I’ve done an audio recording (above) of the post so you can listen instead of reading it. It’s just a trial I thought I’d do as I’ve been making a lot of audio for my business lately. Let me know if it’s something you like or if you’d just rather read it. Cheers.
This post is about manning up. Us young guys need to get serious about becoming the men God expects us to be, and the men our future lives will require. If you’re a girl it doesn’t all apply to you, but us guys around you need all the encouragement you can give to help us reject the world’s plan (because really, the odds are stacked against us).
Imagine we live in a village, 700 years ago. You know the kind of place… quaint houses, thatched roofs, a stone bridge over the river, livestock in wooden pens, and a friendly market. A lovely peaceful place.
The problem is the barbarians. They attack the village to pillage and plunder. It’s always unpredictable and out of the blue. At first the attacks weren’t so bad, but over the last few years they’ve gotten less frequent, but more severe. And there are murmurs that a huge horde is planning to come and overrun the countryside.
Last weekend was the Impact Bible conference. The theme was eternity. It was great to get the focus off all our short term goals and think about the real stuff… God’s Kingdom and glorifying Him forever.
A Trip To Hell
One sermon was called A Trip To Hell, and it was horrifying. It was preached with you imagining that you died and found out you’d been deceived, that you weren’t actually saved. The description was vivid and shocking. Hell fire burning you, and then going before the throne of judgement, and then being cast screaming into the lake of fire… FOREVER.
Earlier in the year we put on a medieval themed party. During the evening we had Ceilidh dancing. This is a Celtic style of dancing which is a lot of raucous fun. Think stomping, clapping and Celtic music.
Friends taught it to us a few years ago. At first I was sceptical. Dancing seems like a worldly mine field (and for the most part it probably is). However Ceilidh turned out to be good, clean, family fun. There’s nothing sensual about this dancing. The most intimate contact you get is holding hands.
But you do have partners. Usually a guy and a girl. So who will you dance with?
I’m lucky to live in a country with an inordinate amount of coastline. You can’t get more than a couple of hours from a beach if you try.
The problem with beaches is lots of people don’t wear many clothes on them.
Our nearest beach is a place we can’t even visit over the summer holidays and weekends. Even in the shoulder season we have to travel away from the city to find a patch of sand without a parade of flesh walking past.
Not going to the beach over the Christmas season is a crying shame, but it’s just the reality of living in a sin sick world.
Purity Is A Big Deal
Sexual sin is the area young people most often fall in. And they fall hard. I don’t want that to be us, no matter how unlikely it may seem for goody-goodies like ourselves.
When Jesus tell us lust is the same as adultery in the heart, we need to pay serious attention.
The royal wedding this weekend was spectacular. Most pleasing was the large amounts of praises, references and petitions to God in the ceremony. Even though the couple is completely secular you could see the Christian heritage.
There was however a disturbing theme, mostly promoted by the commentators.
They basically said that while Charles and Dianna’s marriage was a foolish affair, this one was much more sensible because William and Kate have been living together for years, so their relationship is serious. The fact they’re not virgins is touted as a very good and wise thing.
Is how we’re doing church the right way to do it? Certainly it’s different than what it sounded like in Acts and the epistles.
What does the word ‘church’ even refer to?
I know some people who whenever possible take ‘church’ to mean the little local fellowship (distinct from all the other local fellowships). I know others who take ‘church’ to mean all the saints, whenever possible.
I’ve just finished reading Total Church, A radical reshaping of gospel and community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis. Emphasis on radical (although I was kind of expecting it to be a bit more off the wall). The authors are elders in England who are trying to do church in a different way.
It’s a book that makes you ask a lot of questions about how you view the church. I was already reviewing how I saw the church so the book gave me a view of a totally different model.