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Posts Tagged ‘Theology Applied’

Why is my marriage always better on Sunday?

Why are my kids the greatest on Sunday?

Why do I like everybody in my church on Sunday?

Why am I so excited about Jesus on Sunday?

How come I always find my bible on Sunday?

Why do I like the worship music on Sunday?

Why don’t I have a problem with the preaching on Sunday?

Why do I love “church” on Sunday?

Why is the job going fine on Sunday?

Why do I care about the poor on Sunday?

Why do I like giving on Sunday?

Why are missions so important on Sunday?

Why can I remember so many verses on Sunday?

Why isn’t race a problem on Sunday?

Why do I hug so many people on Sunday?

Why don’t I have a problem with her dress on Sunday?

Why come that tattoo isn’t a big deal on Sunday?

Why don’t I gossip on Sunday?

Why does my anger problems cease on Sunday?

Why don’t I struggle with sin on Sunday?

Why am I so nice on Sunday?

Why is the bible so important on Sunday?

Why is everybody a brother and sister on Sunday?

Why do I wave at my neighbor on Sunday?

Why do I love my wife soooo much on Sunday?

Why isn’t that joke funny on Sunday?

Why do I smile so much on Sunday?

Why come I am never scared on Sunday?

Why is serving people so easy on Sunday?

I tell you for some reason Sunday is always the best day of the week! How about you?

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There used to be something I believed quite strongly in. That is if you just learned enough bible, you know enough verses things would get better. And the reason people couldn’t stay strong is because they didn’t have enough bible in them. So if someone had a problem hook them up to the bible IV, sooner or later they would get better, or there was something wrong with them. Why? Because the bible is the answer to all of our questions and life difficulties right?

Just apply the specific proof text to your problems three times a day and call me in the morning. Got marriage problems? Read the bible! Children experimenting with drugs (first the church may be so judgmental that you won’t have to worry about them talking to you) apply the bible. Anxiety due to the economy and you don’t have enough money saved to weather the storm? Read the bible! Molested as a child? Read the Bible! Lost your spouse and children in a wreck? Come on! Read your bible! Want to know the answers to everything in the world? Read your bible!

But what happens Community of Grace when it doesn’t work? When my husband or wife is having an affair? When my boss mistreats me and the anxiety wakes me up at 3:00 Sunday morning. When my kid overdoses? When my spouse commits suicide and we don’t have life insurance? When the chemo and the operation didn’t heal the cancer of my 3 year old? When I am told by the doctor that he can’t find whats wrong and my health insurance runs out. When my wife can’t get pregnant, or she loses 3 kids and now she has depression and don’t want to see me, touch me or even hear my voice? What happens when I don’t want to read the bible, my prayers are as heavy as armored truck, when the ceiling is closing in the walls are getting getting closer, the end seems to be as far away as the sun? When Jesus feels like an abstract thought, sort of like the Tooth Fairy or Frost the Snowman?

For the most part I don’t think we know what to do. We have become so accustomed to prescribing the bible that we don’t know how to allow people to be messed up. We got to fix it. We have to give them an answer. Forget weeping when they weep, or rejoicing when they rejoice. Forget bearing one anothers burdens. Why because that takes relationship, time,  grace. We have to allow people to question God in a way that shakes our faith at its core, and for most of us that is to scary. That is too risky. We have to allow people to cry on us until we are soaked in their tears, that our hearts ache, until we are torn as they our torn.

Sometimes we just need to shut up and listen. Sometimes we need to put the kids to bed, turn on the coffee pot (or open a couple of beers, or like me a little “wine for my stomach”) and prepare for a long night. But we don’t have time, nor the patience,  nor the endurance to bear others burdens. I also don’t think we have the compassion nor the mercy. It is much easier to fix it, give them a bible verse and it all just goes away, depression and emotional illness, and homosexual struggles, and infidelity and lose of young loved ones are not easy fixes and I know many people today who say “the church left me hanging in my time of need” and they want nothing to do with it/us.

Here is my appeal Christian, and to all of the people that I gave some neat verse in your time of need I am soooo sorry, be a shoulder, or an ear, open your home and get the tissues ready. Tell the spouse you are going to be up late at Denny’s, tell the boss you will be in a little late. In other words stop trying to do the easy fix method, the patch work of quoting verses. Listen, have compassion, lay down your life, I know you have to go to work and the kids have you up late, and the game is coming on, but I remember Paul saying “don’t look out for your own interests only”. Lets start being a community of grace and that just doesn’t mean forgiveness but also extended one’s life for the benefit of others.

