Chronicles of Classic Christianity Conferences

Archive for the ‘Classic Christianity 2010’ Category

>

My favorite part of the conference, I think. Well, the most meaningful maybe. It’s really hard to put a ‘favorite’ part. The reason this was so meaningful to me, is because I was bowled over at the simplicity and love that’s REALLY found in the Lord’s Supper. That is, when it’s done the way God intended it to be.
All too often, churches brow beat their congregations to search deep within themselves for any unconfessed sin. Any hard feelings against someone? Did anyone wrong lately? Well, before we partake of the Lord’s Supper, it was of utmost importance to get these things taken care of–go apologize; go extend forgiveness, whatever it was we needed to do. To partake of the Lord’s supper without having taken care of those pesky sins was to drink damnation to your soul.  I remember being a young teenager in a Baptist church. Small congregation, boasting of about 50 on a ‘good’ Sunday. There were two families that pretty much ran things. My family was one, and a good friend of mine’s family was the other. One such time, I heard my friend’s mother berating a decision my Daddy had made concerning the paint color for the church building. She was not very kind, and I immediately took offense.  The next Sunday, the church partook of the Lord’s Supper, and I knew within my heart, I was still mad at her. Wasn’t about to forgive her, nor was I going to excuse her for the cruel things she said against my family. However, I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite and take the Communion, just in case it really was going to cause me to go to hell. I’d show her and the entire congregation. I refused the wafer and juice when offered. I stopped taking the Lord’s supper at the age of 14, and never partook of it again until I came to the Classic Christianity Conference.

How liberating it was! The Lord’s Supper is about remembering what Jesus did for us, and why; not about our sins. Our sin is a dead issue. Jesus took care of that on the cross. That is what we’re to remember. We are to take His Body, which was broken for us; we are to drink the cup of the New Covenant, which ushered in a life of continual forgiveness, and the whole time… remember that He did this out of love for us.

I will forever be grateful to the People to People Ministries for sharing the truth with me concerning this beautiful picture of the New Covenant.

>

… and so we end the conference sessions. The last session usually ties it all together for us. Bob Christopher did a fantastic job of putting the ‘therefore’ on the  conference. Living the Christian life, is living in dependence in Christ, and allowing His love to flow in and through us.
One such reminder was, “I always protect” (paraphrased from the I Corinthians 13 love chapter). We were reminded of how some congregations will ostracize a ‘sinner’ in their midst as to not get their good named soiled by gossip. The example that Paul gave in II Corinthians is often the justification these churches use, “Put him from among you”..of course, that’s not what the Apostle Paul is saying at all. That verse refers to someone who is arrogantly boasting of a certain sin. It’s one thing to be trapped in a sin, but quite another to be proud of said sin and boasting to whoever may listen. A long time ago, I heard the expression, “The church is the only one that shoots its wounded”. How sad. How not of a loving God at all.
Faith, hope and love, there remain these three. But the greatest of these is love.

>

Self image. Identity. Truly important components in knowing who Jesus is. Bob Christopher shared today about a man from Iowa who was nicknamed “Monkey Face” in elementary school, and carried that name all through his school career. This man was in a depressed state.
We often allow other’s opinions to identify us. If not their opinions, then perhaps our job/careers. Maybe we label ourselves from our religious affiliation. Or, it’s who we know. I had this label growing up. My identity was “The Game Warden’s Daughter”. That identity afforded us some graces from the local law enforcement officers, but, it also minimized our choices of dating in our teenage years. Bob reminded us today, how important that it is that we know–keep it in the forefront of our mind, that our identity is a child of God. Period. Jobs may come and go, we may change religious affiliations, and opinions of others will change like the wind. The only stable identity we have, is knowing we’re in Him, and are a child of God. What we base our identity on, will influence our behavior. The more we depend on Him and his love, the less we care about the opinions of others. Truly a freedom in knowing our identity.

An ‘aha’ moment I also had was the idea of conformity versus non conformity. While we might arrogantly puff out our chest and say, “I’m not going to be like ‘them’… I refuse to conform”, aren’t we in essence saying, “I’m going to conform myself to those that are also not conforming to ‘the group'”? Either way, we’re CONforming. The prefix “con” is a variation of “com”, which means ‘with; together, jointly’. We’re aligning ourselves up with some group, in some fashion. We should be TRANSformed by the renewing of our minds. The prefix trans- means “into another state or place; surpassing” let’s go beyond this frail humanity, and align ourselves with God who loved us unconditionally.

A thought was offered up: Fearful people are scared to make a decision. Scared of failure, or making the ‘wrong’ one. Scared of hurting someone they love by making the wrong choice. Reliance on God says that “He’ll work all things together for good”. Of course, desire to make the right choice. If we wind up making the wrong choice, instead–that’s okay. He’ll cause all things to work together for good. Knowing our identity frees us up to live as a child of God.

