Sunday Service 2/11/2024

Sermon: Godliness and Contentment 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

I'm glad that the pastor brought up the topic of activeness. He coined "Active Contentment", which is also used by other religions but it is fine and a good thing. Against stagnation. Though he would state he have mentioned it a few times, but I do feel it wasn't brought up enough, against stagnation, especially when dealing with paradoxical topics related to that, only one side was usually covered. In general, I believe proper pedagogy in teaching of potential paradoxes, one must cover both polar extremes of the the issues. These are well aware by folks like Tim Keller, Stephen Tong, etc.

As always I love reading his questions in the program, usually in 3 questions. I do find these questions quite simple, but perhaps that's better for the general congregation. So, I will make note of them here only if they serve an ulterior but important purpose. Somewhat.
#1. What are you most frustrated about that you cannot influence? Why can't you let it go? Where is God in that frustration?
This can be view from a common level, someone weak in spiritual life, because it speaks of letting it go, as if the thing you wish to influence is not a godly thing. But I focus this question perhaps from a perspective not intended by the questioner, that the thing I am frustrated from is not able to serving God from what I perceived as vision given me. To evangelize, give out tracts. I previous churches, though I would struggle as well, but I am quite convicted to not evangelize that way I am planning to because I do wish to defend this reason: These churches, pastors, elders, leaders, don't even care about the Gospel, they don't truly love to evangelize, they don't truly love sinners, they at best only know the textbook answers to church matters. Why should I bring new believers or non-believers to them? It's bad testimonies. Same reason Machen disapproved of having Bibles in all public schools. But now I finally found a pastor that does a much better job in this area than the former ones I've seen, it now becomes a burden to me. I can no longer use that reason as an excuse here. So, I know have to face the obstacles of being lazy, pushing myself to actually start my own gospel tracts (I want to create my own, after consuming through the tracts the pastor gave me, or whatever I have kept myself, as well as what I've learned in the past). So that this new tract is even children friendly, lots of pictures, for clarity in an artistic way.

#3. Who or what can manipulate you the most? How do you stop it and embrace Christian freedom?
This question is more on semantics. At first glance, I for some reason read "of course God can manipulate me the most". But here, manipulate is meant for negative source, judging from the context of the question.

Sunday School:

In sunday school earlier this morning, it was interesting when @45:40 he brought up "I'm not a fan of Billy Graham, he preached Christ, but I think a lot of his motives and methods are wrong". I think the pastor probably wasn't even referring to the Q&A Billy Graham did when he was in his senior years: "That God's grace is wide enough for all religions, etc." to paraphrase, which I think that alone is unclear of his true motive. I tend to judge from benefit of the doubt. But I do see Billy Graham's responses are weaker in his later years. Although, I think pastor Chris' view was probably against something related to alter calling and such. I am not clear, it's a good question to ask him in the future.

For lunch, while most others are probably congregating somewhere for 6:30pm Superbowl, which (not the sport itself but the whole fest of it) I find vain, Nadia and I had a great time with Joy, whose testimony I think Nadia loved listening to. There's some Charismatic bent to it (the devil always tries you..., God told someone to do this and that for me just when I thought of needing those, etc.) But that is okay, I think God certainly use these to bring people closer to God and even to the extend of through shady things (i.e. Hitler causing a jew to become Christian, someone found a lot drawing note in a Buddhist temple saying "you should go to Christian church", etc.) The bottom line is to be always give thanks to God even in seeking out the little things He had in our lives and not capitalize/idolizing these testimonies in such a way that you aren't even aware of the lost of interesting in your listeners for bragging about how God spoilt you too much, and even the so called "miracles" are injected with unholy things: i.e. God caused Biden to give me free money by taking money from rich folks as if God supports communism (which may involve some serious paradoxes: I took the $1000 check cut out by NJ Governor for "low income" property owners, but I disagree with this action of the governor. I personally don't see it sinful, however, to take the money which I disagree, though I have also torn money Rev. Lin once gave me for a different reason before). Joy had none of these today, so the fellowship was great.

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