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My last post sparked a discussion that I didn’t want to get lost so I am reposting one the subpoints as a main point here.

It seems that many believe that I think Theology=Maturity! That would be untrue Theology Applied=Maturity. Rather we like it or not we all have a theology and certain theological positions. It seems smart today to avoid calling it something, the problem is you can’t. For example. If you take metal, rubber, glass and plastic, put it together, put fuel in it and use it to get from point A to point B then you have a car or some type of motor vehicle. You can say “I don’t want to call it that” but that would be irrelevant! Such is the same for theology. You don’t have to call it that, but the fact that you believe something about God, something about the bible, something about how the church should meet, something about Christ, something about salvation and something about what Christians should obey and what they don’t have to obey means you have taken certain theological stances and positions.

Now if it is you want to avoid labels then fine! I have no problem with that, but just because you want to avoid them doesn’t mean that someone has not defined what you believe and has written it in a book, and it is taught maybe even in seminary. If you believe like I believe that after 2000 years nobody has figured it out, then I promise you some smart dude has written what you believe.

But lets take it a bit further! What you believe has been taught to you and what you hold to has been shaped by some theologian over the past 2000 years. I bet my yearly salary to a Peanut Butter with no jelly sandwich and a stick of celery to that statement! What you believe didn’t fall out of the sky, you were shaped. Listen to me very carefully. The Ephesians, Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, Philippians, Macedonians, the Jews, Laodacians, Thessalonians, The Bereans, and any other person who became a Christian in the 1st Century was shaped by Pauline Theology! Now you might say that is Holy Spirit theology, but it is still Pauline Theology! The thing they have that you and I don’t is access to Paul, Timothy, Titus, Epaphorditus, John, Peter, Apollos and others who can directly ask a question and get a straight answer, even if they could answer the question!

Theology was before Seminary! Let me say that again Theology was before Seminary. Now theological language can be avoided, but we as humans always use language to discuss concepts. For example I am in Coporate America as a Financial Analyst. There are terms we use to describe what we do! When my wife asks me certain things, I have to show her more than I can tell her because the terms will leave her void of what I am trying to explain. The same goes for musicians when they talk music, writers when they discuss writing, artist when they discuss art……. You see terms like the Trinity are theological term, The Fall is a theological term, The Divinity of Christ is a theological term, and many other words we use are theological terms and concepts that are deduced and put into books to discuss them.

Now for this one I will get shot but I am going to say it anyway! Is the bible all we need? My answer is no! Absolutely not! Heck no! When I look at the Gifts given by the Spirit one of those gifts is teaching! Just because someone decides to write it in a book doesn’t negate the gift! Actually the printing press has become a blessing! We now can print 1,000,000 bibles in different languages in a a fraction of the time it would take to hand-write 10! But not only that things that was passed orally or taught can now be written and reproduced! In my experience my vast amount of theology has helped me once the Spirit caught up with my learning! So the problem wasn’t theology the problem was my ability or even desire to apply it!

Are there drawbacks to theology? I think I have written extensively about this. Theology can make one proud, arrogant, self-righteous, it can produce unbiblical distinctions as Daniel brings up, it can even produce a Christian caste system. But theology isn’t the problem, application is. Pursuing a theological education isn’t bad in and of itself. Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit systematically, that Jesus is the metanarrative or the interpretive key of the whole bible (a Christ centered interpretation) or learning the difference between how to apply the law in the Old Testament versus the New Testament are not bad things!

Using are minds and hearts simultaneously is not a bad thing. Back in the day I took an Intro to Theology class under Michael Patton, one of the books I had to read was J.P Morelands “Love God With All of Your Mind”. Listen the Holy Spirit isn’t quenched by theology. My move towards my current ecclesiological perspective and theology of the New Testament was assisted by wrestling with theological concepts and terms. Again the Spirit is quenched by not obeying and applying what you do know. The Spirit not only works in the heart He works in the mind also. The book of Romans is a theological work of Paul. It would have taken some thinking to wrestle with and it was written by the Holy Spirit! Does it mean that the uneducated couldn’t understand the Gospel? No! It does mean; however, that someone with some form of eduction would have to read it and explain it to them though.

