How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life

Why Politics Isn’t the Answer…It’s About The First Commandment

August 28th, 2018

The Ten Commandments are about love. Loving God and loving your neighbor. Working for the good of God’s ways and working for the good of your neighbor.

The First Commandment.

“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

“You must not have any other god but me.”

We notice immediately God emphasizes freedom. We worship a God who sets free and delivers from bondage.

So, if you don’t want that God what god would you choose?

Something that brings you back into bondage again?

Who would want that god?

The god of bondage?

Homer Simpson said, “Alcohol is the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.”

Well today this sounds like politics.

In the mainstream world today, everything is politicized. As if politics is the center of the world.

Or, ‘politics is the cause of and the solution to all of life’s problems.’

No, actually politics is bondage. Trying to seek solutions to the world’s problems using human means. Good luck on that. If we choose not to follow God and his agenda, we are left with the bondage to relying on humanity to save us.

Your god is simply that thing you place the most trust in.

Martin Luther said it this way.

“We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

Your God is that which you focus on, that which you rely on. If you trust in anything other than God, your god simply doesn’t have enough power.

Sorry to have to tell you this, but President Trump is not the Messiah and he’s not the Antichrist.

He doesn’t have all the answers and neither do those who would “Resist” him.

Even though our media and our universities are working full time to convince us that they have all the answers, they know what’s best for us, this is worshiping a false god. We have to “Just say no.”

In today’s world we have to say “No” to the false power we attribute to our political agendas in order to say, “Yes to God.”

But, why do I have to say no to other things to say yes to God?

We can’t believe 2+2=4 and that 2+2=5 is also correct.

We can’t say God creates us, rescues us and empowers us, and then at the same time believe some other power does these things, as well.

God demands we love him alone.

And if we choose any other God other than the LORD our God, this will not only destroy us, but our neighbor will have to pay.

Beginning with the closest, most intimate neighbor. Our own families. The next passage of Exodus 20, after the first commandment, explains.

“I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”

That seems clear to me. God specifically comes as Jesus to carry out his mission to rescue and restore the world.

Logically, it makes sense to follow Jesus. It makes sense to pass down his message and model it for the next generations. There may be other ways to know the things of God other than through Jesus, but, what if I’m wrong? I may have just screwed up  the life of my kids and their kids.

Practically it makes sense to follow Jesus. Just take the Christian worldview and live out any part of it. Don’t take revenge, for instance. Or, work for the good of your enemy the way Jesus would if he were you. Work to relieve innocent suffering.

You see, Christianity matches reality better than any other religion or philosophy when it is actually practiced. Go ahead and try other ways if you must. But, if you are open enough and honest enough, you will always end up with the truth of Jesus.

But, if I don’t surrender my life to God’s ways, and don’t really attempt to seek him, there will be hell to pay. Hell to pay for me and hell to pay for the rest of you.

The first commandment.

 

You Can Connect With My Content In These Place

April 11th, 2016

I am currently experimenting with a social media consultant and am generating much of my work to my church website. Here are places you can find content I am creating.

lifehouse.la (the congregation where I serve as senior pastor)

personal Facebook page

church Facebook page

Facebook page for my book, Reboot: 70 Life Lessons With Dallas Willard

Facebook page for my Grandpablogger blog

Grandpablogger.com (my grandparenting site)

joystartshere.com (I write for Life Model Works)

davidhousholder.com (I podcast for Life & Liberty Magazine)

 

Taking Disciplinary Action Against Breathing…

November 11th, 2015

I saw this email sent out by the Missouri University Police Department:

 

To: MU POLICE
Subject: Reporting Hateful and/or Hurtful Speech

To continue to ensure that the University of Missouri campus remains safe, the MU Police Department (MUPD) is asking individuals who witness incidents of hateful and/or hurtful speech or actions to:

 

  • Call the police immediately at 573-882-7201. (If you are in an emergency situation, dial 911.)

  • Give the communications operator a summary of the incident, including location.

  • Provide a detailed description of the individual(s) involved.

  • Provide a license plate and vehicle descriptions (if appropriate).

  • If possible and if it can be done safely, take a photo of the individual(s) with your cell phone.

 

Delays, including posting information to social media, can often reduce the chances of identifying the responsible parties. While cases of hateful and hurtful speech are not crimes, if the individual(s) identified are students, MU’s Office of Student Conduct can take disciplinary action.

 

What is wrong with this?

 

It is a meaningless email.

 

There is no human being living today who has not internalized what someone else has said to them as hateful or hurtful. Add to this you don’t necessarily know the intent of the communicator and whether they intended to bring out either of those emotions.

 

I find what Timothy Keller says about this genius. In The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness he writes:

 

“The ego often hurts. That is because it has something incredibly wrong with it. Something unbelievably wrong with it. It is always drawing attention to itself – it does so every single day. It is always making us think about how we look and how we are treated. People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can’t be hurt! It is the ego that hurts – my sense of self, my identity. Our feelings are fine! It is my ego that hurts…My ego would not hurt unless there was something terribly wrong with it. Think about it. It is very hard to get through a whole day without feeling snubbed or ignored or feeling stupid or getting down on ourselves. That is because there is something wrong with my ego. There is something wrong with my identity. There is something wrong with my sense of self. It is never happy. It is always drawing attention to itself.”

 

Also, there is no human being living today who has not purposely said something hateful or hurtful. We are broken people without exception.

 

In summary, there is no one alive who has not had their feelings hurt and there is no one alive who has not said something someone else internalized as hurtful.

 

If the University of Missouri Police Department wishes to draw this to a logical conclusion, 100% of all students, faculty, and staff on the campus, including the officers themselves, will be subject to disciplinary action.

 

Actually, this email is the equivalent of saying,

 

“To continue to ensure that the University of Missouri campus remains safe, the MU Police Department (MUPD) is asking individuals who witness incidents of breathing to:

 

  • Call the police immediately….”

Helping the Hurting

September 10th, 2015

At the church where I am pastor, we are hosting a conference for the national Stephen Ministries team. These ministries provide training for one-on-one Christian care giving for hurting people.

As we are hosting the conference, a letter was sent out from me to 1500 congregations in the LA area inviting folks to consider attending. One of those letters reached Bethany Baptist Church of West Los Angeles. The pastor, LA Kessee spoke with one of our Stephen leaders, Vickie De Blasio, about the struggles occurring at his church. Just recently, they have had 13 deaths in their congregation!

Overwhelming, but the people of God are there. Bethany is sending folks to the workshop, but our Stephen leader, Buzz Brown decided we could offer more. Four of us traveled down to their church on Tuesday. We did a mini “taster” workshop for their congregation including help with dealing with grief, healthy healing, and visiting folks who are grieving.

The people of Bethany were such gracious hosts and interacted greatly with us as we shared our experiences and the experiences of other Stephen Ministers from LIFEhouse. What a blessing to see God at work connecting two communities of brothers and sisters in this way!

As LA said, “Can I get an Amen?”

Everyone is invited to attend this workshop September 19, from 9-1 p.m. If you are interested, here is the information.

How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life