Friday, 21 September 2012

An Evangelical Evangelist who would of thunk it?

In certain quarters of the church the word Evangelical is seen as a slur, and the job of an Evangelist is not important or gets (in the words of Stephen Fry in Blackadder) poo pooed. Due to the world we live in, Evangelism and Evangelists are seen as dirty, corrupt, people. People who prey on the weak and vunerable to get a buck here or there. They are seedy nasty people, long on rhetoric short on Love. In the last few weeks i have watched with interest as Billy Graham has been pilloried, that mission is good as long as we do not call people to account for sins, and that the mission we are on is actually more about social care than spiritual care. Now i am not advocating not being concerned for our neighbours, those in society who are weak, vunerable or less fortunate than myself. But when Christians start to make statements about "wether God is real, Jesus was a myth" we have problems. Our first duty as Christians is to LOVE GOD WITH EVERYTHING WE ARE. Our second remit and the command that Jesus left us "is to make disciples of all nations". Now to do this we have no option but to use what the Bible tells us, and our history as church. We cannot expect people to get saved by reading the Beano, the Bible contains our blueprint as Christians as to how we are to act towards God, and the world. If we deride the Bible we may as well use the koran, or like previously mentioned the Beano, it is Gods instruction to us. Many Christians over our history have used that book to great effect, yes at times it has been used badly, but in other times it has been used to bring life to the thirsty soul, life which starts here and gains eternity with God.

I'm proud to be an Evangelist and proud to be Evangelical with all of it's faults. I'm proud that many have gone before me to lay a path for people to walk down that brings life. We are not called to be popular to society, we are called to walk a narrow path, to follow the one who changed the world by his very sacrifice and resurrection from the bloody cross. we HAVE A DUTY TO SAY TO PEOPLE "GO AND SIN NO MORE" not because we are better, but because what we have in Jesus, is life giving, everlasting, totally awesome and is not about popularity, but about rescue. Maybe it's time to get in the life boats and start rescuing a lost and hurting world

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Floating Morals or pick n mix niceness.

We all like to think we have a good moral compass, most of us harp on about it in some shape or form. We talk about equality, inclusiveness and all those nice things that make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But when the rubber hits the road what are we really like? Personally i know if i could be imprisoned for my thoughts, i would be serving a mass of concurrent life sentences and not getting Married this october. Justification is something i use to deceive myself, that at times my thought process is just like Jesus, when in reality it owes more to Satan and hatred and evil. But i will justify it in some way to make myself feel better. Actions can be great for showing, but thoughts are a different matter. They are seldom verbalised and thankfully even less actioned, but there is a real problem when our action and spoken life do not match with our thought patterns. Is it right to pray for someone to die, but then pray for someones healing? Paul tells us in the Bible that the tongue is the hardest thing to control, and since the advent of the interweb, our keyboards need to be controlled. A double minded person is unstable in all their ways, we have to match our thoughts with our actions, no matter how hard it is at times we have to love our enemies, pray for them and bless them. It's a hard one because it's easy to pray blessing on a family member or friend, but a whole different ball game comes into being when we have to pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. It maybe the neighbour from hell who winds us up, a boss who is a bully, anything can cause rage to fly within us. Just push the right buttons and let's watch them fly, 20,000 ft and counting.

Over the years i have changed with regards to anger and violence, heck even when i came back to church i was for a time involved in a regular punch up, but broken bones take longer to heal when you get older. As time has wore on i have mellowed, some may even say matured (but they are very few ). Personally i like to think as i have grown in my faith, something of the goodness of God has gotten hold of me and made me a better person, now i'm someone who hopefully thinks before getting to 20,000ft, not because i'm better than anyone else, but because something that is of God is alive in me and changing me bit by bit. Lets let go of the anger, let go of the stuff that stops us reflecting glory, and instead of kicking out against humanity, lets kick the darkness till it bleeds daylight

Monday, 3 September 2012

Black holes and Revelations

It's a song and also in scientific and spiritual terms a phenomenon. Muse are not one of my favourite bands, some good tunes but a lot of it goes over my head. But Black holes and revelations is a stonking track. But a black hole is known for not letting out light, because of it's structure and make up light cannot escape, it just can't the hole for a whole lot of scientific reasons will not let that happen. People i know are like that (and that includes myself) due to a lot of frustration in the last few months i was less than Christian the other day and apologise to those i upset, it was not the intent, but in hindsight it was obvious i was going to put someones nose way out of joint. Personally i let little light out that day, coupled with a prolonged spiritual attack, which manifested itself in the same way as per usual i was fried mentally and emotionally, but that is no excuse for becoming a black hole and not letting the light in me escape. I'm called to be a light bearer a beacon on a hill, i went through a temporary power cut and did not enjoy it in the slightest.

But the Revelation comes from the oddest of places, it's not always looked for but maybe it should be!. My revelation about what really matters came very early on Saturday morning about 2am. A friend of mine was in need of a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to and someone to try and help, that was me. It was a long night for both of us, but i'm more than happy to do it and help out when i can. It was while i was sat on her sofas at stupid o'clock that the revelation dawned on me, and this is it.

Many of us who are Christian or lay claim to the title are so often caught up in the trivial, the ego, the i want, me, me ,me of life that we fail to see the revelation, we fail to answer the call. The lost sheep was all important to God, the prodigal son, the woman caught in adultery. All of them had a story to tell as to how or why they got to that point. Our calling and duty is to be available to listen, to offer revelation, to make sure that just as Jesus took the time to stop and stoop down, slow down we do the same thing.

Our actions and words speak volumes to those inside the church, and probably more importantly those outside of the church. We can choose to be a black hole and not shed any light on the situations we find ourselves in. Or we offer up revelation to those who are hurting, lonely and lost. We offer the revelation of Jesus of a God who cares, of a God that despite what society screams is ready and able to offer comfort, solace and grace in all it's forms.