Man, Movement, Machine, & Monuments

Leigh Anne, Trey, Steve, & Miranda
Leigh Anne, Trey, Steve, & Miranda

Miranda and I got to hang out with some friends who are missionaries a few weeks ago. Trey and Leigh Anne are some of the coolest people I know. Anyway, during our time together, Trey and I had a great conversation and he said something I wanted to share with you. I’ve caught myself sharing it in a few conversations since then already. (That means it’s something I really latched on to.) I can’t remember where he got the info, but I know it’s not original to him either. Anyway, here it is:

The changes that take place in most organizations over time can be defined by these stages:

1. A Man on a Mission – is how things get started.

2. A Movement – is formed as this man and his mission attract/involve other people who are passionate about the same things.

3. A Machine – is built as the movement grows. The loose organization of people decides to be strategic in planning and sets standards for how they will operate.

4. A Monument – is ultimately formed as people begin to expect certain behaviors/services from the machine. Unfortunately, machines break. Many times (if leadership is not careful and intentional) the maintenance of the machine begins to take precedence over the original mission. Financial resources which originally were intended for the mission are spent to support the machine. (85% of the average church budget is spent inwardly.)

In Trey’s description, he also said that the man who shared these ideas with him made it his goal to never become a machine. A movement of many men on mission can become a revolution, but a machine. . . .

These are ideas worth passing along.What do you guys think?

Origin of Man/Creation

Man
Here are the basic views for how humans came into being:

Atheistic Evolution – You guys know this one. It comes from Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species which says that given enough time, a combination of atoms, motion, time, and chance will produce a huge variety of lifeforms like we have today. Weaker species are eliminated through a struggle for survival and evolution occurs. This would mean that there is no God for man to be accountable to or any moral absolutes. Survival is the ultimate goal regardless of the consequences to anyone else.

Theistic Evolution – God used an evolutionary process to  bring about all that we see in creation. This theory is an attempt to reconcile evolution with the Bible, but it is strongly rejected by both evolutionists and biblicists. This argument breaks down with the analogy between Adam and Jesus in Romans 5:12-21 because it simply doesn’t work if Adam was not a real person. Genesis 1:1-2:4 must also be read allegorically and the statement in Genesis 2:7 doesn’t fit if humanity came from a non-human ancestor.

Progressive Creationism – This theory is also called the “Day-Age Theory.” The idea is that each of the 7 days of creation recorded in Genesis actually refers to a geological age. Most progressive creationists believe that God directly created man and animals, but that some evolutionary processes are still possible within a certain species. Exodus 20:10-11 uses an analogy between God working 6 days and resting and man working 6 days and resting on the seventh. This demands a literal interpretation. Also, if this theory were true, then people must have died before the fall of man. Genesis is clear that death did not enter the world until Adam’s sin.

Gap Theory – This theory places a long period of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. This allows for an old earth. They also believe that there was another creation which fell with Lucifer’s fall causing the earth to become chaotic. “Formless and void” in verse 2 describes this chaotic earth. Unfortunately, the grammar in Genesis really doesn’t allow for this gap to exist at all.

Literal 24-hour days – As the Bible describes, God created everything in 6 days and rested on the 7th. Geological formations which seem to indicate an “old” earth can be explained by Noah’s flood. Scripture seems to indicate that this is the best approach to the origin of man. The more we study, there also seems to be more and more information/science which validates this viewpoint.

How does this impact my life? This particular issue is at the center of the main attack on Christianity today. I have taught and will continue to teach a Biblical standpoint on this issue to the students in our church.  As much as we try to accommodate both the Biblical record and evolution, it simply is not possible without compromising the Scriptures. I will continue hold to the Scriptures over any theory regardless of its popularity. Considering the lack of evidence for the evolutionary theory, I’m actually surprised at its popularity. I guess  it doesn’t matter how ridiculous something is – people will believe anything that allows them the ability to ignore God.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 301-304)

Angelology

Angel
It is clear from the Scriptures that angels exist. They are actually mentioned in 37 of the books of the Bible. Jesus Himself speaks of them (Mt 25:31-32, 41) and interacts with them (Mt 4:11). Here are some of the basic teachings about angels from the Scriptures:

1. They are spirit beings. They are called “spirits” (Heb 1:14) and do not have bodies. They also do not die (Lk 20:36) or get married (Mk 12:25). However, they do appear in human form sometimes (Gen 18:3).

2. They are created beings. Ps 148:2-5; Job 38: 6-7; Col 1:16

3. They were all created at the same time. Heb 12:22 says there are “myriads” of them but since they cannot reproduce (Mt 22:30). . . .Col 1:16 also suggests a singular act of creation.

4. They are a higher order than man. Heb 2:7 says that angels are higher than men – even higher than Jesus while He was in the flesh. They don’t die (Lk 20:36) and have more wisdom than man (2:Sam 14:20). Their wisdom is limited though – certainly less than God’s (Mt 24:36). They have more power than men (Mt 28:2; Acts 5:19; 2 Pet 2:11) but it is still a limited power (Dan 10:13).

