Not-So New Rebellion.

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“But the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not entirely trust anything. He has no loyalty; therefore he can never be really a revolutionist.

 And the fact that he doubts everything really gets in his way when he wants to denounce anything. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind; and the modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. . . .

 As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. . . .

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.

In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite skeptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.

Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.” Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton

Not all doubt it a bad thing, in fact it can turn out to be a good thing. But not all doubt is a good thing either. Some doubt can leave you desperately confused, exhausted and alone.

As with everything in life, moderation is key. But there is a trend I see in my generation to embrace the kind of skepticism that Chesterton described a century ago. I would call it “circular skepticism.” Doubt which leads to no fruit, only despair. It’s the kind of doubt that does not promote critical thinking but rather opposes it.

A person who doubts everything is like one who builds his house on the sand, his mind is like the stormy ocean.”What’s the use?” “What’s the point?” “What is?” beat against his heart until he is swept away.

Listen to the conversation between Lewis and Macdonald in The Great Divorce.

“What some people say on earth is that the final loss of one soul gives the lie to all the joy of those who are saved.”

“Ye see it does not.”

“I feel in a way that it ought to.”

“That sounds very merciful: but see what lurks behind it.”

“What?”

“The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.

I don’t know what I want, Sir.’

‘Son, son, it must be one way or the other. Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it: or else for ever and ever the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves. I know it has a grand sound to say ye’ll accept no salvation which leaves even one creature in the dark outside. But watch the sophistry or ye’ll make a Dog in a Manger the tyrant of the universe.”

I truly believe many young evangelicals imprison themselves with their doubts by questioning everything and not submitting to anything. I believe this not only because I see it, but also because I carried the chains for many years myself. Is it possible that many of us are ignorantly blackmailing God? Does God have to submit to you before you place your faith in Him? Does Gods word have to line up with your theology before you trust in Him? Think about how silly that is.

The church needs to be aware of this not-so new skepticism.

 

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For the sake of His name.

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
Romans 1

We have received grace and apostleship, which brings about the obedience of faith…

For the sake of His name.

Not my name. Not yours. God gives us grace for His glory.

Just think about that.
 

God sent His Son to bring about the redemption of all things for His glory. It is not because you are His treasure. It is not because you deserve it. 

It is because our God is gracious, merciful, abounding in love. Our God loves to hear His name exalted in the hearts of His people.

And He is worthy of our exaltation. 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1

 

 

Today I turned 24. 

I was telling some friends the other day about how often I forget that I’m an adult. I still halfway expect to be confused as one of the kids in the youth group. My body, however, tells a different story. My knees hurt. I walk on the sides of my feet in the morning. I can no longer order anything off the dollar menu. You may laugh, but these things come as a surprise!

But life has been good. Marissa and I are very happy here in Walnut Ridge. I am the children’s minister at First Baptist, and I manage a small coffee shop on Main street. I drink a lot of coffee, preach often, and get to come home to a beautiful wife. 

But the best news I can share with you all is that this October, I’m gonna be a dad. We are extremely excited! Please be praying for us as we prepare for parenthood.

Grace and peace.

 

 

 

If all we do is teach them knowledge, what have we accomplished?

As a minister, if all I do is convey knowledge to my listeners, what am I accomplishing? How can we become more accountable as the body of Christ? How can we be sure that believers are applying what they have learned?

Accountability, you say? Where do you see that, honestly? And I’m not talking about xxxchurch.

Mentor ship? Again, where?

Communication? ugh…

What happened to community? Transparency? Humility? Hospitality? 

-switching gears-

Everything we are was made for the gospel. If you don’t love the story of Gods grace…His redemptive plan for all life, then you do not belong in the church. Get your heart right friend. The church, the bride of Christ, was created for one purpose: Share Jesus with the world, by word and deed. If we are not accomplishing that one thing, we fail to become the church. Every activity, every single event should be gospel centered. Believers should be ecstatic over the opportunity to share the love they have for Jesus. 

My hearts desire is for children to know Jesus. Not about Him. All that is secondary. Let me help you establish a relationship with God first.