I end with this. A little theology ain’t going to hurt nobody! The Spirit works in the mind and in the heart! But most importantly if you believe you are void of theology you are only fooling yourself. Your theological position was shaped by someone rather that is Viola and Barna or Owen and Edwards! Both sets have theological knowledge and extensive theology as a matter of fact! Most of what we believe has been shaped by 2000 years of theology from the Deity of Christ to the Trinity to baptism we have to affirm that.

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Here is a post from Alan Knox it is priceless:

One of the most common scriptural metaphors for the church is “family”. In fact, the “metaphor” is so prevalent that it probably isn’t a metaphor at all. In other words, we truly are brothers and sisters in Christ. However, the church rarely acts like a family.

But, what would happen if we turned the picture around? Instead of encouraging the church to act like a family, what would happen if the family acted like a church?

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Two young men walked in the den where grandma was watching her “stories”. They shuffled their feet, made small talk, but finally got down to business.

“Grandma, we’ve all talked about it, and we don’t think you’re doing your job the way you once did – the way we need you to,” the first man started.

“What do you mean, son?” the older lady asked, trying to see the TV around the two men.

“Well, you can’t cook or clean anymore. You don’t tell us stories of the old days. We haven’t heard any wisdom from you in a long time. You usually just watch television and sleep. We’re going to have to let you go,” the second man said.

Grandma hung her head. “I realize that I’m getting older and can’t carry out my duties that I once did. Will you at least give me a few weeks to find a new family?”

“We’ll give you two weeks and a good recommendation. I’m sure that God is calling you to a good older family out there somewhere,” her son said.

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“Hey, Sis!” the lady said as she walked through the open door.

“Hi, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit?” her older sister asked as she closed the front door behind her.

The younger lady found a place on an overstuffed sofa and replied, “Well, we heard that you gave birth, and we wanted to see the new baby.”

As the older sister brought in coffee, she looked around the room. “I don’t think the baby is here.”

“What do you mean?” her sister asked as she sipped her coffee.

“Well, I’m not very good at raising kids. I just give birth to them and let someone else raise them. In fact, that baby is probably still at the hospital.”

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The parents brought dinner into the dining room for the family. The dining room was immaculate, with heavy drapes, carved furniture, silver place settings, and a crystal chandelier hanging over the middle of the table.

Father prayed an elaborate prayer and set the food down for each family member: a small piece of bread and a sip of juice.

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“This is very difficult for me to say,” Father began with tears filling his eyes. “Do you all remember the people that visited us a few weeks ago?”

The family members nodded as the looked around, trying to discern what Father’s important announcement might be about.

“Well, those visitors were actually a Father Search Committee from another family. They believe that God is calling me to be their Father. After much tearful prayer, I agree. So, in two weeks I’ll be leaving this family to become the Father of their family. Don’t worry. I know that this is all in God’s plan, and I’m certain that God will provide another Father for this family.”

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I suppose I could go on, but I think you get my point. If the church is really a family, then the church would not act like it does towards one another.

So, we should ask ourselves, “Are we not living according to our nature? Or, are we living according to our nature?”

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When many theologians and Christians want to defend the role of Elders/Pastors many of them run back to the Old Covenant (A Covenant that is abolished by the way and obsolete, and was a ministry of death) and point to the priests as an example (especially some of my Covenental brothers). I want to reiterate we need to borrow nothing from the Old Covenant in relation to ecclesiology because the Church had not been born! There is no Church in the Old Covenant! She does not begin until the Holy Spirit moves His ministry of coming upon people to living within them!

I think most of what is ignored however is the fact that the Levites became the priests because all of Israel failed to! Okay let me highlight this. Remember Moses is on Mount Sinai. He is going up to be a representative for the nation (lets not forget that all of Israel should have been up there, but Israel was afraid and told Moses “you go for us”) and to receive the Covenant! As Moses is up there God says:

Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

This is what is realized in the New Covenant as Peter not only quotes this but says “you are this nation and you are these priests”! Why didn’t all of Israel receive this promise? It was conditional! That is why! The promise starts with an “if”. As God turns to talk to them in Exodus 20 they say “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Later Moses comes down and the glory of the Lord and the fear of the nation made Moses veil his face (but we have unveiled faces 2 Corinthians 3). Don’t forget the Levites became servants due to their faithfulness in Exodus 32:27 and Israel’s unfaithfulness with the making of a Golden Calf (the beginning of continual unfaithfulness)

