Archive for September, 2016
by Curt Martin, HCA Secondary Bible Teacher
“I know that God has wronged me and has drawn His net around me. He has blocked my way to deprive me of justice…If only I could go to His dwelling place, I would state my case before Him.” – Job
“Why, oh God, have you rejected me? You have completely engulfed me; darkness is now my only friend.” – The Psalmist
“If there is a God, He must be the devil.” – Albert Camus, philosopher
During my seminary years, my professors invited me to spend seemingly endless hours pouring over the many attributes of God, as if He were a frog in anatomy class. God’s omniscience, omnipotence, wrath, holiness, event His aseity (yeah, that’s a real thing). But it was only the proverbial school of hard knocks that introduced me to the one never-discussed attribute of deity: omni-vexing. I’ll say it plainly: sometimes God’s ways just bug me. So, in Job-ian fashion, allow me to give voice to my frustrations.
- God’s penchant for theological ambiguity.
For about as long as Christians have been around, they have been debating the relationship between divine sovereignty and human free will. You know, a couple of paragraphs sandwiched in the Levitical reg’s could have saved us all some grief here, Lord!
Or how about this cryptic little nugget from Matthew’s resurrection account: “The tombs also were open and many bodies of saints who had died were raised. And they came out of their tombs and entered the city.” What…? What just happened here? Did these people go get jobs and resume their lives? WE don’t know because scripture doesn’t elaborate. (There actually is fascinating theology behind this event, but it requires diligent research to understand and I prefer to be spoon-fed my doctrine.)
- The patience of God.
“Patience is a virtue,” we are told and so it is…but not always. God, in my experience, is far too casual about a good many things. Like when I’m enduring suffering. And yes, it’s character-building and all, but frankly, I don’t care about that just then. I want it to stop, dang it! I want it over with yesterday. I’ve tried to explain this to Him rationally many times, but am always met with the same unbending stubbornness on His part. He gets all caught up on the whole character thing, and doesn’t give proper weight to my comfort! It’s galling, really.
He’s also far too patient with certain people. Many within my range of acquaintance could do with a good smiting, by my lights. I’ve offered to provide Him with a list. And yet, in case after irksome case, they go their merry, unsmitten ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m forever grateful for His patience with my many failings and would be lost without His amazing grace toward me. But that’s different.
If you really put your mind to it, I’m confident you could add to my list, but I think my case is made. The verdict: God is indeed an annoying fellow and nowhere near as tidy and domesticated as our theological packages make out. I discussed this with a friend and she actually hinted that perhaps the deficiencies might be mine and not His. I must need some new friends. That one is kind of annoying.
by Jakob Bruxvoort, HCA Student Council Head Administrator & Ministry Leader
Ephesians 4:2-3 “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Looking forward into the school year of 2016 to 2017, Student Council has been praying and seeking God’s direction for our school. As we discussed our thoughts and visions for the year, common themes of unity, intentionality, and service kept reoccurring. The two passages God has shown to represent these concepts were Ephesians 4:2-3 and Galatians 5:22-23. The first of these contains a phrase we found appropriately and concisely summed up the idea: Make Every Effort.
Both scriptures are used to define puposeful, spirit-minded community. Ephesians describes an intentionality for God-centered unity while Galatians establishes the profits of spiritual living represented as the fruits of the Spirit. Both in turn reference a display of selflessness and service toward others where the presence of God is vital. Each present the message in a specific, practical manner of living. We will be using Galatians 5:22-23 as our specific theme verse.
So as we enter this upcoming school year with varying levels of enthusiasm, we as student council leadership believe that it is our call live by the spirit. “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:16-17, 22-23)
And in doing so to live intentionally, not neglecting to live for each other in unity. “As a prisoner of Christ, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. It was he (Christ) who gave some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph. 4:1-3, 11-16)
So then, as you prepare for the upcoming year at Heritage Christian, we as Student Council ask that you to pray and seek God for what your part in the body of Christ is this year. Live in this way to become more like Christ in service, humility, and unity. This is no minor task, as it obligates you to surrender fully to the life God has called you to by making every effort.