Thursday, June 30, 2005

Not Warranted...

So I've been driving a motorised fine waiting to happen these past few months - my car doesn't have a warrant of fitness. First time it failed it was because of rust. $750 later and apparently there are some other minor but totally annoying flaws in my steel chariot...I am somewhat annoyed cos I really want to sell the thing (cut down weekly expenses, score some quick cash, avoid exactly these types of repair bills) so I'm gonna have to spend more (non existent?) money so I can save money?! What?! Not a happiness inducing moment in my day.

Sunday was fine preaching part III in Out of the Closet titled New Season Wardrobe. Looking at some of the internal character required individually and corporately if a church community is going to faithfully reflect who Christ is. Seemed to hit some people. Even got a few emails this week. Its cool to have a sense that what you do makes a difference for people.

I get to have a break this week and enjoy receiving wisdom from the lips of Melissa - I love what she can do with scripture to distil truth. Looking forward to soaking it up.

Actually 3 July will be an interesting day. The anniversary of my late wife's death. I think I might go to the beach with Rhys on Sunday morning while Kristen heads to ECW be one of 5 contributors on missions. More on this subject later I think.

I have this really difficult guy from church to go see now...we meet fortnightly to chat and stay accountable...he specialises in stirring it up on the doubt I'll have to deliver a hefty rebuke for daring to challenge the established order...check out his blog Fritchay


Sunday, June 26, 2005


I did this test the other day for fun on theological persuasion...I think this will help me keep my job...I like doing these tests...I also did the Star Wars character one and Yoda I am...

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavily by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox




Classical Liberal


Roman Catholic






Modern Liberal


Reformed Evangelical


What's your theological worldview?
created with

All Blacks crushed the Lions, who frankly had nothing. 21-3 if you want the scoreline - but if it hadn't hailed in the second half it would have been 50 points...


Thursday, June 23, 2005


Check out the “Goble Savage” blog courtesy of a new friend from cession – adventures in practical faith! Then there’s "Rhetrospect", another new cession friend, who asks a question on authority in the church. It’s more than a theoretical question for me as a pastor and also within the NZ context where some high profile church leaders exercise significant degrees of control of their churches. I don’t normally blog on these sorts of things – you’ll have noted from my recent entry that I can’t abide the tactics that some Christians bring to debate. But I just felt I wanted to explore this for myself and so…

At the outset I think it important to draw a distinction between authoritarianism and authority. Authoritarianism is most often rooted in a hunger for power and control. This is a common enough expression of our humanity (or perhaps our “createdness”) – its about our desire to “be like God”, Adam’s delusion and interestingly Lucifers…

So authoritarianism is a projection of pride.

Then there are the indisputable sources of authority: Jesus Christ as head of the church and the Scriptures. Although there is much dispute nonetheless.

The real question comes down to how authority is exercised by leaders within the church. It seems clear that God calls people to offices for the purposes of leading and shepherding the flock eg. pastors, teachers, administrators are all biblically ordained roles. But a quick survey of key NT figures offers much guidance on what is NOT a proper exercise of this authority.

Paul is an interesting place to start – much of Paul’s apostolic authority flows from his sufferings and not his stature materially or temporally. You don’t see Paul riding around on his $35,000 Harley preaching that “enough is enough”. That’s suffering for the gospel! Instead, Paul attempts in his ministry not to “lord it over” the churches under his care (2 Cor 1:24). Later in chapter 11 of the same letter, Paul suggests to the Corinthian church that they should not have put up with the type of leader “who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face.” Interesting advice…

Jesus (not surprisingly) sets the tone for Paul with the same sentiment concerning “lording it over people” in Mark 10:42-43:

"You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

Seems clear. And pretty counter cultural.
Finally Peter, who was himself quite the activist, choleric, assertive, driver nevertheless says to the elders in 1 Peter 5:2-3:

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock."

So for Peter authority is not so much exercised as earned.

