The Protestant Reformation correctly brought the Scriptures back into the hands and vernacular of the common people. Because of this, those who did not understand the Latin version (the Latin Vulgate translated in the 4th century by St. Jerome) could read Scripture in the common tongue (the King James Version of 1611). Thus, the pendulum swung from one extreme to another: from professional clerics interpreting the word for the people to individuals with no theological training interpreting the word without the church’s hermeneutical aid.
As I ponder the life of Jesus, I notice that He was never in a rush as He walked among us, often taking time to minister to someone while He was on His way to minister to someone else (read Mark 5:21-43). This is foreign to many of us who attempt time management methodologies instead of utilizing life management principles in which each day centers around a major agenda or category instead of mapping out each minute of the day.
The Local Church is the Hope of the World
Scripture teaches that the local church is the front and center of the mission and purpose of God. The following passages clearly establish this truth.
1. The purpose of God is manifest through the local church. Read Ephesians 3:9-10.
The church has seen the rise of celebrity cult-status pastors who act like spiritual divas.
In this article, I define demigods as those who act as little gods who believe they are above everyone else.
Today, I would like to focus on the importance of the Kingdom.
By “Kingdom” I mean the rule of God over all creation. This includes understanding that the church is not the entire kingdom, but is only in the Kingdom as its primary agent of proclamation and application.
I have been in full-time church ministry since November 1980. Presently I am involved in ministering to many high-level pastors, church and marketplace leaders with a vision of seeing New York City transformed by the Gospel of Christ.
By definition, a narcissist is a person who believes the world evolves around them to such an extent their own desires blind them to relational reality which makes them insensitive to the needs and perspectives of others. One of the sad realities in our consumer driven, hedonistic culture is that we are producing millions of narcissistic people including leaders of large organizations.
Conviction can be described as a fixed or firm belief in something. In order to have an effective movement, there is usually one primary person serving as the catalyst with great vision, which is needed to overcome all challenges toward seeing something significant accomplished. This visionary’s passion then ignites a fire so that his or her conviction (or belief) then spreads to others in the same way fire spreads to other combustible material. (Combustible material in this case concerns the visionary strategically recruiting people they intuit share their conviction.)
In this day and age of postmodernism, especially in academia, there is an emphasis on understanding the full context of a situation before rendering an accurate judgment. Consequently, people are encouraged to read and understand broadly, outside the scope of the usual parochial approach by most religious adherents. I saw this firsthand while enrolled in a doctoral program in Oxford, England when dealing with the study of various forms of research in which the professors would downplay the importance of propositional truth to such an extent that they (who are Evangelical scholars) would reduce the Bible and the Ten Commandments to be nothing more than cultural and linguistic constructs. This meant that the moral and absolute aspect of the word of God was watered down to be merely an amalgam of Babylonian and pagan mythology and concepts.
We are presently witnessing a transition in ministry across this country. There are many senior pastors who are about to leave the scene and many, if not most, are not ready to pass the baton to someone else! Some of the larger megachurches have an even bigger issue on their hands when their senior leader steps down or retires because they have to find a leader with the gifts and charisma to fill huge auditoriums. (If their successors cannot fill them, it will be interesting to see how they will be able to pay their utility bills with half-empty sanctuaries!)