Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sorry it's been awhile since I've posted. Today I have a post by friend and former college teacher Lee Stanford. You're going to love it!

Dear friends and co-lovers of God,

Is new always best, bigger always better, and the latest always greatest?
When confronted with the newest, biggest, and latest, as in a compelling person, a huge church, big name, or a great song, we often become irresistibly attracted as if a spell had been cast over us. It shouldn't be a surprise, then, that the word fascinate originally meant "to bewitch, or cast a spell over." For our brief discussion, it would probably be more appropriate to avoid the notion of witchcraft and use the more common meaning, "to attract and hold spellbound; to charm." Drawn in by the fascination of the lure, we become deprived of our power of escape or resistance.
Like the people of ancient Athens, there is something in all of us that longs for that which is new, bigger and better. Paul reported, “Now the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new (Acts 17:21). Time-tested and proven truths of the past are sometimes set aside in favor of the newest doctrines, trends or ideas.
C.S. Lewis referred to this kind of thinking as chronological snobbery, "the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our own age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that account discredited.
We must find why it went out of date. Was it ever refuted, and if so by whom, where, and how conclusively. Or did it merely die away as fashions do? If the latter, this tells us nothing about its truth or falsehood."
Sometimes the winds of change have blown so strongly over old truths and practices that their memory has all but disappeared under the sands of time. New labels, and bigger ideas and structures, promising the stars, emerge from the old rubble - but often with long-term serious consequences, failed results, or God forbid, His displeasure.
Consider the weight or gravity of God’s Two Greatest Commands. His “Shema”, to “love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as we do ourselves” is as old as Moses and Deut. 6, yet it’s as current and relevant today as any words ever penned.
There is gravity to His Two Great Commands! Loving God first and foremost, then seeking the lost, and discipling the saved have weight and importance just because it’s Jesus' directive to His people of all ages. These two old commands may have become lost in the new, and today gone somewhat out of vogue, but they will always remain critical to God. He never changes.
Our calling and involvement in His transgenerational pursuits and passions will become more compelling to us when we are quiet before God, die to our own changing will, surrender to His never changing will and purposes, and see the broken and lost world through His eyes and heart. Then, and only then, will we regain our power of escape and resistance from our fascination (spell) with the latest and greatest ministry fads, methods, systems and “generational messages.”
My written thoughts and considerations are not an attempt to discredit everything new, or label all the new, bad. They are an effort to get us to challenge and carefully examine the new for biblical truth and God-authenticity. If the new thing is not of God, He will be the final judge of the message and His people. If it is from God, nothing should stand in its way, and we should climb on board with both feet.
Our personal and never changing stand must always be, I will passionately love, follow and seek God, and stay focused on his passions for every believer and ministry, His Two Great Commands.
We must “obey God rather than man.”
I'm praying for you as we seek His beautiful face together,
Lee Stanford
To learn more about Lee's ministry go to