Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New beginnings... What does it mean to "tear down the high places"...

2Kings 18:1-4

In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His motherĂ‚’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan. )

It's been eight months since I posted on my blog. I sort of abandoned it after the first of the year because a lot had happened in a very short time. Strangely enough, it was eight months of "tearing down" some of my own high places, although there are many still left.

I named my blog "Tear Down the High Places" for two reasons. One was because I had learned a lot about how "Christianity" in the United States was letting people down. It's not just the easy to spot things like "higher criticism" or protestant liberalism as "High Place" or places set up for people to worship false gods, but in the very way that people are interpreting God's word.

The second (or maybe the first instead) was the fact that I realized how much I had let these things color my own way of looking at God and His son, Jesus Christ. It's a startling revelation to realize that not only is the church that you attend preaching about a different Christ and a different father... Butt also to realize that you not only approved of it for years and years, but believed it as well. It was subtle, but it was there. Like when a pastor reads from an approved version of the bible, then says we need to look at another version of the bible to understand it... A version that was never heard of until that moment. Or when a pastor starts preaching on "millions of years" and winds up denying God's words when he said that his creation was "very good". There was good stuff in there, but there was enough leaven to mess up the whole thing.

But more than anything else, I realized that we weren't hearing the gospel. God speaks to ways to us. He speaks in commands, and he speaks in promises. My church speaksa lott about promises, but turns those promises into commands. Those new commands become "principles" that will make you successful or wealthy or healthy... Rightt up until adversity strikes and all of a sudden those "principles" no longer work.

It's my hope that I can use this blog now to make the distinctions that must be made. The first distinction will be on faith, which is the single most misunderstood word in Christianity today.

Be back soon. The peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard our minds and hearts in Christ Jesus.


the big test

Since someone, somewhere, has seen fit to deprive the world of Issues etc and take a huge bite out of confessional Lutheranism at the same time, I will not take up the mantle of working to see that those who did it answer for their actions.
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