Five Resolutions on Computer Usage

These are from John Piper but I find them exceptionally helpful for me today:

  1. "I will strictly limit my experimental time in the computer and devote myself more to the truth than to technique."
  2.  "I will spend my constructive, creative energy not in the unreality of “virtual reality” but in the reality of the real world."
  3. "I will not replace the risk of personal relationships with impersonal electronic safety."
  4. "I will not cultivate a one-on-one relationship with a person of the opposite sex other than my spouse."
  5. "I will never open any program for sexual stimulation nor purchase or download anything pornographic."

 

In the world of Facebook, FarmVille, Twitter, and a myriad of other internet distractions and pits I find this post very helpful.  The astounding thing is that Piper wrote it 15 years ago.  How things never really change.  Don't waste your life on your computer!

 

Read the whole article here: 5 Dangers of Computer Unreality

No Such Thing...

... as the spiritual gift of "evangelism."  Or so says Ed Stetzer.  After making that statement last week I have been thinking on his claim there and trying to match that up against the Scriptures.  Do you know what I have discovered?  I think he is right.  The term "evangelist" is used only three times in the NT.  Once in Acts in reference to Philip (Acts 21:8), once in Paul's second letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:5) and once in Ephesians 4.  

The Ephesians 4 passage is usually the one that the argument for the spiritual gift of evangelist is promoted.  But I would argue that the four "gifts" that are spoken there are not spiritual gifts but are spiritual roles that God has gifted to the church for the maturing of the saints.  The Apostles were the eye witnesses of Jesus and His resurrection, the founding leaders of the Church.  The prophets were those speakers for God in the early church's witness and expansion.  The evangelist were those who specifically planted churches and labored to see the Gospel spread.  The pastor-teachers are those who are laboring to shepherd a congregation through the ministry of the Word.  These are roles, not spiritual gifts.

Now what does that say about evangelism?  We have got to get around this stupid idea that there is some elite class of Christians who have the ability to bring the world to their knees by their amazing methodology of sharing their faith.  We have to get it out of our minds that only 10% of the church has the gift of evangelism.  

We have to get it into our heads that we are to be evangelists!  Paul's words to Timothy are as applicable to us today as they were then.  The church has to be about "doing the work of an evangelist."   We must get it into our heads and lives that to be obedient as a follower of Christ I am called to proclaim my faith.  All of us are!  If you claim to be a Christian get on mission and start talking about the Gospel.  

In that way there is no such thing as the spiritual gift of evangelism, there is a Church of people who are called to be evangelists.  Every single one of them!

The Gospel is Intentional

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8 ESV)

Recently I have been processing through this issue of the advance of the Gospel and my own intentionality to it.  Frankly I'm pretty poor at being intentional with the Gospel.  For many evangelicals today we think that being intentional with the Gospel means leaving a tract at the table with a meager tip for the waitress.  Or we believe that we have been faithful to the Gospel when we stand on a street corner and preach to all those who walk by for hours on end (who still does that?).  I'm not saying that those things aren't effective, but I think there has to be a better way to be intentional with the Gospel.

I think that starts by taking a view of where I live.  Do I know my neighbors? Do I spend time with them?  Are we building direct, involved, intentional relationships with the people that immediately surround us where we live, or are we just occupying a house so that no one around will bother us?  The Gospel is intentional.  I must be too.