The Oxymoron Church: Conditional, failing love

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.

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The Oxymoron Church: Series Introduction

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.

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When God Looks on Our Sin

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.

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Which Messiah are You Looking for?

Jesus made a lot claims during His life. Son of God. Forgiver of sins. Son of David. Lord of the Sabbath. The “I AM”. When Jesus asked what the Disciples thought of Him, Peter called Jesus the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-16).

Messiah literally means “anointed one”. It is, in part, a reference to the anointing of a new king. It is a perfect match for the One destined to ascend the everlasting throne of David, to rule over Israel, every nation, and all of creation.

When Jesus was received like a king to Jerusalem, everything the people hope for falls into the picture of Messiah. The title drew a very distinct picture in their minds. it should do the same for us. But are we looking for the right Messiah?

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Why did God create so much?

My wife and I recently watched The Martian again. Having read the book after seeing it last, I wanted to see what was missing, and fill her in on some of those gaps. It’s an incredible tale of survival, hope, and the decision to continue. (If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, be warned there is a degree of language in both.)

At one point, Astronaut Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is on a long journey to another landing site on the planet. Along the way, he describes how he is the first to do so many things on Mars. He even states, “I’m the first person to be alone on an entire planet.”

Considering all that just one planet can contain, and having in mind the unfathomable number of stars and planets floating around out there, my wife made an interesting comment. “It makes you wonder why God made so much.”

When I went to our prayer meeting at church Sunday night, I hadn’t yet taken the time to think about what she said. But as I was walking and praying, I found an answer. God created all of that we see around us and dream about in the great, wide universe. But why?

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