are we supposed to be popular?
good news weekly 10.9.21
Demonizing labels work only among people who already buy into your definition of the demonic. - Jonah Goldberg
Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me. - Michael Scott
Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. - Jesus Christ
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? - 2 Corinthians 2.16
the church beats itself up. we often criticize those who fall short or give us a bad name or deal with sin in a harsh way or by dropping a big C-A-N-C-E-L on them.
but also, we are supposed to be unpopular. we aren’t necessarily supposed to completely fit in right? especially if we are living our faith out..
set your expectations accordingly. true, holy living sets you on a collision course with rejection. the world doesn’t like the way it feels to be around truly joyful + kind people.
this doesn’t mean that anytime we are rejected it is because we are righteous. it might be the natural response to meeting a jerk. or someone lazy. but sometimes the irrational hatred (just look at the resilience of anti-semitism on our planet) is sourced somewhere supernatural.
price in emotionally the reality that those who don’t love your Savior will often not like those who He has saved.
do you know the Gospel? special day this Sunday at Good News in the Neighborhood. we are inviting our grade schoolers to join us to delight in this message.
after service, we are having a neighbor lunch. we'll provide drinks and main course. feel free to bring a side or dessert to share. join us.
What are you preaching to yourself daily?
There was a man who was crippled from birth and had never walked. In Acts 14, we hear that he was in the audience of Paul as he taught and the text says that Paul saw that he had faith to be made well. So, in a loud voice Paul told him to stand upright and the text says that he sprang upright and began walking (imagine that scene!!!). But when the crowds saw it they couldn’t believe that they were in a presence that could do things like that, they turned their praise to Paul saying, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” It says that they called Barnabas Zeus and Paul they called Hermes. The people began to bring sacrifices to them. But, when Paul and Barnabas heard it they tore their garments and said to the crowd, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.”
Acts 14 tells a familiar pattern in the Bible about what we as humans do when we see something that is worthy of praise and worship but often like the people in this story we need a redirection of where the praise ought to go. Humanity has been drawn to make idols out of people and things since the beginning of time. We know this because the first two commandments talk about having no Gods other than the one true God and not making for ourselves carved images because God is jealous and wants our attention.
Often when we see the words ‘good news’ in the bible it refers to the gospel. Thus, the name of our church! We want to live out the good news that Jesus died for our sins and rose on the third day to claim victory over death and our lives are to model after that reality. But as I read this passage I was marked by the fact that the good news is certainly the gospel but the good news saves us from not only our sin but also the traps we are so tempted to fall into.
A few thousand years have gone by and we are doing the very same thing that people were doing then. We start with a good thing but often get off track in our praise. Healing a crippled man must have been a beautiful sight to behold; tears in his eyes, muscles working that hadn’t properly functioned ever and joy and delight that overflowed! I don’t think as christians we are in danger of bowing down to Buddha statues. I do think our idols have been disguised as things that are good but have taken too high a priority of our time and energy.
We want our homes to look like they are out of a magazine but we haven’t had someone over because we idolize perfection. Our families have come to idolize our kids so that they are happy but we barely know or show love to our spouse. Our career or work has become our idol of choice. Our lack of aging is more important than the testimonies our wrinkles could tell.
Let’s not miss this good news. We serve a living God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in it. I pose the same question I’ve been asking myself this week, is God in his rightful place in your life or is there something that is cleverly disguised that once was a good thing but is now crowding him out in your heart? We show Him his rightful place in our time and attention, our heart attitude and if we can hear his voice when we weren’t planning on it. He commands this for our lives because he knows that these idols aren’t ever going to fulfill us like the living God can.
Cup of Leadership
(a dear friend got some terrible personal news this week and someone did the ‘God is sovereign’ routine on her … i kinda lost it lol)
PLEASE STOP TELLING PEOPLE YOU COULD EASILY HELP THAT GOD IS SOVEREIGN + WILL BLESS THEM WHILE DOING NOTHING PRACTICAL YOURSELF.
you are basically telling them ... ' I hope God does for you what I wasn't willing to.' you are placing blame for their situation at God's feet when you have the opportunity to influence it. IT IS UNLOVING AND UNHELPFUL AND UNGRACIOUS AND THEOLOGICALLY BANKRUPT AND THE REASON SO MANY PEOPLE RUN AWAY FROM THE CHURCH AFTER TRAUMA.
People don't need to be pacified or quasi-lectured on their inadequate faith. OF COURSE GOD IS SOVEREIGN. AND OF COURSE HE WILL HELP. BUT IF YOU LOVE HIM HIS WILL IS PROBABLY FOR YOU TO HELP YOU THEOLOGICALLY RICH HOLINESS BANKRUPT DOPE!!
Sometimes they need a ride or a check or a job or a reference or a genuine prayer or an hour of conversation or an introduction to an honest mechanic or help brokering peace in a broken relationship or a new church or a place to stay or a friend that will pay attention to them or a gift card or a txt every week for 6 months or
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD ... DO SOMETHING OR STOP PRETENDING YOU LOVE GOD.
Super Christian Guy
Monday Morning Book Review
why? : what happens when people give reasons…. and why
- by: charles tilly
malcolm gladwell mentioned this book in passing in a recent article and i decided to check it out. although a bit dry and academic, the book is tremendously useful. the author shows the 4 types of reasons we typically use for explaining our behavior both internally + externally.
Things to Click On
did you know we now have a podcast edition of this newsletter, join us?
people have been buzzing (i mean it) about our fall playlist…turn up the apple cider + campfire and join us…
have a great weekend…
luke + kristen