Monday, September 17, 2007

Why is this News?

John McCain has "confessed" that he and his family are members of and steady attenders of a Baptist Church in Arizona.

Have been for years.

Yet, he talks in terms of being Episcopalian. That has confused some people.

I get it.

I was born a Lutheran. I even attend a Lutheran Church that I care about and do ministry in our area.

In that way like McCain is Episcopalian I'm Lutheran. But, I attend and am a member (whatever that means, Jesus didn't have many membership cards he made people sign) of a Pentecostal group. I have been for years. In fact, I have been a pentecostal longer than I was ever a Lutheran. Yet in my heart I can still do the creeds and all the liturgy without a book. I know many of the old hymns by number and name. I can quote much of the Small Catechism. That didn't make me Christian, just a church attender who learns well.

Like McCain I honor my roots. I don't reject them, I hope to help the Church of my Youth. There is a higher call and McCain answered it for his family. The Episcopal church didn't make that call. The Baptists did.

Yesterday in Church a woman in her late 30's came to a few of us pastors and said, "I'm tired of living below my spiritual potential. I want EVERYTHING God has for me". We prayed, imparted, laid on hands, spoke over her and believed God for her. A breakthrough took place. That's the sound of the Higher Call.

I am hoping the Episcopal and Lutheran Church will both get their voices back to be able to make that call. I'll do all I can to help them find it again.

Otherwise people like John McCain and me will love the church of our youth but be forced to leave for a higher call in another place when both of our preferences would have been to hear that call in the Church of our youths. Neither of us did and so we found what we were looking for elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

do you have to have the higher call in order to be a christian or can you still make it into heaven just by accepting jesus and yoiur savior and lord. you make it sound like their are second class christians or people who only think they are but not at the same level as you

Anonymous said...

yes, arrogance is rampant in the world of religion, each group thinking theirs is the only way. no surprise there.

Gene Redlin said...

Certainly one can go to heaven, live a good  life and have a full existence without seeking for all there is of God.

Yet, we have examples in scripture where believers were challenged to go higher, to dig deeper to find out what more God had for them.  Priscilla and Aquila taught Appolus a more excellent way.  Yet he taught Jesus.  He was in fact a pretty good evangelist even before they took him aside.

Something was missing.  He was living below his spiritual potential.  You can read a pretty well written take on all this by Ray Steadman here.

One can avoid hell, go to heaven and still miss all God has for him or her.  He will still love you.  It's just that he wanted to know you better on this side of the veil.

I don't feel like I'm superior.  I don't even know where that accusation comes from.  I do know that I'm a seeker for more of God.  Whatever that looks like.  I need to seek where I can find him.  I hear a call that says come up thither.  I'll come if I can possibly come.

If someone is satisfied in what they have found and seek no more, I'm not one to judge.  I wrote this because I think a lot of people are confused why some people drink from other wells of refreshing and yet do not forget the first one they drank from.

I don't forget and yet get the fresh water I need from somewhere other than the well I first drank from. 

Anonymous said...

you said: One can avoid hell, go to heaven and still miss all God has for him or her.

now i thought heaven was reward enough. so if i get to heaven just what am i missing

Gene Redlin said...

the kingdom on this side of the veil.
it was always the fathers intent to give good gifts to his children.

Christians were meant to live in victory and glory such that when the time comes to step from time into eternity we won't even know the difference.

i want that.... how bout you.

bl said...

To know You as my Father,
to know You as my King,
to know You in Your resurrection pow'r and suffering,
to know You as my Teacher,
to know You as my light,
to know You as the Lamp unto my feet all through the night.

To know You as Forgiver,
to know You as my Friend,
to know You as my Comforter when all is crashing in

To know You as my Healer,
to know You as my Love,
to know You as my Advocate to Heaven's throne above,
to know You as my Savior,
to know You as my Lord,
to know You as the coming King Who reigns for evermore.

O, I want to know You, deeper than before;
O, I want to know You more and more.

...that 'bout sums it up.