Less eisegesis, more exegesis…

Puh-lease! We don’t need opinions in pulpits. We need God’s loving, life-transforming, time-transcending Truth.

There are too many cracked foundations and breached walls. This is true of individuals, churches, and even whole denominations.

Opinions change. They are subject to a person’s preference, pride, popular culture, peer-pressure, previous life-experience.

Any foundation built upon opinion, is built upon shaky ground. Jesus likened this to “…a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:26 NIV.

Everyone has the responsibility of being careful how we build.

The people of Jesus’ day were amazed at His teaching …because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law, Matthew 7:28,29 NIV.

That is, authority comes from the Word of God. Not opinions. Not long-standing traditions. Not even when these are taught from pulpits by church leaders. These may tickle people’s ears for a little while. They may even entertain us.

But, enough with the eisegegis!  We cannot teach opinion with integrity before God in His pulpit. It is His pulpit. Do we need reminding of that?

It is only God’s loving, life-transforming, time-transcending Truth, unfiltered by opinion and unapologetically spoken, that builds the right foundations…

Is cussing sin?

November 17, 2014

Recently my 7 year old asked me, what’s wrong with cussing? She seemed very concerned.

She doesn’t have the habit of cussing. She was just asking me about it.

At school she hears words that are pretty bad. Already. At 7! But I am happy she comes right home and asks me about them. I’m glad for her honesty. And, although some of the words she’s heard other 7 year olds use are pretty shocking, I don’t necessarily want my daughter to know, I’m shocked. So I don’t let on. Instead, I keep the conversations full of grace as I explain why using such language is, well, ugly!

I said, “Cussing is not super bad sin…” I’m not trying to give her a theological lesson.

“But, cussing is just very, very, ugly.”

“Cussing is undignified. And since God gave His Son Jesus for you, Bella, you are very, very, valuable to God. You have been given dignity by God. And a daughter of the King of heaven, doesn’t need to use such undignified, ugly words.”

That was all she needed and she went on with the rest of the day unburdened, happy, and playing, as a 7 year old should.

In the end, if my daughter lives a life based upon values from the word of God, understanding who she is in Christ Jesus, rules about language, rules for rules sake, will be totally unnecessary.

Same is true for us; about our whole life… Not just our language!

In the hidden place our faith is ignited.

In the hidden place God does His best work in our heart.

In the hidden place God teaches us and we learn to hear and properly respond to His voice.

In the hidden place God deals with us. He probes and examines our heart–this can be painful. But in the hidden place, God makes Himself powerfully present, so any pain is superseded by His presence.

And there in the hidden place, we find all of life is superseded by His presence.

The hidden place becomes addictive because we find we cannot live without the fullness of His presence.

The hidden place is a place away from the noise of the crowd, away from the distraction of life. It’s the place we go and prioritize God, to pray, read His Word, worship, and press into Him. There is no other person there, no digital device, just Him.

The hidden place is not spectacular. No one else sees. No one applauds. There is no accompanying choir to sing alleluia’s. No Instagram follower can click ‘like’ to validate the time spent.

It’s hidden because it’s a private place away from the eyes of people. Maybe that’s why so few of us value the hidden place…

But, it’s the only place God makes Himself intimately known to us.

God desperately wants to be intimate with us…