Friday, July 11, 2008

Courtroom Christianity

Not long ago, I appeared in court over a small claims suit. Lucky for me, I grew up on Matlock and Law & Order... I knew the lingo and walked into the courtroom quite confident. I entered exhibits A, B, and C, just like they do in the movies. I called the judge "Your Honor" and resisted the urge from time to time to scream "Objection" just for good measure. In the end, however, it was not my courtroom savvy that won the case. The truth is, I was RIGHTEOUS already, the Judge merely confirmed it.

The same will be true when we approach the judgement seat of Christ, though my defense will be much different. This Sunday, we'll be discussing the legal jargon that was thrown around in courts that Moses judged. As believers in Christ, we are declared tsaddiyq (righteous), but not as a result of our own tsadaq (justify; to make righteous).

In your understanding and use of the word, what would you say it means to be a righteous person? Is it a state of being, or a state of behavior? A status or a striving?

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Evangelism... How good is the good news?

In our BSL (Bible as a Second Language) series, we began with "Gospel"--the Good News. This week, we're going to see the verb form, Euaggelizo (transliterated Evangelizo or Evangelism). Just as we saw that Gospel has taken on a new definition in our oh-so culturally-steeped Church today, just think about what the action of telling it has come to mean.

I want to share a simple quote to let you chew on until Sunday morning. This comes from another blogger that I found while searching the web for resources. I haven't researched his affiliations or other articles, so I'm not advocating everything you may find if you follow this link. But consider what he has to say about our topic at hand, and by 10:15 Sunday morning, see if you can at least relate, if not agree...

"I hate the word evangelism. It's quite possible that some will take offense at that because evangelism is a strong Christian word and concept, and not liking it may have connotations to not liking the action of doing it. And you would be right! I do not like the word because it is very misunderstood by the rest of our world and I do not like the word because of how we have been trained to do it....

"King Richard had good news for the Muslim world it was a crusade! When our world hears 'crusade,' when our world hears 'evangelism,' when our world hears 'turn from your ways!,' they do not connect the dots and think, 'Wow, this is really good news!'"

-- Thoughts Outloud, Jeff Peters

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