Tag Archives: Church

Guest post: Cracked, the Church isn’t the Problem I am

Today’s guest post comes from Troy McLaughlin. I have gotten to know him on twitter, and the comments on this blog. We even had a good phone conversation this morning. All in all, Troy is a guy with a heart for encouragement. He shared his response to my recent posts about depression. I love how practical he makes this. At the end, we are left withe the choice: are we going to choose grace?

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As I read Aaron’s post “When its not enough” and Chad’s guest post “Church grow up”, I was saddened. Saddened that the very place of comfort and refuge is a place of misunderstanding and shame. All I could ask is why? Why is the very place where the hurting should go for help is no help at all? Why do we do this as a church? When Christ said the world would know us (the church) for the love we show one another? How does this work? Who’s fault is it? It’s mine. No one else’s but mine. You can certainly include yourself here. If I’m not going to be part of the solution then I am the problem.

How do I, how do we as the church show true love one to another? Here’s some sobering facts. Read them these aren’t statistics they are people. Real people who suffer. Real people in pain. Real people in our church. Real people in our world. Real people dying every day.

  1. Nearly 26.2 percent of people (1 in four over the age of 18) suffer from a diagnosable mental illness in a year.
  2. When applied to the 2004 census,  that comes to  57.7 million people.
  3. Six percent suffer from serious mental illness: 1 in 17
  4. More than 90 percent of suicides are those who suffer from a mental illness

(Source: The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America)

Are these people worthy of the gospel are they worthy of Christ’s love?  Of course they are. He died for EVERYONE. Then they have to be worthy of my love. No excuses. No complaints. Just love. Period.

Lets do something about it. Remember Christ didn’t come into the world to condemn it but to save it. Stop condemning others. Stop turning the hurting away. Stop giving grace lite. There is no such thing. It’s grace or no grace. The gospel is not a board that we beat the world with. It’s the good news that can set people free. It’s to set everyone free. Period. No exceptions. Not one. Remember John 3:16 “For God so loved the WORLD,” that’s everyone, “that have gave His son”… But we forget the verse that follows this. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17

Here are some practical steps:

  1. Get to know others, I mean really know them.
  2. Have a meal with a neighbor. People like to eat just ask.
  3. Welcome someone new in church. Say “hi” shake their hands. Learn their names. Learn their spouses names. Learn their kids names.
  4. Volunteer at a clinic that helps others. Hospitals, food kitchens, homeless shelters, aid clinics, even church. When we get to know others, truly know them our compassion for them grows.

Can you show true love to others?

Can you show true love to those who sit beside you in church even if you don’t understand them?

Can you get to know others?

I’m choosing grace and love because that is what Christ chose for me. I’m choosing to love others in the world and those who I sit beside each Sunday. I’m choosing to know others, yes really know them.

***

Troy McLaughlin

Troy McLaughlin is a truck driver by night,writer by day, and happily married father of three. He writes about the power of getting up and not giving up. You can find him on twitter.

Righteous Giving

I feel like we throw a lot of money at church. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not. Money and church is a huge, semi-complex issue to wrestle through. Right now, I’m just wondering why we give, why we take part in a weekly offering, why we “tithe”. It is a normative part ofContinue Reading

Random thoughts on the need for theological reformation

When we have praxis as the focal point, it’s easy to write off what we live as ‘one can be good with out god.’ All our efforts to do something are just accomplishing… what? Kingdom work? The good news of God? We are only a sign and a fortaste of the kingdom when we actContinue Reading

Jesus and nothing else

‘Crucial to a life of Jesus-shaped spirituality is the place of Jesus as the one sufficient Mediator between God and humanity, in contrast to relying on religious institutions and rituals that insist on occupying the stage with Jesus. The radical nature of believing “Jesus = salvation” and “Salvation = Jesus + nothing” becomes clearer asContinue Reading

Look to the sky while working the fields of earth… or consummation is coming

Without a strong eschatology social justice becomes little more than hospice care for a dying world. Without a biblical eschatology preaching amounts to little more than coaching people to live moral lives. Without a wide, deep, overarching eschatology people get fed, sickness gets cured, governments change,  church pews get filled, and the status quo staysContinue Reading

Metrics of Faithfulness

My friend Thomas Ward started a discussion with me via twitter about how one can measure faithfulness in following Jesus. This is the sermon rant that resulted from his challenge of factoring Matthew 25 into understanding measuring fidelity without falling into judging everyone by some standard of works. This this is long. Kudos to anyoneContinue Reading

What would your sign say?

