Tuesday, February 21, 2017

day no. 14,001: the law of diminishing returns

Proverbs 25:16
If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.

The things of this earth that lead to satisfaction quickly lead to suffering when consumed in excess: food, sleep, sex, alcohol, etc...

The infinite is the only thing on which the finite can gorge without regurgitation.

Monday, February 20, 2017

day no. 14,000: mile marker

Psalm 90:12
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Today is day number 14,000 in the life that is Todd Henry Van Voorst.

Days like today and moments like these cause for pause.

The mist is burning off as the sun rises.

The vapor is disappearing.

The days of seeing dimly in the mirror are vanishing.

The longing for glory is approaching consummation.



Sunday, February 19, 2017

day no. 13,999: honorable honor

Proverbs 25:6-7
Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
or stand in the place of the great,
for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”

than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.

Honor is by others bestowed,
not from others beleaguered.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

day no. 13,998: things secret and things revealed

Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal things,
but the glory of kings is to search things out.

The greatness of God is beyond comprehension while the greatness of man is his ability to grasp that beyond his reach.

Friday, February 17, 2017

day no. 13,997: open eyes, mulling mind

Proverbs 24:30-34
I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.
 
There are many lessons buried just beneath the surface of daily life if we have eyes to see them. When we see and consider, we look and receive instruction merely by watching what happens and considering how it happened. Keep your eyes open and your mind mulling. Stay intellectually thirsty my friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

day no. 13,996: talk about putting the cart before the house

Proverbs 24:27
Prepare your work outside;
get everything ready for yourself in the field,
and after that build your house.
 
Young man, build a life before assuming to invite a young lady to build one with you.
Young lady, look for a man who is prepared, not one you assume will provide later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

day no. 13,995: serving the church

Not fully baked out, but these are my initial thoughts.
 
Our biggest difficulty in addressing this topic is our tendency to turn it into an anachronism. What I mean by that is this: we can't read our modern understanding about who deacons are and what they do back into texts like 1 Timothy 3. I'll give you an example. We have all seen churches in the Baptist model that employ a deacon board. Granted, we know this model is unbiblical as a church should be led by a plurality of Elders, but nevertheless, this is the most common context we even have for who and what deacons are and do. Consider the following dialogue
 
PERSON: "Does Scripture allow a woman to serve in that capacity?"
ME: "No."
 
PERSON: "But doesn't the Bible say Phoebe was a deaconess and the verses in 1 Tim 3 point out that women were called to serve in that capacity!"
ME: "You are correct, it does appear Paul mentions women serving as deacons in 1 Tim 3 and in Romans 16 when he refers to Phoebe."
 
PERSON: "So why do you say that women can't be deacons you hypocrite, chauvinist jerkwad!"
ME: "Because deacons should not be the leadership of a church, but if they are serving in that capacity, then the clear principles from 1 Tim 2 (mentioned just prior to the qualifications of who can actually lead and be employed in serving the church in 1 Tim 3) would apply. Women are not to have authority over men. So if your definition and job description of a deacon is an individual in a position that has authority over men, then No, women are not Scripturally permitted to occupy the office you are describing. The conflict is between what deacons originally were and what we now presume them to be. So, yes, women can serve the church by carrying out any instructions and general service prescribed by the Elders of the church, but no, they cannot be the ones issuing instructions."
 
A woman's primary service and focus should be on her own household which is why it makes no mention of her being a one-husband woman and specifically states that the men must be one-woman men. So this would make your pool reduced to single women with the spiritual gift of celibacy who are committed to a life of chastity or an older widow who no longer has a husband to serve due to his death or children to serve due to them being adults.
 
We do a disservice to the office of deacon both by elevating it to a place of leadership it was never intended and by reducing it to a cute way for people to serve the church by giving them an official title. This is why it is Biblically both non-authoritative and yet so highly restrictive. Not just anyone can be a deacon, they are vetted as seriously as Elders, not because they rule the church as Elders do, but because they are committed to serve the church extensively. They are more akin to church staff than mobilized lay people in some regards. You vet your church staff more exhaustively than you do your bass player in the band, while understanding both require some level of examination. But Elders are examined and tested most stringently because they occupy the highest role of the church, leading it, shepherding it, teaching it, protecting it, serving it, etc… Deacons help the Elders serve the church by doing what the Elders need them to do, not a separate authoritative body operating independently.