Friday, June 29, 2007
Holiness is central and many Christians have forgotten it or just don't want to deal with it.
I think that the only kind of Christian there can be is a radical Christian. Anything less and I think a person is risking, "Lord, Lord, did we not prohesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.'" Do we not believe that the road is narrow leading to salvation? Have we forgotten "unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." Anyone who is not seeking utter obedience to God is condemned by Christ's words, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." What was Christ's teaching on sin? To the woman caught in adultery he said, "leave your life of sin." He says the same thing to all of us. Do we love him enough to do it?
Is this holiness easy? Do we just get saved and have no desire to sin? Perhaps some have experienced entire sanctification at conversion but most do not. So what does this mean? It means that the Christian life is a constant battle against the flesh. It means that there are things in us, things that seem to be central to who we are that must be renounced and rejected in obedience to and trust in God. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Self-denial, cross bearing - not things that feel good but things we MUST do to follow Christ. There is no other way. These are the basic values that liberal "christians" utterly reject and that many other true Christians try to ignore.
We must also trust that it is out of God's love that he calls us to this holiness. If God becomes our portion, that is, if we truely experience the Presence of God in this life then I think that all the things we are called to leave behind will appear weak and ugly compared to what we gain in God.
Did Jesus' death and resurrection free us from needing to be holy or did they allow us to become holy? On a plaque outside of the chapel at Asbury College is written, "Salvation For All Men From All Sin." I believe it. Christ frees us from sin. That is what he calls us to. He didn't just die to give us a ticket to heaven. Heaven can begin now and there is no sin in heaven. 1st John 3:4-6 says, "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him."
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The year of grace 1654,
Monday, 23 November, feast of St. Clement, pope and martyr, and others in the martyrology.
Vigil of St. Chrysogonus, martyr, and others.
From about half past ten at night until about half past midnight,
GOD of Abraham, GOD of Isaac, GOD of Jacob
not of the philosophers and of the learned.
Certitude. Certitude. Feeling. Joy. Peace.
GOD of Jesus Christ.
My God and your God.
Your GOD will be my God.
Forgetfulness of the world and of everything, except GOD.
He is only found by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Grandeur of the human soul.
Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you.
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have departed from him:
They have forsaken me, the fount of living water.
My God, will you leave me?
Let me not be separated from him forever.
This is eternal life, that they know you, the one true God, and the one that you sent, Jesus Christ.
I left him; I fled him, renounced, crucified.
Let me never be separated from him.
He is only kept securely by the ways taught in the Gospel:
Renunciation, total and sweet.
Complete submission to Jesus Christ and to my director.
Eternally in joy for a day's exercise on the earth.
May I not forget your words. Amen.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
I, Matthew James Perkins, having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, in the grade of 2nd Lieutenant do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; SO HELP ME GOD.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Christ's Chapel Reformed Episcopal Church in Riverside
This church has a cool website. They might be a bit too reformed for my Arminian Anglo-Catholic sensibilities. I will definitly check them out though.
Inland Empire Orthodox Anglican Fellowship in Riverside
This is a church-plant of St. James Anglican in Newport Beach. According to St. James' website, they have "Charismatic roots" which I would certainly appreciate. St. James Church is part of the Anglican Province of Uganda so if I end up going to this church I will have ended up moving from Rwanda to Uganda. I like the idea of staying in an African church.
Brookside Free Methodist Church in Redlands
When I was at Loma Linda for my interview someone recommended this church to me. Even with my antipathy for certain regions of the United Methodist Church, I am somewhat of a Methodist at heart and would probably agree with the teachings I would find in a Free Methodist Church. Their website is currently down but I checked it out a few months ago and it looked like it would be a good place to meet other Christian 20-somethings. Even if I don't end up regularly attending worship here, I think they might have some ministries I'll check out.
Some Foursquare Church in the area
While I'm home in Battle Ground, I go to Wellspring Foursquare Church. I have had a great experience with this denomination. I love their commitment to living by the word of God and their openness to the activity of the Holy Spirit. Even if I don't end up at a Foursquare church, I'll probably have to go somewhere to get my necessary dose of Pentecostalism.
P.S. - Big announcement this Sunday at around 7 or 8 Pacific Standard Time - I promise!