But I With The Voice of Thanksgiving, Will Sacrifice To You; What I Have Vowed I Will Pay.

ImageI’ve written about my perceived calling to inner cities several times before.  If you know me outside of this blog, I’m sure we have spoken about it before as well.  Moving back to Columbus after college has really only served to further fuel that desire.  To be honest, it’s a calling I have struggled with believing.  Not because I don’t want to minister to that type of area, but because I want to minister to that type of area so badly.  I have feared at times that I have made myself feel that calling because I like to hear people tell me how brave I am for wanting to move to a ghetto to share the gospel or how I’m a better Christian because I’m willing to sacrifice comfort for the gospel.  After living the last two years pretty comfortably in Columbus with my wife and attending a couple of churches who minister to wealthy suburbs of Columbus, I just can’t shake the calling to the inner city.  Specifically in this case, the bottoms of Columbus.  My wife and I want to buy a house in the bottoms and move there as we share the gospel with our neighbors.

I firmly believe that in order to effectively reach a community, you have to live in and be apart of the community.  While I was in college I attended a church that desperately wanted to reach out to the poor and lost of the towns urban areas and asked for their members to live in those areas, while the church leaders (some, not all) lived far away in very nice houses while sending their kids to private Christian schools.  You can’t share the gospel with people when you only want to interact with them when it’s convenient for you.  I know it’s a scary thing to live in the ghetto, there have been many times where I have thought about moving my young bride to the drug riddled and crime capital of Columbus and have simply wanted to ask God for another calling, but as a husband, I have to lead my wife and my future children to where God wants us.  And right now I am completely confident that He wants us in the Columbus ghetto.

Lisa and I are in the very beginning stages of looking for a home when our apartment lease is up this coming winter.  I pray that if this truly where God wants us to set up shop, that it will be made obvious in this part of our journey.

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Urban Epicenter

Lately, I have really felt called by God to do Urban Ministry.  I’m applying to Transfer to Moody Bible Institute next fall, it’s in Chicago, Illinois and has one of the best Urban Ministry programs in the nations (or so I hear).  I’m only about a year away from getting a BA from Shawnee, and if I transfer to Moody, it will add at least 3 more years unto my undergraduate.  However, I completely feel called to do Urban Ministry and I feel like Moody is just the place to equip me to do just that.  And in an area such as Chicago, I believe it offers me the best opportunities to do urban mission work while I’m still in school.

However, if my transfer to Moody doesn’t go through, I’m thinking I may still graduate Shawnee with an associates this coming spring and either save a bunch of money and move to Chicago, or just move to Chicago right away and start doing urban ministry work there.  I was asked today what my plans were or what organization I’d work with, and I honestly don’t know.  I just know that this is where God has called me, and I’m more than happy to live in a ratty old apartment in the worse part of Chicago if it means doing Gods will.

So if you have any suggestions for organizations I should look into (doesn’t just have to be Chicago), feel free to let me know!  All the help is appreciated!

 

 

Women in Pastoral Ministry

“I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” – 1 Timothy 2:12 

Part of me would just like to stop writing right now, because what could I possibly say to clarify this verse?  This verse is always attacked and called into question, yet it clearly states “I DO NOT permit a woman to teach […] over a man”.  Yet somehow we have gotten to a point in our culture where we must dispute even the clearest of scripture.  So let’s examine some objections to this.

This teaching belittles women!
No, it doesn’t.  How does being under someone else authority belittle you?  Jesus was submissive to the Father, but was he less then the father?  Nope!  Not being permitted to lead does not make you any less.  The wife is to be submissive to her husband, but is she less then her husband?  Again, nope!  We are all equal in Christ, but Christ did set up a order in his church.

Yeah well, what about Phoebe?!
In Romans 16:1, Paul calls Phoebe a great servant of the church.  Unfortunately some bible translations have translated the world “servant” into the word “deaconess” which I believe is a poor translation.  The greek word for deacon is diakonos which is the ordinary word for “servant”.  In fact, the gospel authors use “diakonos” to describe Christ as a servant.  But regardless, deacons are different from elders (bishops) according to Philipians 1:1.  One of the requirements that Paul sets forth for deacon in 1 Timothy 3 is they be “the husband of one wife” (literally translated as “one woman man”.  Obviously Phoebe cannot be the husband of one wife based on the fact that she is a woman.  So I believe that servant is the accurate translation in Romans 16.  However, I believe it is significant that nowhere in scripture do deacons have ruling authority over the church like elders do, nor are they required to teach.

Through the entire scope of the bible, both new and old testament alike, the pattern is the same.  Women are to be submissive to Men.  This is seen in Genesis all the way to Revelation.  I’m sure some people (probably mostly women) will read this and object and tell me what they think and how they feel.  Well, it doesn’t matter what you think.  Whether anyone likes it or not is irrelevant to the fact that this is what the Bible teaches.  I’m sure someone will say something (or at least think!) to the effect that this teaching was for that cultural and not for ours.  But let me ask you, is our God a god that never changes or is he a god that changes depending on cultures?  If you do have any objections though, feel free to post them in the comments and I will reply do the best of my ability.  Or if you would rather talk to me in private about this (or anything else really) feel free to contact me and we can discuss it!