Friday, November 14, 2003

Devotions this morning with John Perkins...

Ps.11: "When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?"

Dr. P: "The foundations are family and neighborhood. Community. The church is create a family environment. Christianity is a relationship religion."

"But we have a problem in America that is larger than just family -- it's a breakdown of community; of neighborhood. It's no accident that Jesus says 'love your neighbor'. But as Christians, we haven't decided that we want to build 'neighborhood'."

"Who are 'the righteous' - people who have come to see their own sin as truly sinful, have confessed it, and been clothed in Jesus righteousness -- not ours -- and now, as a result the righteousness we have is God's."

What CAN the righteous do?

#1 break the hip hop culture - go after Truth. Focus on the Bible as the inspired word of God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God... not only as our personal devotional, but as a textbook for living... together."

#2. De-hijack prayer. It's been hijacked by a 'name it, claim it' methodology for personal use only. That is, a 'Jabez' mindset - praying only to expand MY border.
Prayer is this... Lord what would you have ME to do. Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven. It's not a substitute for my own action -- it's the start of my own action. preparation for me to act.

#3. De-colonize the gospel. You can't be a Christian and be a bigot. We need to preach a gospel that saves all types of people the same... and not patronizing one group or another. Reconcilation is the absolute act of God. And he's made us ambassadors of reconciliation. So we need to redeem the gospel from European colonization. Everyone needs their identity to be sure -- but not to focus on preserving it, but rather to exploit our 'identity' to be the people to reach out to broken people of the world.

#4. Understand the place of the church. Sure parachurch has its place, but we also need to focus people back into the church... the local church, where they can be nurtured and developed. I don't believe you can be a good whole Christian without being a member of a local church.... accountable and relational. We need to have a correct philosophy of ministry. We need to put that into our overall development. In a church, people need to have their dignity affirmed... loving them, identifying our worth that God assigned. How to implement in the local neighborhood? 3 R's. Relocation... Living among the poor enriches you. Reconciliation... that's obvious. Redistribution... ('When I mention this R, the place gets real quiet real quick'). But I'm not talking about money -- because even if we re-distributed the money to the poor areas, the rich would have it back the next morning. LOL. The poor would have gone and given it back, for a mercedes." Neighborhood development is about bringing back ownership to the neigborhood. Ownership of many types of resources.

"For the Lord is righteous, He loves justice; upright men will see His face."

Dr. P: "Success can be our enemy. CCDA should not be rooted in a 'triumphant' attitude about our successes -- it needs to be rooted in humility & hardship... and preparing today's youth, tomorrow's leadership, in perseverance in trial."

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