I bring you to a quote from Ketcherside:

Nothing is clearer that the fact that God’s purpose was to make ministry and priesthood co-extensive in “the time of reformation”. Every person who accepted the good tidings was to be a priest, every such person was to be a minister. Every priest was such because he ministered; every person was to minister because he was a priest. In priesthood and ministry all were to be equal rank insofar as liberty, privilege and relationship to God are concerned.  God’s people were no longer to be a kingdom with priests, but a kingdom with priests; they were not to be a congregation with ministers, but a congregation of ministers. Priesthood was to be universal in the kingdom of heaven, ministry was to be mutual and reciprocal. This was to be the grand climax of the ages, the golden era of God’s dealings with mankind. God promised Israel that if they would obey his voice and keep his covenant they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation unto him. But they did not obey his voice nor keep his covenant. They never realized the fruition of the magnificent promise because they failed to meet the conditions.

Alan Knox has a beautiful post on this over at his blog The Assembling of the Church. The problem lies here folks. Listen in the Old Covenant God used a few select to minster to Him under the New Covenant He commands/requires that all who are under it to minister to Him and to one another! You see my man many would agree with the post I linked to above and the Reformers such as Calvin and Luther. This is where I take a “Step Past Reformed”. The Reformers failed to take steps toward a proper ecclesiology and because they are well respected (which they should be) where they stop we stop. However as Alan says:

I think that my differences with Alston concerning the priesthood of the believer is primarily found in this sentence: “The church may not be dependent upon the ordained clergy for its existence, but for its well-being it needs the few who are called and set apart by the laying on of hands to the particular vocation of preaching, administering the sacraments, teaching, and pastoral care.” As I study Scripture, I cannot find where only a few are given the responsibility of preaching (proclaiming the good news), administering the sacraments (baptizing and breaking bread – the Lord’s Supper), or pastoral care (caring for one another). Instead, I see where all believers are given these responsibilities.

I nod with eager concurrence! Let allow the scriptures to be what we base our ecclesiology off of. Not man’s writings, no matter how much they contributed to the modern Church. The greatest gift God’s give us as a Church is the Spirit, this Spirit empowers all to be the priests God has ordained us to be. To rob individual Christians of this privilege to be priests and when I say priests I mean full functioning priests, not just in small groups and Sunday schools but whenever the Church of God gathers, is to rob the bride of what her Husband has given her as a gift (It is He who descended and ascended and gives gifts unto man Ephesians 4). Lets take a step past the reformation and reform our ecclesiology!

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One of my favorite subjects in school was Math! I loved it, the numbers came easy, I used to be in the little math contest in school and actually was allowed to participate in a special program in 7th and 8th grades in which I went to a special school for math and took the SAT for placement in a special program in high school. I did well in Jr. High, but if you look at my testimony, well high school didn’t go to well and I was later removed! Anyway, back in 3rd, 4th grade we learned Common Denominators. The objective was this to find out what a group of numbers had in common. Such as in the picture above you want to find a multiple that you can divide a group of numbers into and the objective is to find the lowest possible number: 2,3,4,6=12!

You probably know by now and by the title that 4th grade math is not my objective in this post. So what is? Let me ask how often do you ask the following questions “what’s your eschatology, what’s your polity, what do you believe about the gifts, what’s your position on baptism, is it a Covenant of Grace or Works (neither LOL), Calvinism? Arminian?, Southern Baptist or Methodist? Emerging or Pentecostalism?

At our Sunday Morning group we have been studying through Corinthians. After reading and rereading the book and attempting to Chart the book (charting is a way to summarize a book, I will attempt to attach something at the bottom) and get a one theme title I came up with”A Peace Treaty of Love”. The protagonist and antagonist of the book of Corinth is division and unity!

There is but one church in all of Corinth or at least this is what many commentators say. So as you read the book all of this is going on “Under One Roof”! The apostolic alignment, the secret knowledge, the dude with his stepmother (some wanted to extend grace others knew there was a problem), there is division on head coverings, division at the Table where unity is the focus, there is division on gifts, there is division on tongues, there is division on silence on women, there is division on the resurrection and there is division on baptism for the dead. To put it simply Paul asks “Is Christ Divided” (which I believe to be a key to the entire epistle).

