Rites of Passage

I am convinced that it is the lack of understanding these realities that gives rise to the hopelessness and despair that is so prevalent within our society today. Hosea scolded the Jewish leaders because God’s people were being destroyed due to a lack of knowledge, and this failure to know more than just “what’s happenin'” had devastating consequences. (Hos. 4:6)
Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Ticknor, criticizing the people of his day who made up the various state legislatures “… the members of which do not generally possess information enough to perceive the important truths, that knowledge is power, that knowledge is safety, and that knowledge is happiness.”

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30, 60, 100

   Printed on banners and held aloft in the end-zone of football games, stamped on t-shirts and bumper stickers, the        ubiquity of “John 3:16” is at an all-time high.
It is the marquee verse for evangelical Christians, the apparent go-to text for persuasion to the Christian ethos.
The interpretation of the verse, however, is fraught with difficulty, depending on the school of soteriology to which one subscribes.

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Making Disciples

Acts 11:26 And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

Interesting things happen when I am working in the yard digging in the dirt. I am able to settle my mind, and just talk to the Lord. I ask a lot of questions about things I’m seeing that I don’t understand. And since I understand so little, there are a LOT of questions.

Anyway, as I was moving one of those 80# blocks for the retainer wall–(did you know that 80# did not used to be so heavy?!? I don’t know what they put in those things, but they certainly weigh more than they did 40 years ago!)–I began laughing at how backward we have become in the church.

There is a major move on today to make disciples within the churches. This is a good thing, but not the best thing.

Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

As the gospel has become more watered down to make it more appealing to more people, we have this interesting situation where pastors are calling their people to become disciples. It seems that we went into all the world and made Christians of all people–but few disciples.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his seminal work “The Cost of Discipleship,” made it clear that being a disciple is much more demanding than the greasy grace to which many have been called. It was so demanding for him in Nazi Germany that he lost his life as a result.

The term “Christian” was first used as a pejorative term, a slam against the disciples who so stood out from the rest of humanity that others mocked them. Their discipleship was so visible that a nickname had to be given.

So, the joke now is: “Where will the Christians first be called disciples?”