This Spring

I am in for an eventful spring.

We are fast approaching Easter, the biggest Sunday service of the year.  We are busy practicing music and preparing for the flood of visitors that will attend Easter Sunday service at The Kroc Center.  Shortly after that, I am teaching a workshop at the Northwest Division’s Youth Councils (on the importance of truth).  That brings us to May: my 30th birthday and the Resonance Music Ministry Conference.  June opens up with a Territorial youth leaders conference, Boot Camp, which I am also teaching a short workshop at (don’t know what about) followed by The Gathering, a Territorial Congress.  It’s a big deal.  The General will be there.  As soon as we get back from that event in Pasadena, my bosses are leaving.  Majors John and Lani Chamness, my pastors and our executive directors, have been reassigned to head up the Hawaii Division.  Their last day is June 17th.

Eventful.

Advertisements
This Spring

"Gear Lust"

I am a musician.  I love to listen to music.  Play music.  Sometimes though, I think my favorite thing to do is to shop for instruments.

It’s strange how gear can capture your heart.  I currently own 3 electric guitars (Ibanez Artcore Semi-Hollow, Fender Telecaster, Danelectro Convertible) 2 acoustic guitars (Martin D-16 and Taylor GS8) a Fender Champion 600 and Guytronix Ardmore amp, 1×12 Avatar cab w/a Weber Vintage series speaker, a board full of pedals, a Schlagwerk cajon, a wurlitzer piano, plus a whole synth setup for my mac.  The list of gear I have own in the past is 10 times that long.  None of that includes all of the fabulous gear that I have access to at my work.

The crazy thing is that I always want more.  I am never fully content.  Right now I am eyeing a new Gibson hollowbody guitar, 3 different guitar amps, a replacement speaker for my cab, new tubes for my amp, a couple new pedals, and even some new cables.  Most of these things are completely unaffordable for me too…really all of them.  Yet the “need” for more never goes away.

I have a lot of respect for guys that have “a sound.”  You name a musician and you know what their setup is.  It’s as iconic as they are.  There are whole genres of guitar tone named after them because that’s “their sound.”  They get that by grabbing a guitar and an amp and playing if for all its worth.  I need that reminder.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with new gear, different gear, better gear.  But I always need to be examining my motives for wanting gear.  Is there really a problem with my guitar?  Is the best solution a $2400 new guitar, or a $25 new bridge on the current one?  The solutions to my musical problems are more likely than not cheaper than I want them to be.  Maybe even free.  Often in my head.

That being said, if anyone sees a really good deal on a Fender Bassman, let me know.

"Gear Lust"

Membership Class – Week 6

Last week of the Membership class is done.  We finished up by looking at The Salvation Army mission statement:

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.  Its message is based on the Bible.  Its ministry is motivated by the love of God.  Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

We looked at the Crest:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we looked at the flag:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We talked some about the Salvation Army’s tradition of uniform wearing and then we zoomed in a bit to look at Kroc Church.

Kroc Church is somewhat of an odd thing as far as I can see in The Salvation Army world.  First of all, the Kroc Centers are a new concept in service for The Salvation Army.  We haven’t quite done anything like them before.  Secondly, our Kroc Church is a brand new corps.  The Salvation Army came back to Coeur d’Alene in 2009 after being gone for 66 years.  Thirdly, the Coeur d’Alene Kroc has been hugely successful, initially as a result of the amazing community support it received.  All in all, we are an interesting corps.

Our mission at Kroc Church is the same as the rest of The Salvation Army.  The way we put feet to our mission is called E3: Encourage, Equip and Engage.  We encourage through hospitality, prayer, and generosity among other things. Equipping happens through all kinds of formal and informal teaching, and we engage our culture through service, outreach and evangelism.

We ended the class talking about the commitment of soldiership.  I asked everyone interested in becoming a member of the church to write a brief testimony and share what they felt a person needed to know to become a Christian.  Now I’m waiting for the final total of new members.  We have an enrollment scheduled for April 1st.

