Good thoughts from Christ and Culture

For Christ and Culture

*Posted by Kirk Spencer

“I am a worm and not a man.”
Psalm 22:6

When I was in prison, I met some bad people who had done bad things; as a matter of fact, “doing bad things” was their chosen career.  They were very business-like about it, explaining how careful they were to choose a time and location which would give them the best chance of doing the “most bad” with the least risk.  Such “career planning” can be seen in the fact that we don’t hear much about “shooting sprees” (or gun-crimes) at gun ranges, or gun shows, or police stations.  Someone might say “Well, what about Fort Hood… that was a shooting spree on an army base…  What about that?”  Good point.  How in the world does a lone gunman kill 13 people and wound 29 others on a military base—of all places—where everyone has a gun? …

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My Bible and my Switchblade

Yesterday, as I dressed and prepared for my day, I went through a pretty standard process of determining how what I wore and carried would assist any situations I would encounter during our family trip to Louisville for a Dr. visit.

Despite looking like I just throw myself together often.  I honestly do have reason to wear hiking boots and jeans in early August.  I also always carry a knife.  My dad used to remind me of the meme that my grandfather used when asked if he had a knife on him…

“I got my pants on…”
Principle being, that if one is in a situation requiring pants-there is a high probability that there might also arise a need for a knife.

So I always grew up with a knife, even in my TX high school-we needed knives, and were “allowed” to carry the handy little tools.

There are a variety of uses for knives beyond the obvious, and as such you are familiar with the “Swiss Army” variety .  So I own different knives for different reasons.

Back to getting dressed-I had to pick out a knife.  I had on my dresser, the knife that I carried at church the day before-a small, pretty knife for loose shirt strings, or small boxes.  Great for church-but not for work.

But yesterday I reached for my SOG tanto automatic.  Unquestionably the fastest, sharpest knife I own, to date-very grateful for it being gifted to me.  I usually don’t carry a switchblade, (yes, they’re legal to own in my state and carry with a license) but today I did because I thought if I needed a knife, this one fit the bill for the situations I was most likely to encounter.

On the way home, we witnessed a military truck overturn (Story).  I immediately turned around, pulled over and ran to help the Guardsman- as did several others.

One of the responders was an off duty EMT. He determined that the soldier was fairly ok, but trapped by his seat belt.–  He also forgot his knife.

He screamed for a sharp knife, and I had mine out and opened, while many others were still digging in pockets through phones and keys to find a traditional folding knife.  He used my knife to cut that seat belt and then he and I helped the driver climb out of the truck to safety.  I wouldn’t have been much good if I had opted for flip-flops over hiking boots, or a small folder over my switchblade.

I’m not bragging-I have little to brag about, I just had a little forethought to prepare for the day.

As Christians we are encouraged-

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
(2Ti 4:1-5)

Often times we see where churches migrate to comfort of opinion over sound biblical teaching.  I have been guilty of wanted to take the easy wrong road over the hard right road.  But we are called to submit our lives to the rule of Christ.  To be ready to be sober minded, endure suffering, and fulfill the ministry.

We are a people of Christ, not a people of comfort.  We must abandon all else save biblical truth.

I have often been asked why I carry large, sharp, fast knives, the answer is usually, “I might need it”;  people usually assume this is an allusion to defensive purposes.   And that is one possibility.

I have also been asked why I’m hung up on Biblical authority in church, interestingly enough, right before Paul wrote that passage above he wrote,

2Ti 3:16-17  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

I’ve never met a Christian who wants to be equipped for “every BAD work”.  Scripture is useful to accomplish every good work in the church today.  While is does correct, it also does reproof and train in righteousness.  Believers should learn to equip themselves for their service in the Church with the Bible.

As much as a prepared person might need a good blade-for a variety of reasons, we need even more to obey the Bible if we expect to be prepared for the situations of life.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(Heb 4:12)

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Church Who refused Black wedding…apologizes

Link

I for one am very excited to see this release.  It was discussed on other sites that the church “body” was unaware of the actions of a few racist members to move the wedding. Even if this is the case I applaud FBC Crystal Springs for owning the actions of those with whom they condone membership.  Each church is responsible for the maturity in the leadership of that body.
In that vein, since the offense was so public, I would have appreciated seeing some repentance or discipline in relation to those who approached the pastor.

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White Church refuses a Black wedding….in Mississippi

Full Story Here

In brief, racism has no place in the body of Christ.  The pastor states he would be ran off if he allowed the union, thus he moved it.  

To that I say, “‘gutless wonder”.  I will pray for the pastor to lead this church, not follow their whims of sinful racism.

To be clear, the pastor’s role is to lead the church, not for the pastor to sooth the emotions and presuppositions of the body.  The words of the pastor should sting the body to shun sin, as well heal the pains of the church. 

For a church to not follow a pastor, who is following Scripture is sin. For them to threaten his employ FOR behaving biblically, is a dangerous thing indeed.

I will also pray for the church’s local association, state association, and the SBC. 
Each will surely need to respond. 

