Energion’s blogging/essay contest is finished. All the submissions are in, and the judging has begun. I know, because I’m one of the judges. Without giving away my preferences or rankings, I thought I would share some thoughts from each essay (in the order listed by Energion):
This congregation of â€œDisciples of Christ,â€ â€œthe ekklesia of God,â€ â€œ sons of God,â€ will;
Love not the worldâ€¦
Love not their own lifeâ€¦
Just want to know Himâ€¦
Count all things but dungâ€¦
Always take the lower placeâ€¦
Make themselves of no reputationâ€¦
From Arthur Sido’s submission:
Scripture does not lay out a specific, liturgical schedule of events to govern the lives of believers nor is one desirable. All too often we have tried to push Scripture aside when it comes to the gathering of the New Covenant people as the church and replaced it with our own pragmatic solutions, rituals and traditions which may bring us comfort and a sense of being religious but bring little glory to God. Isnâ€™t bringing glory to God what the gathering of the church is supposed to be about?
From Lew Ayotte’s submission:
When the Assembly of Christ is about building one another up, not dividing over leaders or denominations, focused on recognizing their own leaders, they will inherently be about fulfilling the Great Commission. In fact, I believe following Jesusâ€™ command here may be like second nature to them. They will see the world through His eyes instead of their own. As the Assembly of Christ, reaching our neighbors will not be based on a program, chant, or weekly exerciseâ€¦ it will be according to Christâ€™s example. Each member in the assembly will recognize their responsibilities, although different, each one has an extremely important role.
Finally, a Jesus Christ ministry cannot help but look like Christ Jesus, the only mirror that is worth measuring itself against. What did the Good Samaritan look like? The parable never gave the listener a physical description because it wasnâ€™t important. The only radical ministry is the one that has Christ Jesus as its center, who said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. If a ministry does that, then it cannot help but look like a Jesus Christ ministry. Does the ministry look forward or backward or does it abstain from the obtuseness of looking anywhere but its center?
From Lionel Woods’ submission:
When the disciples met with Christ, He was modeling community before them. They asked â€œwhere are you stayingâ€ and He answered â€œcome and seeâ€. From that day forward they lived in a community, sharing, eating, living amongst, and knowing one another. They would have looked at what we giggle at today as a cult. We think that type of life on life is appalling, idiotic, unnecessary, we believe that type of life is too radical, ridiculous, we cling on to our autonomy like it is a right, my friends it is not. We belong to a King. A King who has created us for this community a community to reflect who He is.
From James Lee’s submission:
This aptly demonstrates the need for our ministry to each other and provides a point of commonality that will equip us to be true salt and light in the world while loving each other. We cannot accomplish the tasks of discipleship and proclamation of the Gospel through political agendas, legislated morality, bully pulpits, and sectarian distinctions that scream we are right and you are wrong. We can only accomplish true ministry in this century through the power of Christ, His Holy Spirit, and a love for one another that strengthens us to face the enemy head on, and storm the gates of hell with the victory that was wrought in the spotless Lamb’s blood.
Such ministry will seek to avoid the two pitfalls of pragmatism on the one hand and self important hyper-spiritual perfection on the other. it will celebrate the freedom to do many things so that one thing might in the end be done, and it will celebrate all who share that calling as brothers and sisters in the ministry that takes many external forms, but in the end is one, (Pslam 119:63). Our goal will be to always ‘remember Jesus Christ’ in whatever form our work may take, and to know however difficult the path may seem He is Lord and He is not in chains, but freely working in and through us to bring forth a people for Himself, (2 Timothy 2:1-9).
I enjoyed all of the submissions. They all caused me to think about the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century in different ways. I encourage you to read each of the essays.