Chan on Lukewarm Christians 2

crazy love.jpg

Lukewarm people give money to charity and to the church … as long as it doesn’t impinge of their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?

1 Chron 21:14

But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Luke 21:1-4

Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

A real response to cannibalism

The cartoon on the left made yesterdays post. Today it reappears. I read the quote below from John Paton on Confluenceblog.com. (They have more about John Paton there). John Paton was speaking with a man who warned him against going and serving as a missionary.

Amongst many who sought to deter me, was one dear old Christian gentleman, whose crowning argument always was, “The Cannibals ! you will be eaten by Cannibals!”

At last I replied, “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my resurrection body will arise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.”

John G Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides. An Autobiography. P89-91

Chan on Lukewarm Christians 1

crazy love.jpgChapter 4 of Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, is brilliant – yet scary. It is entitled Profile of the lukewarm.

Referring to the parable of the sower Chan repeatedly states, “don’t assume you are good soil”, and then describes lukewarm people as a challenge to rise into hot blooded passion for Jesus Christ.

Over the next few days I am going to share his list of what lukewarm people look like. I will post one a day until we reach the end. It is not an easy read but in the book Chan tells us that the Bible says to test ourselves so it is a good thing. Make sure you take time, read the posts thoughtfully and prayerfully, be careful not to miss the challenge and call of the Holy Spirit.

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.


Isaiah 29:13 (NIV), “The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

What are you watching?

The video below poses some questions about what is fitting for a Christian to be entertained by. Whilst the position the video takes might be seen by some to be a little extreme it does pose questions about what we watch and whether it is glorifying or honouring to God. I listened to Jack Hayford recently and he talked about his youth when his mother would ask him a question ‘as if Jesus was here’. Maybe it isn’t a bad question to ask before we watch, listen or talk of things. It might lose us a few friends but will it gain us a better reward in the Kingdom of God?

Matthew 6:22

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Chan on Lukewarm Christians 1

crazy love.jpgChapter 4 of Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, is brilliant – yet scary. It is entitled Profile of the lukewarm.

Referring to the parable of the sower Chan repeatedly states, “don’t assume you are good soil”, and then describes lukewarm people as a challenge to rise into hot blooded passion for Jesus Christ.

Over the next few days I am going to share his list of what lukewarm people look like. I will post one a day until we reach the end. It is not an easy read but in the book Chan tells us that the Bible says to test ourselves so it a good thing. Make sure you take time, read the posts thoughtfully and prayerfully, be careful not to miss the challenge and call of the Holy Spirit.

Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians” do, so they go.


Isaiah 29:13 (NIV), “The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Lukewarm?

In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan starts chapter 4 with this quote,

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow hearted prosperity”

Frederick D Huntingdon

There is no need to worry, after all Huntingdon was obviously referring to American Christians, wasn’t he?

 

Calvin on Cannibalism

In case you are expecting to read of John Calvin’s opinions on eating other peoples flesh I should tell you it is the far more important Calvin star of Calvin and Hobbes whose name is being cited in the title of this post.
I try to think about good ways to teach – I have a simple passion that my students should not only pass the course but they should do well and enjoy it, leaving with a feeling of wanting to go further and learn more. I hate people to fail a course I teach. I love Calvin because he doesn’t conform – though at times I would be a very frustrated teacher with him in my class

John Samson tells this story on his blog,

Steve Brown tells a story about a time his daughter Robin found herself in a very difficult English Literature course that she desperately wanted to get out of.

She sat there on her first day and thought, “If I don’t transfer out of this class, I’m going to fail. The other people in this class are much smarter than me. I can’t do this.” She came home and with tears in her eyes begged her dad to help her get out of the class so she could take a regular English course. Steve said, “Of course.”

So the next day he took her down to the school and went to the head of the English department, who was a Jewish woman and a great teacher. Steve remembers the event in these words:

She (the head of the English department) looked up and saw me standing there by my daughter and could tell that Robin was about to cry. There were some students standing around and, because the teacher didn’t want Robin to be embarrassed, she dismissed the students saying, “I want to talk to these people alone.” As soon as the students left and the door was closed, Robin began to cry. I said, “I’m here to get my daughter out of that English class. It’s too difficult for her. The problem with my daughter is that she’s too conscientious. So, can you put her into a regular English class?” The teacher said, “Mr. Brown, I understand.” Then she looked at Robin and said, “Can I talk to Robin for a minute?” I said, “Sure.” She said, “Robin, I know how you feel. What if I promised you and A no matter what you did in the class? If I gave you an A before you even started, would you be willing to take the class?” My daughter is not dumb! She started sniffling and said, “Well, I think I could do that.” The teacher said, “I’m going to give you and A in the class. You already have an A, so you can go to class.”

Later the teacher explained to Steve what she had done. She explained how she took away the threat of a bad grade so that Robin could learn English. Robin ended up making straight A‘s on her own in that class.

What a radical way to teach – imagine the risk the teacher takes in making the offer in the first place, the confidence they have not only in their teaching but also in their student. I love that idea, take away the threats and motivate students to learn in a different way.

(By the way John makes a different point from the story so make sure you read his post.)

 

Lukewarm?

lukewarm.png

In his book, Crazy Love, Francis Chan starts chapter 4 with this quote,

“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow hearted prosperity”

Frederick D Huntingdon

Now there is no need to worry, after all Huntingdon was obviously referring to American Christians, wasn’t he?

Wisdom is proved right by her choice of Bible

developmental-reading.jpgReading the Bible is not easy. The devil and your flesh don’t seem too keen on you doing it and try to make almost anything seem more important than it. Think about the things you do which are meaningless and then about the time you spend reading the Bible and you might just get the idea. We claim it is the Word of God, we claim it is so important but…

If you want to read your Bible start by finding a Bible version you like to read. One you feel comfortable with, where you can understand the words used, get the plot, get an idea of what God is saying to you.
The Common English Bible site has a page giving details about some translations, who translated them what their philosophy of translation was etc. More importantly it gives an idea of the reading level required for each translation.

Common English Bible – 7

English Standard Version – 11

King James Version – 12

The Living Bible – 8

The Message – 6

New International Version – 8

New Living Translation – 6

We don’t all like to read the same things, we like differing styles and we do read at different levels. My advice, for your devotional Bible reading is to choose a version which is at your level, which you are happy to read. It is not a time to try to impress other people simply to meet with God.