Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Postmodern Quote

I am reading a book called "Why We're Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be)".

I just read a quote in the book that speaks volumes about Truth and the Postmodern culture.

Paraphrased "It's really cool to search for God (or Truth).  It's not very cool to find Him (the Truth)."

Why is this so?

Well...isn't it all about pride?  On both sides of that quote...isn't it about pride?

Isn't it just so cool, intelectual and open minded to be searching for Truth?  To dig into all the nooks and crannies of so many different, diverse and often opposing world views, religions - even atheism?  To talk with, to interact with so many different writings, speakers and other people about how these different views effect you, what they mean to you...how they have brought signifigance or meaning to different areas of your life?  How you choose to throw out the things that you don't like...and adhere to the things that appeal to you?

Isn't this pride?  Isn't this simply creating a graven image of what you WANT the Truth to be?

Now...what happens when someone finds the Truth (or doesn't the Truth really find you)?  Aren't there really only two choices that can be made?

Well...ok, so it is the irrefutable, proven, innerant Truth - but you'd rather have it your way, so you refuse to follow it, instead looking for more patterns in the world that appeal to you.  Pride.

Or...and this is the crux, the dilemma of the age.  You submit yourself to the Truth.  You decide that the Truth is and will be the ultimate authority in your life.  You allow the Truth to rule your life.  Submission and humility.

Why is it yet so hard to come under the authority of the Truth for Postmodern Culture?  Because we've been taught...that we are the center of the universe, that it is not OK to say "no" to our desires...we've built a unique and powerful altar to self-pride in each person.  Me, me, me screams the ego of the 21st century.

I still struggle with it...and I would like to think that I want to be fully submitted to the authority of the Truth.  Again...the beatitudes come to mind.  What a study those eight nuggets are, what remarkable contrast to all the world (and even much of Contemporary Church teaching) tells us we should be.

My heart aches to be blessed by being (Matthew 5:1-12)...

Poor in Spirit
Hungering and Thirsting After Righteousness
Pure in Heart
A Peacemaker
Being Persecuted Because of Righteousness
Being Persecuted and Insulted and Having all kinds of Evil and false things said against me.

"Lord God...convict me, humble me...lead me to seek these things, to live by these beatitudes.  To constantly seek to know what they mean by your example, by example of the Disciples and the first generation church.  To continue to bring Your Truth to the world no matter the personal consequences, no matter the persecution - yet to bring it with great Love and utter compassion. - Amen"

Tozer Today - No Limit to What God Could Do

Revival: No Limit to What God Could Do

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, "These who have turned the world upside down have come here too." --Acts 17:6

There is no limit to what God could do in our world if we would dare to surrender before Him with a commitment like this: 

"Oh God, I hereby give myself to You. I give my family. I give my business. I give all I possess. Take all of it, Lord-and take me! I give myself in such measure that if it is necessary that I lose everything for your sake, let me lose it. I will not ask what the price is. I will ask only that I may be all that I ought to be as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen."

If even 300 of God's people became that serious, our world would never hear the last of it! They would influence the news. Their message would go everywhere like birds on the wing. They would set off a great revival of New Testament faith and witness.

God wants to deliver us from the easygoing, smooth and silky, fat and comfortable Christianity so fashionable today. I hope we are willing to let the truth get hold of us, even at the cost of rejection or embarrassment.

The faith of the heavenly overcomers cost them everything and gained them everything. What of our faith? Jesus Is Victor!, 116-117.

"Oh God, I hereby give myself to You. I give my family. I give my business. I give all I possess. Take all of it, Lord-and take me! I give myself in such measure that if it is necessary that I lose everything for your sake, let me lose it. I will not ask what the price is. I will ask only that I may be all that I ought to be as a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen." 

Monday, September 15, 2008

At the Sports Bar?

A couple of guys (Jeff, Tony and Don) and I drove down to Taos New Mexico on Friday the 12th to ride the famous South Boundary Trail.  We arrived in Taos around 6:30, checked into the Super 8 and headed out to find some grub.

We had four bikes on the back of Jeff's SUV, only locked on with a cable and a padlock - so we drove around the Taos downtown area for about 20 minutes looking for someplace we could eat and keep and eye on the bikes.

