Friday, April 2, 2010

The Power of the Cross!!! Um…not quite...

So I attended a Good Friday service this evening. Was actually hoping that it would be great! Then again, I've never actually attended a Good Friday service in my life. So I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Overall, I felt disappointed with the "message" that was given. Because in honesty, I wouldn't even consider it worthy enough to represent Good Friday.

Now you may be wondering how on earth a Good Friday service was not even worthy of Good Friday. But, I find the reason quite legitimate.

There was this one, seemingly overriding theme. And it's really quite scary.

The "Power of the Cross".

Sounds quite innocent, right? Basically, it is. That is, until it becomes the absolute center of focus. Yeah, I see the point behind it, and where they were coming from, but in reality, I would venture to say that the cross, in and of itself, merits little importance. At least to an extent.

Throughout the entire service, this idea was continuously conveyed through song, word, and image. Virtually all that was communicated dealt with "the cross".

Now you may start thinking that I'm a cross-hater, and that I deem it as this utterly unimportant symbol.
But until you think about this logically, you may continue in that thought.

So again, I'll say it another time. "The Power of the Cross".
And if it hasn't started making you almost cringe at those words, then I think you should stop and think for a bit.
I'll explain to the best of my ability.

The cross. Used so many times throughout history in the capital punishment by lethal crucifixion. Those condemned by law or through whatever means would be hung on a cross, nailed to it, speared, and/or tortured by various means. I'm no scholar in this area, but it seems that crucifixion was quite common, and still quite brutal throughout.

By saying this, I do not, by any means, intend to take any focus off of Christ and His crucifixion. What I am getting at is the whole intentional focus on strictly the cross.
Which is basically all that I heard tonight. And if I were to not know otherwise, I would have left thinking about how, essentially, the cross has saved me. Which obviously, holds very strong false doctrine.

Am I saying that at the church, that they absolutely denied the death of Christ? No. I know that for sure they know it's in Christ. However, it seems that they lost the complete focus of Good Friday.

Jesus Christ.

Christ died in order to bear God's wrath in our stead. Something that we should be truly grateful for. Through Christ's death, we have received the atonement for our sins, and redemption in Jesus Christ.

That said briefly, we should not forget "the reason for the season" (Oh how I can't stand that line!).
Instead, we need to FULLY remember what Good Friday is all about. Even Easter. Too often do we simply forget about Christ in the entire scenario, oh so subtly. Yes, we know Christ died to redeem us. Yes, we know the entire story. Yes, we know it's not about silly rabbits and dyed eggs.

However, we cannot forsake the Gospel of Christ in place of a symbol.
The cross in and of itself holds NO power.
Christ's death holds ALL the power.

So don't completely shove off the cross as some meaningless symbol. And don't place it above the deity of Christ. Instead, use it to remember that Christ died to redeem His people.
Because I'm pretty sure an inanimate cross didn't save me...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Single's Awareness Day???

Ok. So this just cracks me up. I was thinking about this today at work.
Single's Awareness Day. Seriously. Who thought of that?
Isn't Valentines Day supposed to be about love? Regardless of whether one is single or not?

I dunno. Maybe I'm just some lunatic with a little extra thought time on hand.
Because it's kind of funny really.

I mean, it almost seems like a rights movement! Weird...
Yeah, I can see and understand where people come from on different perspectives on different rights and such, whether I agree with them or not, but this is really strange to me.
Must we have a day that is for love and, as Hallmark makes it up to be, for couples, changed in order to sate the single person?
Yes, I am single myself. But it just sounds...lame.

Anyways. Just something that seems really strange and just sounds plain ridiculous to me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

God's Sovereignty vs. US (Not the United States)

There's been this one little topic that's been bothering me for quite awhile. Especially since my disillusionment with fundamentalism.

There seems to be this air about some evangelical Christians that incorporates "free will" as something, shall I say, greater than God.

Basically, a question I thought about after church this morning.

If we really can "mess up" God's plan for our lives, then what's the point of God's sovereignty?

This past summer at good ol' church camp, the speaker greatly stressed the idea that if we do not follows God's plan for our lives, then we'll mess it up. And then basically, we've completely screwed up our lives. No chance to fix it. You've messed it up and you're done with that plan that you COULD made a thing of in your life.

And at first, this seemed quite accurate! How true! If I screw up God's plan for my life, OOPS! I'm in trouble!

Yet how much farther from the truth could that be...

Since when have we had the controlling factor in our lives?
Since when did we gain complete authority over our lives?
To say that we control our own lives and to say that we have free will over all of our choices...I guess one could call it blasphemy.

Yes. Blasphemy.

Is God not sovereign? Is God not omniscient? Is God not omnipotent? Can God not do as He pleases?

To say He can't...we're hindering God.

And funny thing is. We can't hinder God.

Or else He wouldn't be God.

So, all this to say, we have no control over our lives. As far as I see it.
Yeah, we go about our daily lives, doing what we do. We go to work. We may go to school. We go home to our families and friends.
Yet, in all of this, God has it all planned.
I used to think that God didn't have a plan like that. That we have all the control and that we make our own choices. Part of me wants to agree with that. But I know I can't now.

If God truly is a sovereign God, then He truly has full control over our lives. And to me. That's the most peaceful thing in the world. I fail to see how anyone could want to have ANY control over his or her own life. That's scary.

God's efficacious grace is amazing. To know that He predestined His elect to be drawn to Him. To know that God's plan is greater than our own. To know that God has everything planned for a reason.

"Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me."
Probably one of the most overplayed songs in my opinion. Yet, still is provokes one of the greatest messages we as humans can ever receive. God's saving grace. I don't think I ever quite grasped that song entirely in it's beauty until today.

In all. I find it best to ask ourselves this question and critically think about it.

If we really can "mess up" God's plan for our lives, then what's the point of God's sovereignty?

To deny God's sovereignty...shall I to deny God.