Archive for the ‘Book of Acts’ Category

Beware of Some Seeker-Sensitive Churches II

June 15, 2010

Title: Beware of Some Seeker-Sensitive Churches II

Text: 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Acts 20:27

Time: June 5th, 2010

2 Timothy 4:1-5, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom; I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” I open with this passage today because it directly pertains to the topic we’ve been dealing with over the last few weeks – beware of false influences within the church. I first talked about the dangers of the liberal church; those who don’t believe the historic Christian faith, nor practice the biblical Christian lifestyle, yet continue to use the signs and symbols of Christianity. I then talked about the dangers of the new emerging liberal church; those who so closely identify with the post-modern, relativistic culture of today that they change the faith in order to fit in with the world, rather than challenge the world to conform to the biblical faith. Today, I’d like to continue on with the theme I talked about last time – the dangers of some seeker-sensitive churches. Now not all seeker-sensitive evangelical churches, probably not even most of them, are dangerous spiritually; but some are dangerous because they compromise the doctrine and practices of historic, biblical Christianity. They do so subtly, almost imperceptibly. It’s not so much what they teach but what they don’t teach. They conveniently omit many of the more difficult or hard topics within the Christian faith. They rarely talk about sin, wrath, judgment, eternal punishment – or even repentance. Even though these topics are found throughout the Bible, they, along with other difficult topics, are simply neglected – or if they are spoken of they are given a positive or affirming twist that changes the whole meaning the Bible gives them. This is dangerous. I remember reading an article in the local newspaper signed by some local evangelical pastors who wanted to go on record as stating that they don’t believe God ever sends anyone to hell. I couldn’t believe it! These weren’t liberals,; they were evangelical pastors. Yet, in reacting against a more extreme fundamentalist group who decided to start street preaching in front of a Spiritualist meeting hall with warnings such as, “Repent, God sends all unbelievers to hell,” these evangelical pastors over-reacted by denying basic Christian theology, and doing so publicly in the paper. In an effort to distance themselves from a hard-line Christian group, these evangelicals actually denied the Bible’s teaching concerning eternal separation from God. This is the danger of being too “seeker-sensitive.” But let me unpack more of the passage I quoted above in an effort to explain the danger of an overly seeker-sensitive approach to church ministry. (more…)

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Beware of Some Seeker-Sensitive Churches

June 14, 2010

Title: Beware of Some Seeker-Sensitive Churches

Text: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, 2 Timothy 4:3-5, Acts 20:27

Time: June 3rd, 2010

I’ve talked about the need we have as Christians to beware of the liberal church and the new emerging liberal church, but I also need to call our attention to another danger within Christianity that affects some churches – an excessive “seeker-sensitivity” among some evangelicals. In explaining this danger I want to be careful so as not to label all churches that are classified “seeker-sensitive” or many that think of themselves as “seeker-sensitive” as spiritually dangerous. The term “seeker-sensitive” came into its current usage back in the 70s among evangelical churches seeking to reach the contemporary culture with the gospel within the context of the Sunday morning service. Pastors such as Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois and Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church in Orange County, California were among the first to experiment with different “seeker-sensitive” approaches to doing church. The essential idea behind seeker-sensitivity is to make the gospel and basic Christianity relevant to the contemporary generation through carefully explaining the Bible using modern vocabulary and symbols. Because of the changing American culture over the last 50 or so years, it was observed that contemporary culture had become itself a type of modern mission field, and therefore it needed to be approached in a missionary way. What does a missionary do? He learns the language and culture in which he is attempting to minister, then he translates the words and concepts of Christianity into his mission culture so the people can experience it in their own way rather than having to learn a foreign culture in order to appreciate Christianity. The mistake of past missions approach was to bring the gospel plus the European culture to the mission field. Conversion was just as often to Western culture as it was to Christianity. This confuses the mission of the church. So in order to reach the modern, secular culture, seeker-sensitive pastors try to translate the gospel into terms contemporary America can understand and accept. That is the basic experiment. It’s safe to say that most evangelical churches have been influenced by this approach over the last twenty to thirty years, but has also been noticed is that some churches, some denominations and some church leaders have taken the basic missionary approach of contextualizing the gospel too far. Instead of just translating Bible teachings into contemporary language, some have actually adapted the basic concepts of Christianity into culturally accepted forms. In other words, some have taken the basic missionary approach beyond translation into adaptation to the culture. Instead of merely communicating Bible truths into contemporary language they’ve changed the Bible’s teachings and practices into forms that the culture can more easily accept and follow. In other words, they’ve compromised Christian doctrine and practice, more or less in different ways. I’m not saying that many or most seeker-sensitive churches have compromised faith and practice to the modern culture, but some have – it is these churches we must beware. It’s tempting to change the gospel or change Bible teaching to fit the thought patterns of contemporary culture – after all, people welcome a message that already sounds similar to what they think and feel; they also welcome practices that match what they already practice, so it’s easy to see how it’s possible to over-extend the seeker-sensitive missionary principle. But we must resist the temptation to pander or cater to the culture. We must remain faithful to the message of the Bible even when it makes us unpopular or brings opposition from our culture. Yes, we must try to be “sensitive” to our culture, but we must never compromise any doctrine or Christian practice in the process. We need to beware of the subtle tendency to extend the seeker-sensitive principle beyond its limits. Here are three important things to remember. (more…)

