Tag Archives: modern christian

Define Christian

In the past few weeks I’ve struggled with what it means to be Christian.  I know, trust me I know, Christian means to be Christ like. (If you’re a Christian that’s the definition) But it felt/feels like I want a definition to the definition, but not just “well He was kind, generous, helpful, loving…” ect.  

Maybe what I’ve been wondering is how does being a Christian pertain to me by definition.  I think because the bible is “living” a meaning can change based on the person and the circumstance.  To me this new self revelation of sorts has came through a week of detox from the world.  We cut out all tv, all social media (with the exception of Facebook Pages for our business), 95% of video games on out tablets.  At the end of all of this I’ve realized 3 main points about being a Christian.

  1. It’s Hard: I think it’s osmosis of sorts being in the world and having parts of the world creep into your life.  But really, isn’t that part of being human? Completly eradicating the world from your life would mean you’re perfect, which you can’t be.  This week I accepted for my self that I wouldn’t always be able to catch every sin before it happens and more times than not I wouldn’t see it until after it happens.  All together with that, I’m not sure if it is because there really that much sin in my life or if separating my self from parts of the world has made it more evident by default, this week it really seems like it’s been one big failure after the other.  I honestly believe that detoxing the world is the equivalent of pulling tint off a car window, before hand you can see a tinted reality of your life masked by your own bias of your self then after you can see a clear reality of the sin stained wretch that you really are.  In other words it’s enlightening.
  2. It’s Enlighening:  I would be remiss if I acted like any opportunity to drop parts of the world out of my life wasn’t beneficial.  This week has brought a lot of realization to my life, things I need to change and other things I just need to drop all together.  The most influential thing that I learned this week is freedom.  Through out my life I viewed Christianity as restrictive, dogmatic, and more recently parts as legalistic.  Restrictive because you couldn’t fully live (in this world), dogmatic because there’s a series of rules to live by and worship by (found in many Christian mindsets), legalistic because of the “rules” to gain salvation (most people when asked would deny this but all to often it’s really there).  This week I’ve realized the former gangsta can worship in a different way than the redneck out in the country and still be worshiping the same God.  I’ve realized that making a mistake is ok and as a human we might make it over and over and over, and although it isn’t ok to be complacent it is ok to make mistakes.  The mistakes we make no longer define us once we get saved.  I’ve realized something about music on a side note.  There is a lot of really good worship songs in the contemporary Christian genre, equally there’s a lot of good worship songs in a lot of Christian genres and I think we (me included) tend to forget that.  In the end it’s freedom.  God can reach anyone on any platform with in the culture they grew up in.  Knowing that is more than fulfilling.  
  3. It’s Fulfilling:  For once my thirst for God is at its apex, the more I experience the more I want – the deeper I want to go.  The relationship I have, I want more.  This week has been one of if not the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had with and for God and my wife.  On the one hand I feel closer to her than ever, and I feel like our relationship is closer to God.  That to me has been worth it all.  

    In closing I’ve wondered.  Why does this for me have to stop this week?  Why can’t I reach for more?  I don’t like Facebook, I have played enough useless video games, it just seems like such a waste.  Should I let it stop now?  Go back to how it was?  I don’t think so.  This is…just the beginning.  Being a Christian doesn’t have to be restrictive, but by definition I truely believe it would be summed up like this:

    A christian is one who is’t sep’rates himself from the w’rld to beest clos’r to god
    Seperated:

    Matt

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    Detox the World

    Have you ever just wanted to quit an addiction, even if for just a short period of time, to detox your body from chemicals that are self induced and abundantly damaging to your general wellbeing?  My wife and I did….

    Here lately I’ve been doing the Bible study, “The Resolution for Men”.  A study based around the concept of the movie Courageous, designed specifically for men who want some good advice and a reminder to their calling from God.  Going through it, it’s made me consider how every choice I’ve made, am making, or will make has been from a leadership standpoint (whether or not it was the right choice or not).  Trust me I’ve made some terrible choices while at other times I sought after God’s plan and knew that I had lead me and my wife in the right direction. 