>

Today has been the most excellent day! The sounds of laughter ringing out from my boys was music to my ears. Listening to the laughter, then chuckles as we listened to Richard during the lecture just warmed my heart. As a mom, I often wonder, ‘Are they GETTING it?? How can I tell without being pushy??” Casual conversations are letting me know that yes, they’re getting it.
Mrs. Amy gave her testimony tonight. I swore to myself that I would NOT get emotional. I’ve heard it before… I should be desensitized, right? Wrong! I know I’ve heard this testimony many times before, but tonight was special. My boys were hearing it for the first time. I watched them listen. There were a few times that Ms. Amy shared a few humorous wit, but neither boy laughed or even chuckled. I thought at first that they didn’t understand what she was saying due to the accent. But they assured me they understood her just fine. They didn’t like the idea of a 3 year old baby was having to be left in a frozen house, all by herself, because of stupid, paranoid, arrogant politics. If you’ve not read Mrs. Amy’s book, Goodbye is Not Forever Please pick up a copy and give it a read. I guarantee it will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. Since Ms. Amy was at the conference tonight, you can infer that there’s a relative “happy ever after” ending. What thrilled my heart the most, I think, was that my youngest son was talking with one of the local metro men, and he (my son) mentioned that he wanted a book signed by Mrs. Amy, but didn’t have enough money. Well what do you think I did? I marched right down to that Book Store and purchased a copy. Gracious as always, Ms. Amy signed his book, and we made conversation for a few minutes. My son was totally enthralled that he now knew a published author!! I hope he really does read those books. Time will tell.

>

Richard once again graced us with his teachings. There were a couple of “aha” moments for me in this session. Remember the part of the sermon on the mount where Jesus says something to the effect of, “You have read where___________, but I say unto you that if a man_____________”? He makes this statement in various forms a few times, not just once. It was brought out that by Jesus saying, “The law says this, but I say that” is an indication that Jesus just set himself up to be higher than the law. What must the pharisees thought? Could you imagine?
Think of whatever teaching you’ve grown up with all your life. Imagine someone someday comes us and says, “Sorry, my teachings supersede anything you might believe about that” Do you think we might get a little bit puffed up? I know I would! Another point that was brought out was repetition. If Paul wanted to get something across, he’d mention it. If he wanted to drive the point home, he’d restate the statement in question. If he REALLY wanted to drive the stake down, he’d repeat it THREE times. One such instance was Paul telling folks that we are NOT justified by the law. It was as if he were making sure, that there was no mistake… NO justification by the law exists.  I never realized the intent behind the repetitiousness of a verse.
Lots more stuff was shared, but I have to admit, those two ‘aha’ moments really struck me with awe!

>

Bob Christopher blessed us with his lecture tonight, using one of my favorite analogies of the mason jars. He pointed out scripture that states we have been sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit. What God seals, doesn’t come unsealed. The blood of Jesus cleansed us once and for all; making us ready to receive His life. All too often, we never get passed the cleaning. We can wash that mason jar over and over again, to where it’s diamond clean, but unless we fill it with something, it’s useless. We’ve all been cleaned, thanks to the Blood of Jesus, but we’ve not all been filled with Life. If we can never accept the fact that we’ve been totally cleansed by Jesus, how will we ever come to Him for Life? We’ll simply just keep washing the proverbial mason jar over and over again. 

Interesting comment was made. Christianity is definitely an exclusive religion.  No other founder of other religions make the statement that “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father, except through me” Most religions attempt to be tolerant of other faiths. Christianity draws the proverbial line in the sand. No middle of the road. What will you do? Will you accept the life of Christ? Or will you say, “no thanks”?
What will your decision be?

>

What a treat! We were privileged to have Richard deliver the lecture for session 4. The humor was appreciated by my boys, myself, and the rest of the conferees. It was a wonderful sound to hear my boys laughing at Richard’s testimony in the form of anecdotes. This let me know that yes, they were listening, and not just zoning out.  He reminded me of a belief system I’d heard before, but forgotten about.
 Seems that a common teaching is that we’re all simply born in some sort of neutrality, then later on, when we’re old enough to know better, we have to make a choice: God or Satan? Somewhere on our life’s road, we’ll come to a fork in the road, and we’ll have to choose. I used to believe that, as well, but it never dawned on me that I believed it, until I heard it verbalized. We’re not born neutral, we’re born Spiritually dead, and in need of life. The entire reason for Jesus coming was to give us life, and life more abundantly. Not a new set of rules to follow, or help following the rules the Jews already had. He came to give us Life. Who needs life? Dead people. So… apparently, as uncomfortable as it might be, the blatant truth is that all of the little babies born, are spiritually dead, and in need of life. Scripture after scripture after scripture was given, illustrating the point that we have total forgiveness, and therefore can now receive the life of Christ. We have to either accept these blunt statements as truth, or a bald face lie. No discrepancies. No ambiguous translations–we’re forgiven. Period. Not will be, not can be, nor might be. Simply forgiven. Sad that after all that suffering Jesus did, the primary teaching is still that we’re NOT forgiven, but need to have it doled out in increments as needed. Hogwash.

A real enjoyable treat tonight, as we listened to the clear teachings found in the New Covenant.


Archives

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 3 other followers

%d bloggers like this: