PJ

PJ

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday Coffee with PJ

Can you believe it's Friday already? Yep! So grab that cup of joe (or tea, or  . . . ) and spend a few time thinking on some random thoughts.

1. Where has the concept of submission gone in the evangelical church ... at least here in the United States? The New Testament mentions in several places that we are to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) and to those in authority over us (Hebrews 13:17). It seems to me that submission to one another and to authority, especial spiritual authority within the church is something that is rarely taught and even more rarely practiced. Why, in the light of the teaching of Scripture, is this the case? I see several factors behind this failure. First, the default setting of our fallen humanity is not submission but rather rebellion. We don't want to submit to God because we want to do things our way (Isaiah 53:6). And as we resist God's authority, so we resist earthly authority as well. Add to this the individualism that pervades our American culture, which says you need to be your own man (or woman), standing up your own rights. Finally there's the American democratic process, which has taught us from the time we were able to recite the pledge of allegiance to the American flag (for me this was Kindergarten) that we should all have a say in what happens around us ... and, if we are honest, most of us believe that our say should carry the most weight. Put all this together and you have the perfect setting for Christians to want to do their own thing in their own way. As a result, biblical submission takes a back seat (if its even in the car to begin with!).  Take a moment and reflect on Ephesians 5:22 and Hebrews 13:17. You just might discover that you might have to make some changes (and isn't that how we should always approach our time in the Word?).

2. I love my church family. Having just started my 25th year of ministry here at Grace, I can say that there is no other place I would rather be serving. My staff, my brother elders, and all who are committed to Grace as their church home are people that I have grown to love . . . and to love deeply. Some I have known for all 24 years that I have been privileged to serve here. Others I have just recently come to know. So if you are part of the church family here at Grace, I want you to know that you are loved. By me, yes. But even more so by the God who loved you so much that he sent his only son to take your place upon the cross. That shows how much you matter to God. And I trust my ministry here shows you how much you all matter to me.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

2 comments:

Guy Heilenman said...

Your post is spot-on. This epidemic of failing to submit is wreaking havoc in today's American church. God's ways are beyond our ways. If we're willing to trust Him with our eternity, why are we not willing to trust Him with our present - specifically, His command to submit to one-another and to those in positions of leadership? Thanks for the encouragement for us to not have a cafeteria approach to how we respond to God's instructions. If He says it, we're to do it. Period.

Guy Heilenman said...

Your post is spot-on. This epidemic of failing to submit is wreaking havoc in today's American church. God's ways are beyond our ways. If we're willing to trust Him with our eternity, why are we not willing to trust Him with our present - specifically, His command to submit to one-another and to those in positions of leadership? Thanks for the encouragement for us to not have a cafeteria approach to how we respond to God's instructions. If He says it, we're to do it. Period.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday Coffee with PJ

Can you believe it's Friday already? Yep! So grab that cup of joe (or tea, or  . . . ) and spend a few time thinking on some random thoughts.

1. Where has the concept of submission gone in the evangelical church ... at least here in the United States? The New Testament mentions in several places that we are to submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21) and to those in authority over us (Hebrews 13:17). It seems to me that submission to one another and to authority, especial spiritual authority within the church is something that is rarely taught and even more rarely practiced. Why, in the light of the teaching of Scripture, is this the case? I see several factors behind this failure. First, the default setting of our fallen humanity is not submission but rather rebellion. We don't want to submit to God because we want to do things our way (Isaiah 53:6). And as we resist God's authority, so we resist earthly authority as well. Add to this the individualism that pervades our American culture, which says you need to be your own man (or woman), standing up your own rights. Finally there's the American democratic process, which has taught us from the time we were able to recite the pledge of allegiance to the American flag (for me this was Kindergarten) that we should all have a say in what happens around us ... and, if we are honest, most of us believe that our say should carry the most weight. Put all this together and you have the perfect setting for Christians to want to do their own thing in their own way. As a result, biblical submission takes a back seat (if its even in the car to begin with!).  Take a moment and reflect on Ephesians 5:22 and Hebrews 13:17. You just might discover that you might have to make some changes (and isn't that how we should always approach our time in the Word?).

2. I love my church family. Having just started my 25th year of ministry here at Grace, I can say that there is no other place I would rather be serving. My staff, my brother elders, and all who are committed to Grace as their church home are people that I have grown to love . . . and to love deeply. Some I have known for all 24 years that I have been privileged to serve here. Others I have just recently come to know. So if you are part of the church family here at Grace, I want you to know that you are loved. By me, yes. But even more so by the God who loved you so much that he sent his only son to take your place upon the cross. That shows how much you matter to God. And I trust my ministry here shows you how much you all matter to me.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj

2 comments:

Guy Heilenman said...

Your post is spot-on. This epidemic of failing to submit is wreaking havoc in today's American church. God's ways are beyond our ways. If we're willing to trust Him with our eternity, why are we not willing to trust Him with our present - specifically, His command to submit to one-another and to those in positions of leadership? Thanks for the encouragement for us to not have a cafeteria approach to how we respond to God's instructions. If He says it, we're to do it. Period.

Guy Heilenman said...

Your post is spot-on. This epidemic of failing to submit is wreaking havoc in today's American church. God's ways are beyond our ways. If we're willing to trust Him with our eternity, why are we not willing to trust Him with our present - specifically, His command to submit to one-another and to those in positions of leadership? Thanks for the encouragement for us to not have a cafeteria approach to how we respond to God's instructions. If He says it, we're to do it. Period.

Are You Preparing for Eternity?

Our journey on earth is but a breath ... a heart beat when compared to the expanse of Eternity. We all must remember that how we live live in the here and now will impact our experience in the then and there.

Thoughts on how biblical truth impacts all of life.