Friday, April 21, 2006

Sorry for the Absence


Dear faithful bloggers,

I am sorry I have not written this week. The reason stems from the new series I am embarking upon this week, and it has consumed a lot of my time.

I am seeking to answer some of the questions being raised in our culture regarding the new "Gnostic" gospel that seem to be arriving daily. With the soon-to-be-released movie, "The Da Vinci Code," and the "discovery" of the "Gospel of Judas" ( very interesting read for sure) I thought it good to take some time to bring the church back to an understanding of what the Bible is, what it says, and why it matters to me.

My goal is not so much to give an expose' of the various new books and movies, but rather to remind how wonderful and unique and life-changing the Word of God truly is.

I will look forward to having you join me in this ongoing journey, and I am sorry it has taken me so long to get this little blog entry done. Of course, except for the 2-3 of you who respond regularly, who knows if anyone else read this anyway! ;o)

As always, I welcome your thoughts...

May God's Truth reign!

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pastor,
What I know about gnosticism won't even fill a thimble so I won't show my ignorance by commenting...except to say that because of all of the bruhaha created by the book and movie and now this "find" of the "Book of Judas"....I think we as believers need to know SOMETHING about the subject in order to be able to debunk the errors being voiced loudly EVERYWHERE!!!
I welcome some enlightenment...bring it on!
Ruthie

Anonymous said...

To me the DaVinci Codes is probably like the Nostradamus stuff where the language is such that it could mean anything anyone wants to read into it, and I am particularly curious as to why anyone (other than a pastor or a Christian who is equipping themselves to witness) would be interested in reading the gospel according to (hello?) Judas?????

This I presume is the Judas who betrayed Christ? Why would anyone really care what Judas says Jesus taught? He obviously wasn’t paying very close attention when Christ was teaching or he wouldn’t have betrayed his savior, nor would he have hung himself after he realized he had totally blown it. (Of course they may say he didn’t really hang himself like some say that Jesus wasn’t really resurrected I suppose).

After having to make alll those trips to the dumpster to discard an entire library of hippy dippy books that seemed more and more confusing the more I read them, I figure I’ve already read my fair share and more of off wall stuff so I’m just going to have to rely on some credible Christian magazine articles and/or pastor’s sermons to get the ‘gist’ of what concerns Christians have with the latest two “fads” that are hitting the market.

I know I should do some reading along those lines to be able to discuss issues, but I just gag at the thought of actually having to wade through any more confusion by actually reading those books myself.

I honestly don’t think it will hurt me too much in my witnessing because truly, my ears are always my best witnessing tools anyway – I try for the most part to just let non-believers just talk themselves into a corner until they realize what their own heart’s desire really is (or maybe that's my rationalization when in reality I just don't want to be bored reading those two books?).

I would certainly be interested in reading your thoughts and anyone else’s regarding the latest two money makers that are currently hitting the market though.

gentledove

Anonymous said...

"Of course, except for the 2-3 of you who respond regularly, who knows if anyone else read this anyway!"

You never know how many eyes might be lurking out in the world wide web at this little blog and Christ would go to that much trouble for just one little lurker ... I mean lamb.

gentledove

Anonymous said...

But speaking of DaVinci, here's an article that kind of demystifies the famous "Mona Lisa" smile. Just kind of an interesting read.

http://www.bebeyond.com/LearnEnglish/DailyReadings/Arts/MonaLisa.htm

gentledove

Gary said...

Hello Randy,

I frequently read the church Blogs, both the Pastor's Study and the Men's Study. Although I haven't had Pastor's study comments to offer lately, I still read with interest what the few other known readers are saying, as well as yourself.

My brother's blog uses a program that informs my brother how many hits it has received, and, generally speaking, from where in the world these hits are coming from. He has regulars who do most of the commenting, as with the Pastor's Study, but also has received anonymous hits from a variety of places outside the US and Cnada. Maybe the Pastor's Study does too!

I recall Jesus once said, "I work, and my Father works too." We may never know how God can use the fruit of our giving in His name.

Pastor Randy said...

Thanks for the reminder that it's not about me, anyway, is it?!

My prayer is that this blog will always work for the progress of the Kingdom of God.

Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I think that this whole Da Vinci Code thing is very interesting, but not in the way the author would like me to be interested. Sure there are some fascinating "mind-candy" tidbits here and there, and the intriguing "Gospel" of Judas (btw, I enjoyed g-dove's rendering of this... I mean, really, Judas? Puh-leez! Consider the source. Would I trust a biography of Theodore Roosevelt written by Lenin? Or one of Geo. Washington by Benedict Arnold?)

