Saturday, March 20, 2010

What is Really in a Name?

Kevin Bauder's blog In the Nick of Time lit up much of the FB and blog kingdom recently. The content and spirit of the post were like the warm spring breezes that envelope you after a cold winter. The spirit of love and respect for other brothers in Christ was refreshing. Here are a few excerpts from his blog if you have not seen it yet.

Conservative evangelicals are not our enemies. They are not our opponents. Conservative evangelicals have proven themselves to be allies and even leaders in the defense of the faith.

If we attack conservative evangelicals, then we attack the defense of the faith. We attack indirectly the thing that we hold most dear, namely, the gospel itself, for that is what they are defending. We should not wish these brothers to falter or to grow feeble, but rather to flourish. We must do nothing to weaken their hand in the face of the enemies of the gospel.

If we believe that we must respond to conservative evangelicalism, then let us begin by addressing the areas in which they have exposed our weakness. Let us refocus our attention upon the exaltation of God. Let us exalt, apply, and defend the gospel in all its fullness. If we were more like what we ought to be, perhaps we would feel less threatened by those whose exploits attract the attention of our followers.

Dave Doran responded to Kevin Bauder's article stating that he agreed with much of what Bauder had to say. Doran correctly pointed out that labels are not always quite as accurate as we might wish. There is a wide variety of men and beliefs within conservative evangelicalism (as there is in fundamentalism). In a more recent article Doran suggests that we "throw away the labels and ask these two questions: Of what are you in favor of? To what are you opposed? Agreement on those two items will more likely produce workable partnerships and real fellowship."

I don't know that Doran is actually suggesting we throw away the label "Fundamentalist" since it has been hijacked by those vehemently claim the inspiration of the KJV. I certainly don't wish to put words in his mouth. However, it does make you wonder. Labels are supposed to be helpful... I think. An applesauce jar should contain applesauce, and a baker would be quite disappointed if the flour bag actually contained baking powder. So what about the label "fundamentalist?" Historically, I couldn't agree with it more!! I have the utmost appreciation and respect for many of the men who have proudly worn the label before me and who have given me my spiritual heritage. But how helpful is the label now? Unsaved people likely think of compound polygamists, underwear bombers, or sadly enough, Bible burners. It is understandable why some believers hold the label "fundamentalist" with some hesitancy (see Bible burning). Granted, the label has been hijacked. But if it cannot be reclaimed, what is most expedient for the sake of the gospel?

What really matters is the gospel! I am a wicked sinner, saved by the precious blood of Jesus! The labels I should claim the most fiercely are "child of the King" and "a sinner, saved by grace!" How quickly my renegade heart turns its focus from my Savior to earthly associations. God, keep my focus on you!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In Search of Worldliness (or at least a definition)

Worldliness is the trump card used against offense that not clearly stated in the Scriptures. Is worldliness spiking your hair or wearing clothes that are in style? Is worldliness catching a decent show at a movie theater or is it using a more modern translation of the Scriptures?

I'm sure there are some helpful definitions of "worldliness" or the "world" around, but I am still searching for them. Sidwell defines worldliness as "an attitude of friendship toward, a desire for, and a wish to be recognized by the world system." What, you ask, is the "world system." Well, the world system is "the unregenerate people of this earth as organize and dominated by Satan." Condensed, worldliness becomes friendship with or the desire to be recognized by unsaved people. This definition is far from satisfactory though. Christ accused of being a friend of sinners in Luke 7:34 (an accusation he never denied) and He loved sinners so much that He died for them.

Here is another definition of worldiness by Driscoll. I think it is much closer in some regards.

I plan to thoroughly study out the issue myself and post my conclusions here, but until then, what do you think worldliness is? If you have done some study on it, please post your results. Make sure you take the poll since it's National Sensus time!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Blog?????

"Whatever lead you to this madness?" you might ask. I can definitely understand that reaction!!! I certainly did not decide to start this blog because I feel like the world has been lacking my amazing perspective or because I need the additional publicity to launch my speaking career. My aspirations for this sight are simple. I desire a place where a community of believers in Christ can honestly and prayerfully wrestle with the challenges that face us as we seek to continue on Christ's mission. I don't pretend to have all the answers, but maybe we can help each other along in the journey.

I intend to post articles, papers, and videos from any source that I feel would get us that much closer to accomplishing Christ's mission or that would deepen our relationship with our Savior. Send me anything that you think others would benefit by viewing or discussing. All discussions must be intellectually honest and loving towards others.

May we have countless Kingdom Conquests in this world as we prepare for the next!