ReCAST Church

What are You FOR?

I have recently had conversations with several people about church planting. The conversations range from an interest in the history of ReCAST to a few guys considering launching out and planting a church. But I have found that one piece of advice has become almost a mantra when I encounter someone considering church planting: “Don’t plant angry!”

The church in America already has a PR problem relating to anger. Often the church is primarily known for what it is against. And there is a significant pull for many young ministers who become disillusioned with the state of affairs in churches today to go out and start their own church. And their main motivation is to NOT be like that old church!

If this is the way that we begin to plant new churches, we will find ourselves reacting instead of being intentional. I have met young pastors who are downright angry about established traditions and rituals in past churches they have been a part of and that is not a healthy platform when starting a new gathering of Christians.

But this problem does not only effect pastors and church planters.  Each one of us has a responsibility to consider if our lives are primarily pointing toward what we are against or what we are for. Don’t hear me saying that there is nothing that I am against. Just like everyone, I have a laundry list of things I am against, but I would rather be known as a pastor that is FOR the Word of God . . . is FOR the Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . is FOR the Glory of Jesus in all things . . . is FOR serving the community . . . is FOR loving others . . . is FOR humility . . . is FOR the worship of God through all avenues of life.

Again, I am not saying that we roll over and play dead in our personal lives. Obviously there will be times when the thing we are FOR is infringed upon by others, but when it comes down to planting churches or talking with friends, neighbors and coworkers, do we let them know what we are against instead of what we are FOR?  We have the most awesome, joy-giving message in the world, and yet I fear that many Christians are known more for what they are against. Ironically, the issue is the same for both the newer churches and the more traditional conservative churches. The older churches are against drinking alcohol, smoking, dancing, contemporary music, casual attire, etc. And the newer churches are against organs, suits, and churches that oppose drinking, smoking and dancing. Both convey the same message to the world of a Christianity defined by the things we are against.

In the end, I am convinced that there is one unifying theme that every church and person that calls themselves a Christian must be FOR: the gospel of Jesus Christ. That Jesus died for our sins and rose again three days later is the centerpiece of the Christian faith. It is faith in this that is the wellspring of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. What are you FOR?

About Don Filcek

Don Filcek

I like mountain biking even where there are no mountains. I like to jog and call it running. I read books to learn stuff. My family is pretty much awesome. ReCAST is the church where I belong. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I like the color yellow.

One Response

  1. Christopher Monski says:

    A great Point Don, dislike is a less confrontational word for hatred. Hatred sows division among men. That is all it does. It can’t really do anything else, it has no substance, for it is not a thing, but rather a lack of a thing.

    A point I think is worth mentioning, Ideas have no substance. It is impossible to be against dancing, smoking or organs, or any thing else.
    One can only take two positions, I am opposed to acting in such a manner, or I am opposed to people who act in that manner. One can not take the position that I am opposed to others acting in a certain way; you have no control over the choices of others. It is like saying I am opposed to the wind.
    All a person can say is If a person acts or expresses a belief in topic A, I will do Action B. You will be held to account for your actions and they will be held to account for theirs.
    People can only be against people. I am not opposed to belligerence, I am opposed to people who act belligerently. All I can say is If you act belligerently. I am going to cease communication with you. belligerence is not a thing, nor does any belief or behavior define a person.
    One of the aspects of Christianity that has always appealed to me is its agreement with observations of transient human behavior. Jesus says to forgive 49 times. If I don’t want to deal with someone today because of their behavior, it does not give me a right to reject them tomorrow. People change from day to day. We are commanded to hold back judgement, and always give people the benefit of the doubt that they will change. Its hard, and sometimes I feel stupid, because I “know” they aren’t going to change. But I know I don’t know that. I know the power of grace is stupendous. Love the sinner Hate the Sin, is a christian mantra, but the statement only has power when it is directed inward, too often we direct it outward, it is not just advice, it is a mindset that is at the very core of the christian world view.
    “What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.” Isaiah 5:21. This is how i feel about people who do things i dislike. i feel like it is a much more productive attitude than hatred. Sinning is fundamentally idiocy. I can not help them, if I don’t feel compassion for them. I can not really help them at all. They have to help themselves and listen to God. All I can do is be a source of wisdom and a witness. I am not going to change the heart of any man by reason or by force. The best I can hope for to be a divine instrument for placing a weight on the heart of another

    How does this all relate to what you are against? Well if you are against something thing, you are really against people. I recently experienced this in Milwaukee,
    People were talking about creation, and I said that I believe in evolution, but it was not a chance directed process, but rather a inevitability of the laws of nature. The universe appears to be designed to cause life to appear. The panoply of life is the greatest proof of God’s existence I see. Our Flesh was not created in a puff of smoke, but by the master mathematician who designed the entire universe from the beginning to cause our flesh to come into being, a 14 billion year symphony in which we are the crescendo. Life is self organizing, I am not a product of random chance. I am an intentional creation. I am not my body, my Soul did not evolve,even if my flesh did.
    I saw the color drain out of several peoples faces, they became fearful and apprehensive. Why? because they have feelings against evolution, they have been taught their whole lives to be against it, and they must reject the idea. They didn’t reject the idea, they rejected me.
    How does my belief in evolution impact their Christianity or their faith? It increases my faith, it makes me a better christian, and allows me to join my knowledge of science which comes from God given faculties, with his divinely inspired scripture. The divide between us is all in our heads. There is no divide, We are all children of God who believe, and do stupid, selfish and sinful things. That does not stop us from being a church together. All sin is the same in the eyes of the Lord. It does not stop us from working together to further God’s kingdom here on earth.
    My point is making a stand of what you are against should be a pretty narrow list. I am against suffering. I am against division. I am for spreading the Gospel. I am for being an effective witness. I am for sharing wisdom, But mostly I am for altering myself into a more holy creation. The greatest way to bring glory to the Lord and the greatest form of worship I can do is to change myself. If I change myself, the rest of the world will See Christ in Me. It will be apparent to everyone whom I serve.

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