Monday, September 28, 2009


Saturday Dana, my wife, announced I had a letter from the City of College Station. I thought maybe they were going to name a street after me. However, it was ticket for running a red light. The cameras got me. It came as quite a surprise. I was having my normal Saturday doing lawn work, reloading amo, watching a little TV and just hanging around. Then the letter came. $75 dollars later I am reminded Big Brother is watching. So, the day of the Lord will come like a red light ticket. I wonder if we will be ready when the mail is delivered? Too late then to stop. Foree


Relationship is the issue of scripture. Acts 17:27 tells us God made and ordered the world "so that men would seek out to him and find him..." That is our job and that reflects God's will. In the OT all the rules and procedures were not so that humanity could learn do do things just right but to form relationship with the Father (Matthew 23:23-26). Jesus tells us In Matthew 6:1-18 that "acts of righteousness" are between the Father and us, individually. As we reach out to the Father it is for the creation of spiritual connection with him. The acts we do only have meaning if that connection exists or is in process.

Relationship as foundational in the faith experience is reflected in the "greatest command" which is to love God and one another. Matthew 18:6 tells us that it cause another to sin is punishable by the millstone being tied around the neck while being cast into the sea (not much chance of reversal there!). In the same text we are told to cut off our hand if it destroys our relationship with God. Matthew 18:15 and 5:23-24 teach that relationship with each other has to precede any acts of righteousness before God.

Imagine brothers in Christ treating each other unkindly or dismissively due to disagreement. Imagine churches full of believers ignoring one another because they see things in the bible differently. Imagine fighting and arguing in a disagreeable fashion to the point that relationship is destroyed.

Jesus died for our sins. He died to establish our relationship to God. He died because he loves us. If we are worth that much to Jesus should we not be worth that to each other?

Relational theology is the theology of scripture. Relationship to God and each other (God being first) is more important that anything else. I wonder if relational theology would keep brothers closer to God and one another and perhaps stop the threats of division? Foree

Friday, September 25, 2009

Assembly (Church"

"Church" as we call it, and not completely inaccurately I would add, has been the focus of so much debate and division over the years. Brethren in Christ have decimated the body via arguments and controversies regarding the structure and practice in assembly. Interestingly there is little in the New Testament which even addresses the issues we have so boldly discussed. 1 Corinthians 11-14 represents nearly the entire biblical presentation regarding what happens in assembly. Some would argue 1 Timothy 2 is about assembly but that is a debateable point. So, 1 Corinthians 11-14; 1 Timothy 2; Acts 2 and little more give us our texts for assembly.

There is no mention of a church "treasury" in the NT. Jesus did not tell us how many cups to use in communion and the arguments made from the statement "do you not have homes to eat and drink in" has been robbed of its context. Ephesians 5:19 does not address public assembly. Hebrews 10:23ff indicates brethren did meet but the admonition there is to use the time to strengthen, edify and encourage, not divide. Praise teams, who serves communion, genre of church music, proper versions, dress, video usage, meditation times, song leaders, solos, choirs, prayer leaders,meeting times (Sunday 10AM, Sunday 6PM and Wednesday are not mandated in the text of scripture) etc...are never mentioned in the Bible.

Take another look at scripture and you will note that the arguments made regarding the foregoing mentioned subjects are simply conclusions people have drawn from their use of the bible. Someone may certainly draw the conclusion that one cup and one cup only should be used in communion but that is as far as it should go. We cannot bind where God has not bound except in the matter of our own faith.

The early Christians met (Acts 2) to take the Supper, have fellowship, learn and share with one another. It was a time of mutual edification (1Cor. 14) where things were done in an "orderly" fashion so that those who were there would worship God and be built up. It is a shame that so much division and hatefulness has been the result of meetings of the church. Maybe if we all would recognize the "greatest command" and focus on its meaning (1 Cor. 13) history would not repeat itself with yet more church divisions.