Chapter 13 is Paul’s resolution. Again remember all of this is happening in one gathering. If this is true, this would make a church split look like a wedding! So what is Paul’s remedy? To show that we are Christ’s body (Chapter 12) which answers the question “Is Christ divided” and without love (Chapter 13) EVERYTHING we do is “worthless” as a matter of fact he says “your are no one”! So we can do a bunch of nothing and do it with all of our energy, we can do it and be labeled successful in this world, you can be invited to conferences, can write hundreds of books, can exposit the text with surgeon like precision but without love you are nothing and what you do profits nothing.

So let me add to that! Schisms/Divisions/Divisiveness (Galatians 5)/Sectarianism all are the opposite of love! So can our energized pursuit of exclusiveness or spiritualcentricity actually be what Paul calls “nothing”?! Absolutely. Let me say this. To look for something to divide on, to find ways where we are different (for the reason to disengage) to have the heart to deal with who Christ has redeemed indifferently to continually have a sectarian all or nothing Christianity is to be outside of the Spirit of God. It is to grieve the Spirit, it is to answer Paul’s question to the Corinths “is Christ divided” with an emphatic yes! Yes, yes Paul we are divided and we are proud of it!

Paul says something that is another key to unity in 1 Corinthians 15 where I want to rest at:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Unity is found in the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! That He was born, that He died for our sins and that He rose from the dead and upon raising appeared to the disciples and later to Paul. This is our Gospel the one and only Gospel. Those other distinctive, as biblical as you think they may be are contrary to Paul’s Gospel! Yes you heard me correctly. So let me scream it. YOUR DISTINCTIVES ARE CONTRARY TO PAUL’S GOSPEL! Why? Paul’s Gospel unifies because Christ unifies (Col 3, Eph 2, John 17). Christ came that we may be one, our disctintives split us! If disunity comes by them then what we are doing is not of God regardless of how well you can defend it biblically (truth be told we both can come to the same scriptures and be 100% divided on the same text using languages or not).

I am fighting for an Ecumenical hope! Yes, you may be convinced that your little theological club is correct (shoot I do) but if that club becomes exclusive and becomes THE CLUB then what you have done is taking a machete to Christ’s body. You have divided the indivisible Christ! You have pulled the arm of Jesus off and I will let you know that such a division is of Satan not of the Living and Holy God revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

I close with this. Christ is not divided because He is indivisable! He is one “there is one Lord, one Faith, one baptism” Ephesians 4 makes this clear! Jesus only made “one new man” Jesus does not endorse any dividing walls! Jesus does not cosign our zeal to divide and to “uphold truth” (don’t go quoting John 14:6). Jesus’ prayer proves this beyond a shadow of doubt “I pray that they are one”. Who are we to counteract Jesus??!! Paul also makes a plea in the Philippian Church in chapter 2 verse one. I leave you with this verse of “one accordness”! Being Ecumenical is the heart of Jesus Christ and divisiveness is of the “Evil one”!

2:1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

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Here are the verses:

20 Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned backward, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him,

Maybe this is an over allegorization but I am going to go for it anyway and then let you guys rebuke me. When I used to read this, I had no clue what it was about. I thought to my self big deal! Dude got a little tipsy, okay he got bonafide wasted but “we all sin and fall short of the glory of God” right? I am pretty sure there are many Christians who struggle with alcoholism or has a bit too much to drink or has a celebration at their home and has a bit too much to drink. And just in case you ask, no smoking cigarettes and drinking are not sins regardless of what many of my <clears throat> Baptist brethren tell you.

So after reading this I thought to myself man the punishment for telling your brothers “dudes, daddy got tore up” seemed to be a bit odd to me. Noah literally cursed his son. For saying “daddy got drunk and is naked”?!!! Man that seems cruel and unusual. That is like cutting off your kids arms because he took the cookie out of the cookie jar and he is only 2! But again I knew there was something going on, but I just went in the same ol’ Christian fashion which is “I don’t understand, and it isn’t a big deal”. Whew! Tell Ham and Canaan that!

