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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Josh Harris Apologizes - Shows Humility

The headlines across the blogdom of God for the past several weeks has been the controversy of churches closing their doors on Christmas Day which falls on a Sunday this year. Most of these churches are mega-churches who have expressed their rationale as simply that of the seeker-driven model. In a nutshell, they say, "If the seekers won't come, then why have church?" There is much to say here, but I will refrain. Rather, I would like to share what Tim Challies reports on his blog today. Josh Harris, pastor of Covenant Life Church, had initially planned on not having church services Christmas Day. After reconsideration, he apologized to his church and to the public on his blog. Here is a snippet of what he said in what he simply and candidly called "The Wrong Decision": I shared the following comments with my church this morning. Sometimes you learn the hard way, but I'm grateful for a patient congregation and the faithful wounds of friends. "This year because Christmas morning falls on a Sunday I made the decision to replace our normal Sunday meeting with two Christmas Eve services. Since then I've come to believe that this was the wrong decision, informed by the wrong priorities.I made my decision primarily out of a desire to release the staff and volunteers from their normal service on teams like the parking crew and children's ministry. What I failed to see is that next Sunday morning is an opportunity for us as a church to reaffirm the priority of gathering to worship as the people of God on the Lord's day. It's chance to state to ourselves and our families and our community that the worthiness of our God, not the convenience of the calendar dictates our worship. All that to say, that we've decided to hold a Christmas morning meeting next Sunday. We're going to have one meeting at 11am that will be an hour long. This is going to be a very simple morning. We're doing Sunday differently so that we can release our army of volunteers. There won't be any children's ministry, but feel free to come worship as a family. I apologize for my misjudgment and any inconvenience it causes you. And I thank you for your patience." I concur with Challies that Harris displays genuine humility in his public statements here. What should be noticed too, is that Harris had other reasons for not holding church services on Sunday than the seeker-service mega-churches. I have even more appreciation and respect for Harris as he has down integrity and humility in his transparent confession and correction of "the wrong decision." It should be stated that the central issue is not so much of defending Christmas Day but Sunday - and the priority of the Church over individual comforts and preferences. To read about a pastor who is the polar opposite of Harris, click here. To read CT's defense of the mega-churches, click here.

7 Comments:

Blogger -mike- said...

There's hope for him yet!

12/19/2005 02:34:00 PM

 
Blogger Lisa said...

I am greatly looking forward to Sunday morning as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King, standing side-by-side as His body, the Church!

12/19/2005 05:16:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

What do you mean "there's hope for him yet?"

12/19/2005 06:20:00 PM

 
Blogger -mike- said...

Josh Harris. It was a joke. I always though he was a wee bit full of himself.

12/19/2005 06:42:00 PM

 
Blogger theduckandthegoose said...

Timmy First of all let me say I don't visit the Blog world that often but I do appreciate your thoughts and faithfulness to seeking out truth. I appreciate you and all of your hard work and I am glad that our paths have crossed. I know that you are and will continue to be a true servant of our Savior Jesus. I am glad to hear that Joshua Harris is having services. The church of Jesus Christ is at an extrememe when we see it as an inconvenience to worship on the day we celebrate our Saviors birth.

12/19/2005 07:07:00 PM

 
Blogger Timmy said...

Mike,

I got the joke part (please do not think I can't take a joke!). I just wanted to know what provoked that joke part - which you shared.


Lisa,

Mega-dittos (for those who listen to Rush). These are great times only because of our Great Savior!


theduckandthegoose,

Great to hear from you guys! It's been a while. You know, I've been waiting for you guys to update your blog. I'd love to hear what you guys have been conjuring up in yo' heads.

12/19/2005 07:22:00 PM

 
Blogger -mike- said...

About half the things I say are meant to be funny (if you have ever spoken with me in real life, you'll know seriousness is near unattainable!) And I think some people just don't get my humor. Not that I'm saying you don't,but some don't.

It makes me cry bitter wet tears at night.

12/20/2005 12:22:00 AM

 

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