Saturday, September 10, 2005

Crash the Party

Mary Lee and I just spent an incredible evening at "Crash the Party". It was kind of a thank you dinner from the K2 staff to all of the members. Some of the night was spent reminiscing about everything that has gone on this year. It is amazing to me what we have done at K2 in only one year. What is more amazing still is that Mary Lee and I almost missed out on doing this. But God, in his infinite mercy and wisdom, ignored all of my objections about coming out here and pushed me along anyway. I was looking around the room and realizing how tight my family and I have become with so many of these people. Hearing some of the newer people share about what K2 has meant to them was encouraging. I think sometimes I get caught up in the work aspect of what we do and fail to see the miracle of lives being changed.
Mary Lee and I sat with Chris A., the Burdines, and Steve Andrews. I have an amazing amount of respect for Steve. I always feel that when Steve comes into town to visit us, it is like when Washington would visit his troops... His encouragement just pumps you up and makes you want to redouble your efforts.
They were giving out various "awards" tonight. Mary Lee was honored with "most likely to feed the hungry" for all of her work on the hospitality team. I think I am correct that she actually started that whole thing out here.
Way tired with a lot to do tomorrow.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

To Clarify

I just read over my last post, and decided that I wanted to expand on something. I don't think denominations are bad things, in fact I thank God for them. I think that, as Peter said, they are "ministering God's grace in its various forms". I think denominations provide areas where people of differing viewpoints and tastes can go to find God. My church is quite a production. We may open with a full band blasting out Switchfoot and stream in a video that pertains to today's message. We look like a theater/ coffeehouse. I am totally jazzed about what we are doing (I moved out to Salt Lake to serve here). However, there are countless churches in this valley that are just as on the cutting edge of God's will with their hymns, liturgies, and pews.

I love reading Catholic authors. I am reading Mother Teresa right now and she is blowing my world apart. There is a charismatic church near here that has a great coffee house.

I would attend many churches - Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, whatever... Perhaps someday I will become a member at one. However, I could never become one. It seems to me that when you call yourself a ___________ you lock yourself in to a very static system of doctorine. My spiritual beliefs now are very different from what they were 20 years, 10 years, 5 years ago (just read some of my early blogs). Some things that I was so convinced of 15 years ago, I now count as near hearesy. What does that say about how I feel now? How will I feel 5 years from now? I get nervous when a church has a statement of beliefs... why do we need that? There are a number of items in my church's statement that I don't necessarily buy. I think they should be made simple, if at all....
So what do I believe? Here are the basics... minus the doctorine (I love doctorine, but it is not neccessary for a rich life in Christ)
  • There is a God and he is Good and he loves people
  • I need to love him with all my heart
  • I need to love others around me like he does
  • Everyone I know (including me) needs to know Jesus better than he or she did yesterday - so therefore I relate to everyone the same, regardless of where they are spiritually right now
  • Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners... of whom I am foremost

I have to toddle off to bed now. I have to get up way early since tomorrow I am on Tech for the first time at church (bye Spruce, it was fun).

We hold that Special Truth

I should write more often, I certainly have enough things on my mind, but typing is a much slower process than simply pontificating my thoughts during a conversation.

The LDS faith out here continues to fascinate me. No, I shan't be converting anytime soon. Chief among the reasons for never converting is that it is simply too much like any other denomination (I also count all non-denominationals as a denomination). The LDS too, believe that they have a hold of a special truth that everyone else is less privy to. This attitude pisses of evangelicals cause they know that it is, in fact, evangelicals who have that special truth. Nothing irritates a religious person more that the implication that there is a religion that has one-upmanship on theirs.

Since I classify as an evangelical, I guess that makes me a little less patient when my group pulls the "We know something you don't" card. I am becoming a little more bold saying, "No, I don't think LDS folks are going to hell (whatever that means), and yes, I think they do follow Jesus Christ", whenever someone spouts off their negative views of the LDS.

I often hear "but they have a WORKS gospel!" I think my new reply is going to be "Yes, isn't it great that they take the many, many commands of Christ pertaining to works seriously? Isn't it grand that they do not ignore the countless times the writers of the Epistles charge us to do good works?!"

To me, having a Grace Vs. Works stance is as fruitful as arguing election and free will. Scripture addresses both and gives credence to both. Let it go and quit getting ticked at folks who seem to have a leaning that runs contrary to your leaning. Lewis said that it was like trying to argue which blade of the scissors is not required.

But don't they worship a different Jesus? I'll tackle that one next time... goodnight!
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