Beware of the Emerging New Liberal Church

June 2, 2010

Title: Beware of the Emerging New Liberal Church

Text: Acts 20:28-31, 1 Corinthians 5:1-12

Time: May 22nd, 2010

Acts 20:28-31, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”  The Apostle Paul warns the early Christian church to beware of “savage wolves” that will tear the church apart after he leaves. He’s talking about corrupt church leaders who from within the church will threaten to ruin it through heresy (false teachings) and apostasy (false practices). The last few messages I’ve talked about the dangers of liberal pastors, liberal churches and liberal denominations – I could also mention liberal church colleges and seminaries, publishing houses, media outlets and high-profile personalities. All of these doubt or deny the essential Christian doctrines and practices that have characterized Christianity for more than two thousand years. All of these hold to a weakened view of the Bible. While liberal institutions and churches, pastors and denominational leaders all differ in their unorthodox beliefs and practices, one thing is common in all of them – they fail to hold to the basic, historic Christian faith and practice as taught in the Bible. So it’s not surprising to hear daily news reports of some church or denomination or leader creating controversy by ordaining a practicing homosexual to church leadership in one instance, or advocating gay marriage in another instance. It’s common to see a liberal spokesman on a television documentary explaining how the Bible is not the Word of God but merely the words of primitive men. Or how evolution disproves the creation account found in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible. In other words, liberal Christianity is characterized by always taking the modern, secular view against the historic, Christian biblical view. This form of liberalism has been around for decades, but what is emerging today as a new form of liberalism in what is called the emergent or emerging church within evangelicalism. Evangelicalism is a movement that grew out of the old Fundamentalist movement that held strongly to the biblical faith and practice. Evangelicalism is an attempt to hold strongly to the Bible but also engage the culture. But what is happening today is that some of the sons and daughters of Fundamentalists and older Evangelicals are now becoming post-modern liberals. Older liberals surrendered biblical truth to the modern high culture in the 20th century, but now many younger former evangelicals are surrendering biblical truth to the new post-modern pop culture. But the end result is much the same. Let me try to explain. (more…)

