23 July 2013

Open Mic Night

by Frank Turk

I am posting excerpts from my talk at the "Call to Discernment" conference last weekend since DJP feels a little dry this week.  You can hear the full audio for my talk, or any of the talks, when they all go live.  I'll post the link here.

The comments are closed until Thursday.

It ought to be a pretty scary thing if, when we talk about the Christian faith with reasonably-intelligent people, the words “church” and “christian” are not clear in their meaning. There are a lot of different kinds of christians and churches represented here today, and I know in the circle I’m usually involved in we worry about the definition of words like, “Gospel,” and “Justification,” and “infralapsarian,” and “the aseity of God.” We sort of assume that we all know what we mean when we say words like “church,” or “fellow believer,” or “ministry,” but let me suggest something to you: I think we don’t understand those words very well. I think we often insert our generic interpretation of those words as a short-cut so we can get started on the Christian Life rather than thinking a little harder and discovering that we have made mistakes, and we have misinterpreted what we ought to mean when we set about living as if the Bible is true.

Because that’s actually the point, right? I’m going to assume that we all want to live as if the Bible is true. That is at least part of what we mean when we say we want to be “Ambassadors to the World.” There is ample opportunity to do so every single day. I’ll bet that there’s nobody reading this who thinks that our nation is doing just fine, our churches are just fine, and the state of the Christian faith is just fine. I’ll bet I could let any one of you who is willing come up here and you could, without any prepared notes, fill a whole blog post with concerns and remedies for our families, our local assemblies, and our cities, and states, and nation.

However, before we start open mic night , let me suggest something to you which many people – even those with the best intentions -- do not consider: It’s that inclination which causes us to want to organize ourselves into groups of like-minded Christians who agree with us about the problems and the solutions – but I think we forget that there is a difference between trying to do what’s morally right, and living as if the Bible is true.

Before we start with our diagnoses and treatments of the world and its ills, we need to make sure that our priorities are the ones which Jesus intended, and that our efforts are the ones which Jesus intended, and then that our results are the ones which Jesus intended. Most importantly: we need to make sure that we are clear about what Jesus says regarding these things, and that we are clear when we live them out and tell others about them.