Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June 23, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Jesus must be really embarrassed by today's churches; or as Frederick said in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, "If Jesus were to come back today and see what's being done in His name, He'd never stop throwing up."

Mark Twain was right: "The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little by way of example."

Yeah, I know you can't blame Jesus for some Christians who need some Jesus in their lives; but as I listened to some guy from Newark, New Jersey screaming over the radio while driving back to seminary from my field education assignment near the Delaware Water Gap in the mid 70s, "The only gospel that some folks will ever hear or see is the gospel according to you and me!"


Churches have a lotta, uh, something tellin' the world how to get along when they don't/can't/won't.

Think about it.

Churches say, "Come to us, join us, and help us change the world for the better!"

Yeah, right.

With so many conflicted churches with "members" hating each other in the name of Jesus and more franchises/flavors/denominations than Baskin Robbins advertising how they're better than everybody else, churches look so silly when they say they can enable reconciliation for a divided world.


If they can't reconcile themselves, how the...?


It's time for churches to grow up and model something better in tune with Romans 12:1-2.

The church needs to become the Church and start modeling Christianity as personified in Jesus and prescribed in Holy Scripture rather than some kinda navel-gazing religion.

God knows we know everybody knows the truth of Matthew 23:15 when it comes to too many of today's churches/denominations/pulpiteers/pewsitters.


That's why I've decided to commit the rest of my life and ministry to modeling something more reconciling within by way of example for those who are without.

I started a few years ago by inviting a pastor who was bounced from our church many years ago after only one year to return as a staff member; concentrating on pastoral care to shut-ins.

I'll never forget one elder's caution: "You know his ministry did not go well."

My response: "You're right about that. But so what? If we can't pray and labor to restore relationships in the church, we have no business pretending to tell people how to do it anywhere else."


I'll never forget visiting someone in a nursing home not long after that pastor joined our staff.

She said, "I hear ___ is back! Well, don't send him to see me! I never liked that man!"

So I put her on the top of the list for his first visits.

When I saw her not long after he visited her, she snapped, "You sent him to see me even when I told you not to send him to see me. You did that on purpose!"

My response: "You're right about that."

Then she said, "Well, he's not so bad. You can send him whenever you'd like."

My response: "You were wrong about him; but now you're right."

In short, his return enabled reconciliations that were long overdue.

Maybe that's why my mule is named Jane's Return.


I'm praying/working on more modeling for our family of faith at First in Belvidere, Illinois.

I've invited my predecessor to come back, move the headquarters of his current ministry to an office across the hall from me, and be available for pastoral care and occasional worship leadership.

He's praying about it; and if God gives the green light, we'll present a proposal to our officers.

When word leaked out that it's/he's/He's in the wind, an elder said, "I don't want to upset you; but some folks may go to him before you for some things if he comes back."

My response: "You're right about that."

I'm praying with the pastor of a local "emerging" church in town about them moving in with us and sharing office space and using our sanctuary for worship on Saturday evenings with a proviso that they kick something into the kitty and he preaches for me every now and then when I'm away on Sunday mornings and I preach for him every now and then when he's away on Saturday evenings.

We're praying about it; and if God gives the green light, we'll present a proposal to our officers.

When word leaked out that it's/he's/He's in the wind, a friend/peer said, "I don't want to upset you; but some folks may go to the Saturday service if you do that."

My response: "You're right about that."

Looking at everything but heaven going on in our world and too many churches, we've got to model something better for Christ's sake.

Besides, did you notice the caution?

I don't want to upset you.

There it/they is/are.

It's O.K. to upset Jesus as long as people who are supposed to...

I'd rather be right about/with Jesus than, uh, that.


I may catch everything but heaven for praying/working on such modeling.

Some people are too into idolatry to make it work.

Some people long for the way things never were or maybe were but are no more.

Some people don't like to see anything happen for the first time.

Some people confuse Christianity with how they think, feel, and lust.

Some people embarrass Jesus.


Sounds like dad again.

You may recall he said the same thing when I said BBPBHO would never be elected before the, uh, election and then said BBPBHO will serve two terms: "We live in a rock star culture. We live in a land where someone can make millions for inventing a pet rock or hula hoop. He's a fad. We'll get over him; but not until..."

Guess who just fired the main man fighting the ___heads in Afghanistan because of a few misplaced truths in Rolling Stone?

I predict he'll name Bono as our next...


Bono isn't an American citizen?

Are you sure?

Just check his birth certificate.




I guess I'd rather try something/anything that would model something better than what's going on in too many of today's churches.

Salvation Army founder William Booth said it for me when he said it to Rudyard Kipling: "Young man, if I thought I could win one more soul for Christ by standing on my head and beating a tambourine with my feet, I would learn how to do it."

The Confession of 1967: "The church confesses its faith when it bears a present witness to God's grace in Jesus Christ...God's reconciling work in Jesus Christ and the mission of reconciliation to which He has called His church are the heart of the gospel in any age. Our generation stands in peculiar need of reconciliation in Christ."

In short, depending upon the grace of God to enable/direct/correct, I'd like to try something a little more, uh, Christian than...

Now go back to the first section of this edition.



Blessings and Love!

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