Beware of the Liberal Church II

May 26, 2010

Title: Beware of the Liberal Church II

Text: Acts 20:28-31, 1 Corinthians 5:1-12

Time: May 21st, 2010

Acts 20:28-31, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.”  The Apostle Paul warns the early Christian church to beware of “savage wolves” that will tear the church apart after he leaves. He’s talking about corrupt church leaders who from within the church will threaten to ruin it through heresy (false teachings) and apostasy (false practices). Last time I talked about the dangers of the liberal church from recent events such as the ordination of an openly, active lesbian bishop in California. This time I’d like to talk more about the problem in the liberal church with heretical false teachings in addition to the ethical and moral corruption taking place. There is a bishop in the U.S. Episcopal church named John Shelby Spong who basically denies every single important and essential historic Christian doctrine as found in the Creeds and Confessions of Faith of the church – and the Episcopal church did nothing to stop him! For years, for decades, this leader in the Episcopal church, this pastor-of-pastors, this bishop, was permitted to spread his false doctrines and destructive heresies in an established, historic Christian denomination and nobody from within the church stopped him; nobody outside of the church could stop him. Through countless books, interviews and presentations Bishop Spong promoted every kind of apostasy imaginable from within the Christian church. The Apostle Paul warned, “Savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw way disciples after them,” Acts 20:29-30.  He couldn’t have described John Shelby Spong any better. This bishop-heretic denied the existence of God; he wrote a book that explained why the theistic God of Christianity must be abandoned in favor of worshiping the “Ground of All Being.” He also denies the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; he doesn’t believe in immortality of the soul, but sees the resurrection as only a symbol of hope in this life. He denies the Virgin Birth; he claims it’s biologically impossible. He doesn’t believe in supernatural miracles because they contradict the laws of nature. He denies the Bible is God’s Word; he sees it as merely the product of human religious inspiration; he claims it’s full of myths and legends, although he admits some parts are inspiring yet not inspired by God. I could go on describing this man’s heresy. My point in bringing this up is to do what the Apostle Paul did in ancient times – warn us of the dangers of the liberal church. Let me try to put this in perspective by pointing out three things. (more…)

Beware of the Liberal Church

May 24, 2010

Title: Beware of the Liberal Church

Text: Acts 20:28-31

Time: May 20th, 2010

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseer. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears,” Acts 20:28-31.  The Apostle Paul warns the early Christian church to beware of “savage wolves” that will tear the church apart after he leaves. He’s talking about corrupt church leaders who from within the church will threaten to ruin it through heresy (false teachings) and apostasy (false practices). That classic warning is just as relevant today as it was two thousand years ago, because Christianity is facing the same threat from corrupt leaders within the church today as it did long ago. On May 15th, 2010 the Episcopal dioceses of Los Angeles ordained an openly lesbian bishop, Mary Douglas Glasspool. The U.S. Episcopal Church had already ordained its first practicing homosexual bishop in 2003 with V. Gene Robinson. This is a perfect example of what has become known as in the United States as the liberal church – or liberal Christianity, using the word “Christianity” very loose and generally. The liberal church is a form of Christianity that follows neither the main teachings of the historic Christian faith nor the main practices of the classic church either. This movement arose during the early part of the 20th century in response to the rise of modernism or modern intellectual thinking. In an effort to remain relevant in the modern culture this movement within the Christian church sought to make peace with the contemporary world by essentially reinterpreting the biblical faith to fit with modern times. The Bible was reinterpreted to either deny or downplay all miracles. Historic church doctrines such as the Trinity and the virgin birth of Christ were also questioned because they contradicted modern scholarship and science. While liberal churches still used the signs and symbols of historic Christianity, more and more these were also reinterpreted to represent spiritual truths rather than literal truths. For example, it’s very common for liberal church pastors to either question or doubt outright such key doctrines as the resurrection of Christ, creation of the world by God’s direction intervention, the inspiration of the Bible, Christ’s literal second coming – to name just a few. So in the context of liberalism and its historical development within Christianity, it really isn’t surprising that we see a large, main-line denomination ordain openly gay pastors and bishops. The process has been leading up to it. The real question is, “Where will this corruption of Christianity end?” Let’s look at how the liberal church got to the point of ordaining openly gay pastors and church leaders. Then, I’ll offer some guesses as to where all of this will end up. (more…)

