I’ve posted this link before on Facebook, but I think it’s worth posting again. This is a very good conversation on the subject of homosexuality and biblical sexuality, especially the conversation on “identity” beginning at 32:10. One of the things that is often repeated when it comes to sexuality issues is how one’s identity is wrapped up in their sexuality or in the things they do; and it shouldn’t be. In Christ we are new creations. Our identity is found in Him. To define yourself according to sexuality and the things you do is to place yourself under the yoke of cultural, spiritual, emotional, and mortal bondage. In Christ you are more than your sexuality. You are an adopted, reborn, image-of-Christ bearing, kingdom-of-God-inheriting, holy, sin-killing child of God.
By Jeremiah Burroughs from Gospel Conversation (1657) and reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria Publications:
The gospel of Christ in general is this: It is the good tidings that God has revealed concerning Christ. More largely it is this: As all mankind was lost in Adam and became the children of wrath, put under the sentence of death, God, though He left His fallen angels and has reserved them in the chains of eternal darkness, yet He has thought upon the children of men and has provided a way of atonement to reconcile them to Himself again.
Namely, the second Person in the Trinity takes man’s nature upon Himself, and becomes the Head of a second covenant, standing charged with sin. He answers for it by suffering what the law and divine justice required. and by making satisfaction for keeping the law perfectly, which satisfaction and righteousness He tenders up to the Father as a sweet savor of rest for the souls that are given to Him.
And now this mediation of Christ is, by the appointment of the Father, preached to the children of men, of whatever nation or rank, freely offering this atonement unto sinners for atonement, requiring them to believe in Him and, upon believing, promising not only a discharge of all their former sins, but that they shall not enter into condemnation, that none of their sins or unworthiness shall ever hinder the peace of God with them, but that they shall through Him be received into the number of those who shall have the image of God again to be renewed unto them, and that they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
I have a new logical syllogism that gives me a stamp on my man-card. It is based on Mike McKinley’s book, Church Planting Is for Wimps, and it goes like this:
(1) Church planting is for wimps.
(2) I am not a church planter, but a new pastor in an old church desiring spiritual revitalization.
(3) Therefore, I am not a wimp.
The conclusion may be debatable to some, but for now, I’m going to consider the case closed.
My situation is not exactly like McKinley’s. He became the pastor of a small church with the express purpose of revitalizing it with a team from his sending church, Capitol Hill Baptist. I, on the other hand, had no intentions of doing a work of church revitalization with a team. I simply became a pastor of a small local church with the intentions of shepherding them well from the Word of God.
But McKinley’s book on church planting/revitalization has nonetheless been applicable to my current pastorate. A lot of the things he experienced in his ministry, I am experiencing now. Maybe it’s because small churches by definition have a lot in common, or maybe it’s because I share his understanding of shepherding a healthy church. Whatever the reason, in the spirit of Jesus’ “truly, truly” statements, I want to affirm eight aspects of Church Planting Is for Wimps from my own experience as a new pastor. All of these points, whether imperatives or indicatives, are simply my reflections as a new pastor on some part of the book.
You can read the rest here.