Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remnant Network - 13

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



    I've always liked Chrystal Abbott - pastor of Manteno, Illinois' First Presbyterian Church.

    Not bashful or boorish about loving Jesus by the book, she just preached at the most recent stated meeting of Blackhawk Presbytery (9/9/14).

    "It Only Takes a Spark" was the title of her message.

    You know the song.

    Anyway, she said sparks can cause two kinda fires: destructive or uniting.

    Then she drew upon Smokey the Bear for accountability when sparks fly: "Only you can prevent forest fires."


    Do you/me/us/them light fires that destroy or unite?

    Are we haters or lovers?

    It was pretty simple...and convicting.

    Have you/me/us/them been more involved in building up or breaking down the family of faith?

    Has agape yielded to anal/narcissistic litmus tests of fidelity?

    Do we have so many anal/narcissistic litmus tests of fidelity - up, down, left, or right - that keeping the family together is as probable as Bears and Packers fans gathering around the campfire to sing Bobby Goldsboro songs?

    Yeah, it was pretty simple...and convicting.

    Simple in not identifying the really divisive issues between those who still love Jesus by the book and those re-imagining Jesus apart from the book.

    Those issues are real and inescapable to those who love Jesus by the book and those who re-imagine Jesus apart from the book.

    Convicting in reminding us that Jesus came to unite not destroy churches.

    John 17.

    Yeah, it was pretty simple...and convicting.

    While the elated left always instigating apostasy and way right ignoring the impossibility of escaping that instinctual total depravity since the garden in any ecclesiastical club will become increasingly antagonistic to any passion for remaining faithfully in the PCUSA as part of the faithful remnant, God used Chrystal to speak to my heart again.

    Though I get really ___ off by too many peers whose relationship to Jesus by the book is no more than coincidental these days and other peers who are deluded enough to think that they're really that much better than anybody else with amnesia to Romans 3:23, all of 'em are still part of the family that Jesus came, died, rose, and reigns for.

    And even if so much of today's anal/narcissistic church acts like a sentence ending in a preposition, all of 'em are still part of the family that...



    Chrystal reminded me of what is often so easy to forget in an anal/narcissistic kinda way.

    If more pewsitters and pulpiteers were like Chrystal, I think our churches just might become part of the Church again.

    That's the rub.

    Unlike members of the Church, with Chrystal as a model, churchy posers bastardizing the label - Christian - don't love Jesus by the book by loving Jesus by the book.

    Up, down, left, and right make up stuff remotely related to Jesus by the book.

    Total depravity and those other viruses noted in Matthew 15, 23 still plague the improbabilities of evolving into something/Someone better.

    I also thought about that while listening to and being chastened by Chrystal.

    I also thought about that while looking at the big stained glass window in Manteno's sanctuary.

    It's a picture of Jesus with sheep.

    I was struck by two things.

    The Good Shepherd never intended the undershepherds to follow sheep.

    They're supposed to lead by the book.

    The second thing was the expression on Jesus' face and rod/staff in His hand.

    Church is serious business.

    Souls are at stake.

    And sometimes to protect the sheep, ya gotta pick up the...



Blessings and Love!

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