Change My Default Setting

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While reading this morning, I caught this towards the end of Galatians 1:

21 After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didn’t know me personally. 23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me.

We live in a culture that is skeptical. Daily, we are bombarded with news cycles which are hyped-up and presented as entertainment. In our communities, we bump into the super skeptical–the Moon landing never happened!–. We live in a time where our discernment muscles are worked to a fatigue. This causes many of us to be swept along with the cultural tide, bobbing along the surface of noise.

Photo by Ryan Pernofski on Unsplash

If our world is skeptical, Christian culture can even be more so. I think back, a few months ago, to Kanye West’s “supposed” conversion. Twitter was a mess with Christians initially calling his new relationship with Christ false. How many times have we done that ourselves with those in our own churches? I am not calling for blind acceptance here, we need to be wise. But I can’t imagine how our modern Christian culture would react to someone like the Apostle Paul. The churches in Christ that were in Judea behaved this way (verses 23-24):

23 All they knew was that people were saying, “The one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!” 24 And they praised God because of me.

Which makes me ask:

  • Do we praise God when we hear about a brother or sister coming to Christ?
  • Is our first reaction one where we are skeptical? Taking a “we’ll just see how this turns out” approach?

Personally, I want to react with awe and wonder at what God has done and is doing. I am not 100% there yet though. Being honest, I am skeptical most of the time. Nevertheless, I want God to change my default setting.

From Across the Net: “Double-Minded: Christian Culture’s Diametrically-Opposed Views of Marriage and Singleness”

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11 years into marriage, it is easy for me to forget that I wasn’t married until I was 25 years old. What I’ll never forget though were the years in-between high school graduation and marriage. The churches I was a part of did not know how to handle those who were single. Nathan Marchand, whose book I reviewed sometime back, touches on this “single limbo time” period in his piece titled “Double-Minded: Christian Culture’s Diametrically-Opposed Views of Marriage and Singleness“.

What the church needs is consistency. Celebrate marriage with everyone. Help singles maximize their lives where they are and don’t shame them for desiring a spouse. For those rare few who’ve been called to singleness, give them opportunities not afforded to married people. Modes of service don’t decrease with marriage—they just change.

Marriage is hard, but so is singleness. (you can read more in the link above)

Churches, that I have been a part of, have been structured like this:

  • Nursery
  • Preschool
  • Elementary
  • Middle School / High School
  • College (which is often a thrown together class)
  • AND THEN Adult General Population (Big Church)

We go from structure-structure-structure to nothing. I agree with Nathan, I think that we, as Christians, could be doing better. Speaking into the single years instead of letting culture show how it is to be done. By opening up our homes, speaking truth/being real (remembering those hard years), and being intentional with singles ministry (not throwing rando-Bob to deal with this area), we might have a chance. The Apostle Paul said that singleness is a gift and so is marriage.

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash