Jun 292015
 

img0005In my opinion, no New Testament book speaks as clearly to our current national state of affairs as 1 Peter.

Thus, if we want to know how to think and act biblically in these troubled times, we should ask Pete.

I’m going to use two primary commentaries on the book, one by Karen Jobes and one by Thomas Schreiner.

That way, you won’t be burdened by my lack of exegetical skill…

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”

(1 Peter 1:1–2 ESV)

The key to understanding this book and our place in this “post Christian” culture is to properly identify ourselves.

We are “elect exiles”… as the old hymn goes, this world is not our home.

Schreiner comments:

“The word “strangers” (parepidēmois) introduces a crucial idea in the letter, that is, that God’s people are pilgrims, sojourners, and exiles on Earth. Again, a key theme of the letter is anticipated (cf. 2:11). The church is God’s suffering people, having no place of rest in this world.”

“Believers are exiles because they suffer for their faith in a world that finds their faith off-putting and strange. Goppelt rightly observes that God’s election is what accounts for their being exiles. This interpretation is borne out in that the word “elect” modifies “strangers.” They are not aliens literally; they are sojourners because they are elected by God, because their citizenship is in heaven rather than on earth.

“Dispersion belongs with the word “strangers” in that it communicates again that believers are distinct from the world.”

Jobes:

“By drawing an analogy between the Jewish Diaspora and the situation of his readers, he implies they should understand themselves as Christians in terms of God’s people of the old covenant who were foreigners in the lands to which they had been scattered.”

“The term parepidēmos (plural, parepidēmoi) was used in the first century to designate someone who did not hold citizenship in the place where he resided and was therefore viewed as a foreigner. The lack of citizenship implied that such people did not enjoy all the rights and privileges of citizens. Moreover, as foreigners, they were not necessarily expected to hold the values and practice the customs of their host culture. Because of such differences, foreigners were often looked upon suspiciously as potentially subversive to the established social order, an attitude not unfamiliar even today.”

“Peter, the apostle associated with Rome, uses their disorienting experience to instruct and encourage them with his insight that all Christians are in a real sense foreigners to their place of residence, regardless of where they are living, whenever Christian values and customs conflict with those of the dominant society.”

Today we looked at what it means to be in exile…tomorrow we’ll add the “elect” part of the equation…

Jun 292015
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. When I was a younger man the church had three services every week.

There was the Sunday morning service, the Sunday night service, and the Wednesday prayer meeting. The Wednesday night service wasn’t a mini replica of the Sunday morning service, it was an actual prayer meeting.

 

People came to pray and be prayed for, not to hear another “teaching”. Today most churches don’t have Sunday night services and if you advertised that Wednesday would be a true prayer meeting crickets would be your prayer partner.

I’ll believe the church is serious about changing the ills of society and culture when we are ready to do the hard work of picking up the only two weapons given to fight such wars…prayer and fasting. Until then, it’s all sound and fury signifying nothing,

2. The culture has not done us nearly as much damage as the “progressive” wing of the church…

3. I’ve already received numerous financial solicitations from ministries in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. This is going to be a cash cow for those who know how to manipulate the people of God. Just for your information, prayer and fasting are free activities that will only cost you time and effort.

4. God has yet to break a sweat.

5. When you’re done watering the broom tree and looking for a cave to live in, remember there are still thousands who haven’t bowed the knee to Baal…and get back to work.

6. I’m as upset that churches will still give K.P. Yohannan a platform as much as I am over the Supreme Court decision. Sin isn’t sin if the good ol’ boys baptize it in cash…

7. If you’re going to comment on the sins of the culture from a Christian perspective, make sure that you mix in the Gospel. Too often we sound like good Jews or practicing Muslims…all law and no Gospel.

8. Once again, we are being told that we are in the very last days. Not the last days, but the very last days. If so, isn’t that a good thing?

9. If the prospect of persecution surprises you, you might want to read the parts of the Scripture that don’t mention homosexuality to get the big picture…

10. In terms of your Christian walk and vocation, absolutely nothing changed last week.

Jun 282015
 

thumbnail.aspxWe imagine you coming into the barracks with your insistent demand.

We imagine you addressing

the sun to “move out,”

the sky— “let there be light,”

the sea—“stand back.”

We imagine you addressing Israel, “be my people,”

and the church “follow me.”

We even imagine you addressing us, each of us and all of us

with your order of the day.

We imagine… but the din of other commands,

of old loyalties and unfinished business

and tired dreams

cause us not to hear well, not to listen, not to notice,

and your command is garbled.

So come again with your mandate, with the clarity of your imperative.

We listen, because we know in deep ways that your yoke is easy

and your burden is light.

