Well my face is red. Goodness. I stood before our congregation months ago and declared with holy boldness that I was gonna starting blogging routinely. It is with much regret that I offer a humble apology to our church and the several who encouraged me in this blogging business. Church life has a way of taking over the schedule and shot-putting the best of plans into the outer realm of impossible. With that being said, I will try to do better. I’m reminded of a pastor I truly respect and admire. I have one of his books on my shelf and have spent years hoping he’d write more. When asked about why he didn’t have more books in print, he offered, “Because I serve in the church and it doesn’t stop for anyone!” I now finally understand where he was coming from.
It would be pointless to try and summarize “where I’ve been” since my last blog. Plus, it would only sound like I was making excuses anyways. So I’ve decided to hit the ground running with no looking back. In recent days, preaching and teaching have remained my priorities. I’ve preached through 1 John on Sunday mornings and I’m almost through with 1 Peter on Sunday evenings. As only the Word of God can do, I have been reminded of several things that both break my heart and yet challenge me to work harder. One would be tempted to think both John and Peter were both dropped off into our present setting, attended several of our churches, watched a few news broadcasts, visited a few schools, went to a small handful of denominational meetings, walked the streets and looked a few Christians squarely in the eyes and THEN decided to write their respective books.
Both letters deal with the heresies of false teachers and their attacks on Christ, the Gospel, and believers. Both letters encourage Christians to “keep being Christian” in the spiritually decaying world the church has been placed in. It is all to easy to complain about what the world has become and rant about how it used to be better. A timely word, in my humble opinion, in light of the great number of professing Christians who no longer go to church, read their Bibles, pray, or witness. In fact even genuine concern for each other seems to have dissipated even within congregations that preach on “Love” Sunday in and Sunday out. Peter goes on to remind us in his second letter that Christ will return and that believers should be both confident and ready for His return.
On many levels, it would seem that John and Peter have been ignored. False teachings have strutted right into many congregations and in many cases, no one noticed. Christians are filled with doubt because someone on television told them they didn’t have enough faith. Many have lost the conviction that forgiveness of sins is obtained only by the grace of God through faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ and His atoning death on the cross and glorious resurrection. The commandment to love each other with unconditional “agape” love is only for the super-spiritual or the fanatic. The Bible, in some settings, is no longer preached as the authority given to us by God. Even in conservative circles, the Bible has been downgraded to simply “the good book.” Again, Peter and John warned and challenged their readers of these very things and so much more.
To be sure, it is my intention to encourage and challenge us all to keep kicking. We cannot allow the trends of the day to chip away the grand truths of the Gospel. Before I wrote this blog, I let it rip to the guy staring back at me in the mirror. As for me, I confess I have work to do and much to learn. And to my brothers and sisters in Christ taking the time to read this, I have but one question to leave you with–Oh Christian, where art thou?
Stay Classy Monticello! Love you! 🙂