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Archive for July, 2010

We use the word all the time. We call certain actions sins. We call certain beliefs sins. We even call certain ways of thinking and living sins. But do we really know what sin actually is? What is it, really?

I mean, we all might agree murdering someone for no reason is a “sin.” But is smoking? Why don’t we agree on this? Do we have to? And if being a Christian is about not living “in sin,” but yet the Bible is also very clear, in Romans 3, for instance, in saying that every single person is a sinner.

So I’m interested not only understanding what sin is exactly–but in how we’re supposed to deal with sin if the Bible says we’re all sinners! Jesus piles it on even further in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5) by basically saying we even sin half the time just by thinking!

So what is a man (or woman) to do?! One thing I intend to do is…pray the cooler has been fixed and the beer is colder than it was last week.

Note: I am gone next week at a conference. So after we meet on July 27th, the next meeting will be Tuesday 10th.

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Last week (2 weeks ago) we talked about situations which can/do divide people from each other. The issues discussed were so varied as to include parenting methods, politics, and at one point even communism (thanks for that, Cory). This leads us to the next natural question(s).

I think we can all agree God does not smile too happily upon people putting up walls between each other over personal differences; we should be seeking reconciliation and wholeness. However…the question is sitting out there on everyone’s mind:

Is there every a time, or is there ever an issue, which is so important–so central–that a differing opinion warrants division. In other words, when is it okay to allow divisiveness between oneself and another? Can someone else believe something which justifies you severing contact with them forever and live divided always? When does one not “agree to disagree.”

Now, I already know what the tempting answer to this is. It would seem to be natural that there is no room to argue over the fact that Jesus conquered death and sin on our behalf to save us. Surely someone who does not believe is someone who has cast our Lord aside for the world. But does this warrant division? Further, I’d like to point out Hitler, Charles Manson, David Koresch, and even Satan himself all believe in Christ–yet I would find myself wanting very little to do with any of them.

So think hard about division. Think of the people you are divided from and why? What should we do about it? Are we supposed to always seek reconcilation in all things? What if our offer of reconciliation is refused? How far should we continue to try? Or should we say “Good riddance?”

See you Tuesday (July 20th) – Alehouse Pub @7!

–Cheers!

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I’m seeing Tool at Arco Tuesday night, so we must forestall a week.

However, for it being just dudes last Tuesday it was pretty intense. Of course, when we’re all downing obscure ales like they’re going out of style intense takes on a different tone. Where the world calls an intense conversation an argument…I’d call our intense talk more of a…well, an intense TALK. But it was good; you had to be there. In short, we were all somewhere between Marxist communism and Ayn Rand’s commercialism and debating the viability of various political discussions against how viable they were with Christianity. Honestly, I can barely recall the conversation now because I mainly remember thinking that my Imperial Red Ale from Mad River was sensational and the table next to us was saying some really sketchy stuff.

No matter the case…next Tuesday we need to pick up where we left off. So some topics (like communism) divide Christians. This is clearly not right, as we pretty well unanimously decided on Tuesday. However, are there topics which are worth taking a stand on? Are there places where, as a Christian, one decides a line has been drawn and anyone who disagrees on this point is justifiably separated from us? The cliched answer is to say everyone must believed in the saving work of Jesus…but Charles Manson and Hitler believed in Jesus and did terrible things and I don’t want them playing in my sandbox. So…bring me some good stuff next Tuesday.

When is it justifiable to absolutely be divided over an issue? What can possibly be that important? And why? I know too many Christians putting walls up over the most trifling of issues and I refuse to believe I’m the only one experiencing this. On the other end, when faced with such a situation, what is the proper response? What should one do when one is confronted with a potentially divisive issue?

Let us pray next week brings us many more tasty options to choose from. And wish me joy on my 9th Tool concert Tuesday night!

Cheers!

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