The Gospel According To Bono

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Colossians 1:15 (ESV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

“I think it’s the defining question for a Christian: who was Christ?” Bono is the lead singer of U2, one of the most successful rock ‘n roll bands ever, and he was responding to a question about his Christian faith in a 2013 interview with Irish news channel RTE. “And I don’t think you’re let off easily,” he continues, “by saying, ‘A great thinker,’ or ‘A great philosopher.’ “Because actually, he [Jesus] went round saying he was the Messiah. That’s why he was crucified. He was crucified because he said he was the Son of God. So, he either, in my view, was the Son of God, or he was…” The interviewer interrupts him: “Not?” “No, no. Nuts!” Bono corrects. “Forget rock ‘n roll messianic complexes. This is like, Charlie Manson type of delirium.” A bit later, the interviewer is direct: “Therefore, it follows you believe he was divine?” And Bono is clear in his response: “Yes.” Bono was invoking a version of Lewis’ Trilemma, named after C.S. Lewis who popularized it in his apologetic writings. The argument is meant to show that, if one accepts the Scriptural account of Jesus as accurate, one cannot reasonably consider Jesus to simply be a good teacher who wasn’t divine, since he made radical claims about himself (e.g. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14.6). Though Bono only offers two alternatives (that Christ was either God or “nuts”), Lewis offers three possibilities: that Christ was either a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. The implication is that if Jesus wasn’t the Lord, he wasn’t a “good teacher” or someone worth following Bono has been very public about his Christian faith, invoking it as the primary motive for his philanthropy and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and global poverty.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

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Road Map

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)
16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Think of the Scriptures as an absolutely accurate map. A map tells you how to get to a certain destination. But just looking at a map won’t automatically transport you to Arizona or England or Peru. Getting to those places means you have to make the effort…pay the cost…take the time for travel…stay at it until you arrive. In a word, persevere. So it is in the Christian life. God’s map is reliable and available. It is also clear and direct. But there is no hocus-pocus in its pages that automatically sends its reader by way of a magic carpet (Perseverance, Condensed from Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back by Charles Swindoll, 1980).

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

The Nature Of Love

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
4  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Love is one of the most powerful emotions we have. The actress Joan Crawford once said “Love is a fire but whether it warms your heart or burns your house down, you can never tell!” Love can motivate, give pleasure, hurt even destroy. It can make us do bold, even stupid things. During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell’s heart was touched and he said, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!” As Christians, portrayed in the bible as brides of Christ, who is the Bridegroom, we too have a lover who gives us life because of his sacrifice. We are told that one day the Bridegroom will return and we shall be reunited and honeymoon, so to speak, in heaven.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

What Is Lent?

Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

 Matthew 4:1-2 (NLT) 

1  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. 2  For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.

 Lent is a time set aside in preparation for the two most important days in the Christian calendar, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  Just as we set aside time to prepare spiritually for Christmas Day, it makes sense to set aside time to prepared for Easter Sunday.  Lent is a time that offers us an opportunity to come to terms with the human condition we may spend the rest of the year running from and it brings our need for a Savior to the forefront.  Like Advent, Lent is a time to open the doors of our hearts a little wider and understand our Lord a little deeper, so that Good Friday and eventually. Easter comes; it is not just another day at church but an opportunity to receive the overflowing graces God has to offer.  But unlike the childlike joy of Advent, with it’s eager anticipation of the precious baby Jesus, Lent is an intensely time of examining our sinful natures and return to the God we have, through our own rebelliousness, hurt time and again.  Lent is also an opportunity to contemplate what Christ really did for us on the Cross – and it wasn’t pretty!  But ultimately, the purpose of Lent does not stop at sadness and despair – it points us to the hope of the Resurrection and the day when every tear will be dried (Rev. 21:3).

 In Christ,

 Pastor Mark