Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hiding in Plain Sight Pt. I

What happened to confession? Confession is the prerequisite of repentance, yet it has been corrupted, misplaced, pigeon-holed, and ultimately abandoned. The fact is, despite our honest and sincere faith in the Risen Savior, we ALL endure daily struggles with our own sin. But we all too readily ignore the Bible's relational prescription for our failings in vain attempts to maintain a false sense of piety. But avoiding confession does not at all remove the obvious need for confession, since whether we admit it or not, our sins are put on display daily for others to either see or discern.

We as Christians have taken the concept of confession as described in James 5:16 and twisted it in a variety of ways.
  • Only being willing to confess to ordained leaders or "qualified" counselors
  • Expecting only the newly converted, or "messed up" to confess and testify in lurid detail the extent of their sinful lives
  • Avoid confession altogether in fear that admitting failings may harm the Body of Christ and plant temptations in others to sin that were not previously there.
  • Viewing all of our shortcomings as the fault of someone else in a perverted interpretation of persecution. (See my posting entitled "Why We Need Persecution", particularly, the section "What Is Persecution?")
  • Using confession as a remedy for being caught instead of openly and honestly acknowledging our sin, whether it was seen by others or not.
So besides our own vanity, what's the primary cause of our abandonment of confession? I believe it is the lack of TRUST. Confession in its proper use is dependent upon an assurance of sincere concern and security in the one receiving the confession. I've been personally focusing on the biblical concepts of fellowship and community and I have seen myself trending more towards encouraging less ritual in our churches and more relationship. When did we get to the place where every meeting must have a set format and official feel to it? I believe this enduring standard has hampered the organic growth and connectedness of the church. How can you get to know someone well enough to trust them with your life's issues by merely coming to a building and sitting, singing, or praying next to them? Take a moment and think about how in depth your relationships with your fellow church members really are, even the one's you call your closest friends. Have you developed the type of trusting relationship that would allow you to both share and receive in confession and sincerely pray and minister to to one another?

elder todd

1 John 1:8-9 (NIV)

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Summer Recreation Program

The Agape Summer Recreation Program is featured in the Community Section of the Tribune Chronicle. Check out the article at

The Agape Education & Development Center's 3rd year of Summer Recreation for area youth is in full swing. The center is open daily from 10am - 3pm with on site activities such as: basketball, football, volleyball, ping-pong, air hockey, table tennis, crafts, movies, board games, and much more! Lunches be served daily to all participants. For more information, visit

Look out for an announcement for the 2009 Agape Car Show to take place on August 22nd!!

elder todd

Thursday, July 2, 2009

You Didn't Say Nuthin' Bout No Kids, Man!

Why don't more Christians adopt? For all the Biblical arguments, lobbying, debate points, and protests of Pro-Life Christians, something is missing. Those you would think to be the primary subjects of the abortion issue are oftentimes strangely omitted from the discussion. The Kids. Certainly the legal and ethical question of abortion is a messy one with many variables to consider. But there is no question that greater familial and societal breakdowns feed the acceptance of this practice. Casual sex, casual marriage (if it actually occurs), and even more casual divorce all in one way or another lead individuals to consider conception as an expendable and deletable occurrence. Adding to this the tragedy of sexual abuse and rape that leaves no easy answers, we are left with a spiritual and moral dilemma of the highest regard. But what is the Christian to do besides argue a point?

We believe life begins at conception, that God "knows" us even before we are formed in the womb, and that life is a gift from God the Creator that no man should destroy. But once this life is realized in birth, now what? The fact is a decrease in abortions will undoubtedly lead to an increase of unwanted children across our nation. Are we willing to go to the same lengths we do to prevent and persuade others from abortion to care for the kids that will be born if they do see things our way? How much time, money, and effort will we devote to the upbringing of these children? Will Christians take up this mantle of responsibility in the way of adoption or foster parenting? Will churches offer the necessary support to encourage and uphold those families who chose to carry this burden?

The Bible tells us faith without works is dead, and that includes making bold proclamations of Biblical principles to our society with no intentions of fulfilling our own obligations in the matter.

Matthew 18:10 (NIV) "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

elder todd