Experiencing God: Receiving the Good News, Part II

October 31, 2008

Message: Experiencing God: Receiving the Good News, Part II

Text: Acts 2:37-39

Time: October 22nd, 2005

The topic I’ve been exploring over the last few weeks is having a personal experience with the living God. There is a God, He’s alive, He’s there, why can’t we experience Him in our lives? There is a God, He’s here, but why can’t we experience His here-ness, His there-ness? What’s blocking the way? According to pollster George Barna, two-third of non-Christians would attend church if they could actually experience God there. Isn’t it reasonable to expect to experience God in a church? Of all places, shouldn’t we expect to experience God at least in some way during a church service? Yes, of course. But that is not the experience of most people who attend church services. Why not? Because through custom, tradition, habits and other man-made practices and attitudes, churches have unfortunately built up cultural barriers to experiencing God without even knowing it. These barriers are allowed to stand Sunday after Sunday, leaving people hungry for a genuine experience of God. People come seeking spiritual food and drink and leave without experiencing either. Why? Because churches and church leaders have failed to follow the message of John the Baptist and Isaiah the prophet: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, remove the mountains and barriers, build up the bridges and pathways to God.” People are wandering around in the wilderness and desert of empty spiritual promises in churches, but nobody is preparing a way for them to experience God by removing cultural barriers and building spiritual bridges in the church for people to experience God. That’s the church’s fault. But then there is the responsibility of the individual person to do what John the Baptist and Isaiah say to do also: “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare your heart for the Lord’s coming.” It’s not enough for churches to remove all cultural barriers and build all spiritual bridges for people if a person won’t remove all barriers from their own heart and build bridges from their own heart to God. So John the Baptist and Isaiah the prophet speak to individuals as well as churches: “Prepare yourself for the Lord, make a straight path from God to your heart — and from your heart to God. Remove the barriers of sin and distractions from your life, and add anything that is spiritually useful into your life to help you connect with God. So people must take personal responsibility for experiencing God and not just blame churches for not doing a better job of preparing a way for the Lord. And what happens when churches prepare a clear way for people to access God? And what happens when individuals prepare their own hearts, removing sin and other obstacles and adding anything lacking to build spiritual bridges to God? What happens then? God visits people! In the first century Jesus appears. In the twenty-first century Jesus by His Spirit appears. In the first century Jesus came preaching the Gospel for people to believe, in the twenty-first century we believe the Gospel and the Spirit fills us with God’s presence today. The message of John the Baptist can only prepare us for an experience with God, but the message of Jesus introduces us to an experience with God. After the church has done all it can do to prepare people for an experience with God, after people have done all they can do to prepare themselves for experiencing God, then Jesus invites us all to take the step of faith and believe! And when we believe in Jesus we experience God! But we can’t get to the experience until our hearts are prepared. So the gospel is actually double-sided: there’s the repentance side and there’s the belief side. There’s the turning from sin and there’s the turning to God, and unless both are present there will be no experiencing God. Now is this what the early church taught? Let’s find out. (more…)

