Sunday, October 07, 2007

More Deep Thoughts :-)

I don't know if you've ever heard of Deep Thoughts from Saturday Night Live, but many of those crack me up. In fact, I get a new "Deep Thought" every time I open my browser on my iGoogle page.

The truth is, though, I'm in a contemplative mood tonight, so I wanted to share the impact some reading from around the web is having on me.

Craig apparently talked about "practical atheism" at the Buzz Conference. That is when we believe in God but we do life as if God doesn't exist. What I find scary about it is that I see it in the church (and especially in church leadership) all the time. Here are some of the defining characteristics:

1) We believe our effort is more important than God's power!
2) We believe our private life doesn't effect our public ministry.
3) We believe we must please people more than we must please God.

Mark writes: "One of lessons I've been learning is that nothing is more dangerous than praise from people. You have two options when people praise you: the praise can turn into pride or you can take the praise from people and praise God. And how you handle the praise will make you or break you."

As one who's calling is to lead people in praises of God, it is always a temptation to misuse and mishandle praise. Even further, we are accountable in not letting others misguide their praise away from the true Object of our praise.

I'm not called to be a Christian. I'm called to be Christlike. And those are very different things. And the more Christian and less Christlike we are ... the bigger turnoff it is.

Apple is committed to reaching people and so are churches. The question is, "who's doing a better job?" I have to believe that Apple is - and despite the failure of the contemporary church, God still wins people over.

But Tony Morgan asks the question, "What if Apple (or Starbucks, or Target, etc.) was committed to reaching people for Christ?" How would they do it? And finally, why aren't we?

I would propose that churches are not as successful or as committed as these secular companies because we are much too attached and comfortable with our man-made traditions that we are with the mission and purpose that Christ has set out for us. What do you think?