Learn more about the Mountain View Church of Christ!What We Teach and Believe
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Our Men’s Camping Trip is coming this week! (June 6, 7, and 8)
Our theme this year is “God is Your Infinite Strength” – Psalm 46.
If you’d like to come, please contact John Hamilton ().
The information sheet for the trip (including instructions on how to reach the campsite) is here: Men’s Camping Trip – 2014.
Psalms 46:1-11 (ESV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
VBS is coming!
King David. Queen Esther. Nehemiah. King Josiah.
What can they teach us? To STAND STRONG!!!
Join us for four days of exciting Bible learning in Good King William’s Castle!
See if Princess Penelope and baby dragon Singe can save the castle from the Evil Knight!
MVCoC’s 2014 Vacation Bible School is for children that are 2 years old through 5th grade, June 16 through 19; 9am to 11am. There will also be a staffed Nursery and an Adults Class.
FREE!!! Pre-registration requested, but not required. Pre-register here: VBS Pre-Registration Form
A Biblical Christian or A Cultural Christian?
“Which One Should I Become?”
More people including some Christians sense that something isn’t quite right about their lives, but they can’t put their finger on the answer.
After years of constant pressure from the media to worship at the altar of consumerism, this has caused a shift in values. We live in a culture that is dominated by secular views.
HERE ARE TWO VIEWS THAT ARE BANKRUPT OR EMPTY:
Francis Schaeffer suggested in his book ‘How Shall We Then Live?’, that the majority of people today have adopted two bankrupt or empty values:
- SECURING PERSONAL PEACE FOR OURSELVES: [“Happiness” ”No Worries” “No Fears” No Anxieties”]
To want to be left alone, not to be troubled by the troubles of other people, to live one’s life with only the marginal possibilities of being personally troubled.
- ACHIEVING PERSONAL AFFLUENCE: [“Wealth” “Success” “Power”]
The overwhelming and ever-increasing need for prosperity — a life made up of things, a success judged by an ever-higher level of material abundance.
HOWEVER THERE IS A THIRD BANKRUPT OR EMPTY VALUE:
If RELIGION is such a big part of our lives, why hasn’t it made more of an impact on our lives and society? Since the mid-seventies a third “bankrupt or empty” value has emerged. 1 Peter 1:13-19
1 Peter 1:13-19 (ESV)
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,
15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,
18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
- CULTURAL CHRISTIANITY means to pursue ‘the god’ or ‘savior’ we want instead of the God and Savior who is. The One who is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY and FOREVER. (Hebrews 13:8) It is the tendency to be superficial in our understanding of God.
- CULTURAL CHRISTIANITY is Christianity made powerless or impotent. It is Christianity that makes no meaningful impact on the values and beliefs of our society. (2 Timothy 3:5)
WE END UP WITH TWO KINDS OF CHRISTIANS:
Because of the current vagueness surrounding the term ‘Christian’, thinking in terms of being a Biblical Christian or a Cultural Christian is a very useful way to explain the broad differences in what professing Christians think, say, and do.
- BIBLICAL CHRISTIANS: (SPIRITUALLY AUTHENTIC)
Simply put those who seek to live and walk by faith and understanding are engaged in applying Biblical principles.
- CULTURAL CHRISTIANS: (SECULAR)
Those, whose experiences of Christianity are more of a matter of conscience, but who have been drawn into the secular mold.
Those, whose experiences of Christianity are more of a matter of convenience rather than a matter of true conviction.
Secular Culture today is so polluted, that to be a Cultural Christian today means that your life view and lifestyle are contaminated by failed, impoverished values.
Scriptures To Be Considered:
Matthew 6:19-24 (ESV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,
23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Can we have or serve both God and materialism?
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (ESV)
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
15 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.”
Can we honestly still have ‘friendship’ with the world?
2 Corinthians 7:1 (ESV)
1 Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
Does our pursuit of holiness put restrictions on such a friendship with the world?
1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
How does this passage define the limitations of our contact with the world?
1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (ESV)
22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.
23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
How did Paul approach the various peoples and cultures with the soul saving, life changing message of Jesus Christ?
Ephesians 2:14-15 (ESV)
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility
15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,
Christ’s purpose is our purpose! To declare Christ as our peace, to bring peace and to make peace in order to unite all people (in the cultures in which they live) through him who is the constant One. (Hebrews 13: 8) He is the God and Savior that all men need!
As practicing Biblical Christians living in a very ‘hostile world’ should we seek to introduce the lost to Christ and His salvation by: Perhaps at times there seems to be more questions than answers, but the place for answers are to be found in the Word of God nowhere else.
- Tolerating, but not accepting the culture that we are living in?
- Rejecting all forms culture that run counter to our experience of Christ?
- Adapting or adopting to ‘the culture’ of the day?
- Blending ourselves into the culture?
- Transforming the people and culture itself?
- Translating Christ directly into the culture?
- Ignoring the people and their culture completely?
