Civil Government and Civic Engagement: A Worthy Calling

Here are some thoughts on yesterday’s elections that I posted on Crossroad Junctions’ Facebook page:

I don’t want a central government that promises to solve all my problems by demanding the power to run my life. Such utopian schemes always lead to intolerance and tyranny.

It's fun watching millennials finally figure out, just like us old farts did in our day, that liberalsim is very attractive ... until you actually have to live under it. ~ www.CrossroadJunction.coomInstead, I want a central government which insures that the foundations for a healthy society are strong, so I then can build the kind of life that God wants for me, my family, my church and the community where I live.

A central government that promises to solve all my problems is a government that seeks to usurp the rights and responsibilities God has given to individuals, the family, the church, local communities, and voluntary associations of folks working together to make their lives better.

Folly and Ruin

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill

Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill

Mars Hill, a network of churches in Seattle, is shutting down as more and more accounts keep surfacing of behind-the-scenes abusive behavior by their otherwise publicly charming and inspiring founder, author and senior pastor, Mark Driscoll.

I’ve seen this happen many times over the years as churches and Christian movements of all stripes rise and fall.

When a church or movement organizes around a gifted man and his individual vision or mission, it will grow rapidly at first but then stumble as it eventually hits up against his limits.

This is not how it should be.

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Being The Church

This morning, I’m not going to some high-cost building to find a parking space, be greeted by ushers I barely know, sit in a pew, be psyched up by a loud worship band, or inspired by some finely honed monologue sermon from a front podium.

Rather, my wife and I are opening our home to those who want to come and share breakfast at our table as we talk, sing, teach, disciple and encourage one another in the Lord. Our time together is not scripted or directed – except by the Holy Spirit.

Joining us will be folks with graduate degrees and fancy houses, along with folks living in the woods, and just about everything in between. We are very diverse yet know and honor one another – while welcoming others with open hospitality – as we learn to be co-heirs and co-participants together in Christ.

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House2House Ministries and “Apostolic” Networks?

House2House Ministries: Because there's always room for one more book, blog or conference telling us how to, by those who don't do.

It’s time for the organic and simple church community to move beyond unbiblical mutual promotion networks by self-appointed “apostolic workers” and “church planters” who write enticing books and blogs, but generally have no consistent history of being in any functional local fellowship themselves or actually creating sustainable, healthy fellowships among others. Rather than buying into their books, blogs and conferences at House2House Ministries, maybe we need to learn some things instead from Paul’s own life and ministry: http://www.crossroadjunction.com/2012/03/17/modern-day-pauls/

The Seasons of Life

I recently posted this update on Facebook.

Deciding to step down from jail ministry was hard, but I was deeply touched by the comments that followed on Facebook – especially from those who have first hand knowledge of my involvement in men’s lives at the jail over many years.

In the meantime, pray for Marianne, my mom and me as we bring grace and dignity to my dad as he closes out a lifetime of service to the King.

~ Jim Wright

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Real Organic Church Discussion

ROCD

For those who are involved in simple organic churches, there’s a great Facebook discussion group which I recommend. It’s called Real Organic Church Discussion.

Unlike most of the other “organic” church forums on Facebook or elsewhere, it has not swayed off into crazy doctrines and agendas that have nothing to do with actual functional churches. It is moderated (for the sake of disclosure, I’m one of the moderators) to keep it safe and on track, and the discussions are civil, focused and reality based.

It’s found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/realorganicdiscussion/

Take a look at the group’s description below, then hop on over and join the discussion!

~ Jim Wright

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It’s All About A Relationship …

The Existential Jesus

The biggest lies involve half-truths, like the current fad of saying that “it’s all about a relationship with Jesus.”

But that begs the question: A relationship on whose terms?

Yes, Jesus wants a relationship and for us to feel His presence – as our Lord, on His terms, as we obey Him by doing the will of His Father.

Any other “relationship” is a lie and the day eventually will come when He declares: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7:21-23)

Jesus: He’s more than a feeling.

~ Jim Wright

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The “Missional” Trap

diverse_parts

“Missional” seems to have become yet another buzz word used by gifted leaders to rally God’s people around their own callings and motivations.

It all sounds so good, but it becomes a trap when the Great Commission is reduced to one man’s vision and mission – especially if all the other gifts, callings and Kingdom imperatives in the New Testament then get pushed aside or made to play second fiddle.

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Garden of Delight

Working in my flower gardens is one of my favorite delights. I love to watch them change from mere soil into beds filled with beautiful flowers. I believe that the Lord is the Master Gardener. He delights in transforming dry, dead, dismal gardens into works of art.

my_gardenThe Lord frequently speaks to me through prophetic pictures and many years ago He showed me that I was like a lifeless, desolate garden. His picture was not pretty.

In the Lord’s picture I opened a garden gate expecting to find a beautiful garden, but instead what He showed me was a brown, dried up, dead enclosed garden that did not have even one sprig of green. I was not instantly encouraged by the Lord’s picture!

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Truth, Justice and Church Sex Abuse

Finally, the truth comes out and justice prevails.

Over the last several years, Marianne and I have ministered through Nathan’s Voice to five families devastated by abusive church leaders at Sovereign Grace Ministries and it’s network of churches – including Covenant Grace.

Now one of the abusers has received a 40 years sentence, after years of denial, cover up and shunning of his victims by the leadership structure at SGM. See Child Sex Abuser from Gaithersburg -area Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison.

House2House Ministries and Magazine

Lies, Cover Up and Abuse

Let this be a warning to all who respond to leadership abuse in the Body of Christ with the same kind insular mentality that “circles the wagon” through denials, cover up and attacks to preserve their own power, influence and ministries.

Just like what we saw over the years with SGM, the so-called “apostolic workers” and their “Beyond Cult” over at House2House Ministries (including Felicity Dale, Jon Zens, Milt Rodriquez and Keith Giles) have done the same thing.

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Progressive Hypocrisy and Religious Liberty

“Progressive Christians” seem to think it’s fine for government to:

Ban street preachers from public places, because open evangelism is “offensive”.

muzzle

Intolerant “tolerance”

Bar side-walk counselors outside abortion clinics, because pro-life activists are “judgmental”.

Prohibit a fourth grader from reading her Bible in class, because she might become “close minded”.

Censure God from a valedictorian’s speech, because he can’t be “disrespectful” of other view points.

Force a bakery owner to cater homosexual weddings, because he’s an “intolerant” fundamentalist.

Compel an evangelical adoption agency to place babies with unmarried couples, because “discrimination” against other lifestyles is wrong.

Penalize churches that support marriage integrity referendums, because they’re engaged in “hate speech”.

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Take A Plunge On The Wild Slide

Have you ever experienced the thrill and excitement of going down a giant water slide at a water park?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the joy the Lord and I experience by plunging down the slides He places in my life.

water slide 2The plunge comes towards the end of the journey, after lots of preparation.

First, I need a destination by choosing which water park. I can’t just hope to arrive without knowing where I’m going.

On my spiritual journey I also need a purpose. I can’t wander aimlessly hoping that somehow I will make a difference in God’s kingdom.

Once I have chosen a location, I must pack a few essentials for the trip. Suntan lotion, beach towel and swim suit are the bare minimum.

I believe that the Lord only has one essential for my journey with Him. I need to pack the attitude that I am willing to do whatever He asks.

That is a tough one to fit into the pool bag because self often wants something very different. Sometimes it seems like I have to keep shoving the desire to be obedient back into the bag when it tries to escape.

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