What if heaven isn’t about a return on your investment? What if it’s about the kingdom of Yahweh and his messiah swallowing up the broken kingdom of man? What if heaven starts now in how we give, receive the broken and outcast, about how we sacrifice and serve? If all that was true, what wouldContinue Reading

Weaker brothers (and sisters)

UPDATE: Be sure to check out Bob’s comment. Its a good response to balance out who actually *is* a weaker brother/sister. Bob Hyatt posted this to twitter Monday morning (link here, if you really need to read it). Quick synopsis: a “discernment blog” looked at an interview of Tim Keller and decided that he has/isContinue Reading

What the Atonement Did

This is a condensed version of the ‘What the Atonement Did” series I wrote a few years back. This version appeared in the March 2007 edition of Next-Wave. We evangelical Christians talk a lot about atonement stories, throwing out theories of penal substitution, ransom, recapitulation, and so on. These are all good, but, this isContinue Reading

DIvine Commodity blog tour

Skye Jethani has a new book out there: The Divine Commodity. Today he is on a blog tour (complete list of blogs and radio spots can be found here). Bob Hyatt has started what looks to be a good conversation with Skye. You should stop by and add your thoughts and questions. Also be sureContinue Reading

The Coming Evangelical Collapse

The Internet Monk (Michael Spenser) has a great article in the Christian Science Monitor (on-line and in print): The Coming Evangelical Collapse. It’s a great piece, really good food for thought. His article (actually allot of his blogging) has led me to two conclusions: I’m not ready to give up being an evangelical yet. ThereContinue Reading

Bob Hyatt: The Death of Preaching

Bob Hyatt (bob.blog) has a good post about video venue and how they will eventually lead to the death of preaching. This goes right along with the thoughts from my last post. I can foresee that if church takes this shape, we will have more and more people driven to “discover” preaching as their spiritualContinue Reading

Charis and Action: some thoughts on spiritual gifts

I was thinking about ‘spiritual gifts’ this morning. Rolling around the idea that maybe our various church cultures (at least in the evangelical stream) do a great job of promoting the gifts of preaching and teaching… and the personalities that go along with them. The trend I have seen is that ‘going into (the) ministry’Continue Reading

Scattered thoughts on Driscol's final thoughts, or don't spend your crazy weather on self recognition.

Final Thoughts from Pastor Mark at 12:37 am After the Lowest Sunday in Many Years Some random thoughts and question raised by this post: Is it holy to feel humbled that people did extraordinary things to come see and hear you? Devotion is a good, good thing… however we always must raise the question, whatContinue Reading

Why I’m a catholic// I gave up on your “church” and got into the communion of saints

Michael Spencer recently posted a honest piece about what the past year of His life has been like and why He gave up on your god. It is honest, beautiful, and (apparently) like kicking a hive of proselytizing hornets that are just itchin’ to get you across the Tiber (aka make you one of the “TrueContinue ReadingContinue Reading

Kingdom Themes

As I read scripture, I keep seeing three kingdom themes that are foundational in shaping the life and theology of believers: salvation, love, and living the fear-of-the-Lord. I want to spend some time unpacking these themes in scripture and exploring their implication for our thinking and praxis. Before we dive head long into these themes,Continue Reading

Seeing Jesus

Luke 23.8 records Herod being very glad to see Jesus. Why? Because Herod wanted to see something spectacular, to see a sign and a wonder… in short, Herod wanted entertainment. I often wonder why I come to Jesus. Is it because i am captivated by the beauty, truth, and love of Yahweh made manifest inContinue Reading

Theology is for peace makers

November 26, update: This post is in response to thoughts like this: “I’ve just been informed that one cannot be a Barthian and a Christian”(overheard at the BHT). Theologians do not merely amplify, refine, defend, and deliver to the next generation a timeless fixed orthodoxy. Rather, by speaking from within the community of faith, theyContinue Reading

The next big prime time drama: The EC

Update July 14, 05: I have added a few links… and must furiously tip my hat to the Boars Head Tavern-folk for most of them. So what the heck is the Emergent Church (EC)? Is it churches trying to reach the “next generation”, much like money grubbers do in marketing campaigns? Is it the justContinue Reading