No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: Christ

What if…there were no gifts given at Christmas?


What do you think Christmas would look like if gifts weren’t given?  What if we celebrated Christ’s birthday, simply as a religious holiday.  A day which Christian’s celebrated the birth of Christ in prayer and praise.  Think about this for just a second.  What would Christmas look like then? 

I started asking myself this question while I was thinking about why an atheist/agnostic would choose to celebrate the birth of someone they consider to be at best a historical man whose legend has grown out of proportions and at worst a fictitious character maliciously created by the religious establishment to control the masses.  After all, some don’t believe in the divinity of Christ.  Some,  don’t believe he existed at all.  Some believe that he was a “good person”.  Why do they celebrate it?  In all reality they could be celebrating the birthday of Dorian Gray, or Captain Ahab or any other literature character from any story as far as they’re concerned.  According to their beliefs there is no difference between John Galt leading a movement and the Passion of the Christ.   Both are fictional literature that may have some good moral stories.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I am not advocating that Christmas should only be celebrated by Christians.  Nor am I advocating that Christians should exclude Atheists from our celebration.   But I have to come back to the question:  Why celebrate it?  To speculate, they celebrate it because it is an opportunity to see family and/or to be with friends.  They also celebrate it because of the material goodies that are associated with Christmas.  To be sure the gifts are probably the primary reason that many now have come to celebrate Christmas.  The reason I can make this argument is simple: there has been a recent and systematic removal of Christ from Christmas.  Everything is now holiday this or holiday that.  The Christ from Christmas has been replaced with the good of goodies.  

To be completely honest this isn’t just an atheist or agnostic issue, but also a Christian issue.  Many Christians get so wrapped up in the material possessions that come with Christmas that they forget what Christmas is really about.  I understand how cliché that statement is, but think about it this way.  When was the last Christmas party that you went to where you stood up and offered praise to God, and offered a prayer of thankfulness that God sent his child down to die for you?  Any takers?  I can’t remember just for myself.

This brings me back to my original question…. what would Christmas look like without gifts?  One could speculate that it would look a lot different.  I think that it would probably have more of a true spiritual meaning for Christians, atheists, and agnostics alike.

So this year for Christmas, rather than focusing on the materialistic things, focus on the Son.  Before you open gifts or eat that big dinner, offer a prayer (OUT LOUD) and praise God’s glory and grace for all to hear.  Maybe you could read Luke 2 or Matthew 2 before opening gifts (something that KB does).  Who knows… God may work in some of those atheist/agnostic friends and families of yours.

Just a thought.

The Magic eight ball


Everyone is amazed when someone is able to predict something and it actually comes true. The general feeling is one of awe, one of amazement.  I mean….predicting the future must be incredible, then it coming true is all the more amazing.  What if I were to tell you that I have read multiple predictions, and those predictions came true some 700 years after it was written.  What would you say to that?  Forget 10 years, where one could easily trend a prediction and get it right.  We are not talking about the prediction that Mizzou would have beaten Oklahoma this year in football.  We are talking the equivalent of King Edward the II making a prediction that Obama would become president in 2008.  We are talking about pin point accuracy.  Nothing like the two SS of Nostradamus’s famous Hitler prediction.  Pin point accuracy about where Obama was born.  The predictions would have been written about 1310 or so, and would have been 100% accurate.  Can you imagine that?   America had not even been discovered.  The renaissance had not begun.  Flying was for the birds.  The sun revolved around the earth. Newton had not yet described universal gravitation, or the three laws of motion! Can you imagine this for one second?

I have read such a document, and you can too.  These predictions or prophecies can be found generally in 7 books in the Bible.  These are the key messianic prophesies in the Old Testament.  These are the Bible verses that foretold the coming of Christ:

Genesis

3:15                        Messiah to reconcile men to God; fully human, born of woman, he  will utterly defeat Satan.

22:18                     He will be of the family of Abraham

49:10                     He will be of the Kingly tribe of Judah

Deuteronomy

18:15                     He will be a prophet who, like Moses, revealed the Word of God.

