Guest Blogger Joins Team

I’ve been asked to “Guest Blog” whenever I have a thought I just HAVE to share. Apparently my “Comments” have been a tad long. Sorry, but I’ve never been able to make a point in just a few words. [I’m terrible at IM!] I also like to share from things I’ve been reading and would enjoy people’s thoughts, comments & questions. I’ve had to promise NOT to mention any embarrassing stories connected to male offspring. (I’ll just save those for the “Comments”.)

To get you thinking…currently I’m preparing a Ladie’s Study on Matthew 5-7 (for SOME day) and am reading John R.W. Stott’s “The Message of the Sermon on the Mount” along with the Matthew passage. Mt.5-7 demonstrates how Kingdom dwellers are to be different from the world. They are to be the “counter culture”. So long as they are conformed to the world, they are contradicting their true identity. In Lev.18:1-4 God instructs Israel that they are NOT to be like the Egyptians or the Canaanites, BECAUSE He is the Lord, their God. In Jeremiah- “Learn not the way of the nations”. I know when I examine my own life, I see a lot of little “ways” of the world. I think it’s important to examine ourselves and ask if we’re really part of a “counter culture” or if we’ve gotten caught up in the subtle ways of the world. We’re usually pretty good about the “big” things, but I think we can become callous about or overlook the more subtle things.
Beth’sMomToo

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9 comments on “Guest Blogger Joins Team

  1. Jen says:

    That was really funny, I was reading thinking it was T who wrote that and then when I saw preparing a ladies Bible study I was a little shocked. I jumped to the bottom of the page to see BMT too who wrote it!

    Good words, there are many times that I realize just how in the world I am without even realizing it, I think it is also a fine balance on not being too holy to turn people off also. you know what I mean? (I am so eloquent with my words…they just flow if only you all could read my mind it wouldn’t be an issue)! I am looking forward to the study!! I really can’t wait…for someday when you decide to teach it, but you are preparing for it which means it is not that far off… right?

  2. Beth'sMomToo says:

    Well, first we’re doing the Inductive study of Philippians in March. Sign-up will be after Dean starts his class.But it is my intention, as I head towards the Final Trimester of Greek, to do Ladies’ Studies on a more regular basis. I think it will help me keep translating if I keep putting together studies AND it will keep all of us in the Word. Thanks for encouraging me, though. It might get a little scary if you actually encourage me! 😉

    Your comment was interesting. It points out the difference between OUR idea of what it means to be a believer and God’s idea. They’re not necessarily the same thing. If we lived obediently to Mt.5-7, don’t you think it would HELP our witness?

  3. Doug Wilcox says:

    Well, this is almost like having your own BLOG.

    Welcome to “My Other Life.”

    Tim, I haven’t been lurking here very much, but now that BMT is co-authoring, I’ll be back daily.

    You may live to regret giving her such freedom!

  4. Jen says:

    Well said Doug!!

  5. Beth says:

    Culture is a tough one. For example, I don’t have problems with church’s catering to people’s tastes/styles- like a coffe-house style Bible study- as long as the word isn’t watered down.

  6. T-Bone says:

    or the coffee…

  7. Beth'sMomToo says:

    Actually, when I used the term “counter culture” I was referring to the way of living Jesus presented in Mt.5-7 as opposed to the world’s way – things like “store up your treasure in heaven” being “poor in spirit, ie humbly depending on God”, being one of “those who mourn, ie having godly sorrow over sin”. He points out in chpt.5 the difference between His message and the world’s message (Pharisee’s message, to be precise)- “they say” don’t murder/”I say” don’t have anger against someone in your heart; “they say” don’t commit adultery/”I say” don’t lust after a woman in your heart. This probably ties right in to what Ian was blogging about recently. You can see how obedience to this would make you different from your culture!

  8. Ian says:

    I think its interesting how alot of evangelicals, in their attempts to be counter cultural, actually adopt the culture into their beliefs. They allow culture to influence their faith, rather than transform the culture with their faith. For example: At the church we were attending while living in Hillsboro, we watched this instructional series from a company, Crown Ministries, I think, that sought to give financial advice/guidance from a “Christian” perspective. Now, this isn’t a bad thing, however, we might as well have been watching Suze Orman, or someone similar. Pretty much the only difference was that they built in tithing into the budget. The whole thing was built on spending/investing your money in profitable ways (again, not a bad thing), because in doing this we are putting reward in our Heavenly account (I don’t know if they used this term or not, but it seems to fit the bill -no pun intended-). “God’s Economy” was re-defined as using our money wisely and involving our churches in our spending habits (forget the whole sin/redemption thing). Rather than prompting them/us to redefine what is valuable, what is a treasure to us (namely Heaven/the Kingdom of God), laying up treasures was no different than buying stock as it remained a monetary/wealth based concept. (My, I used a lot of /’s in the last few sentences.)

    Another example: Deb, I found it interesting the way you worded your comment about Matt 5. “His message and the world’s message”. The message that Christ was countering was actually God’s message as given to the Israelites through Moses. It was God that said “don’t murder”; God that said “don’t commit adultary”. Each of the things Christ spoke to are one of the ten commandments. I think this actually works for your point very well in that it shows just how perverted both the culture and our Christianity become by allowing the world to mold our faith rather than the other way around; and this will always happen as long as there is a culture for God’s people to oppose. Is it enough to be “counter” cultural?

  9. Beth'sMomToo says:

    That’s it! Ian demos in his example how subtly we can be drawn into the ways of our culture . That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about! Between the Civil War and WWI the message of the Bible became so closely identified with American politics and culture that the vestiges still linger. Except NOW they are entering conservative churches, where previously they were more evident in liberal churches – things like connecting the purposes of America with the purposes of God, etc. Russell Conwell (Gordon-Conwell Sem.)gave his “Acres of Diamonds” sermon saying it was the “duty” of Christians to become rich, “Because to make money honestly is to preach the gospel”. Where does the Bible say that’s a definition of the gospel? But now we have classes in church teaching us how to increase and conserve our financial wealth. It’s true we are to be wise stewards of what God gives us, and proper use of money is vital, but why? To increase our personal wealth? No- to use it to the glory of God for the furtherance of His kingdom.

    Ian had also pointed out in his blog (do I get points for these references? Or is this considered plagerism? ;), that Jesus is also demonstrating here how deeply the Law goes, and that unregenerate man can not hope to keep it by his own power. It can only be done by God providing the means- via the HS in regenerate hearts.

    In Mt.5-7 Jesus requires his disciples to adopt his altogether different set of values, a sort of “transvaluation of values”. Bonhoeffer wrote “With every beatitude the gulf is widened between the disciples and the people, and their call to come forth from the people becomes increasingly manifest.”

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