The Taos downtown is a serpentine maze of narrow streets, shops, eateries...but parking is pretty sparse.  We decided to head a little south of downtown proper to see if we could luck out with an eatery where we could watch the bikes with close-in parking.  Within a few blocks we spotted the "Downtown Bistro"...with a patio out front and open parking spots right up front.  So we pulled in and scanned the menu after the waitress got us situated on the patio.

Well...$28.00 for a 10oz Steak...and $15.00 for a burger - ouch.  We apologized, told the waitress we were looking for simple and cheap "bar fare".  She told us to head down the road just a little bit to a new Sports Bar called "Shadows Lounge", she said it was good eats at reasonable prices.

We found the place...but we had to park about 200ft from the bar, around the corner.  No way to keep an eye on the bikes...OK...whatever.

Typical Sports Bar...live musician playing cheesy 80's covers in the corner, a bunch of college games on big screens - the waitress seats us at a high top "bar" table and we're perusing the menu.

Within five minutes...this lady steps up to my left, between Tony and I and starts talking about how all the guys at this place ("the locals") are all losers and asks if she can sit with us.  I said..."Sure..."  The other guys looked at me like "What are you doing?"

I knew why she was there, she was looking for someone to spend the evening/night with...I also knew why God had me there.

She was a bit buzzed, not drunk though...but it was obvious - she was trolling for a man for the night.  I saw that she was buzzed and asked her "Are you planning on driving home tonight?"...she responded "Well (with that look)...it all depends..."

I quickly said..."Oh I'm sorry...I can see that you're a little buzzed and I don't think it would be a good idea for you to drive for a while..."

She was making comments about the "b**ch" waitress and all the "losers" in town, etc.

She was chatting with Tony about some of the same garbage...I knew God had me on deck...I began praying barely out loud for the Holy Spirit to take over...to guide the conversation and to open her up to the Truth.

After a few minutes...I asked her if she had any kind of Spiritual background...the food had arrived...I don't remember eating.  I do remember hearing Don say out loud..."He's witnessing to her right now!"  The rest of the place disappeared and it was me and her in conversation about the Gospel.  She was convinced that salvation was through "faith and works".  We worked around that issue for a while.  She kept saying "but faith without works is dead".  I carefully walked that mine field, trying to explain that works is only evidence of faith...and outward sign of salvation.  I quoted Ephesians 2:8-9 "...for it is by grace we are saved, through faith and not of works, lest any man shall boast..."  she did not believe me.  She wanted to see it for herself.  I went to get my Bible...and remembered it was in my bag in the room.  Doh.

We continued to talk through the Gospel...and how important it is to know what you have is the Truth...that there can not be multiple ways to salvation.  Then...she really started to pour her heart out to me...right there, in the bar.  Within 45 minutes...there at the table in the bar...she was BAWLING...tears flowing like a river.

She started telling me how lonely she is...her sister recently dying of cancer and that she was going in this Wed (the 17th) for a CT scan because they think she has liver cancer...and she's so lonely and didn't want to be alone that night dealing with it by herself, bawling her eyes out she told me how scared she was.  I asked her if I could pray with her.  I reached behind her head and pulled her head right next to mine...my other hand on her other shoulder and started praying for her.

I was not aware of anything else in that place...but for a few seconds I remember hearing the waitress standing next to me asking a question...and then I heard "what?  oh..." and she walked away.  It was powerful.  I prayed for her healing, for the Holy Spirit to reveal his Truth to her.

We finished praying...the other guys were talking...I don't have a clue about what though.  I carefully told her to look long and hard at what she thinks that "truth" is...because it won't matter what you believe when you die if it is wrong.  That God can show her what that truth is if she asks God...and she seeks it in the Bible.  I wrote my name and phone number on a card and got her info (which I lost...I'm an idiot)...I told her I would call her on Wed to see how the CT scan went.  She asked me to call her on Tuesday as she'd be on the road to and from the hospital all day on Wednesday.  Pray that I find her info...or that she calls me.

She's lost, scared and lonely.  I told her that God is the great comforter and healer of the Universe!  He can be with her to comfort her, to keep her company - to keep her from looking to alchohol and the company of a man.

Wow...it was powerful.

We were settling up the tab...she was still in tears.  I prayed with her again, gave her a hug and we left.

The other guys were asking me..."What happened?"  I could not talk for about 15 minutes.  Every time I tried to explain it...I started to break down.

Pray for that lady...for the only truth that will matter in 100 years to invade her spirit, to comfort her and to heal her.