Psalms

2:1-2                      he will be tried by gentile rulers and condemned by his on people

16:10                     Through resurrection, by the Father, Jesus’ body will not see corruption

22:1                        He will experience the rejection of the Father at his death

22:6 – 7                 He will be mocked at his crucifixion

22:22                     Christ will glorify God in his church after His resurrection

40:6-8                    Christ delighted in all the Fathers will

69:7-12                 Christ would be rejected by men

89:4                        Christ will be of the eternal seed of David

89:26-28               Christ will be God’s eternal son, his unique first born

110:1                     He will ascend to the right hand of the Father and be coronated

110:4                     His priesthood will be eternal, after the manner of Melchizedek

132:11                   He will be of the lineage of David.

Isaiah

7:14                        Christ will have  a virgin birth, he will be called Immanuel

7:15-16                 He will grow up in a land dominated by a foreign power

9:1-2                      He will minister in Galilee

9:7                          He will be of the line of David, but his kingship will be eternal and he   will be the Son of God.

11:2                        He will be anointed with The Holy Spirit

11:4                        He will minister perfect justice regarding the poor and the meek.

24:16                     Christ will offer salvation to the entire world

40:3                        He will have a forerunner

42:1                        Christ will be the great anointed Servant of Yahweh

42:2                        His ministry will be gentle

42:6                        Christ will be the fulfillment of God’s covenant

49:6                        Christ will be a light to the Gentiles

52:14                     He would be disfigured by the abuses he suffered prior to crucifixion

53:4                        Christ will bear all our diseases

53:5                        He will provide atonement for sin

53:9                        He will be buried in a rich man’s tomb

53:10                     The Father will prolong Christ’s days by resurrecting him from the dead.

Daniel

9:24                        His public ministry to being in AD 26. He would be crucified 3 ½ years later.

Micah

5:2                          Jesus would be born in Bethlehem

Zechariah

9:9                          He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt

11:12                     Christ  would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver

12:10                     He would be pierced for our transgressions.

Is this pretty amazing or what?  Try to go through that list and find one criteria that Christ did not fulfill.

Remember these words were written anywhere from 2000 years to 500 years before Christ was born.

There is only one explanation for this, God.  Divine revelation to these prophets.  Incredible.

HOLY WAR (but NOT Jihad)!!!


God’s Word makes it very clear that all Christians are in a very dangerous and deadly battle – we are called to MAKE WAR!  That is why we are given instructions on how and who and with which weapons we are expected to fight. Check out what Eph 6:10-18 has to say about it:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Not only are we expected to fight, but we are expected to WIN – BIG TIME (cf. Romans 8:37).

Over the coming days we are going to look at the various aspects of the Armor of God… and see how each to be used to increase our effectiveness for our Supreme Commander-in-Chief. But before we strap on the Armor and go out Rambo-style to kick tail and take names I think it’s important for us to examine just exactly who who or what is/are the enemy.

Far too often I see Christians assuming that we need to fight against people and their messed up thinking… their ideologies (aka their politics), but it seems to me that verse 12 above makes it pretty clear that this is not the case. Let’s take a peek at what God says about it elsewhere (Ephesians 2:1-3):

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

One can derive from this passage, and the one from chapter 6 above, that Christians have three basic enemies: the World (culture), Satan/the Devil, and our own wicked Flesh… NOT other people!!! Nowhere does it talk about political entities… Hmmm…

Now for those of you who know me you know that I personally have a massive disdain for certain political views and that most of these views are held dear by a certain political party here in our country. This, of course, leads me to have VERY strong negative feelings about that party. But I have to stop and ask myself are rage… frustration… outrage… disgust… against a political party (and thus many of the people in it) a good use of my time and energy?

If our enemies are the World, our own flesh and Satan, aren’t we already fighting on 3 fronts? No military expert would tell you that is a winning battle plan… So why on earth would we want to add a 4th? It is a losing strategy, it is harmful to other people, the reputation of Christ and when you get down to the bottom of it, in almost every instance, fighting against other people it is downright sinful…

When I studied this out to teach it on our recent youth retreat I think I found that, we can reduce this fight to a two front battle. I deeply believe that if we will rightly focus our efforts it will make us more effective for the cause of Christ – I welcome your comments on whether or not the following makes sense.

