Sky Links, 9-19-17

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0


Are you discreet?  Charles Pope wrote an article about priestly discretion.  Should you speak out or remain silent?  Or, should you just be careful?

"To be discreet most commonly means to be careful, prudent, or circumspect, especially in terms of speech. The word discreet comes from Latin discretus, meaning separate or distinct. To be discreet is not to be secretive; it is to make a prudent discernment about what to say to whom and when to say it. Personal, private conversations ought to stay that way."

On Priestly Discretion, Charles Pope.

Unreforming Leadership

Mike Frost asked the question, "Can the seminary produce visionary leaders?"  The answer is "no".

"Recently, I was teaching a class on missional church when, in a moment of unguarded clarity, one of my students said, “I like hearing about all these new ways of doing church, but I don’t know if I could do them because I’ve grown up in church and I love it.” The unspoken end of that sentence was, “the way it is.”

Don’t you love the honesty of some young people? Without knowing it, he had just spoken a mouthful.

Can we expect people who have grown up in church and have enjoyed their experience (hence they’re still in the church) to renegotiate the church contract, to rethink how church could be done in a new era?

Can the seminary produce visionary leaders?, Mike Frost

Growing Old is a Good Thing

David Rice wrote about the joy and challenge of aging with God.  The last chapter of your life should be the capstone and a bridge to eternity, where you have increased awareness of spiritual things and reflect those back to the younger generations.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. Shortly after my diagnosis I heard the Lord say to me ‘you are moving from visions to dreams’. I immediately thought He meant I was moving from young man status to old man but as I reflected on it I appreciated why the scripture says your young men shall see visions and your old men shall dream dreams. (Joel 2v 28 & Acts 2 v17) Young people may see a vision from God and go forward in Him to accomplish it. For older people they are not called to finish anything for God, rather to be the dreamers who can clearly see in the spirit and in their lives and conversation enjoy what they see without feeling they have to bring to pass what God has already finished. It may be that younger folk may catch the dream from them as a vision which becomes a motivating force in their lives.

I believe that the weakness of age often allows us to see more clearly the heavenly realm. If we know His love we can rest in Him, even in the most challenging situations of physical weakness or infirmity and let Him open up the heavenly realm to us. We become those whose dreams become reality in our lives, in our conversation, and in our attitudes. We rest in what we see and become more and more aware of His priorities and less concerned with the cares of this life or even trying to do things for Him.

David Rice, The Joy and Challenge of Aging With God

The Discord of The Nashville Statement

The Nashville sound, that was released in October, was not a good sound.  It was the sound of discord.  Wayne Jacobsen wrote this about The Nashville Statement:

This statement re-draws the same lines of exclusion that has plunged evangelicalism into irrelevance over the past half century and does nothing to invite people into God’s reality. This is a statement the Pharisees might have generated when Jesus was spending too much of his time with those they regarded as sinners. It has more in common with their agenda for the culture, than it did for Jesus, who was bent on winning people into Father’s love as the conduit into a transformed life, rather than laying out the rules and compelling people to follow.

Now we have a new statement to wave around as a litmus test of Biblical morality that Christians will have to pledge allegiance to or be judged as soft on sin. Well, as a passionate follower of Jesus Christ and one that embraces the moral safety of Scripture, I reject this Statement on the following grounds:

  • It packages God’s desire for humanity as Law to obey instead of a Loving Father to embrace. As such it repudiates the Incarnation of Christ to win by love and affection what law and obedience could never win. Left to itself, this Statement distorts how God rescues people from their own brokenness and restores them through love and transformation.
  • As a political statement it confuses the differing role of government and the faith community in matters of marriage and sexuality.
  • It smacks of religious arrogance by calling its conclusions “essential” for faith, and attacking those who see it differently as “foolish” and “bent on ruin.” It overstates the conclusion of Scriptures to support their own prejudices and fears and there is no humility that admits even those who believe these things have a difficult time living true to them. Shouldn’t we clean our own house before telling others how to clean theirs?
  • It assumes that Christianity has a handle on masculinity and femininity when religious environments are notorious for stereotyping those distinctions to selectively distribute power rather than embracing the revelation of God.
  • It offers no compassion, kindness, or hope for people who do not conform to their view of morality. Instead it will embolden those whose animosity and fear seeks to hurt those who disagree with them and it will add further condemnation and despair to those who do not yet know God’s love for them.
Wayne Jacobsen, Nashville Statement Takes Evangelicals in the Wrong Direction