The Priesthood of the Sacrifices

                Baptists cherish the doctrine of the priesthood of the believer. The notion is not unique to us. We believe that it is rooted in scripture and it is shared by other Christian groups. We are right to cherish and protect the doctrine. It is fragile.   The doctrine has been damaged by the individualistic spirit of the age. This is antithetical to the plain teaching of scripture. No wise priest ever swaggered into the holy of holies because it was his “right”.  Priesthood is about the individual before God, the individual in community and the community of faith declaring Jesus in the world. The doctrine is individual, communal and missional. It is up, in and out. It is a doctrine primarily about our grateful response to our gracious God.   
The chief functional of a priest is sacrifice. Any spirituality divorced of sacrifice lacks the thick blooded vitality that is necessary to stand in blinding wind of secularism. We are the Order of the Priests of Jesus Christ. Our call is a call to cheerfully sacrifice. The New Testament calls me (us) to sacrifice:
MySelf – Romans 12:1
My Music - Hebrews 13:15
My Deeds – Hebrews 13:16
My Money – Philippians 4:18
  I am using these sacrificial passages in the New Testament to shape my priesthood. I am often a shabby priest and I do not want to be. I really do not want to be a swaggering priest.  My prayer is that we allow the biblical language of sacrifice to form our ideas of priesthood. I believe that will make a profound difference in the way we live out our faith. Maybe “battlin’” Baptists will one day be known as “sacrificin’” Baptists. We will see.

Signs Signs Everywhere

We had our church’s business meeting last night. We meet for congregational business four times a year. We always mix the nuts and bolts meeting content with something fun. Last night was desert pot luck and intergenerational game night. Molly Kat calls this, “The night I get to play Wii with Mrs. Betty.” As I was sitting in our fellowship hall waiting for the action to start a friend told me about a church he recently passed in a neighboring Texas city. It promotes itself as a church, “uniquely created for seniors age 50 and better.” My friend (who is better than 50 by the way) was not a bit pleased.

Google the phrase, “not your grandmother’s church.” You will find a list of churches clearly targeting those 30 and “better = younger”. It seems like the generational rift in the country is so common that churches are openly putting the bitter signs of segregation over their doors. I wonder if this is not a tacit admission that we don’t believe the gospel is powerful enough to bind us together. We need help!

Strangers in Babylon: What is Worship Leadership?

I enjoyed working with Eric Mathis. He is a fantastic guy and Samford University is lucky to have him. I you are a church music leader The Alleluia Conference at Baylor is worth your time. My friend Taylor Sandlin will be the preacher next here. Come on!

Stranger is Babylon: What is Worship?
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