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28 February 2009

Is Suffering Optional?

I don't think that Francis Chan and Peter Popoff (or a hundred other TV charlatans who give Jesus a horrible name and preach lies) would get along too well where understanding of Scripture is concerned.

Please, listen to Francis Chan's sermon from February 22 (right-click to download the MP3 version -- video Podcast is here, audio podcast is here, study guide/notes page is here), entitled "Is Suffering Optional?" I get the sneaking feeling that Francis Chan wouldn't be too well-liked by many in the religious community if they heard this message. He takes the listener on a journey through the New Testament, highlighting the harmony between each book as it's made quite apparent that Christians will suffer for the sake of Christ.

I've heard each of these passages elaborated on, but not all in one sitting like this. I'd love to hear your reactions and responses to it.


Leroy said...

I think "suffering" is relative. Many, many times our attitude can change our situation from "suffering" to "glory to God".

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are, whoa! As a people pleaser, am I pleasing others when it comes to matters of Christ? Am I doing what I should to truly follow him?

I've always heard that Christians will suffer, but after listening to the message, I know that EVERYONE WILL suffer. That being said, I think, am I just a trooper going through this life not suffering, or am I not responding to life in the way Christ wants me to respond.

So, lots of rambling, but also lots of inward thoughts. Thanks for posting the links and keeping us thinking and reflecting.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot Dean, for filling my head with new thoughts. I read the blog and listened to Francis Chan last night. Then I posted the comments from Anonymous above. This morning while running errands, I can't stop thinking about some of the things he said.

In particular, I'm not looking to suffer. I don't want to say, "o.k., God, here I am, pour on the suffering." But, I'm more thinking about my choices and decisions throughout the day. Am I deciding to take the easy way out by not doing or not saying something? Could I do something else for Christ that maybe I put off because of my insecurities? Instead of looking for suffering, it's made me look for ways I should be standing up for Christ or living a more Christ-like life.

Thanks Dean for those nice, pleasant thoughts in my head about suffering! :)

Jeff said...

Great thoughts...sorry to leech (; I guess great minds think alike? "Totally selling out" was the topic of chapter 8 in Crazy Love, and I had to write what I was thinking. Thanks for your timely input to my search.

Tony M said...

Sorry, I've yet to listen to the Francis Chan thing, but about suffering: yes, it will come, but if we really have our eyes fixed on the goal (being like Jesus), it'll be hard to even notice what's going on around us. Like I heard once said about John (the Baptist) and about how we should be: it shouldn't even be that we're in the picture: we should be pointing other to Christ. Not even a thought about thinking about ourselves: not us, Him.

Sorry for not listening to it yet - maybe tonight...

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