According to Paul, the three greatest elements of life are faith, hope, and love. The first post in our series mentioned how the local church should be the hope of the world, but few see hope in it. We already talked bout the Oxymoron Church’s flawd ideas about love.
Faith is a concept most people are familiar with. We define our religious views as our “faith”, but our faith in God, and have faith when times are difficult. It is the foundation of our salvation, for we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8).
How is it possible for a church to fail in regards to faith? What fate is that church left to, if faith is not alive within its walls? Too many of our churches fall into this category of the Oxymoron Church, and their futures are bleak.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Motionless faith”
So maybe this Oxymoron Church thing is going to hit harder than I thought. Talking about community wasn’t too bad, but love was a rough one. Let’s try to ease up with a look at servanthood.
To be a servant implies we have to answer to someone else. It means there is one who has a higher rank or privilege than we do, and our mission is to fulfill the needs of those above us.
There are a couple of angles we could take here, but we will save at least one for another post. For today the focus is on how servant applies in the context of believer to believer.
You would think a Body of people who believe in community and are motivated by love should be a prime example of servanthood. Already known for its failures in the areas of community and love, the Oxymoron Church has forsaken the life of the servant.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Demanding servants”
Love. It could be the most powerful verb in any language. When we love and then act out of love, the possibilities are endless.
God’s desire to love and be loved motivated Him to create the human race. Scripture proclaims: God is love. It also tells us how we are ambassadors of Christ. If Jesus is fully God and fully man, and we are His representatives on Earth, we are supposed to be representatives of love.
The love of God, which motivated Him to create the universe and to later send His only begotten Son for our salvation, sets a high bar. Souls are searching for this love when they come to church. If only the Oxymoron Church knew how to love.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Conditional, failing love”
When talking about a topic like the Oxymoron Church, the question comes up, “Where do we start?” Do we jump straight into the big issues and risk scaring people off? Or work our way up from the little things? Let’s start somewhere in the middle.
Church is a word we often use improperly. It is not a place, but a people. It isn’t something we do, it is who we are. The church is about a group, a family, a body made up of many individuals. (If you’re my age, think Voltron.)
A healthy church is a group of believers in community. The bonds between them should draw the lonely into arms ready to embrace them, and a place at the table with many brothers and sisters.
In the Oxymoron Church, the promise of community falls to pieces. What should be one whole is smashed by division and strife.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Broken Community”
Oxymoron. It’s one of my favorite words. No, it isn’t a cleaning a solution, nor a personal insult. The term describes the appearance of two words in one thought, but those words are typically understood as opposites.
Cold that burns. A dark light. Deafening silence. These are examples of an oxymoron. Each of these can be true, as well.
Church is another favorite word of mine. It holds so much promise, power, and potential. But it can also fit into the category of an oxymoron. This series of posts are meant to shine a light on the way our churches contradict all the power and promise they should deliver.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Series Introduction”
A recent post by a respected church leader described several trends in the church that give him hope. One of these was the settling down of the “worship wars”, the clash within churches over worship styles. As he says, “We have wasted far too much time and resources insisting on our preferences rather than engaging in true worship”.
While I hope this is true on a larger scale, I still see many churches in worship lockdown. Either the battle hasn’t been fought yet, or it is just beginning.
One of the biggest issues is knowing what to do when a worship leader teaches a new song to the congregation. When you hear your music or worship leader leader say the words, “We have a new song for you today,” let these Seven Tips help you on the path of discovery.
Continue reading “Seven Tips for When Your Worship Leader Teaches a New Song”
I still haven’t figured why, but “The Walking Dead” is one of the most popular shows on television. Even Christians get a rush from a program filled with diseased, hungry, undead zombies and the fight to stay alive in a world filled with them.
No, I’m not a fan, and I’m not living in fear or anticipation of a coming zombie apocalypse (though I do believe something terrible will come one day). The pictures and commercials I see are enough to know that as a person already susceptible to images, I don’t need those ones stuck in my head.
Recently, though, I thought of those rotting undead as the perfect example of a gruesome sight. Maybe you heard something over the recent Easter season, or from some preacher over the years. It makes me think of what God might see when He loks upon us in our sin.
Continue reading “When God Looks on Our Sin”