Posts Tagged ‘Purpose Driven’

Friends,

Back in 2006 I preached a series of sermons I called ‘The Crucifixion Driven Life.’ This was my take on the popular 40 Days of Purpose that everyone was raving about at the time. We did the 40 Days of Purpose in my congregation and it was not quite as fun as I had hoped. Anyhow, shortly after we did the program I became very disillusioned with the nature of the program and shortly thereafter abandoned any hint that I had participated in the program. The main problem I had was that while there are a lot of good ideas in the program itself, the manner in which Scripture was used to arrive at those points was rather frustrating and disconcerting. Not only that, but it was the first time in my life I ever used sermon outlines that I had not prepared myself. I wrote my own sermons, but I built them around the 40 Days outlines. I am offering this as a public confession.

Anyhow, I’d like to use this blog for a couple of weeks to start publishing the majority of what I learned during the course of the 10 weeks that I preached on this subject. What I learned was simply amazing and thoroughly revolutionized my faith. What the Scripture says about the nature of what I have called the Crucifixion Driven Life is, beyond doubt, stunning. And what is more is that it stands in stark contrast with the American Driven Life of much of Western Christendom.

So I will be posting here, over the next couple of weeks or so, much of the material that I wrote, collected, and preached during this sermon series. I have quotes and sermons and I will also be including a few Skycasts–mp3’s of the sermons I preached. (Also, as with the sermons on Daniel posted last week, I will upload these sermons and Powerpoint presentations to my box.net account. This can be accessed from the widget on the left sidebar or via the links I provide.

This first quote is from one of my favorite writers and preachers, DA Carson. This particular quote is culled from his book The Cross and Christian Ministry:

What it means to be ‘spiritual’ is profoundly tied to the cross, and to nothing else. More precisely, to be spiritual, this passage, is to enjoy the gift of the Holy Spirit—and this means understanding and appropriating the message of the cross, ‘God’s secret wisdom.’…The Spiritual person is simply a believer, one who has closed with the message of the cross. In deed, those who are most mature are most grateful for the cross and keep coming back to it as the measure of God’s love for them and the supreme standard of personal self-denial….[U]ltimately wisdom is from the world and is opposed by God, or it is God-given and tied to the cross. There is no middle ground. Those who try to create some middle ground by imitating the Corinthians—who confessed the Jesus of the cross but whose hearts were constantly drawn to one or another of the public philosophy and values of the day—will gain nothing but the rebuke of Scripture.—ibid., 62

Here is another quote from Carson from the same book:

Paul is not so naïve as to think that every Christian should, ideally, suffer the same amount. In fact, in one passage he testifies to his willingness to take on a disproportionate share of suffering, so that others might be relieved. But what is at stake, for Paul, is a fundamental stance, a way of looking at things…We follow a Crucified Messiah.All the eschatological promises regarding the new heaven and the new earth, all the blessings of sins forgiven and of the blessed Spirit of God, do not negate the fact that the good news we present focuses on the foolishness of Christ crucified. And that message simply cannot be effectively communicated from the haughty position of the trumphalist’s condescension. Until the end of the age, we will take up our cross—that is, we will die to self-interest daily—and follow Jesus. The less any society knows of that way, the more foolish we will seem and the more suffering we will endure. So be it; there is no other way of following Jesus.—ibid., 107-108

I’ll post a little more later as time allows. Enjoy these quotes, there’s much more to come.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Advertisements

Friends,

I’m not going to say much about this. I just happen to find it profoundly ironic.

Christian Post has two stories on its front page. The link-lines appear in the following order and with the following words:

Rick Warren Launches ‘Purpose Driven’ Plan in Uganda

Evangelical Leaders: Jews Need Jesus Christ

So, Jews need Jesus, but Africans need Purpose! That’s a helpful way of looking at things; it simplifies matters.

Concerning the latter article:

The statement, sponsored by the World Evangelical Alliance, expressed friendship and love for the Jewish people, but unapologetically declared that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ.

“We want to make it clear that, as evangelical Christians, we do not wish to offend our Jewish friends by the above statements; but we are compelled by our faith and commitment to the Scriptures to stand by these principles,” read the evangelical statement on “The Gospel and the Jewish People.”

Concerning the former article:

Churches, business and government leaders gathered Friday and Saturday to listen to the best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life explain how to live a life of purpose and make a difference in the world.

“Our hope and prayer is that lives will be transformed and churches will be strengthened,” Warren said in Uganda, according to the program’s publicity team.

“My message to individuals is to build your life on purpose, instead of prestige, possessions or pleasure. My challenge to churches is to cooperate, not compete,” said he added, “and my challenge to business and government leaders is to use their influence for the glory of God and partner with local churches in solving community problems.”

For all those Africans: Not one mention of Jesus in the article. Not one. At this point, I think I have greater hope that the Jewish people will be saved than I do the Africans.

Sadly,

jerry

PS–The following is a list of those who affirm that Jews need Jesus (how does Chuck Colson get his name on every document produced by the church?):

Evangelical Christian leaders who affirmed the statement include the Rev. Dr. Lon Allison, director of the Billy Graham Center; Dr. Mark Bailey, president of Dallas Theological Seminary; Doug Birdsall, executive chair of Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization; Dr. Yonggi Cho, senior pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea; Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship; Dr. Jerry B. Jenkins, owner of Christian Writers Guild; Dr. Haddon Robinson, president of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary; Gordon Showell-Rogers, general secretary of European Evangelical Alliance; and Dr. Lon Solomon, pastor of McLean Bible Church in McLean, Va., who is Jewish.

Friends, 

Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:

Statue

A Little Leaven wrote:

Purpose-Driven Idolatry

Did Jesus die for your sins or did he die so that you can discover your purpose?

Hmmm… we’d wager that the people who would buy this cross would also be VERY offended by a crucifix that showed Jesus hanging dead on the cross. They would consider that to be an idol. But if that is true, then why is it okay to put the word PURPOSE on the cross instead?

http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/08/purpose-driven-.html#comments

That about says it all. I wish this were original with me, but it’s not. Anyhow, check out www.alittleleaven.com for an entire museum of such things as this. I have this site on my sidebar rss feed. You should check him out often. It’s often funny, and yet deadly serious.

jerry

PS–if you think the Purpose Driven Cross is bad, check this out. You won’t believe it:

http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/08/jesus-boxer-sho.html

It’s beyond absurd!