This and That – 06-08-13

Desecration and Titillation – When you look at pornography you are watching the violation of what God considers more valuable than anything else he has created. It is a violation of all that person is, for sex is not only skin-deep but soul-deep. You are not only watching it but enjoying it, and not only enjoying it but being titillated by it. God says “I value her above all else because she is made in my image, in my likeness.” You watch her being humiliated and violated and desecrated and all the while fantasize about doing the same. God says “Of all I created there is nothing with more worth and dignity,” and you delight in her desecration and indignity. God says, “I hate it when her body and soul is stained” and you say, “It turns me on.” – Tim Challies

The Life Giving Crucifixion of a Disappointing Church – I have really benefited from reading the struggles of ministry from guys like Tullian Tchividjian, Matt Chandler, Mark Driscoll and Andy Stanley but the reality is, a lot of their success can be attributed to who they know, who they’re related to, their natural charisma, good looks, business savvy and their dynamic / magnetic personalities along with God’s grace to maximize these natural gifts for His kingdom. These guys are one in a 100,000 and are God’s gifts to the church (one or two of them may be God’s scourge!). As for the rest of us: the countless pastors and ministers in microscopic ministries dotted all over the country; the many ignoble and non-mighty whom God calls, we read books and attend conferences led by the .01% who have almost no idea how to relate to us. So, as one of those in the 99.99% of plain, feebly-talented, not-well-educated, related to nobody famous, with a dry personality; I hope to share some of what God is doing in my life because He may be doing the same thing through yours as you struggle through what you may see as a disappointing ministry. This isn’t meant to say that I think 99.99% of us are in ministries that disappoint our expectations, but within that number, I know I have met many guys who pastored for 5-15 years and it seemed that nothing good ever came of it – the church split, the church closed, the church fired them and all that seemed to be in the wake of the experience was damage, emotional carnage and disappointment. – Will Dudding

Does theology matter? – Take a quick look at verse 33 if you doubt what I am saying. The theology of justification helps us understand a little bit of the “why” God won’t allow us to be separated from His love. It’s really all about Jesus. God won’t allow me to be separated from His love because He sees me bathed in the righteousness of His own Son! While we may not understand the mechanics of how it works, the truth of it gives us confidence. God does not abandon me because I am wrapped snuggly in the righteousness of Jesus. When I was at my worst, God loved me enough to send His son to die for me. He didn’t abandon me then. Now, by His grace, I am clothed in the righteousness of His son. How much more will He not abandon me now? – Phil Allen

J.R.R. Tolkien Killed a Beatles Lord of the Rings Movie – Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man dared stand in their way: J.R.R. Tolkien. – Joe Carter

Everything I Know about Pastoral Ministry I Learned Riding with Pastors – “Not all disagreement is opposition.”  Boom. There’s that canon fire again. This time John Folmar lit the match during a car ride in Dubai. He doesn’t even remember the comment and I forget the precise context. But when he said it I knew I’d been confusing the two in far too many instances. Since that time it’s been helpful for me to recognize that godly people may view the same situation with really different perspectives and outcomes in mind. That difference doesn’t itself mean opposition or an active resistance to me. It may simply be an honest disagreement and it’s pride on my part to assume that if they only saw it the way I see it then they’d agree with me. – Thabiti Anyabwile

Spurgeon on the Pastor’s Wife – Churches do not give a married minister two salaries, one for the husband and the other for the wife; but, in many cases, they look for the services of the wife, whether they pay for them or not. The Pastor’s wife is expected to know everything about the church, and in another sense she is to know nothing of it; and she is equally blamed by some people whether she knows everything or nothing. Her duties consist in being always at home to attend to her husband and her family, and being always out, visiting other people, and doing all sorts of things for the whole church!  – Charles Spurgeon

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