In spiritual warfare we often (rightly?) begin by focusing on Satan as the primary enemy. Let’s look at some of his names (characteristics) to understand him better and fight him better. As I studied out his names I saw a pattern or progression unfold that made a lot of sense to me and helped me focus my battle efforts – hope it does the same for you.

In simplest terms the Devil is God’s enemy… Satan HATES God and would love nothing more than to replace Him. We see this in these names: Satan (which means Adversary) 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Timothy 5:15; Enemy/Opponent – Matthew 13:28; Evil One – John 17:15…

He is not powerful enough to oppose/fight God directly so he employs a round-about attack by going after God’s people and doing everything in his power to keep others from becoming God’s people… To do this Satan has masterfully influenced the culture toward greater and greater depravity and evil. God recognizes this ploy and has warned us in other names that have been given to Satan: Prince of the Power of the Air (which means he controls unbelievers) – Ephesians 2:2; Ruler of Demons – Mark 3:22; Ruler of this World (which means he rules the world system/culture) – John 12:31; God of this Age (which means he influences the thinking of this world) – 2 Cor. 4:4; Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) – Matthew 12:24; Belial (which means that he is worthless – just like the corruption he has brought to the world) – 2 Cor. 6:15

Satan then uses the Culture/World to provide temptation for our flesh (the second enemy listed above). We see this in his names: Tempter – 1 Thes. 3:5; Serpent of Old – Deceiver in Garden – Rev. 12:9, 20:2

God warns us from falling to these schemes in 1 John 2:15-17 when He says:

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

However, Satan is stubborn and will not give up… through the World/Culture will try to tell you that certain sins are OKAY… he’ll try to convince you that they are not that bad… He’ll provide you with every kind of justification from “I’m just wired/born this way” to “God wants me to be happy and this will do it” to “I/they deserve this”… But I’m here to tell you IT’s NOT OKAY…

Satan is a masterful liar (cf. John 8:34) – Though he tries to make it look good, pleasing and harmless, sin is an affront to God and His Holiness and it is harmful to our soul and damaging to our lives and relationships! Sinning is telling your heavenly father that you know best – it’s basically giving God the finger… and though God is loving and forgiving that is a dangerous game to play…

Once Satan has trapped you in one of his schemes and he has hooked you with some type of addictive sin, he then capitalizes upon our temptations and failures. God calls him the Accuser  (Rev 12:10) because Satan bad-mouths you to God, in your mind and to other people. He is called the Dragon/Destroyer (Rev. 9:11; 12:3, 7, 9) because he uses your sinful mistakes to ruin your life. He is called a Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5:8) because he wants to swallow you up in the consequences of sin and keep you from experiencing fellowship with God. He is a Murderer (John 8:34) because he leads people to eternal death (aka Hell). The term “Devil” actually means “slanderer” ( Matt. 4:1) because If he can’t get to you any other way, he’ll try to destroy your/God’s reputation.

So, what I see from all this is that if Satan is the deceiving force that is corrupting the culture we only truly have to fight the battle on two fronts… We need to Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7-8).  And we need to MAKE WAR against our sinful nature (cf. 1 Cor. 9:27, Galatians 5:16-26). John Piper would say that the war against our own flesh is the most important aspect of this… but I’d have to respectfully disagree… I think both prongs of our counter-attack are equally important… If we fight directly against Satan (and we’ll see how to do that in coming posts) then the culture will be effected which will minimize temptations as much as possible, making it easier to fight against our sinful desires…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen sin’s painful effects on a lot of people’s lives and I’m hopping mad about it… I’m ready to strap the armor on and get it on with Satan in God’s mighty power… Will you join me?

Wives….SUBMIT to your husbands!


