Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tradition is key

So I went to a wedding today. It was a very nice Christian wedding. With great devotion to the reason that God instituted marriage on the earth. It was not however what you would call traditional. From the music to the actual flow of the service it was very contemporary. Not that this was bad or anything but I suppose I just prefer a more traditional service. While the focus of the service was still on God it was detracted from with the contemporary theme. The altar was also decorated with Hawaiian flowers and some sort of a theme set-up on it. To me this was not an appropriate display for the altar. All I can say is that when I get married my service will be very traditional and focused more in the Scriptures than the life accomplishments of my bride and I. That is what the reception is for.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bible anytime

I have a co-worker who grew up in the Middle East. As you may see where this is going he is Muslim. He's a great guy from the pure standpoint of being a human, we get along fine with one another. The other day he happened to mention that when he sees people just reading the Bible anywhere say at a break on work that it bothers him. This is because that in order for him to read the Quran he must cleanse himself first. How terrible it would be if I could not have the comfort of reading the word whenever I felt the need. Thankfully we have a God who has made us free from such rules of law.

In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis states that one reason people like man-made religion is that they are simple to follow. That Christianity is too complicated for anyone to want to follow. God did not make himself to be figured out in some simple steps, but rather that he is something which is in each one of us and will still never fully be in our understanding. There are some things that the Father does not want us to know. That is why we put our trust in him. Bringing us to the statement that Father knows best. If anything doesn't make sense here let me know, it's late and I'm not sure that I am thinking or typing at my full capacity.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Little did I know

I have been a member of the LCMS for my entire life. While that is not an extremely long time or anything I have always loved the way my church has been in my life. I have always felt the synod to be one which does a good job of being Lutheran.

As I am getting older and starting to learn more about the synod and the church itself, I am realizing there was a lot more politics involved than I ever thought there was. I suppose this is one of the benefits of being a child. In the way that Jesus says "Anyone who does not enter the kingdom of God as a child will never enter it". When we are young we have little to worry about concerning the politics of the church and the doctrines which our parents make sure are right for us. Stepping into adulthood brings the things I was once unaware of to the forefront.

To me it is disheartening that the church I love so dearly could be having problems which could possibly threaten to divide it. I hope that for the sake of the synod there is able to be agreement reached on how to solve the many different rifts that have been created. Like I said I don't even claim to hardly know much about the subject. I am just now learning that the synod I thought to be so strong is still subject to sin and the thoughts of man. I pray that for everyone in the church that the Lord may look upon us with favor and help us settle our differences for his sake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Time goes on but some things never change

I work at Meijer in the 1-hour photo lab. It's not a bad job I enjoy being able to look at lots of people memories. The think that amazes me though is how many of the staples in life never change. I say this meaning the things that people truly define as important in their lives seem to be the same from generation to generation. Many of the photos I develop are of the new baby, graduations, or weddings. If it were not for the changes in quality of the photos you could put any of these photos next to pictures from years ago and they would look quite the same. The human condition still holds dear many of the values that it did from long ago.

So not only have I realized that pictures tend to be the same through the years so does Christianity. As I have said before I am working my way through Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I find it fascinating that many of the things that he addresses as being important for the life of a Christian hold true still today. The book was written nearly 60 years ago yet I feel as though it might as well be coming out tomorrow and I just have an advance copy.

This in no doubt proves to me that Christianity is a solid foundation. One which has principles rooted in thousands of years of human experience. The world has changed but the heart of man still desires the same types of things though some of those things now look a little different. At the center of this is Christ he is our rock and everything that is built upon his foundation will be lasting. Without Christ we are only sinking sand. For all of the things that happen in my life there is only one thing that remains constant. It is written "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tending to the crew

Caspar at Beggars All brought up a good point in my analogy of fishing and how Christians can be alike. I mentioned that the bait was the members of the Christian church. After the comment I do realize that the gospel being the bait makes much more sense. So in order to see if I can set my analogy straight lets try to come at it from a different angle and see if I can get it to be a little more correct.

If we step back from the bait and the fisherman to the next step and pretend that they are on a fishing boat then we can begin to tackle the analogy once again. If the captain of the boat is the church, the fisherman the members, and the bait the gospel then it makes a little more sense. It is the captain's job to make sure that his crew has the guidance that they need in order to be the most succesful fisherman that they can be. So the church helps to get its members to take the gospel to the world. As long as the fisherman cast out the bait though they will have a good chance of catching some fish. Even better is when we know the captain is working at his best to make his fishermen even better than they could be on their own.

I'm not sure if this makes any more sense or not but it does lead to the gospel being what actually causes the fish to leave the sea.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Keep the Bait Alive

Ok, so here is another one of my little analogies that has something to do with the Church and some of the things that it is doing. This one actually came to me last night before I went to sleep when I was camping. It's interesting how a vacation and especially camping (although not that rustic) but I did sleep in a tent, can revive you and remind you that everything in the world is not as terrible as it may seem to be. I sometimes seem to reach this point where living in the world too much and worrying about the state of things can be sort of annoying. It's nice to just step back and take a look at the whole process. I'm not sure if that really made a lot of sense but it's what came out and I'm not going to change it.

But anyways back to the idea of the post. Here is my not so profound idea. We are taught to be fishers of men, but we need to make sure the bait in the live well doesn't die. If we are to have a church that creates people (bait) which are able to go out and feed the people who need the gospel we need to make sure that they dont die before they get there. To me the church does have the job to go out and take the word to the world but there is also the need to make sure that members who have heard that word continue to grow. Recently there has been a lot of talk about the amount of people levaing some of the more liberal denominations. One thing that I see in some of these denominations or non-denominations is that once the members of the church enter it they tend to not grow much more due to the focus of the church. When a church is more concerned about just bringing in the people rather than helping to nurture and grow their members the members lose spiritually. Thus people getting tired of this type of thing are moving back to the conservative denominations that talk about sin and the law along with an emphasis on the gospel. To me people are wanting to learn more than a lot of these denominations are offering past the surface.

If the bait is dead then there will be no way to bring in the fish. But if we are able to keep the bait alive while they are doing the work then the harvest will be much more effective

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Polar Behavior

I am reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis right now. I have only made it throught the first sectoin of the book and I already love his writing style and the thoughts that he has on the subject of religion.

The thing that fascinates me about the first part is his description of a code of ethics by which all humans tend to follow. Regardless of what they learn people seem to have an ability to distinguish that one sort of behavior is the correct one and the other is obviously wrong. Although he doesn't say it in the book yet since this argument is being made only for the case of a creator rather than science I find it quite interesting. It really makes you think about the fact that the law really is written on a man's heart and that is the first thing which he consults when he makes a decision. It makes gives one the compelling thought that it is not possible that there could be no reason we are here. If everyone knows the difference between some sort of right and wrong the univers certainly can't be responsible for that. Without a doubt this is something that God created so that we could always look to the inside and realize there was something more than what we want driving us.

Friday, June 17, 2005

God is the pilot, I am the wingman

I suppose I have a witty title designed for my blog. To me that was my rule that I needed before I was going to start one. The title that I ended up using is something that has been sitting on my desktop. Well actually in a notes widget for those that know what that is. Anyways this thought conveys to me that God is alone the leader of my life. I am along for the ride in a sense while still helping with the navigation and keeping the pathe on course. With this blog I plan to write some thoughts that I have about the world of Christianity and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of which I am a member. I do not claim to know much about doctrines or theology but attempt to try to figure them out anyways. Hopefully through writing and some comments from other readers it will be possible for me to gain a better understanding of faith and my mindset.