Thursday, February 28, 2008

Are you a "no" Christian?

I read a poignant article recently about Christians and how, often, they are known for being "no" people. While I don't agree with a big chunk of the article, it brings up a good point - that what we are for should characterize us more than what we are against.

While we should not stand for sin, especially in our own lives, we can be assured that we are way off if we are basically like the world, but just say 'no' more.

We should be 'yes' people. (We should also not be basically like the world, but that's another article.)

In the fierce U.S. political battle that is taking place, one of the frontrunner's taglines is "Yes, we can." This slogan--"yes, we can"--is a statement of vision. It says, we are going somewhere, we know what we are trying to do and we will get there.

How true this is of Christians who have decided to follow Christ with radical abandonment.

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The Gospel of No!
By Jeremy Reynalds

"If you ask people what comes to mind when they think of Christians... Here's some of what I suspect you may hear. .. 'Christians? They're those people who are against everything. They think they're right and everyone else is wrong.' .. 'Christians? They hate homosexuals and people who have abortions.' .. 'Christians? Oh, they're those people on TV who are always begging for money. With everything I've seen about them on the news recently, I think they're all crooks and hypocrites.'"

"While we complain about the way we're profiled by the media, is the coverage really unfair? Perhaps we're suffering the effects of our own shortsighted interpretation of the gospel, as well as the strident, angry discourse dispensed by those individuals and groups whom the media believe speak for us."

"Rather than focusing on the Lord's redemptive love for humanity, it's a message that co-opts politicians to fulfil its theological agenda, bombastically demanding Christian laws and a culture that reflects the Judeo-Christian ethic. Sadly, the proponents of the gospel of no seem to have forgotten that behavior changes when hearts are changed, not when a new political party gets into power."

"Over the last couple of years I've had a spiritual epiphany as I've come to realize that rather than being defined for what we are against, we should be known for what we stand for. Here are some examples. .. Christians should be the leaders in compassionate assistance for the disenfranchised, hungry and homeless. .. And when people whom we try to help don't behave in a societally acceptable manner, rather than writing them off and congratulating ourselves for being Biblically correct, we should try and dig deep into their circumstances to see what issues they are dealing with that are causing them to act inappropriately. .. As Christians, we should also be in the forefront of the battle against AIDS and be known as comforters of those who are so afflicted. .. On the world scene, we should also recognize that while we have a Biblical obligation to love Israel and its people, we have just as much of a mandate to love the Palestinians and remember their plight and the needs they experience. .. If we begin addressing these issues, we just might end up convincing people that Christians really do bring "good news," not the gospel of no."
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ar TORONTO, CANADA | 2018+

MAY

22 Tue (1) 3pm mtg (JC), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
23-25 Wed-Fri holiday
26-30 (Advance voting)
28 Mon (1) 8:30am VT prayer mtg, (2) 7:30pm dinner (JVE)
29 Tue (1) 2:30pm coffee (BD), (2) 7:15pm patch prayer mtg
30 Wed (1) 9:30am VT Bible study, (2) 10:30am mtg (MF), (3) 11am leadership mtg (MF,SN,VS,DN)
31 Thu 7:45am b'fast (DM)

JUNE
2 Sat am & aft speaking at Guelph Men's Conf
7 Thu (Election day)
8 Fri MI online board mtg
9 Sat ~J's bday
23 Prayer Journey
26-28 speaking at Amplify Conference - Chicago
28 Thu leaving to Arkansas
28 - Jun 7 Fri-Sat holiday

JULY
... May 28-7 Fri-Sat holiday - Arkansas
20-22 Fri-Sun SL wknd w/ ML/J/A/B,Som/S,~J/C
30 - Aug 3 Mon Mon-Fri Kids Kapers camp

AUGUST
4 Sat poss. J/D wedding
10-12 Fri-Sun ~J's family wknd
17-19 Fri-Sun church-plant camping trip - Killbear
24-25 Fri-Sat writing training wknd - Hamilton
28 Tue 10am CCWM board mtg

SEPTEMBER
2-3 Sun-Mon new-staff retreat - Faith Mission
3-7 Tue-Fri VT retreat - Faith Mission
21 Fri MI in-person board mtg

OCTOBER
1-7 Mon-Sun Dollar-a-Day

NOVEMBER
Poss. time in Afr., India, Aus.
24 MI online board mtg

DECEMBER
29: KH/S wedding)

2019 on
Feb 15-18: MIer conference
Feb 16: Sat - 10-yr anniv
Feb 18-22: VT retreat
Feb 22-30: time off
Apr 1-3: poss. First Chair retreat
May 10, 10am: CCWM board mtg
Jun 25-29: poss. marketplace conf. - Manila
Dec: likely Indonesia, Australia