Happy Luther Day!

This year for Halloween my son wanted to be Woody from Toy Story. This was the first year he really wanted to be something. It was fun for me to take him to pick out his costume. (As you might guess, we are not teetotalers when it comes to Halloween.) To be honest I pretty excited that he picked something cool, parents worry about these things. It would have been weird if he had wanted to be Martin Luther.

We often forget that it was on this day in 1517 that Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of Wittenbug Church. Most people don’t realize that the act was more of an academic nature. Luther intent was stir debate in the academic world than to cause the uprising that he did. But, history tells us that the printing press caused a different outcome.

Luther’s thesis attacked the church in areas he felt they had moved away from scripture. The jist of these were: The authority of the Pope (he liked to “forgive sins based on money give to the church.” The authority of scripture. And the role of faith. If Pentecost gave birth to the Christian church, then the Reformation was that child coming to age through puberty.

My question for you on this day is what thesis/challenges would you nail on your heart? Are their ways you have grow away form the desire of the Holy Spirit? in what ways do you need reformation?

Just in case your a secret nerd and want to read the thesis for your self: http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/wittenberg/luther/web/ninetyfive.html

Tabloids, Candy and Chapstick

I think our local Walmart has a policy. If they see me coming into the store they automatically close every check-out line but two. The major side effect of this policy is I have to spend a lot of time n the check out line. Most of the time I am stuck behind someone who appears to be shopping for their vacation bible school with three carts full of cheap cookies and kool-aid, while I look down at my cart with 1 box o diapers, diet Mountain Dew and Milk (I am a guy and you are focusing on the wrong part of the story).

While working on my Phd in check out studies I have noticed one thing: There is a lot of junk for sale in the check out line. It’s like the last minute of heaven of batteries, chad stick, magazines and food. You could also survive on this things if time really did stop!

The church can be a lot like the check out line at Walmart:

Sometimes we trap people in line thinking if they stay longer or come to more meetings their lives will be better.

Sometimes we try and offer last minute nick-nacks, which we’ve put no thought into, because we think if we offer more services peoples lives will be better.

Sometimes we offer our own versions of tabloids and gossip.

And we usually try to do this at the best price possible because we want people to get their “value”.

Get Your Swagger On…

Over the years I have mastered the pastime of people watching. Its a very interesting and, at times, comical activity. There are several groups of distinct people: Old people, the ones with black socks and shorts. The stressed mom, usually in a mini-van with a pile of kids late for some practice. Thug wannabes, whites kids who live in the country club but wish they were from the street. These are just a few. I have realized that most people think they are in style, hip or have their swag on; depending on what generation they are from.

Our lifestyle says a lot about who we are or who we think we are. I am writing this post in Blackbird’s, my favorite caffeine spot. As I was engaged in the art of people watching this morning I over heard a man say, “The best type of evangelism is ‘Lifestyle Evangelism.’

Two things went through my mind when I heard this statement:

1) I wanted to go pour coffee on his face. However, Jesus would not do this and it would be a waste of precious black liquid gold!

2) I could have punched him in the face. Again, Jesus would not do this. But he did flip over some tables. With this in mind I proceeded to walk across the room and go Hulk Hogan on him. (Not really but that would have been awesome!)

A few things to consider from his statement:

Does it matter how someone comes to Christ? To say the best way implies all other means of evangelism are inferior.

How presumptuous is it to say that someone can look at my life and accept Christ, without an utterance from me? Several issues here: 1) There are times in my life when my actions, even worse my thoughts, would do anything but lead someone to Christ. 2) I don’t want people to look at my life as their catalyst to accept Christ. How about we point them to Christ, if my life points to that then good! 3) At some point in a person’s conversion there must be a conversation. The song they heard must be explained. The life they have seen must be put in context.

What we can’t do is use “life style” evangelism as an excuse to not share our faith! So, live your life pointing to the glory of Christ (Yes, this means not punching stupid people at coffee shops). Do have a cup of piping hot coffee because its OK to pour it on someone’s head if it is church discipline!

Go get your swagger on and share your faith.