Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, Romans 12 :2 J.B. Phillips
This well known paraphrase is a very apt message for the Church today. It seems that that world and its ideas and values are squeezing the Church into forms of behavior and teaching conforming to its own wishes.
The drive to attract and keep young people is case and point they are drawn to certain things in the world and the church tries to provide substitutes to keep their interest and attendance up.
There is no doubt we have a generation gap and language barrier in the church. However wholesale throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not the way to solve the problem.
The minister getting rid of his collar and tie, ditching the hymnbook, indeed the whole seeker friendly mantra is the order of the day. Where in the end does this leads us? Maybe to a large youth group yet with a shallower standard of Christianity
Cynical people may thing ministers and organizations are looking at their bottom line and profit margins rather than the long term cost of worldly methods instead of God’s truth and simple spiritual worship.
When this foolish king heard Daniels interpretation of the writing on the wall he did not seem very much affected by it. True his knees had knocked together when he saw this portentous happening. Yet afterwards he merely kept his word and promise in giving Daniel the robe and chain of office.
Soon afterwards we hear of Belshazzar’s death and kingdom’s conquest. Whether he disbelieved or postponed the inevitable fulfillment of the interpretation or resigned himself to it we do not know.
However it is he could never say he was not warned. The history of Nebuchadnezzar, his predecessor was ample warning if only he had taken notice and reformed his behavior accordingly.
We to have been warned. So often we have made light of God’s invitations and warnings, so often abused blessings and gifts as if they were a result of our desert instead of God’ s grace and mercy.
This is not just a message for the godless world. The writing is on the wall for many in the professing church. It is high time to read it and take it on board before the hand of judgments falls.
I have before me two books I purchased which I have yet to read. The title of one is “Paul, apostle of the heart set free”: The other is called “Paul, an outline of his theology.” If you were to judge these two works by their title alone, which author do you think has entered more into the life and experience of the Apostle Paul?
Both writers are of high repute in Christian spheres, so I make no aspersions towards them.
I would point out that today we tend either to the extremes of intellectual understanding of Christianity and theology, without the vital experience of it in our lives or to the other extreme of seeking the experience of Christianity with only a passing and superficial understanding of its tenets.
The tendency today is to go for the experience as the main end of our religion.
Christ and Christianity involves the whole person. Our intellectual and spiritual capacities are different and have varying capacities. In the things of God there is ample scope for mind and spirit to grow and flourish, it would be wrong to favour one over the other as they both bring blessings peculiar to themselves with them.
Even in the wildest storms the sky is not all dark; and so in the darkest dealings of God with His children, there are always some bright tokens for good.
Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1403880
If you were to ask an average Christian what some of the elements of the Jewish Old Testament ritual typified and foreshadowed in the New, very few would be able to explain much about them..
Alfred Edersheim in his book on the Temple in the time of Christ ,points out that even the Jews themselves were at a loss to explain the meaning of certain elements in the offerings and services.
Despite having the Tabernacle and then the Temple and the grand and glorious ritual within its sacred precincts, some of the most vital sacrifices in the Jewish calendar did not take place in the temple at all: two of these being the “Scapegoat” and the “Red Heifer”. These were “outside the camp”, so to speak. The Goat being taken away to a wilderness place, while the Red heifer was burned completely well away from the Temple grounds.
Edersheim sees the significance of this in the fact that the most important sacrifice of all was offered outside the walls of Jerusalem and away from the Temple on Golgotha’s hill.
He also reinforces the impossibility of the mere offering of sacrificial animals to really deal with sin They were offered as a mere “covering” of sin till the time when the great Sacrifice was offered once only by the Great High Priest, to fully and finally deal with sin.
It is only by our understanding the absolute sinfulness of sin and the infinite worth and price paid by our Saviour that we can come near to fully value our salvation and Saviour.