Welcome to Pastor Chuck's Blog
Five years ago I wrote a lot on the internet. Then I had to finish my dissertation and got burned out on writing. Only with the new website and the creation of our Pastoral Teaching Team did my interest in writing again find new life.
Actually, I’ve noticed that we have a need in our church for regular encouragement and reliable information. To that end, I plan to write a brief column each week and a lengthy one each month. Additionally, as you’ve already surmised by looking around the blog, Steven Crawford (one of our soon-to-be new Elders/Pastors here at Prism) will be publishing a weekly “Prism Links” article that will direct you to important resources.
In this past Sunday’s sermon (which can be downloaded to a podcast app through iTunes or listen to here on our website), I referenced the manifesto written by imprisoned Chinese Pastor Wang Yi, of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu. You can read his DECLARATION here.
You can read about their imprisonment in the New York Times article of December 14.
Next Sunday we’ll reference the suffering of the early Hebrew Christians. The New Testament letter to the Hebrews was written primarily to strengthen these persecuted believers. In HEBREWS 12:3-7 there is this admonition:
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons.
Imagine the challenges the earliest Jewish converts faced as they were shunned by their communities and rejected by their families. Many were imprisoned as Pastor Yi and his fellow Chinese Christians are. Yet, the writer of the letter of Hebrews (ultimately under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) encourages us that we haven’t yet suffered as badly as did Jesus. And we are all to “consider him” so that we don’t lose heart.
I don’t know what you might be going through this week that would cause you sadness about being a Christian in a post-Christian culture. But Jesus (and others around the globe) are experiencing a far worse fate than being thought unintelligent or unenlightened in their thinking. We should take comfort in the presence of God’s Holy Spirit so that we don’t grow weary.
Be encouraged today!