Thursday, May 25, 2006

"Grace Trumps Doctrine" or better put "That Da Vinci Code Forum Sucked!"

Last evening, Wednesday night, our church hosted a rebroadcast of a simulcast put on by the CCN last Sunday afternoon. (Get all that.) The topic in question was of course, The Da Vinci Code. To be honest, I was a little leery of our church hosting this event from the get go, but then I heard Lee Strobel was going to be one of the main speakers. Now I may not always agree with Lee but at least he seems to be concise and to the point when getting his message across. So honestly, I didn't think it would be that bad. Whooo, I was wrong.

Instead of Lee Strobel doing the majority of the speaking, they brought in the Sr.. Pastor from the Moody Church in Chicago. I think his name was Dr. Erwin (watch out for those liberal professors) Lutzer. The entire 40 minute speal was filled with "this is very important and I will talk about it in a minute." We were continuously led to believe that we were going to get information that would shatter any arguments one might make for the absurdities in the Da Vinci Code to be true. Unfortunately, he never did any of that. Empty promises done in a very, very, very, very boring way. (Did I mention it was boring).

Anywho, the best information that was given to us through the whole evening was a list, a short one mind you, of heresies the early Gnostics were known for. These were:

1. Believing that Gnosis, not Grace, is the way to salvation.
2. Matter is evil.
3. Christ was not actually human but a spirit in human form. (Matter is evil)
4. The resurrection never took place. (Why would Jesus want to get back into that evil body?)
5. The God who created the world is evil.
6. There are multiple deities.

For me this was not new information. You can do a little research yourself and find the same things. But here is something that I did take away from the evening.

The more Dr. Erwin (insert yawn here), talked about the heresies of the Gnostics, the more I began to relate these heresies to "common" Christianity today. Here are some examples:

1. "Do you know, that you know, that you know, that you are saved."
2. An obsession with "end times" theology that vilifies the natural created world. "This world is not my home, I'm just a passn' through, my treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue."

The first is a common phrase from my childhood. I don't think that those who uttered it, myself included, ever meant that a "secret knowledge" was necessary for salvation. I do know that in those circles, it was highly frowned upon if you had a different "salvation experience" than I did. I mean, we all have to have the same experience. How else will "I" know that "You" are saved? ("What is that to you?"-Jesus)

Grace ALWAYS trumps doctrine. This is something I have come to learn. It doesn't mean that we are free to believe outside the bounds of scripture, but we all know that even then we come with up with vastly different interpretations.

I don't know that I need to say a whole lot about the second point. Plenty of people have written arguments about dispensationalism much more eloquently then I ever could. (For a long but good retort to the Left Behind Series see Slacktivist.) I will say this, we are obsessed with leaving this world. So much so, that we have forgotten to live Here and Now. (Shameless Plug) Christ certainly left us with promises of His return, but that does not mean we forsake the God given life we have right now. I think if we focused on living this life in the "Kingdom of God" we would actually be able to make an impact in our world. ( See this.)

So was the Da Vinci Code forum a waste of time? I don't know. Perhaps others got more out of it than I did, but I do know that I had to tape Lost and watch it from 10 until 12 which made me go to bed later. I guess that's can't be much of a complaint but if your a Lost fan, you know the pain I suffered.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

News of All Sorts

The Homefront

My mother emailed me yesterday to tell me about the large storm that went through Florida two nights ago. Dustin has a video up on his blog of the damage that ensued. Check it out. Dad and Dustin will have some work to do. I am glad that you are all safe though.

The Friendfront

In an earlier post I told that several of my graduating friends were making a trek to California to see the Price is Right. Well, here is the update. One of them made it on the show and won 6 grand. Abbey is her name and I congratulate her. If you would like to watch the episode I am told that it will be airing Monday morning. She will be the short, blond girl with a shirt that says "California Love." (Mom and dad you may remember her from spring break. She stayed at your house.) Congrats to abbey!!!

The Seminary Front

I found out that I was awarded two scholarships thus far. That is a blessing. Hopefully more aid will roll in. Keep Dru and I in your prayers. I mailed 26 cover letters-resume-references for her today. Our prayer is that God will open a door with those mailings.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Jeremy-Pearl Jam

One of the greatest videos of all time from one of the greatest Albums of all time. Still rings true a decade later. Does it not?

The Evolution of Dancing

As a good Baptist I was taught that it is wrong to dance. (Well, I was never really a good Baptist anyway. Actually, I was, that's the scary part.)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Summer Softball

Today is a big day. This day marks the beginning of softball season for Ashland United Methodist's team. There is nothing better than spring, freshly cut grass, and a bunch of middle aged men trying to relive their glory days of sports in high school. Ahhh...Those were the days.

Sadly, I will not be able to finish the season as Dru and I will be leaving in July, but I will be able to participate for about half of it. As was the case last year, I just hope I don't whiff at the ball. That's grounds for dismissal in slow-pitch softball! Seriously, a man could get laughed off the field. We shall see how it goes. I will keep you posted. Hopefully I won't pull a hammy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I love Spring. The warmer weather. The blooming flowers. Golf on the weekends. The "greenness" of it all. It's great. But there is one thing I CANNOT stand. Allergies!!!!! I am in agony here.


You get the idea. I finally called the doctor today so maybe there will be a prescription at CVS waiting for me to pick it up. That's my prayer. I can't shake those tiny little pollenses. Who would have thought that something so small could knock out something so extraordinarily muscular. (Seriously, just look at the picture.)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sound Parental Advice

It is my civic duty and responsibility as a youth pastor to help parents in their quest to raise their children. To do this, I thought it would be fitting for us all to watch and learn form Stephen Colbert. He certainly has Sound Advice.

(I have been on a Colbert kick since I watched him Roast the President.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Do you have the Gravitaus?

Not Much Happenin'

It has almost been a week since I last posted. I don't like to wait that long on a normal basis but I haven't been inspired to write anything. Sorry about that.

On an up note, we, the youth and leaders attending our Sr. High Mission trip to Metearie, Louisiana this summer, were blessed to raise the $7,100.00 needed for the trip. We are truly blessed to have a congregation that answers a need when it sees one.

Also, be in prayer for Dru and I as we begin to transition to living in Kentucky. Dru still needs to find a position and we are trying to set a date to look for housing later this month. That can be a bit stressful.

God Bless,

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