Saturday, May 27, 2006

Origins Conference

So I am back from the great state of California and probably one of the greatest conferences I have ever been to. I drove a sweet ride (1990 Hundai - sweet) and I got to hang with some amazing people... Mr. Ashdown who I miss already and one of my new best friends Corrie Paxton... So great to dream with you guys...

Erwin McManus was speaking this week at the conference and he said a few things that I hope will stick with me for a while... One is this...

"We have to get away from Christian Discipleship as the removal of sins... If we only strive to remove sins then the best we can achieve is "Zero"... The human soul is not meant to live at zero... We need to unlock the dreams and creativity God has placed inside of each of his children, empower them to live them out with passion, and we will see they have no time left over for sin..."

I understand we humans can have some pretty crazy dreams... but I believe this combined with humility and character could bring us close to something big... that sounds like something that could change a life... it sounds like something that could change the world...

I have this burning desire to point people to the heart of God... to help them find what they were created to be... I have no desire to help people become nicer or to not steal... I don't think those are bad things obviously... I just don't lay awake at night thinking about them... I ask God for direction in how to do such a thing... I ask for Him to continue to awaken my soul for what I was created to be...

Hope you all have a great Weekend...

Blessings,

-J

ps
please go to jeff's blog and post as he is down a little because he hasn't gotten many comments lately...

5 comments:

Jason said...

This sounds like good stuff. I like how John MacArthur addresses legalism. It's easy to say that we shouldn't do this or shouldn't do that, but isn't it really about learning how to walk by the Spirit and the rest just falls into line?

That being said, wouldn't you agree that we've got to start with addressing the major stuff in someone's life. How can someone be effective as a Christian if he routinely bows to the idol of pornography and all that accompanies it daily? How can we ever be slaves to Christ if we are still slaves to sin?

Of course, I write this as someone actively involved in a ministry where we try to help people overcome habitual sins. But our focus is not so much in stopping the sin as it is in being so filled up and so satisfied with Christ that we don't have room for the sin in our lives.

I'm interested to read others' thoughts on this.

Corey said...

the problem with this mindset is the terms 'filled up and satisfied with Christ' are good and true, but thrown around so much that they no longer mean what they are intended to mean. filled up and satisfied in christ can really just be code for indifference to others and spiritual self-absoprtion. what does it really mean for someone to be satified in christ? and how in the world would anyone who has never read john piper even know what that means?

this is what erwin is talking about without the christian jargon. when you puruse a life of passionately following, connecting to, and experiencing the Livng God, then He sets us free to have relationships that reflect His character (walking in step with the Spirit) and He sets us free to use the gifts and passions and creativity he has put inside us for the good of the world around us. this is a life filled with passion that is consumed by goodness that no longer has time or desire to sit and look at porn. and isn't the root of porn addiction a starvation of intimacy and soul deadness? people addicted to porn feel alive when they look at the screen because they have no fear of rejection and have a pseudo-intimacy that satifies their soul for a brief time. so many people struggle with porn because they are afraid of being honest about the deadness, fear, and shame they feel inside.

the problem is not getting people to overcome porn addictions, but setting people free to passionately live life connected to God and others. This is deeply satifying to the soul and a free way to live that overtakes and eats away the desire for things that don't really satisfy.

the problem is we too often focus on the symptoms rather than setting people free to really live.

what would happen if the church of Jesus Christ if we focues more on what God sets us FREE FOR rather than what He sets us free from? what if we were known as a people less concerned with micromanaging others sin and more concerned with bringing faith, hope, and love into every situation we find ourselves in?

Jason said...

Corey --

I think perhaps you spend so much time with legalists that I touched on a nerve. Believe it or not, I quite agree with you. However, I think it's impossible to enjoy the kind of life you describe until we address the things that weigh us down. Paul tells us to cast off every hindrance so that we may run the race, right? Well I know that my spiritual life was dead when I was in bondage to porn, masturbation, gluttony, and laziness. And now I know that it is vibrant and alive.

I agree that I want to be known for what I am for rather than what I'm against. Our ministry has a variety of courses to deal with a variety of habitual sins. But the thread through all of them is not so much about dealing with the sin as it is about developing that intimacy with God where we truly feast on Him. This is meant for people who already believe in Christ, not for those outside of the faith. Obviously I wouldn't use terms like "feast on Christ" with someone who is unregenerate. In the end most people write that they came to address some sin, but they left with a deeper relationship with God so that they don't care about the sin anymore. And that's what we shoot for.

I just wanted to let you know that I think we fundamentally agree on this. Please accept my apologies for sacrificing clarity for brevity in using Christian jargon.

jason said...

Jason and Corrie,

Thanks you guys for sharing your thoughts here on the blog... It is great to hear both of your points of views and where you are coming from... I also appreciate your humility and meekness in offering both your backgrounds and your current outlooks on life...

Lord, help us find our way as we share your goodness with those around us... our desire is only for you to be glorified and for your kingdom to come...

-Jason

corey said...

word

i've been out of the blogging office for a while and thought I'd check up on what was going on.

you know, it's hard to have a conversation this way as whoever I am writing to right now, I really don't know you and your story and you don't know mine.

it sounds like God has really brought you through some difficult things in your personal life and you want others to experience the freedom of walking with Him. I praise God for that in your life.

from my point of view, i have not been burned by legalists, but am fed up with self-absorbed spirituality that leaves us empty and indifferent to the people who need God the most. i don't rail against legalists, but anything that could hinder someone who doesn't know Chirst from coming to know Christ. I am really just passionate about people connecting to God and living the life of freedom and adventure He calls us to live. I used to use a lot of christian jargon and found out it confused people more than connected people to God. so, I asked God to change my heart so i could speak into others' hearts.

I believe when we live our lives passionately for God and other people, the lesser desires of our heart become less enticing. They are still there, but I won't go there because I want to make the message I spread about God credible by letting Him change me to the core.

Blessing on your journey.

peace

COREY (check spelling Gore)
thanks for your peace-making skills