Matt Chandler: Holding Fast to the Gospel
This was one of my favorite sessions from The Gospel at the Center:
It is also important to recognize that becoming a world Christian—one whose commitment to Jesus and his kingdom is self-consciously set above national, cultural, linguistic, and racial allegiances—cannot be an end in itself. The aim is not to become so international and culturally flexible that one does not fit in anywhere; the aim, rather, is to become so understanding and flexible that one can soon fit in and further the gospel anywhere.
A biblical understanding of the gospel takes into account human inability to justify ourselves before a holy God; therefore, we set God’s standard before our children to show them what God requires and to expose their rebellion. Sinfulness and rebellion against God’s standard receives God’s judgment. So, when our children rebel against God and his Word, we discipline them accordingly with the purpose that they would understand God’s justice and, hopefully, escape his final judgment.Throughout our parenting we should continually display God’s covenant love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness so that our children would see that while their rebellion deserves punishment, God forgives repentant sinners through the person and work of His own Son, Jesus Christ.
With that as a core, we intentionally invite people who do not know the Lord to join us. Because we do this every night, we’re sort of known for that, and it’s not quite as strange. Sometimes, people have asked how we get people to come over. That’s a good question. One of the things that we’ve done is to, first of all, be visible and transparent. This is what we like to do, so it’s not a big deal. Come, bring your dog. To us, that’s normal.
Our children each have chores around the house, and this is where it starts. When they are old enough to walk about, each of them has been assigned that initial job, to carry scraps from the kitchen down to the compost pile in the backyard. For us, this is about more than discarding trash.
A favorite from the archives:
Over time, I grew less enamored with some of those preachers (or at least their preaching). As I listened, I increasingly realized that the guys that seemed to be able to get up and had little more than a post-it for notes weren’t actually saying much of anything. They were using a great many words to say very little.