Membership Class – Week 6

Membership Class – Week 5

Last week in the Kroc Church membership class we finished to the doctrines (and there was much rejoicing) and started to talk about unique aspects of The Salvation Army.

Doctrine #10:

We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We talked about what it meant to be sanctified, and I chose to focus on what it means that our bodies are to be sanctified.  We have this weird idea that God is only concerned about our souls, but the truth is, He cares about our whole person.  We looked at sanctification as a process (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) and as a partnership (Romans 8:1-11, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Philippians 2:12-13).

It’s possible to take the idea of grace and believe that once you raise your hand or pray a prayer, God requires nothing more of you.  The Bible however, places a great emphasis on our personal holiness.

Other people over the years have created an unhealthy relationship between the body and the soul.  Neo-Platonism in the 1st and 2nd centuries taught that matter was evil and the spiritual world was good.  Therefore the way you treated your body wasn’t important.  We looked at how even Christians today can have that attitude if we are not careful when we say “it’s all gonna burn!”  The body belongs to the Lord.

Doctrine #11:

We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.

Doctrine 11 can be a tough one to swallow for some people.  We are immortal beings and there is a judgment coming.  There is a judgment for believers (1 Corinthians 3:5-10) as well as unbelievers (Revelation 20:11-15).  We have a great hope for a future world that is free from sin and death, however there is a real, eternal judgment coming for those who reject Christ and choose to be the lords of their own kingdoms instead of submitting to His lordship.

We moved on from there to look at some specific traits of Salvationists.  We talked about the sacraments and TSA’s position to not ritualistically mandate communion and baptism.  We practice this as a witness to the rest of the Christian church that water baptism and communion do not save; it is grace of Christ that saves us.  I also throw in a pertinent quote from the 2008 International Spiritual Life Commission:

Our position as Salvationists is a position of freedom. The response of Salvationists worldwide to their freedom in Christ may be diverse, differing with the cultural context of indigenous Salvationist mission. Such freedom and diversity are to be prized as part of our heritage as Salvationists.

Finally, we moved on to a quick overview of officers, territorial, divisional and local structure, and a fun Salvation Army Terms matching game.  Our Corps has very little traditional Salvationism in it (other than our effort to preach the gospel and meet human need) and many of the terms that are sometimes used are absent in our Corps.  For instance, our Corps is called Kroc Church.  We do not use the terminology “penitent form,” (altar) “fire your cartridges,” (tithes and offerings) or “Holiness Meeting” (church service).  However we do talk regularly about officers, soldiers, World Services, and being Promoted To Glory.  I believe there is a healthy mix of the new and the old in our Corps, and I am glad for it.

 

Membership Class – Week 5

Real Life Immersion

I got to spend the last two days at a local church called Real Life Ministries going through their Immersion training.  Hopefully I will get a chance to write more about it later, but for now, I have to say that I wish more of our team had been there.  I was joined by my boss, Bill Davenport, and we both got a lot out of it.  They do good work at Real Life, and I’m glad I got a chance to attend.

Real Life Immersion

Frightening

So, I am taking a preaching class in school right now.  One of the smaller assignments is to read some journal articles on preaching and write synopses of them.  So, I got on the library database and found an article on “Easter Preaching” by David R. Buttrick in the journal Interpretation.  I don’t know anything about Buttrick or Interpretation, but I think, “Hey Easter’s coming up.  This should be interesting.”

I was disappointed.  While the author correctly points out that the Easter audience will be wide and varied beyond a typical Sunday, and while he also states that resurrection is more than just a personal promise but also the restoration of all things in God’s kingdom, he completely devalues and even denies the veracity of the gospel accounts, and his basis for this is the work of atheist New Testament scholar Gerd Lüdemann!

Lüdemann’s work is just not good.  His arguments are consistently beaten biblically and philosophically in debates and in writing by William Lane Craig.  It just blows my mind that pastors would be entering their pulpits on Easter Sunday with a message of hope and life to come without the support of the truth of the physical, bodily resurrection of Christ.  To quote Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:17-19:

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

Our faith is built on facts.  If we lose those facts, there is nothing left that is commendable about Christianity.

Frightening