Recently a church placed a cross (modern symbol of the Christian faith) at the front of its auditorium in order to encourage focus to be on Jesus and his sacrifice for our sins. Sadly, a brother said "I told them when the cross went up I would be gone." Division over a cross. Sad but that is the road many have taken. And it all centers in what people like or don't like, tradition, practice and culture. Somewhere in the mix Jesus and the Gospel are lost. Assembly time should be a time of refreshing that comes from the Lord. Too bad HE is many times overlooked. foree

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Assembly time is important for the church family as a whole and for individuals. It really is not a time for close, interpersonal interaction. It is actually rather difficult to have horizontal connection in assembly. The room, in which the assembly time takes place, is usually structured so that everyone faces forward with focus on the whoever is in front, looking at the back of their neighbors head.

The video posted on the blog touches on what happens to us individually when we assemble. It all has to do with the heart or attitude we bring to that hour. The essence of assembly is thinking about our Father and our Lord. The songs, prayers, communion etc...are for us to look inside and up to the Father. It really is a time for reflection and thoughtful spiritual introspection. I am sure the fellow in the video is correct, Satan has a field day messing with us at assembly times:

Worry about how you look....worry about the details and structure of the service: is the preacher dressed "right?"....are the songs too slow or too fast or too high or too the singing done communion done appropriately...are the babies too loud...are there too many announcements...did I
have time to read the bulletin...and on and on it goes...Satan distracting us about the distractions and all the while the songs are sung, the head is bowed, the sermon is presented and then we leave IF WE GET OUT ON TIME...

So - where is my heart and soul at assembly time? Great question. Foree

Monday, September 21, 2009

Take a look and think about this - Stay with it for a little bit and see what happens. Foree

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What to Wear - 2

Too often when questions arise debates or "answers" have more to do with custom, likes and dislikes than with scripture. Jesus warned about the danger of "traditions" (Matt. 15:6ff) as they "set aside" the word of God. There is this argument that people should "give God their best" - relative to dress - yet the bible never says anything like this regarding what we wear. It does not even make good sense usually we wear more casual clothing on Sunday PM.
Practice (they way we do things) or tradition become cemented in our minds. When someone asks why we do it we respond out of our practice rather than out to God's will. When we do this we "set aside" the word of God in order to be guided by what we are used to doing (tradition). Now don't get me wrong, tradition is a wonderful thing - it sure makes Christmas and Thanksgiving nice - but when it becomes some point of "truth" for us then our guide is what we do rather than what God has said. How careful we must be! Foree

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What To Wear

So the question comes "What to Wear," when it comes to "church." As I consider this question I am wondering just where it originates from a biblical perspective? Is it from 1 Timothy 2 where women are warned about costly dress? Or perhaps it comes from James 1 where God warns about honoring people due to their expensive clothing? In the Old Testament the priests were to wear a certain type of clothing and it was costly. But we are not priests of the old order and where in our New Testament does God say anything about "dressing for church?" It seems to me it is not addressed by Jesus or his authors. Of course "modesty" is addressed and that should always be the case.
My thought is the question of dress is a cultural one. For years it has been the custom of Christians to have some clothing called "Sunday Best." However, our culture is becoming more and more casual. So, are we to dress up or down? I am wondering what it is God looks at as we come before him on Sunday? Is He concerned with how we look (of course we are to be modest) or does he consider the heart of the matter-the heart? I wonder if the poor would be less appreciated by God than the rich (relative to dress or any other standard)? In all of the New Testament I find no instruction about dress before God. Is it wrong to dress "up?" Certainly not unless we are ostentatious or calling attention to ourselves. Is it wrong to dress "down?" certainly not unless we seek to call attention to ourselves.
Jesus teaches relative to "acts or righteousness" -Matthew 6- that we do them between us and God. Our "acts: are not to be done from humans to see but done between God and us. When we come together we are to do what edifies and builds up (1 Cor. 14). I just cannot find any biblical mandate what so ever about how we are to dress when we do the "acts." So, if we seek to be modest before Him, that should be appropriate and any standard we set from a cultural perspective is simply that, our standard. Well dressed or not, God wants something going on inside. What are your thoughts? Foree