A Coffee and For the Record Friday
I’ve been building up my courage over the last little while to address some things that could be controversial, or that may leave you wondering what in the world I was so worried about. But as I shared in Wednesday’s post, I have long done this wary walk around conflict. And worry and fear have this fantastic knack for making things look worse than they really are.
So without further ado, here is where I currently stand on a few issues:
- Joel Osteen Sometimes it surprises me to see a man, who anytime I have seen him on television is consistent in his words and actions, come under such attack (and often from within Christian circles). He has been called a false teacher and a dangerous man, most recently coming under fire for saying he believed U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a Christian. But until someone comes with solid, properly-backed-up-with-Scripture proof that Osteen is a false teacher, I will choose to believe the best about him and do my best to put Ephesians 4:2 into practice.
- What makes someone a Christian
I have heard a number of churches say only their church is the right and true Christian church. If you don’t hang your hat under their shingle (how’s that for mixing up some sayings?), then you don’t know the real Jesus.
Now I’m not saying you should go to any old church that teaches any old thing. That’s just silly and dangerous. But within our respective churches, we need to be careful about claiming we have the only true path to God. Who are we to say Catholics, Baptists, Charismatics/Evangelicals, and, yes, Mormons have nary a Christian in their midst? Jesus didn’t say, “If you go to such-and-such a church, then you are saved and are My followers.” He said (and the first apostles reiterated) we are to believe in Him to be saved (see John 11:25, Acts 16:31 and Romans 10:9). God knows what is in a person’s heart better than what we do, so let’s all be careful about saying we know who is a true Christ-follower and who isn’t based on their church affiliation. (And I’m pointing at myself most of all here.)
- I can’t think of a tidy subject heading for this one
Here’s the deal: I’m an introvert in a church culture/style that equates loudness with really connecting with things in a service. I’m not saying this culture/style is wrong, or that the loud extroverts are wrong in their style of worship, of receiving from the Lord with a hearty “Amen!” and such with hands in the air. Honestly, I admire their passion and the ease with which they express themselves. But more often than not, if I’m prevailed upon to respond in a like manner, it feels forced and faked on my end. And please don’t use the argument that “You’d hoot ‘n’ holler at a concert/sporting event.” I’ve been to a few of both and I don’t do too much ‘hootin’ and hollerin’’ there, either.
Maybe my introversion, my reserved nature is something that needs to change in me. I won’t shut the door on that possibility. And I’m not always quiet – I can be loud and exuberant. But please, please don’t think I’m not really connecting in a service if I’m not responding in the same manner as all the extroverts. I think I’ve always listed to the quiet side of the boat.
If you agree or disagree with anything, feel free to sound off in the comments section below. But please be kind and courteous (it is the goodness of God that brings men to repentance after all, not us being jerks) or your comments will be deleted.
And thanks for reading! I really do appreciate you taking the time to check out my ramblings. :)
Photo Credit: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo ©2008 (Flickr via Creative Commons)