Archives For values

Top Posts of 2010

Erik Cooper —  December 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

According to Google, these were my most read posts of 2010 (and seriously, who argues with Google and lives?). Since this is the week of top 10’s and best of’s, I thought I’d join the end of year festivities. Hope you enjoy a little stroll down BeyondTheRisk memory lane.

10.  Memorabilia: What Do You Hold Onto?

Our lives are full of memorabilia. Some trigger beautiful memories.  Some conjure up nightmares. [Read more]

9. Should Churches Ever Go Out of Business?

A question I still question if I should have even asked. [Read more]

8.  Should the Church Really Be Promoting Social Justice?

Glenn Beck made some strong statements against churches who talk about social justice. I tried to engage the conversation [Read More]

7.  Saying Goodbye

After 32 years, my parents finally moved from my childhood home. These were my nostalgic thoughts as we closed those doors for one last time. [Read More]

6.  The Problem with the Church

With all the condescending finger pointing and pithy diagnosis, I thought it was time to talk about the real problem with the church. [Read More]

5.  You Can Keep Your Hymnal

How often am I guilty of trying to relive the past? What are the “hymnals” in your life? [Read More]

4.  Embracing Biblical Values and Completely Missing the Point

Is it possible to love Jesus without truly following Him?  [Read More]

3.  Goodbye Maddie

Directly or indirectly, relationships will hurt you (confession: cried again re-reading this one). [Read More]

2.  I Hate When People Tell Me About Their Missions Trips

A trip to Honduras once again messed with our normal. What you hear from these two guys sums it up perfectly. [Read More]

1.  Fifteen Years Ago

My wife and I crossed a major milestone this year. This is my tribute to her (to us). [Read More]

As a parent, I long for my children to embrace Biblical values.  My values.  I even pray they’ll become inseparably grafted into their DNA.  Good things. God-things.

That they’ll be drawn to the right kind of friends.

That they’ll do well in school.

That they’ll have wisdom to make good decisions.

That they’ll connect to the local church.

That they’ll be smart with their money.

That they’ll discover their God-given gifts and an expression for them.

That they’ll find a God-fearing spouse.

That they’ll save sex for marriage.

That they’ll stay away from drugs and never abuse alcohol.

That they’ll learn to talk to God and gain regular insight from the Bible.

That they’ll love Jesus.

As strange as this may sound, I think it’s possible to become everything on the list above and completely miss becoming true followers of Jesus Christ. Yep.  Really.

I even believe it’s possible to “love Jesus” without truly following Him. We see it throughout Scripture.  Crowds surrounding Him.  Pressing in on all sides in ways that would make the Jonas Brothers jealous.

For inspiration.  For healing.  For food.  With needs (and some very legitimate).  With hopes that Jesus would come alongside the picture they had painted for their lives and give it a boost, fill in the gaps, create some magic.  They loved Him (at least in their understanding of what it meant to love).

But few followed.  Really followed.  It just cost too much.

So if I really want what’s best for my kids, I think I it might be time to change my prayers to different things. More difficult things.

That God would crush them.

That pain would refine them.

That they would dream God’s dreams and not just an American one.

That they would be willing to give up everything to follow Jesus.

That they would completely die to themselves in order to find true life in Christ.

That they will be alive and not just “good.”

Scary stuff.  Radical.  Dangerous.  A loss of control.  Counter-culture, even within the church (maybe especially within the church).

But longings I need to pursue, and not just for my children, but for myself as well.  Maybe you do, too?

Because it’s all too possible to embrace Biblical values from the outside-in, without ever truly becoming a follower of Jesus Christ from the inside-out. To embody, or retrain behavior, without ever truly submitting the will. To be “good,” without ever truly being alive.

For the record, I still long for that first list.  I just want it to grow through the soil of the second. Never at the expense of it.

So what do you think?  Is it possible to embrace the values of the Bible and completely miss Jesus in the process?

As we worked today on populating the soon-to-be-launched second tier of CityCommunityChurch.com, I thought it might be good to spend a few posts explaining in more detail the values that are driving the planting of this church.

Number one for us is practicality.  We’ve coined the term “making Christ accessible to humanity.”  But what does that really mean?  Unfortunately, knowingly or unknowingly, I think a lot of churches today make it difficult for actual, normal people to see the reality of God through the lens of their own lives. 

As my buddy Nathan says…when Jesus died on the cross the curtain in the temple was ripped in two, representing the breaking of the barrier between God and man.  Why do so many Christians seem to be trying to sew it back up?

Our desire is to do everything humanly possible to present the truth of God in a way that everyone can understand and connect with.  When Jesus spoke to the crowds on the hillsides, he used stories and illustrations that spoke new life in terms familiar and easily understandable to all who heard. 

He was practial.  He was accessible.  We want to be, too.