Tuesday, February 26, 2008


"If we honor the Groom, we will love the Bride."

Ray Ortlund has a blog. A very good one called Christ is Deeper Still.

Here's an excerpt from a recent post called What are we teaching our children?
I rarely hear pastors today calling their people to unswerving commitment to their church. Maybe we pastors are shy about this for understandable reasons. But let's be careful. Our people will give themselves to something. Are the alternatives liberating and Christ-exalting and non-oppressive and bright with eternal glory? When was the last time we spent an evening vegging out in front of the TV and came to the end and said, "Man alive, that was awesome! I can't wait to do that again"? And when was the last time we spent an evening in prayer with our church family and came to the end and said, "Criminey, what a waste of time. And to think I could have stayed home and watched Wheel of Fortune"? My brother pastors, are we leading our people to the fullness their souls long for?

And what kind of foundations are we laying for the next generation? In our present patterns of Christ-intensity and church-laxity (a kind of religion we see nowhere in the New Testament), what are we teaching our children? When was the last time, dads, that we said to our family with tender good cheer, "I know we're a little tired this evening. But we do wonderful things even when we're tired. Jesus will give us the strength. So here we go, ya'll. See you in the car in five minutes"? Or are we, in effect, instructing our children to live self-centered lives that say to Jesus "You died for your church, but we will not live for her"?

It isn't a new problem, but it is clearly addressed. "I have no one like [Timothy], who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 2:20-21). Notice the logic embedded there: "your welfare" = "the interests of Jesus Christ." And "[Epaphroditus] nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me" (Philippians 2:30). "The work of Christ" = "your service to me."

If we honor the Groom, we'll love the Bride. The two go together in the redemptive ways of God.

Ray Ortlund pastors a church. It is called Immanuel Church, and it meets rather close to us. I didn't even know it existed until last week.

Most of you know we are looking for a church home. Immanuel Church currently meets on Sunday evenings (the same time Element meets). I was discouraged at first, but I sent a message to Dr. Ortlund inquiring if they had any plans to move to Sunday mornings. To my surprise and delight, his reply was swift and positive (at this point you should know that in my world of theological nerddom, Ray Ortlund is a rock star), and he said a move to Sunday mornings was quite possible. There are several of us who would love to visit.

1 comment:

Leann said...

Oh, I ADORE Ray Ortlund and his writings on worship and the church! Thanks so much for sharing this link with us. I am subbing to it right now. :)