We have finished 2019, and here on TLP we’ve completed our study of Matthew, so it’s time for all things to be more or less new here…
My plan goes something like this:
Since it’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a study from the Old Testament, let’s take a tour through the Book of Ruth, a magnificent adventure of courage, resilience and of decency and righteousness in action.
That will be my first post of the day Tuesday through Friday.
For my second post there is something I’ve been wanting to do for a rather long time now, and in a way, I’ve posted all around the subject without actually hitting it head on. Believe it or not, one of the reasons I’ve never done it before is that I can’t seem to come up with a name for the topic, at least not without “borrowing” one. The best I’ve managed to come up with is “Christ Versus Religion” but I really don’t want to use it… for two reasons. First, it’s the name of a book I read several decades ago, so it isn’t mine anyway. Second is that the title would probably put people off since it kind of sounds like I’ll be setting off on a rampage to insult everyone, which is very far from the truth.
Yet, it is a very accurate description of Jesus and His relationship with the religious authorities of His day: They we so much at odds that they just simply had to kill Him.
I guess the real point of the series will be to answer this question: Is following Christ the same thing as being “religious” (whatever that means).
Many of you know that a little over 2 years ago I was brought into a struggling church to try to revitalize its people. In my mind, I allowed the group 2 years to begin to show progress forward in their faith, for they were in the process of dying spiritually. There was progress over that time… BUT.
The Leadership of the group saw change as repeating the same things they had always done, but with a new result.
You’ve probably heard of churches firing their Pastors, but in this case, the Pastor fired the church, recommending that they lock their doors permanently, for the good of the Kingdom. Yes, I’ll be telling you about this adventure, names and places changed for discretion’s sake of course. Mostly, we’ll search the Scriptures to find out about the nature of things- the nature of worship, of church, of relationship, of tradition, custom and spiritual practice.
I think this will be quite a ride for all of us.
Are we going to be bashing, name calling or finger pointing…?
Come on, we’ve been here for quite a number of years now- have I ever done that?
Everyone is welcome, everyone is safe, and hopefully, everyone will have something to think about: What you decide about it is entirely up to you.
So, our new adventure begins tomorrow in my second post at 11:30 Eastern time (US). I’ll begin with a short series on the institutional church that I posted here about 5 years ago, see you then!
I look forward to this, Don. You always give us much to ponder! 😊
Thank you Rebeca
Excellent subject to pursue. I would call this Holy Spirit led Christian discipleship versus mere attending church. This is an internal issue existing in every Christian church…how to get people personally connected to Jesus Christ so that they can hear His voice and enter into their unique journeys of faith…which will produce vibrant Christian communities.
Alive Christian churches have the gospel message that sets people free…to have a personal relationship with God.
The personal relationship with Jesus set Peter free. The introduction of Saul/Paul to Jesus as the Messiah…on the road to Damascus…and Paul’s subsequent ministry as missionary evangelist…set Paul free to the highest imaginable extent.
Ruth is a favorite of mine. It exhibits the higher ways and thoughts of God…when faith placed in the right direction actualizes into real life events and outcomes…that we cannot foresee when we first start-out (Eph. 3:20).
Thanks Barton- well said.
This sounds like an interesting subject – looking forward to these posts.
It’ll be great having you along Barbara!