One thing that annoys me is the misinterpretation of scriptures which exhort believers to obedience as giving leaders authority to require obedience. It’s an illogical position. Scripture also exhorts slaves to obey their masters, but does anyone seriously contend that this authorises the master’s keeping of slaves? A scriptural command to obedience is about the character of the person under authority, not an extension of power to the person in authority.

I could go on and talk about authority being exercised best through a plurality of leaders but I’m sure I’m way over my head by now! I would say two final words. Those that have suffered abuse by authority have a responsibility before God to sort their crap out! Don’t live with that bitterness – by all means rant and rave, but once you’re done, move on (and I mean that literally as well as figuratively). Second: leaders aren’t perfect. Enough said. Enough is more than enough.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Forever Blogging Bubble...

Alright, I am a slack blogger. So much to blog, so little time.

Sunday was a blast. Preaching on Mothball Mathematics (basically on making disciples). As more long suffering readers will painfully recall, I have at times discussed my preaching journey - as a first year pastor this was all brand new. As a second year pastor not much has changed - I think I doubt myself less and trust God more, but there's no sense in which that is a consistent state! This Sunday I knew one thing with certainty. One person was absolutely converted, convinced, cajoled, coerced, corrupted into line with my(?) message.


Not sure if thats what people mean by an audience of one (of course it isn't). But, it does seem to me that its important to be as much a recipient of God's word through preaching as it is to be a disseminator. Anyways, I found it liberating because I realised I believed every word without a shred of doubt. It was reassuring in that the last 2 weeks have really been about the reason for being for the cessionIcommunity. The fire is even more intense than when we started. We have such awesome people and their stories are inspiring. Its nice to know God at least has me where He wants me.

This weekend at our leaders advance ("retreat") we had people from the community come share their stories at strategic moments to encourgae the leadership - I hadn't told anybody. The joke became that it was Jesus at the door...and as I listened to the stories that seemed so appropriate..."the least of these" and all that. A good time and once again I am amazed at this group of people He has assembled.

Had the chance to connect with some more people on Sunday afternoon through our latest "Plugging In". I love these opportunities to lay out the vision. Its amazing the people I have got to meet through being a part of this community.

Anyways, better get moving...places to go (home), people to see (my family)...


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Beat It

Good times Sunday evening with the start of our new series: Out of the Closet... A chance for a bit of vision casting around the broader theme of community. I was sick so not entirely sure how it went. As often happens I would have liked to emphasise a couple of things differently. This week I was asking the question: How Far Out? and preaching from Ephesians 2. I have been feeling for some weeks that I needed to remind people why we exist: "Why plant another church in this area?" So, I pray that it impacted people. Anyways, you do what you do. It was cool to see a number of people being prayed for around the auditorium afterwards.

We have a large number of people (10) coming to our Plugging In seminar this coming weekend, so I'm excited about that development. Its great to see God adding to the community.

Well I just watched the Michael Jackson verdict...and without wanting to say "I told you so"...actually thats precisely what I'm heard it on this blog first! If the TV reconstructions were even close to accurate this kid and his family were lying from the start. Most people are bad liars. But most people think they are good liars. Its like how the vast majority of people believe they are above average drivers...without realising that only something around half of the driving population are statistically able to claim that status.

But. He is a nut job. And so is any parent who lets their child near him. Fortunately, it is still possible in the USA not to go to prison for being a socially maladjusted genius weirdo. I've always considered MJ to be one of the greatest musicians of all time. As far as sheer entertainment and theatre goes has anyone surpassed him?

Taking it easy this morning giving myself a chance to recover and recognising I have meetings tonight. Beautiful day outside and altogether great to be alive! Anyone in prayer mode out there we have some serious needs in the areas of Kristen's immigration status, related medical bills of the 4 figure kind, car problems and generally making ends meet. But still having fun!


Friday, June 10, 2005

In Brief

> Great weekend at Convention last weekend

> Prayer Blog is updated

> Jonescam has new photos

> New Series "Out of the Closet" starts this Sunday...