This blog has been moved to the new Bridge site. CLICK HERE TO HEAD TO THE NEW BLOG LOCATION.
Among many things, one thing that has burgeoned for The Bridge in the last year has been the usefulness of our online presence and media usage. We just launched a new website for The Bridge to get us up to speed with our level of usage.
Jeff Lyons (stud Bridger who built the site) is looking for a team of people with the spiritual gift of Techie to help him maintain and advance this arena of ministry. If you’re gifted in this area and interested in helping with the new site, email Jeff at…
UPDATE: apparently some people can see the site while others are still seeing the old site. Be sure to clear the cache on your browser but either way you’ll see it within 24 hrs.
80 hrs of work from Jeff Lyons (Bridger who built the site) has culminated. The new site is up. Click to the blog on the site for a little treat :)
As most of you know, we’ve hit a section of 1 Corinthians that is a preacher’s nightmare. Here are the issues we’ll address in this section for the next few weeks…
- Church discipline
- Christian sexuality
- Gender Roles
- Tongues/Miraculous gifts
- Navigating morally grey-areas such as alcohol consumption, media we should/shouldn’t intake, etc.
Basically every one of the most divisive and controversial issues in The Bible. A quick reminder about this week’s sermon on Christian sexuality; it will be rated PG-13. I’m approaching it very sensitively, but just know that the subject matter will dictate that you may want to make a decision about whether young students are ready for it. See you Sunday, preaching helmet on.
This, from Dr. Moore at Southern Seminary, really resonated with me after watching the fallout from many Christians in the wake of the Healthcare Reform Bill last night…
Is it a problem that some of us who are tranquil as still water about biblical doctrine and missions are red-faced about Nancy Pelosi and the talking heads on MSNBC? Is it a problem that some who haven’t shared the gospel with their neighbors in months are years are motivated to vent to strangers on the street about how scary national health care will be?
The answer: Yes.
A sign of a big problem. This may bother some people, but it’s where I am and I’m willing to admit that it may be because I’m young and naive: I don’t care a lot about politics outside of a few issues to which the Bible directly speaks such as abortion, about which I am very passionate. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be involved, but Jesus doesn’t talk a lot about politics in Scripture. Honestly, I think the healthcare reform is probably something that looks great on paper for the short term (my wife Jana will be able to get coverage after being denied for years as a result of a past minor melanoma) but will probably be very bad for the country’s economy in the longterm. Am I informed? Definitely not. I don’t support the bill, but I’ll say this – the bill got passed in part because many non-Christian people have a heart for the poor who can’t afford healthcare while many Christians do little or nothing about this. I don’t think this was the right way to address that issue, but that’s saddening to me.
A few thoughts about our…
- Hearts. God is sovereign over healthcare reform just like he is over little birds dying that no human ever saw (Matt 7). If you believe that this bill is morally wrong, you should work against it. You should not, however, “let your heart be troubled” and live in fear. Have the heart of a son or daughter of God – untroubled and safe in God’s arms.
- Words. It’s cause for serious reflection if we see that we’ll talk til’ we’re blue in the face about healthcare reform to anyone who will listen but are content to have closed mouths as people that we love dearly head to hell.
- Emotions. Dr. Moore’s point is right on. Many of us will spew impassioned words in our conversations, on our facebook pages, and blogs about healthcare reform – for it or against it. But we don’t care about at all about good doctrine or engaging the lost people around us with the gospel. This is another cause for inward reflection.
If you have any comments or questions of disagreement, please email me instead of posting them in the comments section. Praying for you today and hoping that God uses this trial to sanctify us and bring things in us previously unseen to light.
For those that braved the rain, lots of reaction to this morning’s sermon on the “church discipline” section of 1 Corinthians 5-6:11. I wanted to post the two things that seemed to stick out to people the most from this tough issue.
Things that would be wrong according to this passage…
- To exercise church discipline motivated by anything besides love for the person
- To exercise church discipline because a person’s sin just really frustrates us
- To exercise church discipline because out of self-righteousness, because “we can’t understand how someone could be so irresponsible.”
- To exercise church discipline on someone who is fighting their sin but continually failing in the grip of an addiction
- To exercise church discipline on someone without attempts to bring them to repentance personally first
- To exercise church discipline for something a young Christian doesn’t know is a sin
- To keep a non-Christian from attending worship gatherings or small group meetings, regardless of the amount or severity of the sin in their life. To do anything besides loving and welcoming non-Christians in any way possible.
- To care so little about a person’s soul that we ignore this passage and don’t practice church discipline.
I’ll be honest, as an elder this is a passage that I wish didn’t exist. This will happen in our church and it will not be comfortable or easy… but it will be good for our gospel-health as a church body. Speaking of gospel-health…
The biggest takeaway from this passage was Paul eluding to the fact that you can miss the gospel to the right or to the left. Miss to the right and you’re a legalist. Miss to the left and you’re a libertine. Here’s the breakdown from this morning…
- Legalists love rules. They focus on rules and responsibilities.
- Work for God’s acceptance instead of from God’s acceptance.
- How they feel about themselves is based on their performance in life.
- Look down on people who are less religious or don’t work as hard as they do and become self-righteous and judgmental.
- Forgiveness/acceptance talk often angers legalists because they feel the guilty party “has not paid his due”.
- Motto: Stay away from sinners or you’ll catch the sin.
- Bottom line: they don’t like sinners. It angers them that sinners are so irresponsible.
- Libertines love freedoms. They focus on freedoms and rights.
- Tend to take advantage of the gospel as a free pass to sin.
- “Sin-talk” often angers libertines because they feel “you don’t need to change who you are, you need to accept who you are.”
- Tend to label sinful attitudes and actions as a personality trait that someone can’t help. “That’s just who they are” is a common phrase.
- Bottom line: libertines don’t hate sin. They see rules as quenching freedoms and self-expression.
THE takeaway from this passage was the fact that someone who’s been changed through the gospel will hate their sin because it killed Jesus and love sinners because Jesus died for them.
We’re “going dark” on the blog for a few days as we’re launching the new Bridge website (that Jeff Lyons has spent about 60 hrs building) in the next few days… and I’m giddy.
In the meantime, as you know the single greatest sporting event of the year is upon us: March Madness. Offices everywhere will lose millions of hours of productivity as men (and women) across the nation watch NCAA basketball games online at their desks and/or check score updates being sent to their phones every few seconds in hopes of their bracket being “the magical bracket”. Here’s mine for the year…
So who are your Final Four selections for the year? Make your call in the comments section and we’ll have a special blog-reward for our winner.