Challenging Caesar

biblestudy

In every worship service, the Christian ekklesia is renewed in her unique story and language, her unique political experience and vocation. Every worship service is a challenge to Caesar, because every Lord’s Day we bow to a Man on the throne of heaven, to whom even great Caesar must bow. O’Donovan claims that all political order rests on a people’s homage to authority, which is to say, on an act of worship. Every Lord’s Day, the Church is reconstituted as a polity whose obedience is owed to Christ, and we are taught to name Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords.

―Peter J. Leithart

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We all need help

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I hear people say, “Why do you want to go to church? They are all just hypocrites.” I never understood why going to church made you a hypocrite because nobody goes to church because they’re perfect. If you’ve got it all together, you don’t need to go. You can go jogging with all the other perfect people on Sunday morning. Every time you go to church, you’re confessing again to yourself, to your family, to the people you pass on the way there, to the people who will greet you there, that you don’t have it all together, and that you need their support. You need their direction. You need some accountability, you need some help.

–Rich Mullins
(1955 – 1997)

Published in: on 06/18/2014 at 11:19  Leave a Comment  
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A world of wonder

Childhood is the world of miracle and wonder; as if creation rose, bathed in the light, out of the darkness, utterly new and fresh and astonishing.  The end of childhood is when things cease to astonish us.

–Eugene Ionesco
(1912 – 1994)

Wine into water

Christ turned water into wine, but the church has succeeded in doing something even more difficult: it has turned wine into water.

–Søren Kierkegaard

Published in: on 11/10/2011 at 17:09  Leave a Comment  
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Deliver us from saintliness

O Lord, deliver me from Christian churches with nothing but Christian saints in them. I want to remain in and be part of a church which is a little flock of faint-hearted people, weak people, who know and feel their sin, their poverty, their misery, and they believe in the forgiveness of God.

A prayer of Martin Luther’s

Published in: on 11/05/2011 at 8:53  Leave a Comment  

A painful pattern

In the study of church history I learned that reform movements in the church too often follow a familiar pattern. First come the CONCEPTUALIZERS who see how to apply a biblical principle where they live, next are the CRUSADERS who spread it, then CODIFIERS who make sure it is written down just right, others CRYSTALIZE it and put it on pedestals for us to admire, and the CONCRETE-setters finally ensure that it can never be changed. Before long the process has to begin all over again—the phariseeism and legalism must be broken—if there is to be any power and meaningful application of God’s message.

–William Conard

Published in: on 10/31/2011 at 10:41  Leave a Comment  

The dead church

A new pastor in Topeka, Kansas, USA, spent the first four days making personal visits to each of his prospective congregation inviting them to come to his inaugural services.

The following Sunday the church was all but empty. Accordingly, the pastor placed a notice in the local newspapers, stating that, because the church was dead, it was everyone’s duty to give it a decent Christian burial. The funeral would be held the following Sunday afternoon.

Morbidly curious, a large crowd turned out for the “funeral”.

In front of the pulpit they saw a closed coffin which was covered in flowers. After the pastor had delivered the eulogy, he opened the coffin and invited his congregation to come forward and pay their final respects to their dead church.

Filled with curiosity as to what would represent the corpse of a “dead church”, all the people eagerly lined up to look in the coffin. Each “mourner” peeped into the coffin then quickly turned away with a guilty, sheepish look.

In the coffin, tilted at the correct angle, was a large mirror.

Published in: on 07/14/2011 at 16:13  Leave a Comment  
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