Daily Riches: When More Knowledge, Enthusiasm and Motivation Doesn’t Work (Pete Scazzero)

“Martin Luther’s intensely disliked Jews and wrote essays against them that were resurrected and used by the Nazis. He also advised the German nobles to slaughter the rebelling peasants without mercy. Ulrich Zwingli condoned the torture and drowning of Anabaptists … because they believed in baptism by immersion. Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield were slaveholders… The great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Asuza Street (1906) in Los Angeles split terribly over race, resulting in black and white churches throughout America for decades. Many leaders of the Protestant Missionary Movement, along with a number of contemporary Evangelical leaders, failed in their marriage and family life. John Wesley, for example, couldn’t live with his wife; his marriage was … deeply troubled.

“We are quick to point out the sins of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches located primarily in the Eastern part of the world (e.g. The Coptic church of Egypt, the Syrian Church, The Russian Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church, The Armenian Church, the churches located in Iran, Iraq and in the Arab world.) We forget that, for the first 1054 years, there was only one church – the one, holy, catholic (i.e. universal), church. I meet many Christians who ignore this history, acting as if God jumped from the book of Acts to the Protestant Reformation. And [who think] if people are not evangelical or charismatic Protestants, then they are probably not Christian. There is much we can learn from Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers – even though they have plenty of problems and we do not agree on a number of points. Remember, a true believer is someone who has a living relationship with Jesus Christ who died and rose again for our sins, not someone who worships like we do. If we are going to slow down for loving union with Jesus and experience deep transformation, we must learn from those with a long history of learning in these areas. Key dimensions of a full-orbed, biblical spirituality are not strong in American Christianity. Disciplines such as silence, stillness, solitude, and waiting on God, for example, are almost nonexistent in our churches.” Pete Scazzero

“… the truth will set you free.” – Jesus

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • Different religious traditions emphasize different things. Are you aware of important spiritual practices not emphasized in your tradition?
  • All Christians are misguided or misinformed in some ways. Could some Christians, misinformed about some things, know something of value you don’t know about others?
  • Does your church communicate the importance of “silence, stillness, solitude, [slowing down] and waiting on God?” – things that work where more information, inspiration and motivation don’t?

Abba, teach us that promised freedom which is freedom indeed.

For More: Finding Our Way Again by Brian McLaren

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 Thanks for reading/sharing this blog!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: God’s Call to Evangelicals … And All Christians (Lloyd Gestoso)

“I want the evangelical church in America to be a place of safety and hope for real people who face real problems. …Christianity is one of the largest religions in the world. Evangelical Christians are very influential in this country. Our churches are very well-positioned all over the country. We have the infrastructure built. But people who have real problems, people who have real challenges, people who need hope often are not turning to our churches. It’s partly because, since the New Deal and all the things that happened in the 1930s, all the people born after that think the government is the group that takes care of people’s needs, and the church takes care of just the spiritual. But if you look at history before the Great Depression, the church was very, very active in caring for all needs, for all people, all children. They were educating the illiterate; they were caring for the orphans; they were really seeking to care for people who were addicted to alcohol. And I think we can be that place of refuge again for people when they see the shallow and empty solutions that are available and they want something more real, something of depth, something beyond what we can see. They want to connect with a real God, to the real Almighty God. And I think sometimes our churches are caught up with what others think or with being afraid to speak out, and we’re often caught up, unfortunately, judging others … looking at each other as competitors, not as brothers and sisters, weighing whether they deserve our time or our love. And that’s really unfortunate. We really need to understand the grace of God that’s in our lives, set aside our preoccupation with deciding people’s worthiness, and really begin to see every human being with value, seeing every human being as a human soul that has crossed our paths for some purpose. That’s really why God put us on Earth: to love profoundly. And I think we are still not known for loving profoundly.” Lloyd Gestoso

“whoever loves others
has fulfilled the law.”
Romans 13:8

  Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you calculate “people’s worthiness” before you decide whether to help them?
  • Does your denomination “love profoundly?” …your church? Would others use those words to describe you?
  • Is your church more likely to produce people who are “judging others” or helping others “connect with” the God who is real?

Abba, help us, whoever we are, to love profoundly.

For More: The Soul of Politics by Jim Wallis

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)