I have a confession to make.
Actually I have two confessions to make.
They are about two facts that many people who I know offline are aware of. But not as many of my online friends do.
I am a PK. I am a preacher’s kid. My dad has been a minister since straight out of seminary and has, for the last 12 years been working “half time” at Calvin Seminary (meaning only 30 hours a week) since he “retired.”
But also, here’s an even deeper secret. I’m a PB. I’m a preacher’s brother. My older brother is a minister as well. He’s been at churches in Kalamazoo MI, Sacramento and now is in New Lenox, Illinois.
When he was out in Sacramento, his church put their sermons on iTunes as podcasts and quite often I’d listen to them while out walking the dog. Spiritual and physical exercise at the same time.
There were a couple of his sermons that really stood out. One of them was about what to fight for.
There was a very simple premise to his sermon. There are certain beliefs that are Biblical foundations. Those beliefs are ones that he will fight for and will “go to the mat” for. Those are beliefs that children in Iraq are dying for. Those are beliefs like:
- Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins.
- The only way to heaven is by faith in Jesus, not by means of good works.
- God created Heaven, Earth and all that is in them.
- God told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
And then there are certain beliefs and traditions in church that aren’t necessarily Biblical foundations. They aren’t necessarily things that are worth fighting for. But quite often the church does.
- What is appropriate to do on Sundays?
- Private Christian schools or public schools?
- One church service or two?
- Infant baptism or adult baptism?
- Guitar and drums or organ music?
- Praise team or Choir?
So, what’s the big deal about these?
The big deal is that the church too often focuses on the things that don’t matter.
They hold meetings to talk about what’s appropriate music.
There are big conversations about what is okay to do on Sundays.
The church spends too much time talking about these type of things and not enough time talking about the important things.
Love your neighbor – who, how, when, where?
Love those who are hurting.
Love God – what does that mean?
Reach the lost – what does that mean?
If we focused on the truly important things in God’s eyes, then we as a church would be more relevant, more meaningful and we’d make more of a difference in today’s world.