Some of the most prominent angels are:
Michael (Dan 10:13; 12:1; Jude 9)
Gabriel (Dan 9:21; Lk 1:26)
Lucifer (Is 14:12)

Some of the things that angels do include:
Serving God (Rev 5:11-12)
Ministry to Jesus (Lk 1:26-38; 22:43; Mt 2:13; 2:20; 4:11; 28:5-7; 1 Kgs 19:5-7; Acts 1:10; Mt 25:31)
Ministry to Believers
Protection (Ps 34:7; Acts 5:19; Rev 7:1-14)
Provision (1 Kgs 19:5-7)
Encouragement (Acts 27:23-25)
Direction (Acts 8:26; 10:3, 22)
Assist in answering Prayer (Acts 12:1-11; Dan 9:20-27)
Carry us home (Lk 16:22)
Serve God in Judgment (Rev 8:2-12; 9:1, 13; Mt 13:39-42)

How does this change my life? I believe it has and will continue to change my life every time an angel ministers to me as a believer. I am not aware of specific times when this has happened, but I do believe that it has. There are certainly countless times when I have been in need of protection, provision, encouragement, direction, and answered prayer and have received those things. I feel confident in saying that angels have probably had a hand in those situations. I also believe that their work in ministering to Jesus and in serving God have an affect on me – maybe not a direct impact, but that doesn’t mean anything. Also, by having this understanding of angels, I’ll be able to pray specifically for God to send angels when I find myself or my friends in need of these kinds of ministries.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 287-292)

Hypostatic Union

Jesus
This is the term used to describe Jesus’ humanity and His divinity. The idea that he is both God and man at the same time is strange. When Jesus came to earth from heaven as a human, he also took on a new nature (human nature) which he had not experienced before. These two natures are united together perfectly in Jesus, but they still maintain their separate identities. Jesus (the God-man) is fully human, but he is fully God at the same time. How this works is one of the mysteries of God that has stumped mankind for many generations. He is one man, but has two natures. Whoa! This concept is important to us too – here’s why – Jesus had to be God so He could live perfectly without sin and could become the “perfect sacrifice: for our sins. He also had to be human so that God could die. By becoming a man, Jesus also became the ultimate priest. By being God, He was able to properly act as a Mediator between God and man.

How does this impact my life? In every way. It’s only because the Word was made flesh that I have been saved. Jesus’ death and resurrection (pictures of His humanity and divinity) secure my new life. It is in serving this man, that I find myself serving God. Cool stuff.

(Info from “The Moody Handbook of Theology” by Paul Enns, pg 227-229)

Paraphrasing and Translations

Bible15
In class this week, Dr. Loken talked about the different versions of the Bible. Quite a bit of it was stuff I had already picked up on in all my years of ministry, but there was definitely a part of it which was new to me. I’ve been teaching a series with the youth for our Wednesday Night Bible study lately that has been lots of fun, but I’m questioning it now. The series is called the “Paraphrase Project” and the idea is to teach the students about a certain Biblical text and then have them rewrite it in their own words. I’ve encouraged them to rewrite each phrase so they can understand it. It’s been a really good way to help them interact with the Scriptures and they’ve had a good time learning to express themselves like this. Anyway, after my class, I feel like I have a better grasp on the details of what it means to really translate the Scriptures. It’s a huge undertaking (probably not something for a student – we’re not really distributing ours though – it’s just to help us interact with the Scriptures.) ’cause one little detail could undermine the whole text.

Anyway, he showed us how the TNIV and the NRSV have tried to become “gender inclusive” and how it has totally changed the Scriptures. For example:
In Hebrews 2 the NIV says,
6But there is a place where someone has
testified:
“What is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of
man that you care for him?
Bible087You made
him a little
lower than the angels;
you crowned him with glory and honor

8and put everything under his
feet?
In
putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet
at present we do not see everything subject to him.

These verses are clearly talking about Jesus and his Sovereignty with everything under His feet.

Now look at the same verse from the “gender inclusive” TNIV:
6 But there is a place where someone has
testified:
“What are mere mortals that you are mindful of them,

human beings that you care for them?
7 You made them a little lower
than the angels;
you crowned them with glory and honor
8 and put everything under their
feet.”
In putting everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to
them. Yet
at present we do not see everything subject to them.

What?!?!?!? Humans now have sovereignty over all things?? It’s really scary to me that people could actually believe in being “politically correct” so much that they’d be willing to change the whole Manmeaning of Scripture. Wouldn’t want to offend a woman and call Jesus a man.
Sorry ladies, but just so you know – JESUS WAS A MAN!! What kind of man would change the scriptures like this? He must have gotten beat up by a lot of girls to be that afraid of women. I guess he’s more afraid of women than he is of God.