How attached are you to your wealth, whatever “wealth” means in your context?
Well, the results of our Honest Answers Quick Poll are in, so I’d like to share them with you, together what is, to my mind, one of the most unsettling stories about money in the Bible.
Are you ready?
It’s tragically sad but true, that most Christians are hell bent (!) on squandering the new life that Jesus died and rose again to bring them.
Statistically – based on the research I reported on in a recent blog – the one thing, the only thing that strongly correlates with radically reduced sin and radically transformed lives, is engaging with God’s Word four times a week or more.
And most Christians don’t. Why?
Mostly it’s because we don’t know how to engage with the Bible in a life-changing way.
But that’s all about to change!
Last week I attended a presentation by Arnie Cole, CEO of Back to the Bible and the Center for Bible Engagement, on a major piece of research conducted across Australia (and the USA). The research set out to discover what, if anything, of all the things we do as an expression of our Christian faith (going to church, worshipping, praying, listening to sermons, attending home groups … apparently they came up with a list of 150 things!) has a positive impact on our spiritual growth.
Not a bad question. Would it surprise you to know that of all those things we do, only one made a measurable and dramatic difference? That’s right, just one!
I think that sometimes we’re prone to trivialising the Word of God. By that I mean, we don’t take it seriously enough.
We skim over it and yet somehow we fail to take it heart. We don’t really grasp that it’s meant for us, for our lives. We completely miss the fact that God’s Word is filled with the power – His power – to radically transform our lives.
So … here’s a story to remind us of the awesome power of God’s Word.
In the week leading up to Easter, I received an email from a woman in Europe (let’s call her ‘Margaret’) who was literally at the point of taking her own life, when a Christianityworks radio progam started to go to air on her local radio station.
This is what she wrote to me (her name and some minor details have been changed to preserve her anonymity):
It’s early Saturday morning as I peck away here at my keyboard. I’m about to head off to the NSW State Conference of the Gideon’s to share my testimony with the delegates. It’s something that I just am so delighted to do … because back in February 1995, it was a Gideon Bible that God used to save my life.
I was standing on the 8th floor balcony of a Brisbane hotel, wondering whether to jump, and …
What I love about these Honest Answers Polls, is that I never know what the results are going to be. And our last poll about your experience of Easter was no exception. I was amazed that 53% of respondents said they looked forward to Easter more than any other time of the year. That’s very high. And yet 41% indicated that they struggled to connect with Easter.
So … what does that tell us?
Wow there’s been quite bit of discussion on the blog post about the West Wing Theology Challenge – the theological gauntlet that President Bartlet threw down to the Christian talk show host ‘Dr’ Jenna Jacobs on homosexuality. And you know what makes it all so hard? It’s this: in one respect at least, Bartlet has a real point.
I don’t mean that his conclusions are right. But his process points out an important truth. So, here (in love) is my take on it all:
This post is about knowing why we believe what we believe. There’s a great scene in “The Midterms” episode of the TV Series The West Wing – where President Bartlet takes a Christian talk show host to task over her position on homosexuality by throwing some challenging Old Testament dilemmas her way.
According to the President, she’s being quite selective in the things she chooses to believe …