I just watched a video of police pepper spraying peaceful protestors at UC Davis, which led me to investigate further into why people are occupying Wall Street (and plenty of other streets too), which further led me to read some of the testimonies of people who are suffering in this present economic recession.
Not really. Or at least I’m not sure. Church planting is a hot topic right now in western Christianity, and it needs to be with the spiritual condition of North America and western Europe. And when anything is a hot topic, it creates tension.
This week, I’m staying in a nice hotel in Ocala, Florida, driving around in a rented Camaro, and eating fresh fruit – all sweet gifts from The Church at the Springs where Pastor Ron Sylvia and others are hosting Nuts & Bolts, a conference for church planters. I feel very blessed to be here. I don’t deserve it.
I recently read the quote of a skeptical unbeliever that stopped me in my tracks…
The church is a parasite. It owns the best property, doesn’t pay any taxes, and doesn’t help anybody.
Jesus wasn’t always clear. He told parables not for the purpose of simplifying and illustrating truths to make them more understandable, but to present the mysteries of the kingdom to the few who would catch the underlying meanings. Jesus is the greatest philosopher the world has ever known. He could go deep, get confusing, and be abstract anytime He chose to do so.
For some time now, I’ve been serving as a Pastor to Saddleback Church’s correspondence team, a group of dedicated staff and volunteers who answer over 100,000 emails per year about a range of subjects. Not a week goes by that I don’t see an email (or twenty) asking for Pastor Rick’s response to what someone said in criticism of his views on a variety of subjects.
The angels opened the portal of heaven and their sound and the brightness of their glory was overwhelming to the humble shepherds in the field. But their message was that Jesus wasn’t to be found in that throng of angels. He would be found in a manger in a stable in the sleepy hamlet called Bethlehem.