So if you have been keeping track of the comments under my “That’s it…I QUIT!” post, you would have noticed that a commenter has some questions regarding the submission of the woman to the man in the Bible.  The contention of the commenter (among many others) is that the Bible teaches subjugation of the woman to the man, and requires her to be submissive, in an unequal setting.  Rather than trying to re-create the wheel I am going to lean on a sermon given by John Piper specifically addressing Ephesians 5.  This is a very good sermon that gets right to the heart of gender equality or the balance of relationships (as I like to call it).   Below are some snippets of the sermon.

“So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or parable that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.”

 

“Notice how verses 28–30 describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body and the husband and wife being one flesh. “Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it.” In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he has for himself. They are one. What he does to her he does to himself. Then he compares this to Christ’s care for the church. Picking up near the end of verse 29, he says the husband nourishes and cherishes his own flesh, ” . . . as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” In other words, just as the husband is one flesh with his wife, so the church is one body with Christ. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.”

“Think about this for a moment in relation to what we have seen so far in this series. I tried to show from Genesis 1–3 that the when sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage NOT because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.”

“Therefore, headship is not a right to command and control. It’s a responsibility to love like Christ: to lay down your life for your wife in servant leadership. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership: he wants it to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.”

“In other words what this passage of Scripture does is two things: it guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus; and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.”

“Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.”

“Submission does not mean putting the husband in the place of Christ. Verse 21 says you submit out of reverence for Christ. Submission does not mean that the husband’s word is absolute. Only Christ’s word is absolute. No wife should follow a husband into sin. You can’t do that in reverence to Christ. Submission does not mean surrendering thought. It does not mean no input on decisions or no influence on her husband. It does not come from ignorance or incompetence. It comes from what is fitting and appropriate (Colossians 3:18) in God’s created order.”

“The call in verse 25 for husbands to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her” revolutionizes the way he leads. This is where we ended last week in Luke 22:26 where Jesus says, “Let the leader become as one who serves.” In other words, husbands, don’t stop leading, but turn all your leading into serving. The responsibility of leadership is given not to puff yourself up, but to build your family up.”

This really is an awesome sermon, and has proven to be helpful to me as I continue to grow in Christ, and learn to be a true servant leader for my wife.

That’s it….I QUIT!


My wife was perusing the internet tonight and found an interesting article.  Anne Rice has quit her religion, and is moving on, on her own.  To quote the LA times article… “she announced she had quit Christianity “in the name of Christ” because she’d seen too much hypocrisy”.  The article goes on to talk about religion in a  generic sense, and how people are leaving church because they have become disillusioned with the religion in general.  Now, if you know me…you know that I am not a big fan of the LA Times, but I have to admit, with this article…they have hit the nail on the head.  There are a number of great points to take from this article.

25% of people between the ages of 18-29 do not associate with any particular faith. 

This is a startling statistic.  Having seen firsthand the impact of what a secular college can do to a kid with a mind full of mush…I would have thought this number to be much higher.  And perhaps, in reality, it is.  Especially taking into consideration the second point…

Every day, the church is becoming more like the world it allegedly seeks to change.

It is hard being a Christian, isn’t it?  You have to stand out in the crowd, you are an alien in this world, and as a result an outcast.  Just for believing in Christ.  Now take this into combination with the fact that everyone has a natural desire to be liked (well not me, but I love being the alien) and you have a recipe for disaster.  It is easier to blend in, to follow the crowd, and to do what feels good than it is to be ridiculed for your actions, and mocked for your faith.  So what do people do who are not grounded in their faith… go with the flow.  Which leads me to the more controversial point…

Many people who call themselves Christian don’t really believe, deep down, in the tenets of their faith. In other words, their actions reveal their true beliefs.

This I believe is closer to the truth.  It gets to a really tough question…can a Christian truly backslide…or are they (were they) ever truly a Christian?  I do have a personal example to draw from in this sense.  Someone I know, attended church until the age of 18.  Went to college, and began to live a life that was contrary to the Word of God.  So the question becomes… was this person ever a Christian?  This topic alone deserves it’s own post, and possibly it’s own debate.  What is clear is that all three of these points are a call for concern to church leadership from all denominations.

The primary question for me…are we preparing our youth to enter a world bent on getting them to deviate from the Word of God?  The statistics will tell you no!  The world will tell you no, and the actions of these “Christian” youths will tell you no! 

I have decided to throw my hat into the ring of education by helping out with the Sunday School at my church.  I am not sure if I can make a difference with these kids, but if I can help prevent one or two kids from following this path….wouldn’t it be worth it? (BTW…my wife hates this cliché)  I think so.  So then the question becomes…what are you doing to help?

Back to the basics


Open air preaching is absolutely fascinating to me.  It is a back to the basic’s approach to evangelism.  Think about it…this is how the apostles did it.  They stood out in public and preached.  They made their argument under the most intense scrutiny.  It is incredible to watch the reaction of the world to those who preach in the open.  You when I wrote The No Shame + No Fear series it was geared towards evangelism.  So clear is the call for evangelism that many forget how to evangelize.  Open air preaching is one way to do it.  Keep in mind it is not for everyone.  But there are a number of ways to this.  Everyone has opportunities to witness.  It could be on facebook, Myspace, with your friends or wherever!

Here are links to some open air preaching:

Huntington Beach 1

Moral Relativism

Here is another one

These video’s were put up by a group called The Way of the Master.  This is Ray Comfort, and Kirk Cameron.

We’ve got mail….yeaaaaaaah. We’ve got mail, we’ve got mail, we’ve got mail…


No Apologizing now has its own email… noapologizing@gmail.com.

KB and I are gearing up for our 100th post.  It is a pretty big deal that we hit this mark.  For the 100th post we are hoping to put together a vlog.  For those of you not familiar…a vlog is like a blog but only in video format.  What we would like to do for our vlog is to be as interactive with you as possible.  This could include questions about us, questions you have on theology, or just comments in general.  That is where the e-mail comes in…

Use the e-mail to send us your questions or comments.  We will use them in the vlog to generate discussion.  If you have something you would like for us to debate….send it in.  I can tell you right now the vlog has been decided on.  If we don’t receive any e-mails Kevin will be forced to do 20 push-ups on camera…well maybe that won’t work…because I am sure people will want to see that.

On behalf of Kevin (who is probably getting upset reading this) and I, we would like to thank you for reading our posts, and we hope you get something out of it.

SEND US SOME COMMENTS!

It’s Okay… Don’t give up!!!


Today I want to put out a word of encouragement to all my friends and readers… I’ve seen some discouragement and that makes my heart heavy… DON’T GIVE UP!!!

God, Himself, encourages us to, “Not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6)

I’ve had some conversations with people who have tried to take the G90X challenge with me and/or who have committed to reading through the Bible in 2010, but have fallen behind in their goals… They were bold enough to try and start something that will help them grow in their walk with Jesus, but have not been able to completely follow through with their original goal…

And do you know what?  THAT’S OKAY!!! Seriously! We all fall short sometimes… There is nothing magic about ANY spiritual discipline in and of itself! Christianity is about a relationship with the God who created the universe, NOT about trying to work at doing better things or striving to be a good person!

Let me remind you of what Greg said in his original G90X post:

By the way, let’s not be legalistic with this. G90X is just an intensive spiritual workout to jumpstart our spiritual disciplines. Remember that those who choose to do it with me are not necessarily more spiritual than those who don’t. You can do all the disciplines in the world and if you are not controlled by the Spirit and fueled through God’s power in your motives it is all wood, hay and stubble… If you are choosing not to do it (which is totally fine) I challenge you to, at the least, amp up your spiritual disciplines.

Let me come at this from a different angle… Think about a person with whom you have a solid relationship… Got it? Okay… Now, how is it that you maintain that relationship? Love, right? And that Love is expressed by T-I-M-E… but that time isn’t spent in a ritualistic ridged manner is it? Relationships are fluid and we spend time with our friends and family in different ways… The same should be for our relationship with (worship of) God!! The point is to spend time with Him!!

