Monday, January 29, 2007

Choose the Life

I am finally getting around to blogging again. Basketball games and church activities have left little time free to write lately. So, I thought I would start out with a quote from a book that I have recently begun reading. I haven't finished it yet, but it promises to be great. The title is Choose the life, and is written by one of my favorite authors, Bil Hull. Here is a great quote, one that really hits close to home for me.

"The contemporary spiritual leader hears many voices. One of the loudest is the one that appeals to the natural desire to be successful. It says you can lead a growing, cutting-edge ministry with all the accoutrements. You can achieve your dreams; you can reach thousands. It tells you to ask God to give you more influence because that is what he desires for you. It is the cultural voice of the upward mobility with all its allure. The single greatest need of spiritual leaders today is to ignore this voice of the flesh and learn to hear the voice of God. God is calling us to renounce all other voices and to devote ourselves to hearing his voice. It is an acquired skill - one that I have only begun to learn. "

This is a much needed correction to the church growth mentality that is taking over American Christianity. Success is a hard master. We pastors need to remember that Christ has not called us to success, but to faithfulness.

6 comments:

Ken Jones said...

Collin.
Hey dude. Just ordered that book. Great minds think alike.

Have you read Willard's, The Great Omission on discipleship?

KJ

Billy said...

Ken and Collin,
I am glad I wasn't KJ, having to run behind the blocks Collin was supposed to be making. :)

On more serious matters. True discipleship is presented as optional in today’s Christian culture. A quote by Willard.

"So far as the visible Christian institutions are concerned, discipleship is clearly optional. ... The best of current literature on discipleship either states outright or assumes that the Christian may not be a disciple at all – even after a lifetime as a church member. A widely used book, The Lost Art of Disciple Making, presents the Christian life on three possible levels: the convert, the disciple, and the worker. There is a process for bringing persons to each level, it states. Evangelizing produces converts, establishing or “follow-up” produces disciples, and equipping produces workers. Disciples and workers are said to be able to renew the cycle by evangelizing, while only workers can make disciples through follow-up."

Dallas Willard, The Great Omisssion: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on Discipleship. (SanFrancisco: Harper, 2006), 3.

Billy said...

Bill Hull contends those who teach discipleship is optional are teaching the separation of justification from sanctification. A believer can be justified but can choose not to be sanctified. Hull says discipleship is “believing what Jesus believed, living the way Jesus lived, loving the way Jesus loved, ministering the way Jesus ministered, and leading the way He led.”

See pages 11, 18 in Choose the Life

collin wimberly said...

Billy,

Hey, I resemble that remark about my blocking! Maybe that's why KJ's lost his hair, too many licks in the head. Anyway, it's always the lineman's fault, isn't it.

Collin

Shawn said...

Hey, found your blog refreshing to read! Thanks, it's nice to read something without having to overt my eyes, lol!

Andrew Elston said...

Hey Bro. Collin,
You may or may not be dealing with this current issue at Swartz, but I thought this article on The Jesus Tomb may be helpful to you.

The Jesus Tomb

I found it courtesy of Desiring God.