Fellow Christians, let us remember we are ambassadors of the gospel of Jesus and ministers of reconciliation. Continue reading
The internet is just so full of things. And it’s been some time since I put a list together, so please bear with me this week.
Risen, Reviewed by Michael Coughlin
Michael Coughlin watched and reviewed the new movie, Risen, and his post is available at Michelle Lesley’s site. I saw the film for myself on Sunday afternoon and found Coughlin’s assessment hit the mark. If you’re considering seeing it, check out his review first.
My own brief thoughts about the film: great acting, cinematography and a gripping story that affirms that Jesus did in fact rise from the grave. It also does confront a nonbeliever with the truth of Jesus’s deity, a truth that demands a response: believe and follow or reject it. If was also considerably more accurate in its history and plausible in its fictional parts, than many other made for TV or cinema movies about the Bible or Jesus Christ. It was not perfect though.
My gripes about the film were mostly small, with these notable exceptions: there was little indication of why Jesus died on the cross (Because our sins separate us from God Jesus sacrificed himself to redeem us from our sins and restore that relationship with God if we repent and believe in Him.) and no real mention of sin or repentance (that I could spot with one viewing). As a result it lacked a clear gospel message for the viewer to understand (and accept or reject). Second, the portrayal of Jesus as all about “love” was what I would consider incomplete truth. Certainly Jesus was loving, sacrificing himself for our sins was the greatest demonstration of love in all of history. But he also made it clear He would someday judge the world, and those who did not believe in Him (for example: Matthew 25).
According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 ESV
Christine Pack, one of the Sola Sisters, has a couple of updates on her site regarding Andy Stanley and North Point church. One of them, posted May 7, had to do with a document volunteers must fill out and sign into order to minister with students at North Point.
So that you realize Pack has no anti-North Point agenda I want to share some of what she wrote: “For myself, I was thoroughly shocked and appalled when I read about this recent message by Andy Stanley. I know a number of people, solid Christians, who attend North Point, and speak highly of the teaching there … and yet, by his teaching, it seems he is drifting down the path of ear-tickling liberalism that so many before him have done.”
As evidence of that drift, Pack posted a passage directly from the covenant document volunteers are required to sign. I urge you to read it for yourself on Sola Sisters, but the summary point is that instead of saying that certain sexual behaviors are unbiblical (sex before marriage, same-sex relationship, single and cohabiting, married but committing adultery) and therefore individuals involved in one of those four sins are ineligible to volunteer for ministry at North Point church — the document says they don’t accept volunteers doing one of those four things “in an effort to protect you from a potentially awkward situation.” (Emphasis added)
As Pack rightly points out, “there is no call for repentance for those in willfully sinful sexual situations, no mention of church discipline, just a caution for those in sexual sin not to volunteer …”
This of course is the real heart of the matter. Al Mohler’s initial criticism stemmed from being unable to discern Stanley’s answer to the question: does North Point discipline members for adultery, but not homosexuality? All churches and church leaders need to be willing to confront any willful sin among its congregants in love and with the desire for the sinning person to repent and be reconciled to God. So it was a church discipline controversy at the outset.
However, my previous post was not focused on church discipline because Stanley recently turned the issue on its head. So now, in my mind, there are two separate issues that Stanley needs to clarify for those that are watching.
Problems at Andy Stanley’s North Point Church – Christine Pack at Sola Sisters
Is This Andy Stanley’s Gay Affirming Shot Across the Bow – Christine Pack at Sola Sisters