Monday, November 26, 2007

Afraid of Pain

What kind of a sick culture mistakes

  • Not Feeling Pain for Strength?
  • Numbness or even Denial for Character or even Faith?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Expecting God causing me to Miss God

Reading in Matthew some more, and came across the goofy "Transfiguration." At the end of it, the disciples are asking, "Isn't Elijah supposed to come before the Messiah/Son-of-Man comes?"

Jesus replies, ""Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist" (Matt. 17:11-14, ESV).

It has been pointed out to me a number of times over the last years that Many Things were different between what Jesus did and what was "obviously" prophesied in the Scriptures before Him. [The last I heard it was in looking at how the End Times have been over-done :: Jesus re-interpreted a number of Scriptures, but the assumption is made, essentially, that He would not do that at His Second Coming]

So does this problem still exist with me? Do I make assumptions about how God is going to act and therein miss what He's actually doing? If I were the disciples, I never would have guessed that John was the Elijah to Come. John didn't . . . "fully" live out the prophecy ("restore all things"). And who kills Elijah!?!

  1. He's already dead and everyone knows you can't kill a zombie
  2. Were they not waiting for Elijah with much anticipation (cf. EVERY Passover meal had an empty chair for Elijah plus his return was a part of this annual, Jew-defining liturgy)?
So I expect (long for, assume from Scripture, etc.) God to do or be certain things. I expect Him to love "like a Father," for example. Have I misunderstood "Father"? I pray "help me follow You" but I also know that I have my own responsibility in this - does this dichotomy signal an expectation problem? I expect Him to always "be there" and never get frustrated with my constant coming to Him, going my own way, coming back, going away, ... Am I missing the discipline Scriptures? or just "plain relational common-sense" -- if I did that with Tara, there'd be problems! Does this also apply to God?

I expect God to protect His name. I expect Him to "do something" about those Christians over there ('there' being at a different church, in a different part of the country, in West Africa, etc.). Has my desire for "purity" caused me to miss God's desire for "His glory" ("His reflection")?

I expect God to be a "God of order" [can we say, Over-application of Scripture?!?] - what "kind" of "order"?

Where else am I self-blinded?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wrong (church) Goal

As I was reading through Matthew 13, I noticed this: "the kingdom," which I take as being something like the Ultimate Expression of the Rule (sovereignty, control, etc.) of God, isn't made perfect/pure until the End. That is, the two parables that Jesus uses to talk about how the Kingdom is going to rid itself of the bad-guys have this "cleansing" at "the end of the world"!!

Yet I find myself trying to figure out how to get "them" out now. I find a similar approach in the Missional movement.

How can it be that Jesus is okay with having people contrary to His desire/plan? Why does He still allow Judas-types in His Body/Bride? This seems all-wrong to me. Yet it's God's method. So now I'm trying to assess: what of my understanding needs to change so that my 'approach' to the Kingdom is the same as God's? [Note: I know I made the jump from "Kingdom" to Church. I think it's a legitimate connection]

[more important, how do I know if I am a Judas-type or have slipped into being one?!?]