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Money money money... and p0rn

It turns out my last post was one of a couple here in NZ on the subject yesterday. I feel strangely prophetic, and very cutting edge - haha whatever.
Couple of very respected voices speaking to the issue of giving, money and prosperity theology in a far more clear and concise way.
Mr Ritchie
Mr Windsor

Related is this post by my good mate Chez. What frustrates me about this post isnt the disappointment at a porn king helping out a bunch of war vets and saving their RSA. Its that I dont think we have any right to call anyone a "vile son" or a "spawn of Satan". Crikey, I would lump myself in the same boat as Mr Crow when it comes to a desperate need for the grace and mercy of God. Im always a disappointed when people call others names like that. *sigh* Its too easy to do on a blog and I dont think it is a prophetic statement at all. Loving your enemies, blessing those that hurt you, giving to the poor, standing with the marginalised and those on the fringes, serving others without a hidden agenda is a prophetic statement in my books. And its prophetic when it is actions not words.

God help me not waste my time and energy getting too frustrated with theologies practices of others. And help me to become more aware of the practices and understandings in my life that need changing. Help me to be a person who builds your radically inclusive and upside down kingdom so that others may know your insane grace and how sweet it is being in relationship with you.
Amen

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“Money money money... and p0rn”

  1. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    Mate, we are all in desparate need of God's grace - you, me and Mr. Crow. However that doesn't mean we are categorically the same as Crow.

    Jesus did not hesitate to call the unrepentant oppressor for what they were;

    From John 8:

    ""You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    Jesus followed in a long line of prophets who confronted the oppressor with a delaration of God's wrath. For centuries his church continued to do the same.

    I find it difficult to believe that God allows me to feel such wrath for no reason. I find it strange that Moslems often seem to care more for the glory of God than so-called Christians.

    The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud. The law of The Lord is perfect, converting the soul.

    Read about Jonathan Edwards here to get a perspective on what I'm hoping to express here:

    http://www.monergism.com/1567690602_unless_you_repent_j.php

    I do not believe that coaxing Crowe's super-huge ego with "if you were the only person on Earth Jesus would have died for you" is going to do anyone any good. Unless Christians are willing to stand on God's judgment and confront this guy, then why would he ever take the church seriously?

    I do not believe the self-esteem gospel is the correct approach for every sinner. In fact, I don't think it is the correct approach for any sinner. And when a sinner is enslaving thousands upon thousands the way Crowe is then he must be brought face-to-face with the one who cares deeply for every one of those souls, and whose wrath is being stored up for a terribly destructive and painful end to Crowe's life, unless of course he repents. But repentance will mean fleeing the industry, and the same applies to the lovely old men of the RSA.

  2. Blogger Sam Says:

    Being wanting to reply to this for quite some time, alas time has being somewhat in short supply. And again, i would prefer to have this sort of yarn over a beer but it will be a good exercise for me to try and articulate my position on what you have written.

    Firstly, my read on the gospels as a whole (and as much as possible I think it is important to take the gospels as a whole rather than play verse tag which is lame and immature and can distort that wider picture) is that Jesus was consistently and uncomfortable welcoming and soft worded to the sinner, to those who were alienated by the culture of the day (women, people in sexual sin, people with insecurities etc) and "prophetic and judgemental" on religious leaders and thinkers who thought they had it nailed on how we behave when we obey the law.
    As well as that, Jesus seemed to have a different answer to people when they asked what they had to do to follow Him. To one, sell all you have, to another, forget about burying your father, to another, "be born again" etc. I am increasingly hesitant to try and work out where someone stands with God.

    Secondly, I think we love and naturally slip into evaluating another persons place before God by their outward actions. Yes, Jesus did confront people, but He was God in the flesh. Im going to leave the judging up to Him. I have made a personal commitment over the last two years to preach the character and person of Jesus as I understand Him, and if that if people want to reject a relationsip with God, then I want it to be based on who He is. Im leaving the judging and convicting up to God. And I have seen God convict people of His sin all the time at my church and in my life, but with far more fruit when it is God speaking to someone rather than a harsh and burdensome word said from afar and doesnt know me for jack.

