Friday, April 29, 2005

Brief thought for Pattywhacker

Re. Pattywhacker's comment on "Compliant..." post below.

Not a complete response at all: But after pondering things a bit, I would say that I may be confusing things somewhat by imprecise use of various terms such as The Faith, The Gospel, A (Particular) Statement of Faith, The Bible etc. which are not all the same thing. (After analyzing my use of these terms I may provide a glossary, but not today. Gotta get my taxes done.)

Briefly, I think when I talk about considering revising The Gospel I primarily have in mind "The Gospel" meaning formulations of it such as The 4 Spiritual Laws, the Romans Road, ABC etc. (and also less simplistic versions). So, that is whatever some people might mean when they ask, "So did you get a chance to 'share' the Gospel with him?" So this may sound as if it *is* simply revising methodology, but I suppose I am influenced by "The medium is the message."

I think I know who Pattywhacker is and he is no dummy. So this is not intended as anything near a complete response. As well I think he wants me to avoid jumping on a pop-post-modern bandwagon and that is certainly a legitimate concern.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Eric's Birthday: Apr. 28/05

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I sang last night at The Apollo's Open Mike Night. The applause was...um...polite (except possibly for "We want Rick Three!" Posted by Hello

Monday, April 18, 2005

Happy Anniversary to Me

Some dates stick in one's mind and heart.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thank you note

Yeah, so there was the Camp Gitchigomee Reunion this past Saturday. Yesterday (Wednesday) I received a thank you note in the mail from the Roberta, the Personnel Chair. From what was written on the note, it was clear that they had not all been pre-written and then just dumped in the mailbox that day.

These little touches are so valuable, especially with volunteers. All I did was show up, eat the food, strum along with a few songs and lead one song. Roberta is really on the ball with this sort of thing: similarly I received a thank-you note just a few days after the Fund-Raising Dinner, simply for singing one song.

It appears that blogs are supposed to be about sharing inner feelings and I realize I don't do that often. (One needs to be prudent about pouring out all feelings "positive" and "negative" to the entire WWW anyway.) However, I should share here that I really do appreciate all those who have expressed their appreciation of me (deserved or not) recently.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Gist of Sermon

Okay briefly my thought re. suffering goes like this:

If we are in Christ (and that could be a whole long discussion), God treats us as His children -- in fact, like His "favourite" child -- His Beloved Son. How did He "treat" Jesus?

He gave Him everything He needed for His mission -- that is, to be betrayed or rejected by friends (and by God Himself on the cross) and crucified by His enemies -- AND THEN to be vindicated eventually.

Why should He treat us any "better" than that? Out of His love for us, He gives us what we need for our mission which may (will?) include betrayal, rejection and suffering -- AND final vindication (eventually).

Probably 30 out of 33 years of Christ's earthly life were reasonably comfortable and fit well with the picture we get of God taking care of the birds by feeding them (forgetting temporarily that many birds starve to death or are killed by predators).

Well, there's more (such as, in what ways might our missions differ from Christ's), but I'll leave it there for now.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

One day I will blog my sermon (about suffering)

At tonight's service we stopped at Luke 12:32 while reading about God promising(?) to provide for us.

So we left out Jesus telling His listeners (including us?) to sell our possessions and to give alms. Can we claim the promise (if that's what it is) if we don't follow the command (if that's what it is)?

No greedy, stingy person can claim Phil 4:19 and insist that God "honour His word". The promise was made to friends of the Apostle Paul who gave beyond their means to support him, apparently (but not certainly) without doing so for a reward. Why do I think I can just flip my Bible open and think God has said this to me?

I'm not asserting that this promise was made only to 1st century generous Philippian friends of Paul -- but I suspect there is a principle here that God's provision is for the extremely generous (or at the very least not promised to the stingy).

(God may and does bless to a ridiculous extent many of us stingy people anyway. But that's His seemingly crazy grace at work -- intended to bring us to Himself -- it's not necessarily God fulfilling His promise to me. Maybe it's showing how much Grace we should show to the undeserving or those who anger us.)

As for God providing for Christian organizations: I'm of the opinion that the only "organization" that God has promised to keep in existence even despite its own blunders, mismanagement and evil is The Church Universal (in Matt 16) and not individual churches or ministries.

I'm not convinced by people who claim "This is God's work and so He will sustain it." First of all, the work is only temporary and He may choose to sustain it for a shorter time than we think He should. (After all, as they say, it is His work.)

Secondly, there are so many Christian efforts that have gone bellyup over the years that I find it hard to believe that all of them strayed so far from God's will (in sin or apostasy) that He had to abandon or punish them as no longer "His". I am willing to accept that mundane issues of mismanagement etc. are responsible. (But often the Devil gets blamed anyway or the "lack of volunteerism" or generosity in the consituency.)

I have come to believe that God values any one individual human over any organization -- the latter are just a temporary means to an end (the "end" being the healing of eternal individuals and incorporating them into His eternal Catholic Church).

(Yes, "Catholic". You may wish to check a dictionary. I didn't say -- nor exclude -- "Roman Catholic")

Thus you are infinitely more valuable to God than _________ Church or __________ Camp.

So am I.

See post below for more thoughts, including clarifying that I am not contesting annika.mindsay.com 's confidence re. her financial needs for her Inter-Varsity ministry.