As an American, freedom is a term that is both familiar and foundational. There are battles over various freedoms in our Western nations, and we wonder at the lack of basic freedoms around the world.
Freedom is an essential building block of Christianity. Though it neither demands nor forces the freedoms many fight for today, it offers a deeper freedom that cannot be bound by any earthly shackles of inequality or oppression.
Proclaiming freedom for captives and the truth that sets us free, the church invites the hopeless to a life of freedom in Christ. At the Oxymoron Church, while shaking the keys of freedom before the chains of sin and death, they hold open the door a new life where hope slowly dies in a different kind of prison.
Continue reading “The Oxymoron Church: Imprisoned freedom”
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”