    Grace is scandalous, unjust and revolutionises your walk with God when you finally understand it - not just as a head concept or doctrine, but when it becomes something that you realise is highly personal. It changes everything. I would far rather be known as a person who leans to far on the grace side of things than the judgement side of things.
    The Muslims can have their "fear of God - glory of God". In the presence of a holy glorious God I am welcomed in, and that is huge.

    I read your article chez that you linked chez, and as much as I admire those dudes, I think we have come a long way in our understanding of the Jesus and what it means to follow Him. When it comes to Mr Crow, I would far rather have this approach:
    http://xxxchurch.com/07/blog_post.php?b=x3&p=132

    Sorry I havent got a whole bunch of scriptures to make the reply look more christian. I love the word of God and after three years full time study of the book, and five years full time churchy work I am convinced more than ever that we need to reclaim the revolutionary grace filled message of Jesus. And the more I read scripture the more I am seeing the rich tapestry of relationship, love, and grace interwoven in its pages.

    Rock on

  3. Blogger Sam Says:

    We hate some persons because we do not know them; and we will not know them because we hate them.
    - Charles Caleb Colton

  4. Blogger A. J. Chesswas Says:

    The trouble with the modern-day approach to WWJD is it focuses on one particular time in history (3 BC – 30 AD), when Jesus ministered in the flesh with a particular focus on planting the seed of the Kingdom of God, primarily to one people group. WWJD theorists like to focus on the earthly Jesus, and neglect the fact that every prophet who opened his mouth before and after 30 AD did so by the inspiration of the same spirit of Jesus Christ. Whether Amos confronting the neighbouring nations, or Telemachus confronting the Romans during a gladiator match, from the Alpha to the Omega Jesus has been interested in the Gentiles as well as the Jews, the unchurched as well as the churched.

    I read that article when you linked to it a while ago. I found it difficult, and couldn’t figure out if that was a good thing or a bad thing. The idea that a man committed to a pornographic business enterprise could be considered in any way a teammate just did not compute in my head. The fire in my belly against the exploitation of those women would be too hot for me to tolerate his company without demanding repentance.

    Perhaps Craig and I are merely different people with different ministries. Perhaps the blokes he is ministering to are broken and addicted, and not proud and self-righteous. You would rather major on “grace”, whatever that means. I would rather major on repentance and grace. After all, grace only has relevance to the repentant.

    I don’t buy the idea that everybody sins out of brokenness and addiction. While it is true in a way, I am sure that most often it is pride and self-centredness that blinkers the eyes, and prevents a person from discovering their true state and humbling themselves.

    I certainly don’t link our moving away from the approach of Edwards, Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon and Moody to a moving towards Jesus. I don’t see a church or a world full of God-centred love, joy and peace. I see a generation obsessed with themselves, with very little demonstration of patience, perseverance and indiscriminate love for young and old, black and white, poor and wealthy.

    Jesus has given us enough wisdom and guidance to discern a person’s position by their outward action. And thank God he has, otherwise we would have very little direction in being church together and reconciling the world to God.

    Steve Crow shows his position before God by committing himself unrepentantly to a life of oppression and exploitation. Like the assault of the Assyrians on Israel, and like the Gladiator games of the Romans, I can very easily discern from Crow’s actions that he is a guilty and damned sinner who needs to humble himself and repent before his creator.


    However, at the end of the day I don’t think there’s a set formula. I might be wrong about Crow. Why don’t you take the XXXChurch approach, or invite Craig to come over here and meet with Steve?

    If Steve responds to my letters to the editor (he has responded to others) I would be willing to meet with him, although not at the equivalent of “Hooters” or one of his expos!!