Dear Fellow Children of God,
I have been reading a book by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons called, “Good Faith.” This is a follow-up to their book, “Un-Christian” written in 2007. The premise of “Good Faith” is that our world and our culture are changing. Faith in Jesus is no longer the main driving force in our culture. In fact, Christians are seen by the world around us to be irrelevant and extreme.
While, I read any book that is not God’s word with a critical eye, I did find some important insights in this book with which I agree. Among these insights are two lists that ring true in my experience.
Kinnaman and Lyons see six guiding principles for the new moral code in our culture.
- To find yourself, look within yourself.
- People should not criticize someone else’s choices.
- To be fulfilled in life, pursue the things you desire most.
- Enjoying yourself is the highest goal of life.
- People can believe whatever they want as long as those beliefs don’t affect society.
- Any kind of sexual expression between two consenting adults is fine.
In contrast, when a child of God lives with “good faith,” faith that looks to God’s love in Jesus and is faithful and effective, Kinnaman and Lyons see six different principles, principles from God’s moral order.
- To find yourself, discover the truth outside yourself, in Jesus.
- Loving others does not always mean staying silent.
- Joy is found, not in pursuing our own desires but in giving of ourselves to bless others.
- The highest goal of life is giving glory to God.
- God gives people the freedom to believe whatever they want, but those beliefs always affect society.
- God designed boundaries for sex and sexuality in order for humans to flourish.
As I read this book I am struck with how the guiding principles of the moral code of today’s world can seem so logical. It is like Satan speaking to Eve in the garden and twisting God’s words, again. I am also struck with how today’s moral code elevates self over God. But the moral code of “good faith” “sets apart Christ as the Lord” in our lives.
Matthew 5:16 says, “. . . let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” We are called to represent God with our lives in such a way that others see God’s righteousness and grace through us and praise Him for who He is.
But, this call to live a life of “good faith” that gives honor to God does something else. It shows me how much we need more than just a moral code. We need God’s love and forgiveness in Jesus! We can and should try to live for the one who gave us life in creation, and to live for the one who gives us new life in the death and resurrection of Jesus. But, on this world only Jesus is perfectly holy. I don’t always follow the call of God. Sometimes I have followed the selfish principles of this world instead of the principles of love and faith in God. So I need forgiveness. But, because God gives forgiveness in Jesus, I want to follow Him and live with a “good faith.” I need more than moral principles, I need a Savior. I need Jesus.
So, I especially agree with the first principle of “good faith” for God’s children. To find yourself, discover the truth outside yourself, in Jesus. That may not be the code of our world today. But that is the way Jesus calls us to live. I pray that I live for Jesus and in Jesus.
A Child of God, Seeking to Honor My Lord,
P.S. Here are some pictures from this year’s VBS. https://picasaweb.google.com/114993745799525883148/6298887896733577281
P.P.S. Here are some pictures of a small king caught last Sunday, on Fathers’ Day. https://picasaweb.google.com/114993745799525883148/6299282247200590161
P.P.S. NEEDED – SOMEONE TO STAY ON Saturday night, June 25, with our one Family Promise family who will be at St. John.
If you can help please call Kirsten Nelson at 414-1688, or Melanie Kopperud at 232-8380, or Pastor Rockey at 841-4066.
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you don’t want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.