At The Crossings this past Sunday we started a new series called Discovering Authentic Church. I love the Church and so do many of you. But I also know that some of you really don’t resonate with the whole idea of Church. Some of you have been burnt or jaded because of something someone did while wearing the name Christian. Others have experienced things in the name of Church that don’t feel too much like Jesus. I get that. It reminds me of a book that Dan Kimball wrote in 2007 entitled They Like Jesus, but not The Church. I’ve met Dan before and have heard him speak, so I know where he’s at on the issue. He loves Jesus and the true Church. He just points out that a lot of folks have simply been presented with a counterfeit model of the Church. I get that and have probably felt some of that pain in my own pilgrimage. I know I have. But my hope is that in this study we can see a picture of what the authentic Church really looks like. I hope we can clean up the mess of misunderstanding.
The true CHURCH is seen in scripture as a beautiful creation of God. She is loved by God. No, the Church is not perfect, at least not now. That’s because it’s made up of imperfect people. But she is still the “Bride of Christ.” Because of that significance, I hope everyone can take a second look at this mystery called the Church. As we continue through this series I hope you’ll ask questions and open up to what it means to experience Authentic Church. Yes, I love the Church and hope you will too.
What are some of your stories of experiencing the counterfeit? What are some of your stories of finding the authentic?
Ok I’ll admit it; I’m a Tebow fan. Yup, despite all the hype, I’m in. Is he the best quarterback in the league? Probably not. Is he good enough to even be in the league at all? Some of his fans say yes even though they don’t know a thing about the game. On the other hand some of his critics say no even though Tim is better than other quarterbacks already in the NFL. If I had my pick, I’d trade him off to Dallas instead of NY. Then my favorite team would now have my favorite QB. Sorry Romo; nothing personal. Just business you know. But with the huge divergence in opinions on the guy, it would seem that there’s more to the story than just football. Even if he’s not that good now, he’s still early on in his game with time to improve. So why the fuss? The answer is obvious; he’s an “outspoken” Christ follower. Yes, there are other Christians in the NFL. But Tim seems to have taken the spotlight because of his starting in the 6th game of the 2011 season for the Broncos and winning while still living for and speaking out for Christ in a public way. That’s the rub that people don’t know how to handle. People ponder about how outspoken a Christian should live today. Some believe he ought to just keep it to himself as this is a “private” matter. Unfortunately those who believe and teach such things really don’t understand the essence of being a disciple of Christ at all. Actually, the actions and spoken message of Tim really illustrates for us the second part in this study of Ancient Evangelism. (more…)
I’m getting excited for Easter this year and looking forward to preaching Sunday at The Crossings. While “sermonizing” this morning I spent some time thinking through a list of famous Easter Songs. Here’s a short sampling of what I came up with. If you’ve been following Christ for a while, you’ll recognize a few of these tunes. If you’re still exploring Christ, then check them out and enjoy.
Because He Lives is probably one the most famous classic hymns on the subject of the Easter. Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote the song out of a realization that no matter how hard life can get at times, there is still hope because of the resurrection of Christ. Next to that is an old vintage hymn by Robert Lowery entitled, Low in the Grave He Lay. While not really one of my favorites, the Easter Song by Keith Green still resounds with a lot of folks today. But just about anything Keith Green did was profound. When I was in High School, Sandi Patty sang Was it a Morning Like This which took off and for a while was being sung by countless soloists across the world every Easter morning. I think my wife even sang it a few times. More than likely, she probably did a better job than Patty did though. I’d say that my all time favorite Easter song is He’s Alive by Don Francisco. If you’ve ever denied Christ, this one’s for you. The focus of the song is from Peter’s standpoint after dealing with his denial of Jesus and then acceptance by the risen Christ. Sometimes I still get choked up a bit toward the end of the tune. More recently, Nichole C Mullen sang My Redeemer Lives which also has a powerful ending. I’m going to show that one on Sunday. A new favorite of mine is In Christ Alone by Stuart Townend. Definitely my favorite rendition of this song was done by the News Boys. Not sure it’s only an Easter song, but some of the closing words are really pertinent. So those are some of the Easter songs that minister to me. Now what about you?