    Seeking after what I believe is His will for my life, this coming week we have both decided to take a fast from things that have proven to be a general distraction from not just Him but also each other.  My wife is going to do a blog about it to some extent so I don’t want to steal her thunder, and I won’t go into any detail.  

    Sometimes you just have to detox the world out of your life.  I believe that it would do everyone good to turn the world off and turn God and family on louder.  I hope at the end of this period of fasting we achieve 3 main things:

    1. Spiritual Clarity:  we aren’t really seeking clarity on anything specific.  But for me, I want to be closer and have a deeper relationship to/with God.  I want to stop for just a period and say “God, please speak to me, please be with me….please let me be close to you”.  
    2. Marital Clarity:  for me this isn’t an indication that anything is wrong with our relationship, to the contrary it’s still as amazing as the day I met her.  But I fear more than anything complacency.  I think you can get complacent while everything being great, which could be setting you up for a major let down when it isn’t great.  To counteract that I think a couple has to always be sure to work together and serve the other.
    3. Sound Clarity:  For me this is also about bringing simplicity back to my ever hectic life.  I thrive off of 2 totally opposite things.  I like the grind, the pressure to meet deadlines, the need to do efficient quick work.  But….BUT….my wife will be the first to tell you one of my favorite things is to sit on the back deck drink a cup of strong coffee and smoke a quality cigar.  I need both in my life but all to often the former outweighs the latter. So a week of playing cards, listening to country gospel, knitting, talking….is exactly what I need.

    So hence forth we travel.

    -What doest t profit a sir to gain the w’rld and loseth his soul?

    The Lesser of Evil?

    DAY 1:

    I felt like this was needed.  This, fast from Facebook.  It seems as if all there is anymore, all this month and year have been about is this election.  It’s sad.  It’s sad that it’s came down to abortion as a deciding factor.  Let that sink in.  It’s came down to, not if all abortions are murder, only if some are.  That’s from both sides.  So, it came to my attention that I stir up trouble with in the Christian community because my stance is different.  I choose neither.  for most this is a hard concept.  You have to choose one or its a vote for the other.  I’m not sorry that I’ve stood up for what I believe is right.  I’m also not sorry that I called out some of the brethren on these matters.  I am sorry in the manner in which I did it, but not sorry for what I said.  It is simple…

    So why not Hilary?  Well for me it goes deeper than abortion, benghazi, the emails.  It’s about principle.  It’s evident she has no moral compass.  I do not trust her with America.  But I truely believe we should vote for the Christian.  Hands down.  It’s quite obvious by her lies, social stance, and own admission that she’s not a Christian.  So no, I can’t imagine being part of a group of people that help put her into office for my own moral fortitude.

    So why not Trump?  Trump is obviously narcissistic.  He believes only he can save America.  Thirty years ago we wouldn’t have voted for him because of his instability, instability people marvel at now.  He is the text book definition of a sociopath, because of his lack of empathy and lack of true emotion or remorse.  It is what it is…

    So the question remains when you’re voting, does the bible say vote for the Christian?  I could go into what it says about leaders but the debate will arise that we’re  not electing pastors.  So it’s debatable. For that I agree.  We are electing someone who is put forth to lead this country though.  To help protect this wonderful gift from God.  This country is a gift.  Imagine God handing you something and saying… here this it is your responsibility to put someone in charge of it…. to protect it, to uphold it’s laws, to lead it to better laws.  This is My gift to you….

    These two people aren’t it.  These two people by their own admissions have said they will dismantle the US and it’s structure.  Each in their own individual ways.   Each disregards what is right and although I’m in agreement that abortion is worse on a certain level than tax evasion or disrespect to women; both are wrong.  

    Is there a right choice? No, and I think most of us can agree that Trump is far from equipped and ready to be the president.  

    All of that being said.  Day 1 was about me getting over this election.  Deciding that I have peace about not voting because I never gained peace about who to vote for.

