Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Explaining the Gospel To Those Who Don’t Believe In Christ

Post by: Dave Lockley

More and more I find myself needing to explain what I believe and why. This is my attempt.

I hope that everyone who reads this is passionate about the Gospel: The good news of our Lord and our faith in Christ’s redeeming power. Can you explain it to others? It is so practical; you can see the need for it immediately when you talk to people in any detail.

The Bible teaches that people are in rebellion against God. In our “natural” state, we want to seek our own happiness from rational constraints, moral constraints, judgments and feelings of shame. We want to ignore what other people think of us (unless they agree), and this goes double for the God of the universe. I believe this is disappointing to God, since He is the one who gives us so many blessings.

It is proper to recognize and respect God in our decision-making, even if our pride may be offended by God’s greatness. Instead of respecting God, some people attribute their blessings to blind luck. We are tempted to refuse to acknowledge God in our decision-making, and not just in moral issues, but in everything we do. This is astonishing ingratitude, and for this we deserve to be punished.

However, God has given us a way to be reconciled with Him, by allowing his own Son to be punished in our place. This punishment of Jesus pays the debt that we owe to God for our rebellion against him. If we acknowledge this sacrifice by Jesus, and put him in place as our leader and mentor, then God will forgive us and we will be reconciled with Him. And so, a relationship with God begins and will last forever. That is the Gospel.

I think it’s very important to understand the Gospel, and nothing makes it clearer than when you get to know those who don’t believe in Christ and hear their reasons for not looking into whether God exists. Ask them what they think life is really about and what motivates them, and see where God is in their lives. I think we get confused by those who don’t believe in Christ because they can sometimes be very nice to other people. The real standard is whether people recognize Him in their own deeds and actions and acknowledge God as he really is.

The greatest way to explain the Gospel to others is to live it, and tell others how following Jesus has changed your life. Actions speak louder to than words.

Dave Lockley is a lifelong Methodist who has attended Broomfield UMC for the past 8 years, with his wife Jamey and children Eddie and Anabella. He has degrees in History and Education from CU Boulder and is a teacher, for the Adams 12 School District. At BUMC, he teaches classes and small groups studies on Christian History and the Bible. You can contact him at David.Lockley@colorado.edu.  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Listen

Post by: Mike Orr

I thought I was being original with a recent Facebook post, but I’ve found that I was expressing a sentiment that others are feeling too. Some people are surprised by what happened in last week’s election. Others are surprised that people are surprised! I think this is an indication that we have failed to listen well to each other. Here’s what I wrote:

“Today I’m committing to listen. I mean really listen and understand to the best of my ability. Both sides need to be heard and understood. The best of my teachers and mentors have listened to me in ways that have helped me to understand myself and my positions better. That’s the kind of listening I’m talking about. One thing we learned last night, one thing I can act upon, is that there are many people who feel the pain of not being heard and of being ignored.

Whether you are elated today or on the edge of despair, I love you. I will listen to you. If we listen to each other well, we might even have a shot at giving a voice to the voiceless pains that have driven us apart as a nation. I’m well aware that this won’t fix everything, but it is something I can do. I’m listening…”

I don’t have all the answers. I simply hope to become the kind of person who can help bridge some gaps and help people to understand one another. I think that has to start with me getting better at understanding all sides. Furthermore, I currently have it much easier than many other people in this country. I’m a straight, white, middle class, well-educated male who lives in an affluent urban area. I have to leave my safe place to learn and experience more.

That reminds me of what Jesus did for us in becoming God in the flesh. The incarnation means that an infinite God became a vulnerable baby. Rather than avoiding the mess and pain and dirt of our world, God jumped in lived with us in our muck. I want to follow Jesus so closely that I end up really being with people, listening intently, and understanding hopes and fears to the best of my ability. When we disagree with other people's points of view, it’s easy to either marginalize them, or else ignore them entirely. Jesus shows us another way; he walks with us and feels our pain. That’s called compassion. I want to be that kind of Christian.


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. -Matthew 9:36 Common English Bible (CEB)





Mike is the Director of Student Ministries at BUMC. He’s done ministry with students in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, and now Colorado. Mike recently finished his MDiv degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, and his passion is to lead kids of all ages toward adoption into the family of God. If he’s not hanging out with Middle School or High School students, you’ll probably find him on a bicycle or on skis. He makes killer chocolate chip cookies. Reach him at mike.orr@broomfieldumc.org

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jesus wept

Post by: Steve Laser

Jesus wept.  -John 11:35

John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. Just two words.

Jesus was summoned by his friend, Lazarus's sisters. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus had been dead for four days and his friends were weeping.  Jesus was moved to tears. 

This is important for Christians and especially for Methodists as it demonstrates the belief in fully God and fully human or Hypostatic union. This is our God, who was about to perform a miracle and raise Lazarus from the dead. He was on earth not as a spirit but flesh and bone and he could be moved to tears. 


To me this is a beautiful thing. It shows the sympathy Jesus had for mankind and the immense fear that death creates in all of us. When I first read the story of Lazarus, my initial thought was that Jesus wept to grieve the loss of his friend. After further thought, that can't be the case because he knew that he was about to resurrect Lazarus. 

Jesus wept after seeing the grief and pain of Lazarus's friends and family.  He wept for humanity and the burden and tyranny of death. Maybe the story of Lazarus shouldn't be about the miracle of resurrection; but instead, that Jesus loved us so much that our pain made him cry.




Steve Laser has been a member of BUMC for more than five years. He serves on the finance committee, and has previously been involved in the First Friday Fellowship, Theology on Tap, and has served as an usher. He is a native to Broomfield, Colorado, and lives here now with his fabulous wife and two awesome children. He also makes a mean smoked brisket.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Is Election Season Over Yet?

Post by: Eric Underwood

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. -Isaiah 30:21 ESV

We are provided so many choices while living in this country that we take for granted every day. Soup or salad? White or wheat? Ford or Chevy?

This fall I have seen more division, attempt to influence and out right nastiness between friends and family about who will choose occupy 1600 Pennsylvania come the eighth of this month, then I have in a long time. 

With choices, options follow. And what I've read, heard and watched over these past few months is strong to the point of offensive. 

This fall, I'm reminding myself that we all have the ability, freedom and right to form those options and make a choice. And, most time we take it for granted, but if you have faith that you've informed yourself well enough to make that choice, the Lord's voice will be your guide no matter which side of the argument you're on in which direction you choose. 



I tend to fall center when it comes to my views politically. I'm a member of the NRA, but I care about education. I support small business, but I feel that our environment is critical to our future. I drives some of my friends crazy that I have kept my options to myself regarding this election, but that's my choice. Right?







Eric is a Boulder County Sheriff's Deputy and Colorado native who loves to spend time with his family and (self admittedly) gets way too absorbed in the Broncos.  He and his wife, Cristen have two Children have been members of BUMC since 2011.