Sunday, May 27, 2012

What "Single Mindedness" looks Like

Christ's complaint to the church of Ephesus was that they had lost their first love. Each of us, every day, are in danger of falling into this trap. I am constantly tempted and seduced by alluring idols to give them the attention and affection that only Christ deserves. Corey O'Gorman serves up some good medicine for those of us in this situation.

"Since Christ is best, and there are no close seconds, thirds, etc. Jesus would bid anyone who wants to follow him to come and die. There is no 'middle kingdom'. There is no neutral Switzerland in the Lamb's war against the dragon. You are either with him or you are against him. You are either dead to this world and alive to Christ, or dead altogether. Allegiance to Christ is inconvenient in the selfish sense, because you are no longer 'lord' over your life. Not that you really were before, but now you are willingly submitting to his Lordship. He dictates how life is to be lived. On the other hand, for those who follow Christ, who count the cost, who by grace persevere through trials, there is an eternal treasure! That treasure is none other than Christ. You don't just get a generic reward, you get the reward giver himself." - Corey O'Gorman

The single-mindedness that O'Gorman describes accrues to those who mind the cross and focus on the gospel. God's immense love is the engine that tears us away from our idols.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pastors and Spiritual Warfare

I recently listened to a talk by David Montgomery, the Senior Pastor at Sojourners church in Louisville, KY. In a talk he gave at the 2011 Plant Conference he said the following.

“Over 1400 protestant ministers leave their position each month. Over 70% of pastors do not have someone whom they consider a close friend. 25% of pastors experience a forced resignation from the ministry and half of those never return to the ministry. Half of the pastors marriages end in divorce. 70% of pastors continually battle depression. 80% of pastors and 85% of their spouses feel discouraged in their roles. 80% of seminary grads will never enter into full time ministry. 50% of pastors would leave ministry if they could. 40% of pastors have had an extramarital affair since entering ministry. 80% of pastors wives feel their husbands are overworked. 80% of pastors feel they were inadequately prepared for the ministry. 70% of pastors only read the Bible to prepare for sermons.”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Single Men!

Men Afraid of Marriage
Gen 2:15 reads, “It is not good that man should be alone.” I don’t think God was exaggerating. In his seminal book Men and Marriage, George Gilder sums up the sociological findings on the state of single men.

“Single men earn about the same thing as single women…[Single men] are 30% more likely to be unemployed…Married men earn 70% more than singles of either sex…Single college graduates earn about the same thing as married high school graduates…It could be more important for an ambitious young man to get married than to go to college…Single men between 25 and 65 are 30% more likely than married men or single women to be depressed… and almost twice as likely to show ‘severe neurotic symptoms. ’They are almost three times as prone to nervous breakdowns. They can’t sleep (three times more insomnia), and if they do sleep, they are three times more likely to have nightmares…Between the ages of fifty and fifty-nine, an astonishing total of 46.1 percent of all single men in the Manhattan survey suffered ‘mental health impairment.’”…Bachelors are twenty two times more likely than married men to be committed for mental disease…Of all groups single men have the highest mortality rate—and suicide is increasingly the way they die…Divorced men of every age group between thirty-five and sixty-four have a mortality rate three and a third times as high as divorced women.”

If all of this is true, maybe we should ask Kevin DeYoung's question, “Dude, where is your bride?”