Author: Christopher
•8:33 PM
This one's for the kids:

I LOVE Jesus! Your Daddy is an absolute, 100% Jesus-loving FREAK!

Sometimes during our bedtime prayers, I find myself wondering if you guys really see your Daddy's heart. When I say those bedtime prayers, it's not just the only time that I pray - I talk with Jesus all day long. He's usually the first thing on my mind in the morning when I wake up, and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep. I sing to him in the car, and I talk to him when I take a shower, and I cry for joy at the very idea that he loves me!

Yeah, I cry a lot when it comes to Jesus! He's remarkable! Indescribable! He is loving, kind, generous and good. And he always, always loves me and accepts me just the way that I am. I love to worship him!

My most fervent prayer is that each of you kids would know Jesus like I know him. I've already seen him answer my prayers by saving Aidan and Evan, and, even though she's just barely a year old, I've already prayed with tears for him to save my baby girl, Meagan. But that's just the beginning! I also pray that Christ would be formed in each of you. That you would understand that Christ is your life ... now in this world. He is your everything!

What joy you'll have! What peace! What purity of conscience! It's all him - it's all Jesus!

Author: Christopher
•1:00 PM

I realize that this may be read by a few people who won't agree with it. That's okay.

And, I realize that when there's a GIANT giant gorilla in the room, you're supposed to just be quiet and go with the flow. (But that's never been my style LOL)

And, I realize that people will think that I'm being nit-picky, and mean, and the 'intention police' will judge my motives for posting this - they always do. (I'm sad. Very sad at how off track the church of Jesus Christ can get and not even know it.)

But, somebody's gotta say something!

Last night, at church, we sang a few songs, the speaker prayed then preached, and then we had a couple of baptisms. Sounds fine, right? Wrong!

The songs were about 75% biblical. We sang a wonderful song, "I know who I am" which has a TERRIFIC line in it, "Christ is my identitiy." Now, THAT was New Testament!! Wahoo!!

But, it didn't last. We also sang a pleading song that implored the Father to wrap us in his loving embrace. Question: When did we get out of his embrace? Are we ever outside of his love? Can anything separate us from God's love? Does God only love us when we plead with him to? Or, is this song based in doubt? Doesn't it really express our desire to walk by sight and not faith? So why do they sing it?

Unbelief. Rather than thanking God for His ever-encompassing embrace, we plead with him for it. What a shame.

The opening prayer was an invitation to the Holy Spirit to join us in this place. Question: Does the Holy Spirit leave us and have to be invited back in? Is God's presence so fickle? Can we so easily be separated from the Spirit of God?

'But,' you might say, 'we are asking God for his power to be there in the church.'

God's power IS in the church. Ephesians tells us that the power that God used to raise Christ from the dead is part and parcel of the church!! So, 'why don't we experience it more,' you might ask.

Again, it is unbelief that hinders us. Not God. We are not believing what the New Testament actually says, and we are singing songs like mindless drones. (There, I said it.)

Then came our Old Testament exhortation to build up the house of God. It was definitely NOT New Testament. For one thing, the Lord Jesus is the one who is building up his church, NOT you or me. Matthew 16 is very explicit about this. And, second, we don't build up the house of God, we ARE the house of God (any New Testament epistle will tell you so). Apparently, we don't really believe that 'Christ is our identity' even though we just sang it!

The speaker (I do not say preacher) talked about how his father had a really wonderful opportunity to be a Lt. Colonel JAG awesome is that?!...but turned down the opportunity to become a Lutheran minister. This raised the implication: God can only use Christians in full-time ministry, but not those in the workplace.

Can you imagine the influence that a sold-out believer could have as a Lt. Colonel JAG lawyer? Wow!

Again, I don't question the man's motives. Not at all. What I do question is that the speaker implied that the only way to build God's house is to do what his father did - quit your job and join the ministry. It also implied that any Christian who didn't do so is a second-class Christian. No, he didn't say this, but that was the next step in his logic.

Question: Didn't Paul tell believers to stay where they were when they got saved? First Corinthians chapter seven tells us to 'bloom where we're planted' basically. Why didn't the speaker agree with Paul? Why didn't he tell these godly businessmen to use their positions of influence, instead of telling them to renounce these positions? (The answer is: he himself is religious, and doesn't understand/believe that Christ has already purchased God's favor for us.)

When a fella speaks to a bunch of New Testament believers from an Old Testament passage, this is the kind of works-oriented, faith-lacking stuff that you have be on the lookout for. It's religion, not New Testament Christianity.

Well, we finished up with a couple of baptisms. While the dunking was going on, the praise team led us in a song about being "cleansed" by baptism. Oy! More false doctrine!

We also sang about how baptism is a "surrender," but is it? Isn't it simply showing forth our salvation? This is like saying that putting on a wedding ring is like 'surrender.' LOL It's no such thing. It is an outward act that shows an inward faith. It is a belief thing, not a works thing. OMG! They've even managed to turn baptism into a 'work' to try to please God.

Becca and I just sat there shaking our heads. I know that we have been in the same boat, and have even said the same things, but on this side of understanding Grace, it is so, so terribly sad.

And nobody says anything.