You for sure need to download this album if you haven’t already (click the image above or here). Aaron has been leading our church in worship through these songs, and they speak powerfully to the greatness of God and call us to His mission in the world.
I thought about posting an excerpt the following post, but it’s short and you should just read the whole thing.
This goes in line with what I wrote in an earlier post commenting on Passivity in the Church. The root of passivity in the Christian walk I think is the lack of identity as God’s called and sent people. As a college minister, I frequently hear questions about calling to a job/life decision–“should I be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer? What am I called to do?”–which are all significant questions.
I have found, however, that students predominantly have exchanged the idea of basic obedience to our effectual calling and new identity as Christians with their specific vocation to a job. The result has been that, more often than not, a job is THE determining factor in how an individuals life is oriented.
This isn’t a student’s fault, however, but in many ways the result of cultural syncretism with the American dream. We (myself included) often cannot see outside of our own culture to understand that our personal vocation is fundamentally subservient to the call to global discipleship (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 24:14), and therefore don’t orient our lives toward God’s purposes.
What if this generation of students asked the question “how can I obey God with my gifts and skills to reach panta ta ethne, or all the people groups?” rather than injecting God into their life trajectory? The call to discipleship is most often a radical departure from the plan we have for ourselves, and requires asking a fundamentally different set of questions.
I pray this generation would be the one who understand their identity, asks questions based on that identity, and obeys God radically to the ends of the earth!
I loved this quote from JD Greear, and pray that I continue to have the courage to fight for Jesus’ most prized investment…
A Good Shepherd Fights
A good shepherd takes on the wolves that threaten his flock. He fights. It’s never in self-defense, of course, but quite often, what is being threatened is not the reputation of the pastor but the health of the church—someone is trying to harm the flock that Jesus purchased with his blood! The church is Jesus’ most expensive investment, so how can we not fight to protect it?
The following is a quip from Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something (via Between Two Worlds).
Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything. We imagine that our inactivity is patience and sensitivity to God’s leading. At times it may be; but it’s also quite possible we are just lazy. When we hyper-spiritualize our decisions, we can veer off into impulsive and foolish decisions. But more likely as Christians we fall into endless patterns of vacillation, indecision, and regret. No doubt, selfish ambition is a danger for Christians, but so is complacency, listless wandering, and passivity that pawns itself off as spirituality. Perhaps our inactivity is not so much waiting on God as it is an expression of the fear of man, the love of the praise of man, and disbelief in God’s providence.
This is a good, strong word for many college students I interact with. I hear quite often language like “I’ll pray about it” or “I’m not sure I’m called to that” when talking about simple steps of Christian obedience. Often times the issues shouldn’t be taken lightly (stepping into leadership, going on a short term mission trip, etc.), but I’ve seen such a tendency to over-spiritualize these kind of decisions in order to avoid taking a hard step.
Let’s think comparatively for a second: do you need to pray for weeks on end about spring break vacation in florida? Do you pray for weeks on end about joining leadership in your other school activities?
I’m just sayin’…
Halim Suh’s sermon from Sunday at The Austin Stone is an excellent example of applying biblical theology to understanding a difficult text of scripture.
Halim did a fantastic job of grappling with 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 by articulating an overall biblical teaching of manhood and womanhood and through Genesis 1-3, and applied the overall perspective toward understanding Paul’s view of women in this text.
The first argument Halim made was to establish the absolute equality of men and women, as created in the image of God. Using the Trinity, Halim made the parallel that as Jesus is equal to the father, so are women to men. However, he then articulate the distinctness of the sexes, and as all members of the Trinity have a role, so too do men and women. In humility women submit out of their equality to fulfill their designed role and display the glory of Jesus.
Halim then applied these ideas in order to understand this passage. His basic argument was we must understand the “when and where” of what Paul is teaching here, not simply take it as a blanket ordinance for the practice of church. Based on Halim’s study, the text is about elders weighing a prophet, and women are to remain silent in this process of weighing a prophet because they are excluded from the office of eldership based on 1 Timothy and teachings elsewhere in scripture.
I’d highly recommend listening to it if you would like a good lesson in good exegesis with a view toward the overall teaching of the Bible.