Nuff said: Noah and Tim Tebow, Repenters, Driscoll's apology, Let it go-please, abortion speech, Urkaine, and help for those who don't want to raise their hands in worship
Noah and Tim Tebow
Regardless of where you as a Christian fall on the Noah movie continuum, were you aware that it has sparked a huge uptick in people actually reading the Bible about Noah? Isn't that what we want? We saw the same result when Tim Tebow would put Bible verses on his eye.
YouVersion (maker of the Bible app) reported a 300% increase of people reading the Genesis passages about Noah on opening weekend.
YouVersion reports during the opening weekend that the Noah story was read or listened to on the app 389,794 times–or about 129,931 times per day. It’s the highest number of people exploring that passage that they’ve ever experienced. (Source)
Keep in mind that YouVersion's app is just one of many. In the article referenced above, they report that "Bible Gateway, another top online Scripture site, reports similar findings, with a 223 percent increase."
It's a good thing when people #ReadTheBible.
A repenter, not a Christian
Thabiti Anyabwilewrites about how Christians should embrace repentance as a humble strategy for genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. We cannot approach and relate to God on our terms, without adjustment. The description "Christian" in our culture is unfortunately so bland, so non-descriptive and such an unreal, unpowerful reality today, perhaps we need to embrace what the Romanian church did last century - the of "repenter."
There were cultural “Christians,” and then there were pocÄƒiÈ›ii - “repenters” who believed an ongoing life of repentance was essential to the Christian life...What separated our church from cultural Christianity we came into contact with was our insistence on repentance in response to God’s unmerited favor... wherever grace-driven repentance is preached and an out-of-the-mainstream lifestyle expected, people are still coming to faith. (italics mine)
He lists some beautiful declarations for those who would embrace repentance and the moniker of "repenter."
We are repenters.
We repent of living for ourselves, and so we commit to trading our personal kingdom agendas for the kingdom agenda of Jesus Christ.
We are repenters.
We repent of making God out to be more like us, and so we ask God to change our hearts and make us more like Him.
We are repenters.
We repent of our silly attempts to justify ourselves before God and make ourselves pleasing to Him through our own efforts, and so we ask Him to save and sustain us in His unwavering grace and help us rest in Christ’s work on our behalf.
Another apology from Mark Driscoll
A few weeks ago, I wrote of two pastors creating waves in our culture by some decisions and practices that have caused great concern and even controversy among the global Christian community. Mark Driscoll posted an open letter of apology in response. Here are some excerpts:
In the last year or two, I have been deeply convicted by God that my angry-young-prophet days are over, to be replaced by a helpful, Bible-teaching spiritual father.
We are fully aware of and grieved by ways we could have done better with a more effective process and more patience, starting with me. I am deeply grieved and even depressed by the pain we have caused. Many have chosen to air their concerns online, and I apologize for any burden this may have brought on you, and I will do my best to clarify a few things without, I hope, being angry or defensive.
As one article points out, this is not the first time Driscoll has issued an apology letter. You can look at it in a number of ways, but I appreciated the tweet of Scott Duvall:
Wish all my young, hard-core Calvinist students would read Mark Driscoll's letter.
I don't know what it is about reformed theology and young adults these days that make so many of them come across as being a part of theological AA (Angry & Arrogant), but Driscoll is a case study in where the prevalent attitude among young reformed leaders can take you without proper boundaries, loving accountability and the active pursuit of humility in Christ.
I'd encourage you to read Driscoll's apology in full. What does it reveal? What does it teach?
Let it go... please
You gotta watch this one dad's parody of Frozen's hit song.
Combatting to tendency toward self-righteousness in Lent
Trevin Wax comments in this brief article on the history of Lent and Christian's response to it:
I hardly think the church is suffering from too much fasting. But I do think the church is suffering from too much self-righteousness (and I include myself in this indictment). Lent — being either for or against — can become a way of climbing up on to the pedestal.
What is more important than the practices we take on is the heart attitude behind them. If there’s anything we should give up this time of year, it’s our sense of superiority either to those outside the church or those inside the church who do things differently than we do.
A 12 year-old takes on abortion advocates
This speech delivered to a class by a 12 year-old girl is an example of someone making a difference. Don't ever think you can't.
Compare this to President Obama's speech to Planned Parenthood in spring 2013:
So the fact is, after decades of progress, there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century. And they’ve been involved in an orchestrated and historic effort to roll back basic rights when it comes to women’s health. (Source)
I reject this President's (and his political party's) continued efforts to deny that 98% of all abortions are less than murder. And I reject our society's attempts to paint it as "choice" and a woman's right.
And in another political commentary...
Remember Obama Mocking Romney With This Comment About Russia During A 2012 Debate?
Obama attempted to paint Romney as somehow out-of-touch with 21st century geo-politics, suggesting (ironically, as we now know) that al-Qaeda was a bigger threat than Russia. “You said Russia. Not al-Qaeda. You said Russia,” Obama said regarding biggest threats. Then came this snarky blast:
“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because…the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.” (Source)
On a lighter side..
Help for Christians who don't like to raise their hands in worship
Jon Acuff nails it in this witty post:
I have the solution my hand challenged friend. I have the cure to all your appendage woes. And it is so simple. Ready?
A coffee cup.
That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Next Sunday, bring a cup of coffee into church. You can’t clap with coffee in your hand, that’d be crazy! You can’t raise your hands when God is roaring like a lion, or raining down love like water or doing whatever like fire or something, it’s pretty early and I’m kind of tired.
I would love to, but look at my hand! It’s full of hot liquid that I would prefer not to spill on you or God’s carpet.