Come among us, because we are yours, and ours is a listening mood.

Give us ears and then hands and hearts and feet for your good news.

Amen.

Brueggamenn

Jun 272015
 

community-pictureIt’s all yours today…as soon as I’m done here.

Here’s a brief “Things I Think”: Rainbow Edition;

Because we’re all freaked out…

 

 

1. So far it’s been 24 hours straight of law and judgment delivered over media, social and otherwise. Unless you think we’re the new Israel, try mixing in some Gospel.

2. Judgment isn’t coming, this is the judgment. Not on “them” but on us. It is straight people who made a mockery of marriage. Therefore, who needs to repent?

3. If God is going to charbroil a nation, my guess is that He will start with North Korea or Iran.

4. There’s real money to be made keeping people upset and fearful. It’s blood money, though.

5. My God was not taken by surprise, nor was He dethroned, nor is He concerned.

 

 

 

Jun 262015
 

headerThanks to you folks who use the Amazon links to make your purchases.

A small percent comes back to me and it helps out a lot.

Support our advertisers…especially when they are part of the online community.

EricL features his books and services up on the top right side of the blog and helps me often with our Linkathon.

You can also make direct donations via PayPal using the “donate” button on the top left side of the site.

We covet your continued prayers and participation for what we do here.

I can always be reached at phoenixpreacher@gmail.com with your questions or concerns.

Jun 262015
 

300px-Gay_flag.svgWhen I clicked on Google this morning it was festooned with symbols celebrating the decision by the Supreme Court to affirm gay marriage.

It offended me.

 

It offended me that rainbows have been hijacked by deviants and that deviance had been made part of the law of the land.

The symbols, without any text, were an offense to me.

I was offended and I rejoiced in my offense.

In the wake of the campaign to obliterate the Confederate flag from the national consciousness, I’ve been thinking again about symbols.

We all have some that we use to represent some aspect of who we are.

My old truck has two symbols that I have put on it.

One is an Apple sticker.

I was Apple when Apple wasn’t cool and I’ve had a sticker on all my vehicles since the 90’s.

The sticker declared that not only was I an Apple guy, by default it meant that I wasn’t a PC guy.

Back in the day, it meant I was a rebel of sorts, a proud minority in an overwhelmingly Windows world.

It offended some people back then and I rejoiced in their offense.

I would not be pasteurized and homogenized by the culture and this was a way to proclaim that.

It didn’t mean that I supported all of the company’s business practices or ignored their flaws and mistakes, it meant that I supported them in spite of such.

I also have a Minnesota Vikings logo that lights up in the back window.

It shows that I’m a fan of one NFL team and by default, I’m not a fan of the other 31.

It doesn’t mean that I support players who do bad things, it means I support that team and have for years.

It offends fans of other teams and I rejoice in their offense.

I rejoice in the power of symbols to offend others and to cause me offense because we are only truly free when we have the right to do both.

Tearing down offensive symbols and demanding homogeneity of thought destroys freedom and enslave us all to cultural norms.

This slavery does not change either hearts or minds…it simply creates smoldering seeds of revolt.

It cleans the outside of a dirty vessel, but the vessel is still befouled.

It sends hatred and ignorance underground instead of being openly displayed where it may be justifiably condemned.

If you do not have the freedom to be an ass, then you don’t have the freedom to be a saint either.

I cherish the freedom to be both.

Make your own application…

 

 

Jun 252015
 

Warren Throckmorton has published the results of an auditors look at Gospel For Asia’s numbers.

The results are disturbing, to say the least.

 

 

They show little money being spent for the reasons solicited and a large chunk of cash unaccounted for.

Throckmorton has done his due diligence in asking GFA to explain these things, but they refuse to answer his inquiries.

It’s time to cut off the cash until they do.

That means taking away the platform that K.P. Yohannan uses to fund his NGO.

That should begin this weekend as Jeff Johnson and Calvary Chapel Downey should rescind Yohannan’s invitation to speak at their missions conference.

The foremost job of the shepherd is to guard the sheep from wolves who would fleece the flock spiritually and financially.

Furthermore…and let me be clear here…the shepherd is either working for the sheep or partnering with the wolves.

It is entirely possible that there are reasonable answers to the growing list of questions about GFA.

It is also entirely possible that we’re seeing the collapse of a corrupt system that has taken millions of dollars from the people of God under false pretenses.

Until we know for sure, we have no business giving K.P. Yohannan a platform…lest we be an accessory to fraud.

Period.

Matt Redmond has his Thursday thoughts which are always better than my Monday thinking…

Sarah says what I’ve been thinking about Charleston…must reading, in my opinion.

 

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