- Lawrence "Chunk" Cohen
# 1 - pretending certain scriptures only apply to non-believers
i don't regularly read stuff christians like so this topic may have been covered there and i wouldn't know it. plus that blog is on like # 7,897,583 ... so chances may be good.
i was thinking about this a week or so ago when listening to some Christians talk about the sin(s) of others. i am DEFINITELY guilty of this very often, but it's easier to notice in other people. i started thinking about Romans 3:23. i think we, as believers, tend to apply that verse to non-believers only. just because we're saved, doesn't mean WE still don't sin and fall short. we've been reconciled by Christ, but WE still fall short. i know, as believers, we want bad non-Christians to become good Christians, like us. but we often start to ignore our sin in the process.
it's the age old problem of thinking we're better than the lost because we're saved. newsflash, believers: there's a difference between ignorant (uneducated, don't know any better) and stupid (know better and sin anyway).
i don't know if this is making sense. it made sense to me before i sat down to type it out!
yesterday, i taught on revelation 3:15-20. this passage also contains a verse we like to apply to non-Christians, only.
`Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.'
we like to use this verse as an invitation to the lost, but this message in revelation is to the church. Christ's dinner invite is to believers! i don't think there's undo judgment being passed off with this verse like we're prone to with the romans passage. but i think we're missing out on the greatest "guess who's coming to dinner?" ever!
as john piper put it:
It is addressed to lukewarm Christians who think they have need of nothing more of Christ. It is addressed to churchgoers who do not enjoy the riches of Christ or the garments of Christ or the medicine of Christ because they keep the door shut to the inner room of their lives. All the dealings they have with Christ are businesslike lukewarm dealings with a salesman on the porch.
But Christ did not die to redeem a bride who would keep him on the porch while she watched television in the den. His will for the church is that we open the door, all the doors of our life. He wants to join you in the dining room, spread a meal out for you, and eat with you and talk with you. The opposite of lukewarmness is the fervor you experience when you enjoy a candlelit dinner with Jesus Christ in the innermost room of your heart. And when Jesus Christ, the source of all God's creation, is dining with you in your heart, then you have all the gold, all the garments, and all the medicine in the world.
i know there are probably myriad other verses that Christians like to apply only to non-Christians, but these two popped up over the last couple of weeks.
feel free to list/explain more in the comments!
USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Florida (53)
2. Texas (4)
3. Oklahoma (1)
4. USC (1)
6. Ohio State
7. Virginia Tech
8. Penn State
11. Oklahoma State
15. Georgia Tech
16. Boise State
19. Florida State
20. North Carolina
23. Notre Dame
24. Brigham Young
25. Oregon State
as i mentioned in my previous post, i recently visited vermont with my brother. we were only there for 2 nights and, like, 1.5 days. long enough to meet some great people, take in some great scenery, and visit a great church (where my brother preached).
i wanted to TRY to paint a picture of my experience with the green mountain state. specifically with middletown springs. this place is ridiculous... in a good way! after stretching an 18 hour road trip into 22 (we like to take it all in...), our daylight arrival was replaced by a witching hour arrival and we didn't know where were. because of this, some awesome people who live in vermont (not vermonters, i've learned. that phrase is reserved for natives of the state) escorted us for nearly an hour through veins of back roads until we reached our destination. because it was so dark, my first impression of the scenery would have to wait, but my first impression of the people was flying colors. we were very gracious to be off the road.
the next morning i finally saw that were in a pretty secluded area... which makes up most of the state from what i can tell.
my bro and i went to a men's breakfast at the local elementary school which was built in aught four and whose soccer field doubles as the local helipad, i'm told. i got to sample the famous maple syrup ($19 a bottle... a tiny bottle) and met some real characters. one gentleman told me he and his wife had recently visited houston for medical reasons because of our amazing medical center and, when they asked what they should do to fill their downtime, were told to visit the galleria... where everyone, as he put it, was dressed for church. i don't know who recommended the galleria, but seriously, our town has to have cooler stuff to show off!
middletown springs on the other hand is the attraction. i'm sure there are specific things that can be done around there, but taking in the town itself was attraction enough for me! this place is so quaint, i couldn't get over it. don't picture a norman rockwell painting... picture the place norman rockwell would go to get away from it all. i believe the population of middletown springs, vt is 850. quite a change of pace for me considering most of the graduating classes in the TEN high schools in our district alone were around that size. i know texas has small towns, but what struck me was that vermont doesn't have big towns. jared (my brother, in case you're unaware) and i went into rutland in the afternoon and it didn't strike me as tiny OR big, really. just an average town complete with wal-mart, taco bell, a downtown, etc. what hit me was when jared informed me that rutland is the second largest city in vermont. of course it is! this whole state is a postcard waiting to happen! it really is a place.
the people of middletown springs community church were amazing, as well. it made me want to take back some (not all) of the things i've said/thought about yankees over the years! it's almost like they were trained in southern hospitality, ha. very loving, very welcoming, very friendly people. and this is how small our world is: i met a lady who used to live in conroe, a man who worked for compaq, and the brother of a guy who teaches in the same high school math dept. as a friend of mine here in houston. that many connections in a town of 850 was pretty remarkable, i thought. i even met someone who reads my blog! she found it through jared's, of course, but reads it enough to know i don't post very often... and was quick to tell me about it! ha
even the dogs in middletown springs were legit. we ate lunch at sissy's where the dogs REALLY make themselves at home, walking in and out of the store/kitchen/porch etc. soliciting customers for petting time, barking at random things, and plopping down in the driveway (not caring whether or not someone wants to pull in and park). they were great. oh, and i met a dog who was featured on america's funniest videos for collecting/stacking bucket lids. hard to explain, but he was tight, too.
that's a brief rundown of my short time in vermont. hope you got a glimpse of the experience!