Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mohler - Spirituality in contrast to Christian Faith

Our wonderful, and o so faithful Administrative Assistant here at X1 has the wonderful knack of purchasing books for me as gifts that often really speak to me significantly. She has done it again with a book I'm reading now, 'Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth' by R. Albert Mohler.
It is a short, extremely incisive Biblical, unadulteratedly Christian insight into current cultural issues.

I was struck this morning by these words written as part of a reflection of living in a post 9/11 Terrorist Attack world:

"We learn[ed] that spirituality is no substitute for Christian faith. Churches were filled to capacity in the weeks following September 11. Some observers predicted a period of national revival and openess to the gospel. That did not happen. Within just a few months, church attendance had fallen to pre 9/11 levels. The national trauma produces flutterings of spirituality but little evidence of renewed Christian conviction.
Spirituality is what is left when authentic Christianity is evacuated from the public square. It is the refuge of the faithless seeking the trappings of faith without the demands of revealed truth. Spirituality affirms us in our self-centeredness and soothingly tells us all is well. Authentic faith in Christ calls us out of ourselves, points us to the Cross, and summons us to follow Christ."

My o my, clear incisive insight to the way things actually are. It is demanding for me as a church leader because i can never rest content that the 'spiritual' are amongst us - they must be called to 'Authentic faith in Christ.'


Monday, August 2, 2010

Be Overflowing with Praise

Umm mmm mmm, did we have a wonderful time as the gathered people of God at X1 yesterday morning or what? Certainly feeling God is shifting things in our very culture with respect to our sung out worship of the King together. As the Lead Elder I can only pray for more and more of the same.

As part of that desire for a shift to be pronounced and affecting in our minds, hearts, and actions I shared a message that had been on my heart as a pastor for over a year. I entitled it, "Be Overflowing with Praise." The simple thesis of the whole message being: Christians are empowered and filled with the Spirit of God in such a way as to overflow with expressive, exuberant praise for their God at all times - even in the dark, dark hours of the soul. (Not with fake outward adherence, or as a religious must, but from deep within a soul aware of all who God is and all HE's done.) Anyway enough of my thoughts, I wanted to re-share the thoughts of Charles Spurgeon on Psalm 103, the text I used for yesterday's sermon.

Here it is:
"As in the lofty Alps some peaks rise above all others so among even the inspired Psalms there are heights of song which overtop the rest. This one hundred and third Psalm has ever seemed to us to be the Monte Rosa of the divine chain of mountains of praise, glowing with a ruddier light than any of the rest. It is as the apple tree among the trees of the wood, and its golden fruit has a flavour such as no fruit ever bears unless it has been ripened in the full sunshine of mercy. It is man's reply to the benedictions of his God, his Song on the Mount answering to his Redeemer's Sermon on the Mount. [here] David awakens all the melodies of heaven and earth in honour of the one only living and true God."

Beautiful isn't it?
Bless you Lord for giving us the words and ministry of such a golden throated orator thoroughly consumed with love for you.