- Should the culture around us shape the way we preach and teach the Christ we believe in?
- What are the benefits and pitfalls of such an approach?
- Should culture be allowed to ‘dictate’ the type of Christianity that it would accept or tolerate?
- How should we react or respond to the diverse cultures that surround us?
- How do we continue to maintain Biblical integrity as we attempt to make Christ relevant to all men?
When we speak of ‘culture’ what do we mean by this? How is culture shaped or defined?
- Common Practices/Uncommon Practices
- Languages and idioms
- Life Styles/Choices
In the past complete cultures have been obliterated by conquest, disease or by loss of their cultural identity to a more advanced culture.
Sometimes the ‘old religion’ is superseded or replaced by a ‘new religion’ such as Christianity replacing paganism. (Constantine)
Often Christian places of worship were built right over the former pagan places of worship as a way of demonstrating the displacement of the pagan gods and the superiority of Christ.
There are ample warnings in the Scriptures about assimilating or tolerating oneself with the established customs and practices of other cultures. (The unsuccessful conquest of Canaan)
FINAL THOUGHTS TO CONSIDER:
It seems that the further we get (through the passage of time) from certain cultural beliefs, customs and or practices that were once deemed as pagan, immoral or ungodly; the easier it becomes to adopt, adapt and accept them into a new ‘cultural framework’, where the pagan or immoral connotation has been removed or neutralized through common practice or wide acceptance.
- You might call this ‘cultural traditionalism’. (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving/Harvest, New Year practices, Easter)
- Can you think of a cultural custom or practice etc. that has been helpful or useful in the spreading of Christianity?
- Is Christ living in me personally, authentically and Biblically or is He living in me through the broad prism of the culture that I have adapted, adopted or accepted?
We must continue to live in this world it is the only we have and we need to be engaged with who is in this world those who are enslaved by sin as we once were. Ephesians 2: 1-10ff and Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-17
We cannot afford to become isolationists and retreat behind our hallowed walls because of what or who is in the world.
The message is clear that we have an obligation to reach out to sinners who can be saved by God’s grace in Christ which transcends all cultural norms or barriers. Ephesians 2: 5, 8-9
Read again Paul’s approach in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 especially verse 22 “that I might save some.” Their culture can’t save them, but only Christ can. He is calling on us to be authentic, biblical Christians of genuine faith reaching out to a world saturated by cultural practices and beliefs. 1 Peter 1:13-19
Hello Youth Forum Attendees:
Please use the link to get a copy of the Medical Release Form for those youth who will be at our Youth Forum.
Matthew 16:13-20 (ESV)
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
Jesus promised to build one church. Our scripture reading is a bedrock moment in the life and times of Jesus Christ. He wants to survey his disciples, to see who they think he is.
Who do people say that I am?
Who do you say that I am?
- Simon Peter lays it out – “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- Jesus responds – Right ON! “Blessed are you”
- This faith was a gift to Peter, from the Father.
- Christ responds that he will build his church on the rock of this confession. Planned and designed by Jesus.
- Christ gives the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” to help us unlock the mysteries of Christ.
- Like Nicodemus was helped to understand the mysteries of Christ – he had to have a moment where he proclaimed his faith.
- All of these things take a bedrock moment of faith – and we should be working to bring others to that bedrock moment of faith.
Then, Jesus charges them to tell no one that he was the Christ (vs 20).
- Had to wait until the glory of Christ was revealed by his own proclamation that he was the Christ, and son of the living God. That way he could build his church – not for Jews, or Gentiles, or any others, but for the world.
- A perfect church filled with the imperfect – those that have proclaimed Jesus in faith.
Romans 10:5-9 (ESV)
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them.
6 But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down)
7 or “ ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim);
9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus is the living representation of the word. (The word is with us, the word became flesh…)
Need to put verse 9 into context – must Repent, Believe, and be baptized to be saved (as seen elsewhere in the New Testament).
This bedrock moment of faith (the confession of Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection) must result in baptism.
Galatians 3:27-29 (ESV)
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Romans 10:10 (ESV)
10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
What must be confessed? This is not a confession of sin, but a confession of Christ. Nobody can confess Christ, except with the Holy Spirit – which we get when we become a Christian, but again – to get there we have to have that Bedrock Moment of Faith.
What does Jesus’ church look like? It is a relational church
- It’s about being hands on (washing of feet in the basin).
- It’s always on it’s knees, calling on the lord through prayer.
What does man say about us as his church?
- Bigots? Exclusive? Preaching ourselves rather than Christ?
- We pray that we are not bigots, hypocrites, etc.
- Jesus is not interested in our politics – he’s interested in where we will spend eternity.
- Should be a church that wants to include people.
- Must take every opportunity that we have to reach out in this community – to proclaim Christ.
So, as we look at this church, we need to be a part of the one body, one baptism, one salvation. We call you to Christ, to make your Bedrock Confession of Faith, today is your day! Be buried with Jesus in baptism, so his blood can cleanse you of your sins.