prayer and worldliness – 1.27.08

Sunday was a wintry day. Attendance down a bit. For us, winter means temps around freezing, but usually very little snow if any. Also, for us, winter only lasts for about two weeks. Spring should be here in mid February.

Making Mention of You (Rm 1.9-10) ||

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Two prayer emphases in this message: 1. What it means to constantly pray for others. 2. What I must do to bring about the answers to my own prayers.

That second point may get my Calvinist friends going! The point is related to Paul praying long for ministry in Rome, but facing many hindrances to getting there. Paul carried on, fulfilling his calling in many places, ‘clearing his calendar’ so to speak, and wrote in anticipation that his prayers were almost ready to be possibly answered … in part because of his own diligent effort in the ministry. Our prayers often need the help of our participation as well. In other words, we need to be active in what we are praying about.

Turn Away from Your Idols (Ezek 14) ||

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The idols for which the Lord condemns Judah are a parable to us concerning worldliness. From the prophecies of Ezekiel, I highlighted the deviant practices of this idolatry, all the way to child sacrifice. I asked how it is that the people of God could stoop to these levels? The answer is becoming enamoured with their world one compromise, one little idol someone brought home to ‘show off’ his daring, one adoption of an idolaters ways … indeed, one step at a time.

And that kind of worldliness is a parable for our kind of worldliness. Our idols are different, but the compromises are the same.

I hit Driscoll and Mars Hill pretty hard near the end of the message. What a pathetic bunch they are.

In the message, I used this comment on worldliness from David Wells:

“Worldliness is what any particular culture does to make sin look normal and righteousness look strange.”[1]

The quote is probably worthy of a blog by itself. It is one of the best definitions I have seen. Is quiet piety, the simple life, an eschewing of modern music, movies, television, indulgences, etc., a model of godliness? Isn’t it made to look strange by many Christians? Yes.

On the other hand, the oh so avant garde Driscoll says on his site:

Hence, Mars Hill Church is in favor of good beer (in moderation), great sex (in marriage), and even tattoos (Jesus has one).

Worldliness.

What does God think of idols?

~~~

BTW, this wasn’t in my message, but look who hangs with this guy. You’ll see Driscoll book-ended by two of the young fundies heroes.

Regards
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3


[1] David Wells, http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/newsletter/2004/mar26.html

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