3 Beer Limit


     When it comes to what I listen to in preaching, or read in study, I don't seem to really respond to anything that doesn't in some way challenge or convict me.  Much is discussed today as to the ministry of Christ, but there can be no doubt that everything He said and did challenged His followers in every area of their lives.  Oftentimes anymore, that seems to be an ever fading reality in the modern western church.  
     Several months ago I came across something a woman named Jennifer LeClaire wrote.  She was talking of a church she knew of that as a form of "outreach" was holding meetings in a pub.  All were welcome, and alcohol was available there, but it was made known to anyone who came that there was a 3 beer limit per person.  Now, I'm not going to get into debate here on methods of reaching unchurched people, and I don't think anyone who knows me will ever call me a legalist, but is this really what reaching out to the lost has become?  I know we are not to be isolated from our surrounding culture, but I don't think Christ ever modeled that He was in anyway acclimating to it, or partaking of it.  I loved what LeClaire said here, "The gospel of Christ is not obligated to meet the culture where it is, the culture is obligated to bow it's knee to Jesus Christ. That's not unloving or judgemental.  Somehow, we have in so many ways, convinced ourselves that it is.
     This same spirit, and it is a spirit, has seeped into our worship as well.  In a different article, J. Lee Grady wrote, "We say we believe the Bible, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit, we've become cowards.  In trying to become trendy and relevant, we've replaced spiritual anointing with cool music, graphics, sermons and programs that look and sound great, but lack a spiritual punch."  If you doubt this, just look at how many folks are very willing to leave one church for another that does all of these things in bigger and better ways than where they are.  I believe in being a welcoming place to people.....but only to a degree.  I am far more desirous of being welcoming to Him, to His Spirit.  If we're truly committed to that, there will be people who flee His Presence.  There have always been and will always be such.  Those who remain, remain for Him, and the power of that group resides not in its size, but in the degree of His Presence.
    John Piper has said that the desire of his heart is to have a "passion for the supremacy of God in all things."  Is that passion yours?  Mine?  What would happen in the church, be it outreach, ministry, worship, and day in, day out living, if that there were really true of us?  What would be the result if He really was our all in all?  Somehow, I don't think we'd have to be thinking up new, more "effective ways" to reach people.  The fire would be burning, and those being drawn to Him, would come to that fire.  Charles Spurgeon said more than 150 years ago that as he preached, people came to "watch me burn."  The Holy Spirit fire emanating through him would lay hold of an ignite them.  They were a people alive unto God and they impacted not only London, but all of England.  They had a passion for the supremacy of God.  May I, may we, as well.

Pastor O


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   May 2019   
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