    When it is said that a man’s vote isn’t important or is wasted, for whomever that may be, our democratic voting process has already failed. When it is reduced down to 2 people being the only choices, be it literal or figurative, our system has also failed.  The only reason it’s still a democratic voting structure is because there’s 2 and not 1.

    Thank you,

    Matt

    Who Am I?

    In today’s times our churches are plagued with men who lack the backbone to be, to their fullest potential, who God calls them to be.  All to often, we doubt our ability to rise to the calling.  What we do not realize is we aren’t just doubting ourselves, we’re doubting the very fiber of Gods ability to transform us into true men of God.  So we ask, “Who Am I?”.  Who we are isn’t as complicated as why we are, and although the bible is laced with examples of how a man should be there is an underlying likeness to most of the greates in the bible.  The Nazarite.

    The Nazarite vow to be exact is found in Number 6.  By all of the greates I primarily mean Samson, John the Baptist, Paul, and yes…Jesus.  One truth about the Nazarite vow is that either you were born into it (Samson, Jesus, John the Baptist) or God called you into it (Paul).  I personally feel like it’s VERY important in the question “Who Am I?”.  Why it’s important is very simple you are chosen, that’s who you are…a chosen child and man of God, not to single out the ladies because this applies to you also.  You are chosen to a higher calling in life, we are all called to be preachers, not all are called to be pastors though…not to confuse that.  I believe the Nazarite vow is crucial in describing Who I Am and what I am called to be.  I also believe there are three key factors to being a modern Nazarite and being a modern Christian.

    1. Act Different:  in our churches, homes, and personal lives today this is a point of conflict.  Verse 3 says “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from their kernels even to the husk.”  Different.  It’s fairly debatable about drinking beer or alcohol in general, for the record I think it’s wrong.  And although I think that is part of what we can get from this, I believe it’s a small portion.  Different.  But different how?  I believe these verses are speaking to the very fiber of our daily life.  What are you putting into your soul?  Are you partying, listening to music that doesn’t please God?  Are you drinking, having premarital sex, adultey, lust.  Do you watch tv shows you know are wrong?  What are you bringing into your life?  Think about the positive difference it would make for you to listen to Christian music, watch Godly shows.  Think about the Child’s song “be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear….be careful where you go…because just like casting crowns wrote in their song…it’s a slow fade.  No, you’re not an alcoholic from day one, no you’re not cheating on your spouse at the first smile…everything ungodly that you let into your life is opening a door that leads to a road of destruction.  Different.  You should have a filter in your life, if you watch enough movies with cussing eventually you’re going to cuss, listen to enough sad beer drinking songs you’re going to drink, enough shows with unwed sex you’re going to have sex.  Different.  You are called as a Christian to hold yourself to a higher standard, so what are you waiting for.
    2. Look Different:  this set of verses basically says he shall not let a razor pass over his head for all the days of his seperation.  Although I’d like to have an excuse for growing my beard and hair, I actually do not.  Imagine that you were walking in the spirit to such an extent that someone could look at you and see a difference.  We should look different.  Someone’s perception of a Christian through us should be different than that of the world.  If we look like the world, act like the world, talk like the world…how is that being a Christian.  More so how is that being a church?  There’s a local church here with literally a Starbucks in the church, their services look like a rock concert, the preacher looks like he’s on his way to vacation, and although I’ve never fully heard the preaching I can only imagine what it’s like.  At another church they have known and admitted homosexual “Christians” as members and who believe they’re saved.  Church, people, we are on the road to destruction because we look like the world.  Different.  
    3. Socially Different: The last verse is a hard one.  It basically says all the days of his seperation he will not come in contact with the dead.  We have to separate ourselves from not only the things of the world but also the people.  The bible warns us about yoking ourselves to the unbeliever.  Do I think this means we can’t talk and witness with the unbeliever?  No.  But the key to all three of these is setting yourself apart from the world.  We can not be “a part” of this world but be part of something that tell us to be apart from this world.

    For me, I’m tired of just being good enough.  I don’t want to get to heaven and God say “well you did the bare minimum”.