Come to know your father. Draw near to Him. Can you see Him? Can you feel Him stirring your soul? What is He calling you to do? 

 

Christ in you.

This May I will be receiving a youth ministry degree from Williams Baptist College. I am very excited to be the first person in my family to be receiving a college degree, my father being the first to graduate from high school! God has done amazing things in my life since arriving at Williams. I have made an innumerable amount of friends, received an excellent Christian education, and in the process married the love of my life.

I’m writing this blog for everyone who may be confused as to why I’m still at Williams, and where Marissa and I see ourselves in the coming months. The answer to the first question is easy, I was not ready to leave. My grades were not bad, and I have not failed any of my classes. I would have had to take an 18 hour semester last year to graduate, and that would have been impossible whilst working at Hastings full time. Last year my spiritual life was in the pits. My faith in God had been shaken early on in my college career, and I let the seeds of doubt and skepticism plant a void with my relationship with God. Seeking anything to fill the void that only God could provide, I worshiped many idols during my college career at Williams. Although I was receiving all of the head knowledge from Williams, there’s was nothing going on in my heart. For most of my college career, I have been a very scared, hurt, lost young man.

That’s not the case now, however. I am not going to waste your time by explaining the radical transformation that God has been working in me throughout my marriage with Marissa. Just know that everyday I fight to make God supreme in my life. Marissa and I are looking at several different seminaries, and I plan on becoming a Christian educator in the future. So there’s the answer to my second question. Please pray with us as we continue to follow where God leads.

A look into my journal.

10/20/11

Yesterday I met with my supervisor Mark Harris for the first time (as a supervisee). Mark is simply incredible. The man is full of wisdom, and I admire him dearly. We talked for nearly an hour and a half. I told him a little about myself, my ministry, and the direction that Marissa and I are still seeking from God. Mark related some of the same, and really encouraged me to take seminary seriously. After speaking with him, I can now see that I’ve had a very narrow outlook on going to seminary. For so long now I have viewed seminary as an extension of adolescence. My reasoning? I see college ministry graduates going to seminary simply to extend their student careers. I also see men placing the debt of seminary on their wives, who many times have to take on the full load of being the sole financial provider. Sure, this isn’t the case for many seminary students…but it’s still prevalent. However, I find myself staring at myself. Is this just an excuse because I am tired of school? Am I simply making up excuses so that I can take the easy way out? Sure, those reasons that I listed may have some truth to them, and I am excited about getting my start in ministry now, but am I secretly choosing what’s convenient for me? Also, what does that say about me remaining teachable? Be assured Marissa and I will be praying about these things.

Last night’s lesson was over integrity. Integrity is something my Father has always instructed me to maintain. I feel like the lesson went over well, definitely one of my best, and I learned a lot studying it. I could tell there is hurt in my Bible study. I can see pain in the eyes of some of my class mates, who smile but hurt on the inside. I know it’s fear. The devil is a tricky fellow, and I can tell that he has choked some of the life out of my fellow believers. Doubt, fear, and guilt are all weapons used by our enemy when we dwell on our sinful past. Isn’t that what he does? When we give into the world, we wound ourselves…and then enter the prowling lion.

Blessed it the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” <-Take that Catholic church. (Luke 11:27-28)

Ah, had to open with that passage..just too funny! Man, it’s tough building yourself back up after years of skepticism and doubt. But man, life isn’t about living in the past. Today has been so beautiful! Marissa and I have done nothing whatsoever! Slept in, checked out the flea market, then came home and grilled up some burgers with beans.The Office season seven finally released on Netflix…we’ve already watched seven episodes…haha.

Be praying for Marissa and I as we beginning seeking where God needs us next year. Ideally, we would like a white house with blue shutters on the outskirts of town. A chocolate lab that greets us in the drive way, and a church that fully funds everything haha. Just kidding, but really be praying for us. We are both a little confused as to where God wants us to serve, and what careers he has lined up for us. Found a great little article in the latest Relevant Magazine entitled “Don’t quit your day job…yet.” It was pretty inspiring! If you don’t read Relevant, you should. And if you have never heard of it here’s a link.

http://www.relevantmagazine.com/

Peace to you all! God bless.

-Charles