Archive for June, 2006

Who Over What!

Posted: June 24, 2006 in Everything

Often I’m shamed by how infrequently I post on my blog. The truth is that I’ve been a little too busy for my own good–not to mention the good of my family. Since my last post (you know the one where I was speaking at a camp)I have traveled to speak to another church, been a participant in a church planting lab, and right now I’m preparing a presentation for a church in town, as well as getting ready for a trip to Portland, OR.

That’s a little much when you place it next to the day-to-day responsibilities of ministering to a church and being a husband and father.

Speaking of ministering to a church, I’m teaching a class right now on the gospel of John. It has been a lot of fun. I’m using my friend, Chris Seay’s re-telling of John. Chris is shepherding “The Voice” Bible project and has been gracious enough to let me use his text, even though some parts have not been published yet.

Tomorrow, our class will be looking at the religious leader’s questioning of John the Baptist in John 1. It’s an amazing text and Chris captures it beautifully. Here is a scene where the leaders are asking all these “what” questions–questions about John’s baptism and his authority. Yet here is John dismissing the “what” questions and announcing and proclaiming the coming of Jesus. Did you catch that? They are worried about the what questions, when the heart of the story is centered in the “who” question.

Perhaps that’s a good primer to view the entire gospel of John–or all of Christianity for that matter. Perhaps we should focus on the who not the what. When Jesus says later in John that He is the way, the truth and the life, perhaps He is articulating a way of being in the world; a way focused on living life in the way of Jesus–following a person, rather than a religious construct.

Try this out: Read through John’s gospel this week and deliberately ask “who” questions. See what that might do for your week.

Freedom

Posted: June 6, 2006 in Everything

I’m away speaking at a camp for high school students this week. The theme for the week is “Freedom.” What a tough topic, huh? This is an interesting camp. Everyday we speak, pray, discuss, and praise about one topic. I supppose that by the end of the week the kids–and those of us charged with leading them–either discover something in the topic or are sick to death of it.

The problem with discussing Freedom is that as Americans we think we know what it is. The truth is that we don’t. As a matter of fact, when you think of all the death, divorce, addiction, and psychological turmoil we experience, we are some of the most enslaved people in the history of the world.

The fact is we all serve a multitude of masters.

We think of Freedom in terms of the American Revolution or “Braveheart” (which is a favorite movie of mine), but those things are much more about autonomy and independence than true freedom.

The opposite can be true too, though. Some of us free where others might take the concept of Freedom, and like the Pharisees that Jesus fought, we construct a whole list of rules and regulations and other crap to hem people inside the walls where we want them to stay.

Neither of those is the freedom that Jesus died to give us.

If I had to try and define freedom I guess I would land somewhere near where Morpheus does when he meets Neo face-to-face in “The Matrix”. Morpheus says, “I am offering you the truth.”

That what freedom is to me–the truth. The truth about the meaning of life, the truth about where I came from and where I am going. And the truth that Jesus and Jesus alone is the truth.

Freedom is the ability to live fully in God’s truth.Free from the false addiction of thinking you can do what you want when you want. And freedom from the false bondages of those few people inside religious institutions that want to shut down every thought and action but their own.

** I’ve got to run and take a picture now. Sorry of any misspellings our un-proofed work.