s a huge difference between saying ‘there’s nothing wrong in watching movies’ and ‘I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless’. It’s a daily challenge to be pure in heart, and one of the most helpful things we can do is keep a careful eye on what we view with our eyes. If you choose to do this, your friends will challenge you, they’ll tell you you re shutting yourself off from the world, they’ll accuse you of being a fundamentalist. Oh, believe me, they won’t be happy with you, not happy at all.

 

One thing I can guarantee you, if you take up this challenge then before your very eyes, your life will change.

Reading Books

Amidst the many books on the Gospel, perhaps we should be asking ourselves, what does a book offer that hasn’t previously been said ?, or what does this book offer our culture ? As a society we seem to expect our big name pastors and conference speakers to be putting out books every year or two, then the sheep do what sheep do, they copy each other and buy the book. Pastor 1 endorses pastor 2 and vice versa. And a circle of dull books that offer little that hasn’t previously been stated ensues. Sadly, nobody seems able to ask the simple questions of what does a book offer that hasn’t previously been said, or whether a book is even needed. It may be a sound book theologically, but that in itself is not a reason to write a book. I’d love to see less Christian books, a lot less, and more books on subjects that are rarely written about. Sometimes books are written that are not original at all, but speak to a new generation of Christians, so originality is not always necessary. I often wonder how it can be, that people who state how important the word is, seem to spend a lot less time reading the word than they do other Christian books.

Spurgeon on Prayer

..a man cannot always pray, and the man who pretends he can doth only utter jargon. He never prays at all, as the other never make poetry at all. Prayer is a divine art. It is a thing which needs the inspiration not of the muses, but of the Spirit of God Himself, and it is when the Spirit comes upon us with divine force, and makes our soul like the chariots of Ammi-nadib that we can pray; and at other times when that Spirit is not with us, we cannot pray as we did before. Every living child of God knows this. We must measure our prayers by the state of the soul that we were in.

Don’t be too long

One of Luther’s rules for preaching was don’t preach for too long.

Meisner (1587 – 1626) expands on this:

Conclude your sermon so it is brief, appealing and good,
Long sermons just make people annoyed,
You say it takes skill to preach well
It is also a skill to know when to stop,
The preacher who lacks this key ability,
edifies no one.

 

Lose your life

Mt 10:29 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

Has it ever been as easy to lose your life for Jesus’s sake as it is now. There’s an easy and complacent Christianity in America, and it’s easy to get into, but difficult to get out of.

Lord, convict me of my sin, and help me to lose my life for your sake. Amen.

Shouldn’t we have something better to do

Apparently Christians now have to give their view on everything in the public arena. Whilst this video may be popular, I don’t recall Jesus giving his view on what he thought of the Roman empire, or of Roman entertainment or of jugglers/magicians or whatever passed for entertainment in those days. Sometimes, not saying anything may be the better approach.

http://teampyro.blogspot.com/2012/02/some-thoughts-on-guns-and-youtube.html