Posted July 26th, 2012 by admin with Comments Off
This is a short summary of the first of a series of 4 “Summer Slam Studies” for our youth core at Brunswick First United Methodist Church.
A “worldview” is simply how a person or society understands the world in which they live – the ground-level assumptions we hold, even often unconsciously, about the make-up of the world around us. We can figure out a lot about our (or someone else’s) worldview by asking a few simple questions: what is real?; what is humanity?; what happens when we die?; what is the basis of morality?; & what is the meaning of history? By answering these questions you’ll find yourself and those around you somewhere on a sliding scale between Atheism (there is no God – life has no meaning other than what you choose to give it), through Deism (There is a God, but he/she doesn’t care about us or intervene), Theism (Christianity, Judaim, & Islam – a personal God, who created the world & is active in it in some way), to Pantheism (everyone & everything is divine/god – all is one).
Living in a culture that is pluralistic – open to various views & beliefs – we are encouraged by “the world” to believe that all religions are equally true. The picture is often painted by those who think themselves humbled & open-minded of a tall mountain: on top of the mountain is God/Heaven/the Divine, & we are all on different paths leading to the top. As humble as it sounds, the person who proclaims such a view shows nothing but pure arrogance: they are saying that they are the one who sees the view from the TOP – that they are the ones that know TRUE truth, & the followers of all the religions (paths) up the hill aren’t as enlightened as they are. Buddhist don’t even believe in God – they are attaining to Nirvana! How confused might a Buddhist be to show up in a Christian heaven, waiting for their Nirvana they find themselves in a Kingdom where Jesus is the King as instead of “Oneness with All”, they find themselves worshiping Jesus for eternity? It sounds ridiculous because it IS ridiculous. One cannot “humbly” suggest that all paths lead to the same destination unless one believes that they are somehow “above” – greater than – the judge of – those other paths, & that their view, alone, is the true one.
Jesus claimed very clearly to be the only way, saying “I am the way, the truth, & the life – no one comes to the Father except through me“, & spoke about himself in many parables claiming to be “the gate” – if Jesus is, as we believe Him, God in the flesh, we wouldn’t need any other way to God but through Him because HE IS GOD.
Though it leads to other questions – such as “What happens to those who never hear the Gospel?” (which we address next week) – we have confidence in this: God is Holy (utterly set apart – unreachable & untouchable except that He reach out to us), God is just (He doesn’t ONLY what is RIGHT – there will be no one in Hell that is surprised or feels somehow wronged for being there), & God is LOVE (He is perfect relationship, & has a heart for those that are His). These three truths can give us confidence when praying for those around us who need Jesus.
Next: “What happens to those who have never heard?”
Posted July 24th, 2012 by admin with Comments Off
In late May I was asked by a local pastor, “Have you ever heard of Jesus Culture? Want to do something like that here, with our youth?” Being that my passions are worship, the Kingdom of God, & discipling youth on mission, it’s seemed like a no-brainer. Granted, it had been many years since I’d last stepped foot in a denominational church, but hearing the pastor’s heart for revival, & recognize the immense potential (Almost 200 year old historic church, with a strong foundation, in the center of town, & with plenty of room to grow), I just had to say “YES!” It just sounded like the next logical step for Hope Farm Music Ministries.
So, I’d like to introduce you to the Youth Director/Contemporary Worship Pastor at Brunswick First United Methodist Church in Brunswick, GA: ME!
It’s been a surprising fit for my family, & though I’m not a “traditional Methodist” (the UMC church – from my observation – is no longer planting “traditional” churches, anyway), I find GREAT inspiration from the lives of the core Methodist founders, John & Charles Wesley, & George Whitefield, look back fondly on my college days at Central Avenue UMC, & am encouraged that our current pastor was part of the Asbury revivals, & is invested in our community long-term. On top of that, they are supportive of our itinerant ministry, so we can continue to carry this vision abroad, spreading our passion to Christ-exalting worship, & genuine discipleship to the broader church.
So, my goal: pour into the High-school & Middle-school youth (& some college) – driving home Gospel-centeredness, the Kingdom of God, Biblical Worship, & Honor – & developing a team of sold-out, missional, young worshippers to impact downtown Brunswick, GA, then Glynn County, & abroad.
From this day on, I am back “ON” as a blogger, blogging not only my regular worship teachings, music/book reviews, and “Sunday Setlists”, but also my weekly teachings, Bible-study notes/outlines, & sermons.
I’m BA-AAACK… your prayers are appreciated!