I recently had the privilege of getting to know the 2nd VP of the SBC, Dave Miller, who wrote regarding this, 

If they do not [repent], then the SBC, the MBC, and the Copiah County Baptist Association  should pass resolutions condemning this act of racism at their earliest opportunity, should refuse to seat messengers from this church at their meetings, and should take whatever steps are necessary to demonstrate to our black brethren and to the world at large that when we said we would no longer tolerate racism, we meant it!

 

 

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Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?

Like it or not, sports is the public deity of choice to worship for Americans.  Frankly, few could argue that there is not more emotion, financial investment, declaration of loyalty, and willingness to endure non-ideal weather and seating conditions for a beloved sports team than there is for any Christian worship service.

Earlier this week, the NCAA set a premise in handing down record penalties, “…in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, protecting, and nurturing young people.”

Further stating, “…that the association [NCAA] exists not simply to promote fair play on the field, but to insist that athletic programs provide positive moral models for our students, enhance the integrity of higher education, and promote the values of civility, honesty, and responsibility…”

The NCAA clarified that the sanctions were based of these “fundamental” values of the NCAA.

But you didn’t hear those things, you just heard what the sanctions were…

Enter the beast-

ImageIn reality it would be far easier to make this about Sandusky, a few corrupt officials, or JoePa himself.  But in truth the beast that killed Penn State football is not any of these, nor is it the NCAA, or even the game of football-so don’t mistake what I say next.

It is the idolatry of sports…

It was this beast that caused Greek basketball to be played without spectators in the 90’s, the beast also caused the deaths of 74 Egyptians, and the blackout of Egypt’s football program.

Did you catch that?  More people died this year watching soccer in Egypt, than Aurora and V.Tech victims-combined.

I chose the pic of the statue at the Nittany Lion Shine intentionally….They are honest about what it is, a shrine.

Shrine-

1a: a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics (as the bones of a saint) are deposited
b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : sanctuary
c : a niche containing a religious image
2: a receptacle (as a tomb) for the dead
3: a place or object hallowed by its associations–Webster

 

       The beast is the religious fan devotion, It is called different things in different states, and countries.  But it manifest worship similarly, from body paint, shouts of joy, tears of sorrow, camping out to adore the event, relics of signatures and uniforms.  It is more important than anything, and for the first time in a long time the NCAA acknowledged that in this instance not only was it more important than “morals, integrity, civility, honesty, and responsibility”  but it was above pedophilia.

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
(Mar 7:6-8)

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The mercy of God as told from a lady in theater 9…

A MINIATURE CLAY POT

July 22 – a note of explanation

I’ve tried to leave this post just as it was originally written because it was a heartfelt response after a very traumatic experience.  But I’m sometimes clumsy with words and even when I think I am writing clearly, there is always the reader who doesn’t know my heart or doesn’t hear the words the way they were intended.

I feel as though a few people have taken what I said and twisted it. When I wrote my post on Friday, I had a grand total of eleven blog  followers. Yes, eleven. I generally post on facebook and have had a loyal little group of readers that numbered thirty or so. That is who I generally write for.  People who know me  know that I dislike talking on the telephone. I’d pretty much rather clean a toilet than spend time on the phone. I…

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He won’t send you to a hut in Africa, trust me-Jesus won’t ruin your life…

That was the phrase I heard as I listened to a preacher a few weeks ago.  Ironically, it was also the day before my sister, Kayla, left for South Sudan-Africa.  So it really stuck with me, did Jesus ruin her life?  After all, she was on her way to Africa, and she had raised most of the money, which was 10-15% of her annual income-which she gladly sacrificed.

 

Kayla is one of the smartest ladies I know, she’s finishing her M.Div.  She is also single, but the only thing she’s seeking is Jesus.  Last I asked her about it, she just noted there were plenty of 12 year olds trapped in 20 something bodies at her seminary…yes seminary.

Kayla learned the finer points in life in South Sudan, like monkeys fling poo, be sure you don’t defecate on a snake, demon possession is real, and how to use a mosquito net.

Foremost, she experienced that the Gospel changes lives.  And it really is power.  She saw souls saved through the testimony of her team-to huts all in Africa.  And for those people, eternity will never be the same.  For them, she was the wrapping paper the greatest gift they will ever receive.

Yes, I’m on a mission trip in a third world country with a great team, But we’re sitting on a couch nursing a Diet Coke, on my laptop, ESPN is on the flat screen.  And we’re waiting for supper to be put out.

No A/C-High is 70/ low is 55.  Hot water only in the morning, language barrier, twin beds, and barbed wire around the 20 ft wall around the center-guarding us from the criminals.

Jesus hasn’t ruined our life, and He didn’t ruin my sister’s.  In fact we’re not special, we’re not radical, we’re not sold out.  We both are far from those things.  What we are trying to be is normal Christians.

Christians are to be slaves, not masters.  We are stewards of Jesus’ money-not ours.  We are not missing big events back home.  We are part of bigger events in eternity.  And we do this for the same reason we don’t murder.

We don’t murder because we obey Jesus in that area of our life.

And we go to share the Gospel with every tribe tongue, and nation because we want to obey Jesus in the Great Commission part of our life as well.

Join us…

 

 

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