May 20, 2007

Reflection on tonight's sermon

We are going through the book of Acts at church. We're up to chapter 9...and it's been, like, 22 parts already, so for a few months now.

Anyways, we are just finally hitting Saul's roadside conversion and subsequent 3 day fast/blindness/visit from Annias. (Mispeled)

I hate to call it a revelation...but I kinda had this weird insight during the sermon tonight. And now I'm having a hard time remembering it. (I don't take notes during service...I find I concentrate too much on the note taking instead of listening)

Whatever it was I thought of, it was scary. And yet also very powerful. Like, so powerful, that if I could write it up into a decent essay, and submit it to, oh, Relevant Magazine, it would likely be rejected. Or, it would get printed, and nearly every one of their readers would be up in arms about it.

Essentially, I stumbled upon the Gospel. I had the Gospel message, all in a nutshell, but told plainly and in a way no one had heard before. Or at least in a way I hadn't heard or understood before.

And it's killing me not being able to remember it. I might have to actually install the dreaded iTunes and download the podcast to try to remember.

Figured something else out though that I do remember. Saul is our modern day church goer. What was Saul? He knew the scriptures intimately, held them first in his life, believed himself righteous, kept a list of laws daily, and strove to do God's "work." Well, how did that turn out? He met Jesus, and realized how self righteous and lost he really was.

It seems that that is what a good number of current Christians are like. We see many people being reared in the church, brought up knowing nothing but the Bible and the Christian faith. They learn their Bible intimately, know how the church service goes, and know why it shouldn't go any other way. (This was me a few years ago.) A good handful of these people feel they are called to ministry in some form; a calling that simply seems to be someone telling them week in and week out, "go evangelize" or "minister."

(Perhaps that's a reason why so many would be pastors or youth leaders fall away from the faith. They were never really called. If God has not told you...if the Spirit has not told you that you should be in missions or ministry, then really, what right do you have to pursue something you aren't supposed to be? Churches break up over the stupidest things nowadays; ministers can't even control their flesh and end up leaving their flocks. If all our pastors, missionaries, and youth leaders were truly called by God to their posts, we'd have a much stronger church.)

Why do people go to seminaries? Typically to prepare for some kind of ministry. There are people going to Central who are over 35, have been taking classes for years, and just generally coasting through life, all in the belief that they are preparing themselves to serve God. Seminaries are there to train and instruct people in ministry, not just theology. But if someone goes because it's what "they are suppose to do next," isn't that the wrong reason? Will God bless them?

Should He? We are doing His job for Him. We are telling him, "I can be a preacher! I can be a leader!! It's what I'm suppose to do!!!" Shouldn't God be the one who tells you that you are going to be a preacher, a leader, etc? Yes, we have the Biblical command to share our faith. But not everyone has the same callling. "To some he called to be ministers; to some, deacons; to some, etc..."

As always, I really do not know where I am going with this. My thoughts are all jumbled and hard to put down. Perhaps I'm simply being heretical; I've been accused of it before.

Putting it down in as few words are possible:

Why do we do what we do?

Oh, and one more question - Why is ministry all too often narrowly defined as being a pastor, missionary, church planter, church worker (including youth and children), or

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