But after reading something over at Smulo Space, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me an aha moment. So again this will be in usual fashion for me during the last few weeks and that is confession for you so that you don’t make the mistakes I made! Okay here we go. Ted Haggard was one of the most popular evangelical leaders in the U.S. He was James Dobson’s poster boy for evangelicalism! He had one of the biggest churches in the United States of America and was an adviser for President Bush. He stood arm in arm with Focus on the Family, and was well on his way to being on front of many Christian Magazines. He was sort of like Olsteen with a mean streak! For the most part I liked the dude’s ministry. Charismatic yet Conservative, Sort of Fundamental but yet fun! But then out of the sky BAAAAAMMMMMM! He was caught in a scandal! A huge scandal one that involved homosexuality (that he was against vocally) and adultery (didn’t I tell you he was down with FOTF) and it hit national news (listen to me carefully never covet the national spotlight and never ever let it define you, if so they will crush you like the planet Mars hitting a grape!). His stock fell faster than Enron’s, no it was more like Milli Vanilli after the “Blame it on the, blame it on it, blame it on it <record skips>” fiasco!

And guess what the community of grace! Paaaauuusssee! We are a community of grace aren’t we! If anyone is to be the most gracious for the whole world to see, shouldn’t it be us? Like, our foundation is Grace isn’t it (Ephesians 2)?! Wait, wait, “God so loved that He gave”, has anything been more gracious than that? Okay let me try this “you were dead in trespasses and sins BUT God made you alive”, oh, oh, I know, how about this one “while we were yet enemies Christ died”! I have at least 500 more but I will digress for time and space sake! Dude the only reason I am alive, you are alive, you are a Christian, you have eyesight, you can breath, you don’t have Downs, you weren’t born a crack baby, you don’t have AIDS is because of GRACE! Okay I am done with that one.

So what did the church do for Mr. Haggard! We joined in the public scorning with the media is what we did. We became “Rearview Mirror Prophets”! You know the ones who knew everything about everything but didn’t decide to express it until it already happened! Get outta of here! We joined the media in exposing him, oh yeah back the verses, exposing his nakedness!

Let me explain. It wasn’t about Noah’s nakedness, it was about Ham’s wickedness! What was his wickedness? The fact that he saw his father, vulnerable, in a shameful predicament, full of sin, he had fallen! The great Noah who God used to save humanity was now in a cave drunk and naked (after seeing that many people drown I probably would have needed a drink or two also, pregnant women, elderly, little babies, they all drowned, I probably would have tried to find some soil on the boat to plant something)! And instead of covering his father, he runs to expose his sin! To expose his shame, to make a public announcement (don’t forget they are the only ones around) about this old drunk fool! So that is why I believe he was cursed! Not because of what he did but why he did it! He didn’t go ask for help from Shem to cover his father, he wanted to show everyone the folly of his dad! A man God just used as a picture of the redemption of Jesus Christ!

You know what though? Ham does not have the living God indwelling him in the person of the Holy Spirit. The third person in the living Trinity taking up residence in his life! The problem with that is that we do! But just like Ham, we expose the shame, the embarrassment, we make a public announcement of others failures! The problem is I can’t understand for the life of me why! Why do we do that. Why are we so quick to run and tell others about the brother caught in sin, instead of doing what Paul commands the Galatians in chapter 6 of the epistle with the same name:

6:1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

You see we as believers have an opportunity to be Shems and Japheths in the Christian Community. It is a proven fact that many will fall, many will engage in gross sins, but when that arises what should we do? We should be a place of refuge and safety. We should cover our brothers and sisters short comings! Why? Because this is the nature of Christ. “Blessed is the man, who’s sin is not counted against him”. But not only that we love to have our sins covered. We love for Jesus to not expose us, for Him to give us an opportunity to get it right! It is evident by the fact we don’t confess all of our faults.

I close with this. The Church should look like Shem and Japheht, when the opportunity arose for them to feel good about themselves and laugh at their fathers nakedness, like their brother (who just so happened to be extended grace by allowing to escape the wrath of God) they did not. They were like God who covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness (remember Paul says “be imitators of God”). They were the Old Testament example of a grace and covering sin! Yes many Christians are in the spotlight, many of them are weak and immature. Some of them become Christians after living publicly lewd lifestyles and yes many of them are on TBN and Daystar! But they are our brothers and sisters, when the opportunity arises let us be like Shem and Japheth and let us rebuke all who have the wicked intentions of Ham!

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