Archives For restore unity

So, Sharideth Smith and I are riding together (along with a whole host of other awesome bloggers) on Bryan Allain’s BlogRocket. She’s guest posting for me here today, and I’m laying some smack down on the ladies over in her crib (hey, turnabout’s fair play, right?). On a related note, in an unfortunate bit–albeit MotorCop approved–of Internet double-parking, I’m also guest posting for Alise Wright. So, please go over there and check out my bearing of soul.

Anyway, with her scintillating snark, and absolutely deadpan sense of of humor, here’s the “Wednesday Addams” of Christian blogging, Sharideth Smith:

'MMA fight' photo (c) 2009, Peter Gordon - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

so the pastor wars are on. maybe not directly between the rock star super shepherds, but battle lines have been drawn among the fans.

fans?

yes. fans.

Continue Reading…

'Harry Potter' photo (c) 2005, Claire Schmitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Folks, I’ve made no secret here on the blog of the fact that I like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. The timeless themes of self-sacrifice, loyalty, of making hard choices–doing the right thing, rather than the easy thing–are what are so attractive about the books. That, and the rather obvious parallels the story has with the Gospel. (Aside from all that, as they say in England, the narrative is just a corking good yarn.)

Taken together, these form a strong (in mind) case as to why these books should have a place in your library.

Continue Reading…

>Let's Get a Divorcephoto © 2005 Monochrome | more info (via: Wylio)

I am a child of divorce. Chances are, about fifty percent of you reading this are as well. It’s the way it was. Would I have liked to have grown up in an unfractured home? Would you? Sure, but for myself, I wouldn’t go back and change it.

It was that sundering of my parents’ marriage, coming at a vulnerable time in my life, that opened me to God’s love.

Not having a dad that cared drove me into the arms of my Heavenly Father. Oh, I resisted for a long time–even told someone that I thought Jesus was likely a space alien!

Can you imagine? I suppose there are weirder things (Hale-Bopp, anyone?) to cling to, but in a way Jesus was an alien–“He came to His own, and His own received Him not.” He was reviled and rejected by the very ones He came to save. Alienated. “Despised and rejected of men” as the Scriptures say.

(As a child of divorce, I felt alienated, too–different from my friends. Alone. Being an introvert, I internalized).

For me, coming to Christ wasn’t so much about propositional truth, as I knew enough to make an informed decision. Yet I resisted making that very decision until His love was modeled for me by someone who cared. Someone who took the time to see beneath the veneer–who was willing to draw me out.

In this case, a girl. A very hot girl!

Interestingly enough, though she demonstrably cared, and compassionately listened (even read my doggerel!), she made it clear that my coming to Christ was paramount.

My broken relationship with Him needed to be addressed. She was not into “missionary dating.”

Thus when the time was right, like C.S. Lewis, I gave in and admitted that God was God–and eventually got the girl, too!

That is grace–His unmerited favor made manifest to me.

So not only did I get a relationship with Christ, but also one with the woman who has been my wife for over twenty years! I’m still amazed!

I used to think that having Jesus in my life would make things easier, but in some ways He’s made it harder. Hidden things come to light, and like a surgeon, He takes my past wounds–our wounds–and operates upon them. He won’t let me be. And there is no arriving, but a constant journey.

And my spiritual health, and growth, is directly contingent upon that of those in my community. Of those in the household of faith. Of which my wife is the closest member.

Due in large part to my background, our road together has not been an easy one. Sharing a common faith doesn’t make our problems go away, and we both brought baggage into the relationship. From time-to-time, we rub each other the wrong way.

Due in large part to my upbringing, we are determined that our marriage will not fail–that our family will not be a statistic like the one in which I grew up.

I often wonder how likewise committed we, as the bride of Christ, are to our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we want this “marriage” to work, or are we constantly looking for the escape hatch? Are we not one family in Him (contentious though we are)?

Insofar as the church is concerned, what legacy do we want to leave for our children? Do we build a house together, or keep tearing it down?

From where I sit, the differences don’t matter nearly as much as what we, as Christ followers, have in common. That is unity. That, and love covers a multitude of sins.

It is easier to walk away, but at what cost?

Love doesn’t walk.

What do you think?

This post is part of a synchroblog in support of Rachel Held Evans’ Rally To Restore Unity.

Common Love

randomlychad  —  May 1, 2011 — 3 Comments

>The Unity Candlephoto © 2006 Chris Sternal-Johnson | more info (via: Wylio)

When l think about the watching world, I wonder what it sees. Does it see Christians living in unity?

How do we treat our brothers and sisters in the household of faith? Are we living out Jesus’ words: “By this they shall know you are my disciples, by your love for one another,” or not?

How do we handle those places where we disagree? With hostility? Or humility?

Are we saved in the name of Piper, or Bell, or Graham, or Laurie, or Driscoll–or in the name of Jesus?

It seems to me there’s another way–a harder, but better–way: frame the discussion with the common love we say we share for a common Savior.

The building blocks to unity are all those things that we have in common as Christians. And there is nothing else to do but the hard work of love. The foundation must be laid.

And here is where it is lain: we both say Jesus is Lord, thus that is we start our accord: in common love for an awesome Lord.

Why is this so hard? When the whole world is at stake? While she watches and waits?

Church, we need to get our act together. We are one body in Jesus. Let’s live like it.

Unity is an achievable goal if we shall but humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and look past the veneer, see the hearts of our brothers and sisters.

Unity. It’s worth the risk. Love takes the risk.

Will you take the risk?

This post is part of a synchroblog in support of Rachel Held Evans’ Rally to Restore Unity.