Struggling reading so much of the Bible at one clip? That’s okay!!! Keep at it – Get back on the proverbial horse… but don’t beat yourself up over it… But realize also, that this isn’t the only way God wants us to spend time with Him… He wants us to prayHe wants us to sing to Him… He wants us to talk about Him to others… He wants us to spend time with other believers (at church AND other places)…

Do you get it? GOD wants to have a relationship with you!!!  But He wants a REAL relationship not something manufactured or fake. If you struggle with some aspect of spending time with God be sure that you are supplementing it with other ways… but don’t grow weary of trying to make the weaker aspects of your walk better… If you don’t get a hold of a friend on the phone, what do you do? You call back, right? If that doesn’t work you txt or you swing by their house or maybe you try to get a hold of one of their friends/family to tell them you’re looking for them. God is trying to get a hold of you… He’s not hard to reach…

Go spend some time with Him today in a variety of ways!!  You won’t regret it.

BOY, it’s HOT!!!!


The heat wave that is sweeping the nation is definitely brutal… My A/C is having a VERY hard time keeping up… When Robert and I spoke earlier today he mentioned to me that this reminded him of how urgent we ought to be about the souls of our friends, family and neighbors… He said: “If you think it’s hot now… Imagine how bad it’s gonna be in Hell, where the heat never lets up!” What a sobering reminder…

Revelation 20:12-15 says, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Later on we’re reminded elsewhere (Rev. 14:11 and 20:10) that this torment is forever and ever… OUCH… Let’s take a cue from my friend and let this oppressive heat help remind us that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20)… Let’s get to it… Let’s show them how to get permanent/eternal A/C!!

Mel Gibson….Oh well


There is little doubt that everyone has either heard the Mel Gibson rant or heard of the Mel Gibson rant.  I won’t post a link to the rant because it is truly vulgar, and well…not worth posting on our blog.  But there are some things that need to be posted about this latest episode from Mel.

Gibson is, perhaps, most notably associated with his work on the Passion of the Christ.  While that movie was being filmed it became well known that Gibson was a Catholic.    Recently (2002) Gibson contributed to the construction of a new church building.  These actions have associated Gibson with Christ.  If you peruse Google you will see the impact that Gibson’s actions have had or will have on the body of Christ Gibson provides a clear illustration as to the impact your actions have.  In short…when we take the mantle of Christ we are a representation of Him to the world.  Mel Gibson is a rather well know example, but we have all seen this play out in our own lives.  Have you ever seen a person screaming and yelling because an order was wrong, and they had a Christian sticker on the bumper of their car?  Been to a ball game where a Christian is using profanity towards other players at a ball game?  Hanging out with friends and a Christian swears like a drunken’ sailor (no offense to the Navy….)? Known a Christian to brag about cheating on their taxes or gaining some other unfair financial advantage like accepting incorrect change, etc? 

What does the Bible say about this?

Interesting question, right?  The Bible is pretty clear about this, 2 Corinthians 5:20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

What else can I add to this?  This verse is explicit.  We are all Christ’s ambassadors.  Let that soak in for a second… 

The definition of ambassador is: an authorized representative or messenger.  Look at 2 Corinthians 5:20 again with that definition.  We are therefore authorized representatives or messengers of Christ.  Let this soak in some more…

We are the direct representation of Christ on earth.  If it sounds like there is a weight associated with that, there is.  Non-believers watch believers, and will build their opinion of God based on OUR actions.  If you are hanging out with your family who are non-believers and you do the things that they do ( cursing, complaining, gossiping, back-biting, etc…) how are they to respond to God’s message?  Can their opinion be anything other than: “so this is what God is about?”  If you are invited to go out on the town with friends, are you being an ambassador to them by going out and acting as they would?

There are sooooo many implications here to our everyday lives.   We shouldn’t act the way the world does.  We need to set ourselves apart from the world (cf. Romans 12:1-2).  Don’t put yourself in a situation where you can sin.  Don’t sin willingly.  Specifically, as in the case of Mel Gibson, remember that your tongue can get you into trouble.

I hope that Mel can find a renewed spirit in Christ.  I hope that all of us can take away the practical lesson being shown here.

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