Hey, one trip around the current crop of best sellers will see the impact of Mr. Brown's little book. There are now books on the mysterious Knights Templar, hidden codes in works of art that don't come from Leonardo's canvas, books on the "righting" of the wronged Mary of Magdalene, and many other books completely lambasting the Roman Catholic Church (boy, they've taken the brunt of this current wave...). Now, with all of this "investigative authorship" out there, giving us all this "new" info, we are now the ones in "the know".

Or are we? Are we really in the know now? Has everything now been clarified, and we're the enlightened ones?

No. We're the distracted ones. So many have had their ears tickled, and their stomach for the conspiracy theory filled. We've been distracted from the simplicity of the cross. We've been distracted from the stark truth of the empty tomb. It's a sad state of affairs when someone can cry out, "Conspiracy! Cover-up within the church! You've all been duped!" and have so many foundations of the faithful shaken and crumble. Where people will hold someone's book and say that it has the same intellectual weight of the Word of God. No matter how you paint that, it's sad. Not in the "that's pathetic", but, "that breaks my heart."

It's sad for many reasons, but here are two that hit me:

It's sad to me how so many people are Christians, and have been for a very long time, yet they do not have a grasp on the most basic of doctrines. They know some scripture, but couldn't locate specific verses that support the deity of Christ, the importance of the Resurrection, or the work of the cross. They may know where the church stands on current, hot-button political topics, but not be able to understand why Christ had to die. Nor do they have a working understanding of Church history. Not that we all have to be history buffs, but a rudimentary hold on how we got here. This lack of understanding creates and cultivates a ground that is ready for bizarre ideas and distractions to grow. One seed of gnosticism, or a seed of conspiracy on a ground void of solid truth, and the whole landscape changes. And not for the better.

I'm not saying that we are saved by, or through knowledge (the basis of gnosticism, Ruthie), but that, while we are saved by grace through faith, God never intended us to remain empty of intellect concerning His truths.

The other sad fact, at least to me, is the fact that basic Christianity has become boring to the vast majority. So many have become complacent in their Christian walks. It's not a life anymore, but more like an existence, the filling of a hole in an attendance chart in Sunday School. Then comes this new wave of "Cover-up" books. I haven't seen so many people get excited about books in ages. This "Gospel of Judas" hit the web-news curcuit like an Australian wildfire. People were going great gonzo for this stuff. It's new, it's wild, it's on the edge.

Remember Acts? Everything the first Christians were saying was new, wild and on edge. They turned their world upside-down. I'm not talking about finding new venues in which to proclaim the Good News. We don't need more sensationalism. That kind of flash doesn't last long.

What we really need, what the best defense against apathy and, well, Christian ignorance, is the Spirit of God, working through the Word of God in and through the People of God (plagiarised quote). The past few years have been cyclonic around this Da Vinci Code. In a few years to come, it will be something else, then after that, something completely different. There will always be some new distraction out there for the complacent.

But what can be more exciting about sins forgiven? A real hope? Just reading Mark 15 & 16 is some of the most exciting reading out there. I don't want distractions. I want the truth.

Blessing on ya!

Dan-o

Pastor Randy said...

Dan-o,

Thank you once again for your insights and heart-felt challenges. Right-on, bro!

My struggle with all this wraps itself around the very concerns you voice. There is a great need not to chase after or to study completely these new texts, but rather to return to THE text, to God's Holy Word.

I too, believe that the church in America today sees God and His Word as nothing more than that which can "meet their needs" or "solve their problems," and once it is not able to do that to their design and satisfaction they move on to something else. We are not satisified with the great and wonderful reality that this Book we hold is the Word of God to us and for us.

With this is mind, I am seeking to tak my little flock through the Book this year. A rebuilding of the foundation I guess you could say. To regain, or maybe gain for the first-time for some, a working knowledge of just how (w)holy amazing this Book is.

I am thankful to Dan Brown, et al, for perking up our ears a little, and now we shall turn our attention to the Truth that can save (2 Timothy 3:15)

Blessings to you and the family!
Randy

Anonymous said...

Dan-o
I always enjoy your comments...great insights!

You must have had a really great Youth Pastor somewhere in your past Ha!

(Watch that head, Randy...that swelling can leave you "hairless".)

I absolutely agree the church needs to get back to the basics!
The preaching/studying of the Word is essential to Christian growth. We can't rest on what we THINK the Bible says...we MUST know.

Check in once in awhile,Dan-o.

Blessings to you too!
Ruthie