“I truly am the best thing this church has ever seen.”
“I really am good for nothing, this church would be better off without me.”
Two statements that seem miles apart but which in fact are both likely to come from sinful pride. Doug Wilson has a good article on pride here. In particular he highlights the danger of what he refers to as negative pride – the pride of those who have a low opinion of themselves and seek to be the centre of attention because of it.
But someone who has a low opinion of himself can be every bit as self-centered. “Look at everyone watch me. See them stare at me when I tell jokes. Why are they laughing at my clothes?” This person has a low opinion of himself and also seeks to be the center of his known universe.
In my experience this form of pride is just as common and every bit as dangerous as the pride of those who have a high opinion of themselves.
Wilson goes on to highlight the danger of much of modern counselling, and sadly much of what masquerades as Christian counselling, in which someone with low esteem is told to learn to love and value their own self worth. That kind of counsel is deadly to those seeking to live on and be shaped by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To focus your eyes on anything except the Lord Jesus is spiritually suicidal. If your attention is centered on yourself (whether you see a worm or a superstar is utterly beside the point) you are a priest in the cult of self-worship. A holy life will be God-centered, not self-centered. The antithesis of such holiness is the egocentric demand to be the Main Attraction.
Filed under: General stuff
March 29, 2012 • 11:40 am
Filed under: Children
Below is a stark reality check for both preachers and those who regularly sit under preaching. Just what should our expectations be?
“I want to prepare you by setting down a few home truths about preachers and preaching. The first can be put briefly. Great sermons will always be in short supply. Even in the case of first-rate preachers, the church occasionally has to settle for third-rate performances. And in the case of second-rate preachers . . . well, let’s just say that there are more of them than any other kind. That’s not a criticism. It’s one of the facts of church life. I’d only make matters worse if I tried to change the situation by making preachers feel guilty about it. It’s that way in every occupation. The world’s supply of top-notch saxophonists is miniscule compared with the army of honkers who live down the street from you — and the same goes for plumbers, professors, and for you as a preacher” (Capon, The Foolishness of Preaching, p. 55).
HT Doug Wilson
Filed under: Ministry
Lots of Christians will go and see The Hunger Games which comes to UK screens in the next week or so.
That makes this really sharp review from Doug Wilson well worth a read before you buy your ticket.
Filed under: Apologetics, doug wilson
Samuel Rutherford the 17th century Scottish minister and theologian saw his wife and four of his five young children die through illness in the space of a few years. His response of faith in the face of suffering and loss,
“this loss … divine wisdom devised it and divine love laid it on.”
We won’t be able to respond to suffering with such faith until we understand something of God’s purposes in the trials he brings us. That’s why this list of 36 purposes of God in our suffering by Paul Tautges ought to prove helpful.
Filed under: On the links, samuel rutherford
Thinking of getting married, newly married, been married for ever …
Well come on, what did you expect?
This DVD from Paul Tripp looks like an excellent resource on helping us think about our marriages in a Biblical way, by dealing with our heart problem rather than merely the symptoms of that problem.
The clip below is from the promotional material for the DVD, but you can find lots of samples from the DVD itself here and if you want to purchase it you can do from here.
What Did You Expect? from Nate Salciccioli on Vimeo.
Filed under: Discipleship, Marriage & Family
Here’s a familiar face spouting a lot of wise words and I would recommend you read every one of them.
Dan has some really helpful things to say and I know I for one need to hear them. The reality is that evangelism and interaction with non-Christians is often one of the first casualties amongst the busyness of full time ministry. What does that do for the effectiveness of our ministry:
we know how those whom we disciple look up to and copy their leaders. Pastors who only talk a lot about engaging, befriending, and evangelizing non-Christians will be productive in producing Christians who only talk a lot about befriending and evangelizing non-Christians.
So how to address the problem when you’re already struggling to find time and energy?
Yes, schedule in regular time where you’ll come into contact with non-Christians, but don’t do it on your own.
Discipleship and training can happen in the context of getting involved in the lives of non-Christians.
For example we can minister to a mature Christian (through modelling) and a non-Christian (through conversational engagement) at the same time in a pub.
Take one pastor who needs to get out more, add a Christian who would thrive on interacting with non-Christians, and sprinkle generously with a hearty dose of apologetic conversation with unbelievers.
So the only remaining question is, who’s getting the first round in?
Filed under: Apologetics, Discipleship
March 15, 2012 • 11:22 am
Some will know David Burrowes as a faithful evangelical Christian who just happens to be the Conservative MP for Enfield / Southgate. David says some sensible things in his article in the Telegraph today and needs our prayers and support as he seeks to faithfully defend Christian values.
Filed under: Marriage & Family, david burrowes
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. – Matthew 25:41
Last Sunday evening I got into a conversation where the question arose as to whether God is in hell or if hell is the place of separation from God. It may seem from Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:41 and 7:23 that hell is the place where God is not. Many assume hell is the place of separation from God’s presence, but the Bible speaks of God being present in different ways in different locations.
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:19-20
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17
Read the rest of this entry »
Filed under: Ministry, Ramblings