A Few Corrections
Righteousness is trusting Jesus,
not my adherence to rules.
Faithfulness is my relationship with the Lord,
not the Law.
Salvation is reconciliation with God,
not a legal maneuver.
Worship is uninhibited praise of Trinity,
not a ceremony.
Christianity is citizenship in the kingdom of God,
not membership in an organization.
Church is a partnership in service,
not a self-help group.
Eternal life is living for Christ today,
not sitting around waiting for heaven.
Evangelism is good news,
not a threat.
Love is unconditionally sharing what God has shared with us,
not anything else.
If you are looking for that biblical insight no one has ever perceived,
If you want to teach that doctrine no one has ever contemplated,
If you desire to preach the sermon that no has ever proclaimed,
Just remember we call that innovation “good old fashioned heresy.”
We do not need a new god.
We do not need a new gospel.
We do not need a new way.
The good news is still newsworthy.
We have one Lord, one Savior, one Word.
We really should try following Jesus before we try to update or upgrade.
Mark 16 P.S. (Post Scripture)
Who was it?
Who didn’t think eight is enough?
Who felt duty-bound to clean up the gospel?
Who was trembling and bewildered by the original cliffhanger?
Who was afraid of saying nothing?
Who didn’t like challenging the reader?
Who is afraid of the power of silence?
Who feels like stepping in, “What he meant to say was…”?
Who wants to clarify Jesus?
Who needs to add a happy ending?
Who will just tell me the truth?
Ah yes, all those sermons: “Remember to Forget”:
When you have confessed, your forgiveness is complete.
I know the good intentions: we are free from sin’s debt.
The preachers want us singing “Amazing grace, how sweet…”
But I have to wonder if forgetting is wrong.
Don’t we need to keep in mind the darkness of the pit
To comprehend that God’s faithfulness is strong?
Let us resolve to remember never to forget.
The ungodly forget their intoxicated sins;
The godly remember intoxicating grace.
Bread and wine, body and blood, a new life begins,
In remembrance of him who bore our disgrace.
For every obstacle and difficulty there must be a quick fix:
Easy six-pack abs in ten minutes a day;
Lose weight while you sleep with a few simple pills;
Have buns of steel without breaking a sweat;
Cellulite melts away thanks to our miracle cream;
Colon cleansings are good for whatever ails you;
Go ahead and have a good time—a hangover tonic awaits;
Quit fussing over what you eat when you can take mega-vitamins instead;
Make a better you with a few simple steps and an undying smile.
But where are the shortcuts along the Via Dolorosa?
There is nothing easy about being persecuted;
I cannot be peaceful when I’m being spit on;
Mocking pierces my toughest posture;
No salve can numb the bruising of their fists;
Even pouring out your guts to the Father doesn’t bring relief;
The glory of martyrdom is inspiration only to bystanders;
Under the weight of the cross, strength flows out of me with my blood;
My teeth are gritted by the excruciating nails.
So spare the world of deceptive sales pitches and sloganeering rah-rahs.
It is time to recruit and train revolutionaries dying to love.
I wanted to strike a new path of my own
And let the old paths become overgrown.
I longed for adventure and innovation.
I thought something new was my salvation.
But as I explored I went gravely astray
Finding myself wandering in dismay.
So I made my way back to the well-worn trail
That led past the little brown church in the vale.
Now I know there never were old dead ends—
Only wisdom’s tracks that now I extend.
Be afraid of the religion that calls you to:
bow down to the terrifying motivator;
cower before the whimpering demotivator;
worry about the omnipotent devil;
let paranoia rein as a god stalks you;
be paralyzed by the anxiety of opinions;
learn the wondrous powers of manipulation.
Fear the religion that calls you to:
lay your bloody sins on the altar;
throw yourself into the open arms of God;
cast out demons by an authority not your own;
stand for your enemies and against hate;
reach out to embrace society’s rejects;
lay down your life as a sacrifice of love.
Be in fear or be very afraid.