Waiting for the Spirit’s Filling

October 24, 2008

Title: Waiting for the Holy Spirit’s Filling

Text: Acts 1:12-14

Date: October 28th, 2007

Jesus had given the disciples the seemingly impossible assignment of living the Christian life without his physical presence to help them, and in addition, he had assigned them the near impossible task of recruiting others to join them in the Christian life. How could they ever hope to accomplish their assignment? Jesus’ answer: wait and receive the power of the Holy Spirit. According to Matthew 28:16-20, here again is their assignment from Jesus, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Now how would they ever be able to teach people to obey everything Jesus had commanded them, or how would they even be able to obey everything Jesus had commanded to them? Again, the answer: wait and receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Notice at the end of the Great Commission, Jesus says that he will be with them always, even to the very ends of the earth. How can that be? Again, the answer: through the power of the Holy Spirit; they were to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what would otherwise be totally impossible in their own power. Now what does this all have to do with us today? Everything, because we too have been assigned the seemingly impossible task of living the Christian life, of following the teachings and examples of Jesus. We too have been assigned the task of recruiting others to follow Jesus and join us in the Christian life. How can we trust in Jesus instead of our own selves, how can we follow Jesus instead of following the way of the world, the flesh, or even the devil? How can we follow Jesus in our weaknesses and ignorance? How can we be an example or witness to others of the truth? There is only one way, only one answer: the Holy Spirit’s power operating in our lives to enable us to rise above our natural human limitations and lift us up to the supernatural level of faith and obedience. That’s the only way can live the Christian life, that’s the only way we can so witness to others so they too will become a Christian. So the key for the disciples as well as us today is waiting for the Spirit, or as Luke 24:49 instructs, to wait until “you have been clothed with power from on high.” Why are some, many, or even most Christians today weak in faith, defeated in living the Christian life, and not much of a shinning example or witness before the world? Because some, many, or most Christians aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit and so they lack the power of God operating in their lives. They are trying to live the Christian life on their own human power instead of waiting for God’s Spirit to empower them every day. So the answer is to wait for the Holy Spirit, but what does it mean to wait for God’s power? How shall we wait to get the power of the Holy Spirit? Let’s see how the original disciples waited so that we know how to properly wait today for the Spirit. Acts 1:12-14 (read). (more…)

The Promise of the Spirit

October 17, 2008

Title: The Promise of the Spirit

Text: Acts 1:4-5

Date: October 7th, 2007

Last week we learned how impossible it is to live the Christian life in our own power, and how we need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to live the Christian life and be a witness to the reality of God in the world. Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father concerning the Holy Spirit to empower them. But that raises the question, “What exactly were the disciples to wait for?” And, “What was the promise that Jesus spoke to them about waiting for?” And, “What does it mean to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?” It’s no wonder that the disciples were a little confused. It’s no wonder that they started wondering what this “promise” might be. It’s no wonder that they thought that perhaps the promise had something to do with the restoration of Israel to a free nation once again, since the Jews at that time were all waiting for the Messiah to fulfill all the promises of the Old Testament concerning Israel. But Jesus wasn’t talking about those promises, which were to be fulfilled at Christ’s second coming during the end times. Jesus was talking about the fulfillment of some very specific promises made in both the Old and New Testament periods concerning the Holy Spirit. Here are Jesus’ exact words in Acts 1:4-5, “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’” We’ll be talking about the famous prophetic promise in the Book of Joel in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit in a few weeks, so I won’t take the time to cover that today. But I’d like to go back over the New Testament promises of the Holy Spirit in order to help us understand what is so special about the promise for which Jesus told his disciples to wait – and what that same promise means to us today in our lives as well. The promise that Jesus talked about to his disciples was important enough for them to wait for instead of simply starting in to their Christian lives and ministries. If it was important enough for the disciples to wait for, might it also be important for us to wait for as well? If so, what is it that we are supposed to wait for before we attempt to live the Christian life and minister in Jesus’ name? These are important questions that require we get a context for the prophecy and promise Jesus is speaking about in respect to the coming of the Holy Spirit. Rather than simply jump ahead to the promise, let’s take the time to back up and hear the prophecy concerning the promise, which will help us understand things better. First, let’s see what John the Baptist says. Second, let’s see what Jesus says in the gospels. Third, let’s see what the promise means to us today in our lives. (more…)

The Spirit’s Power

October 16, 2008

Title: The Spirit’s Power

Text: Acts 1:4-8

Date: September 30, 2007

Jesus appeared to his disciples off and on again over a period of forty days after the resurrection, preparing them for the time when he would be physically gone from their presence. He also assigned them the near impossible task of living the victorious Christian life and recruiting others to join them in living such a life. But he cautioned them to not rush out and immediately start trying to fulfill their mission, but rather to wait for the supernatural power from heaven that would come to enable them to do what he commanded them. This whole scene is depicted in Acts 1:4-8, “On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ he said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’” Now we have to remember that before Jesus was crucified, he had been with the disciples for three years, teaching them, guiding them, and directing them in how to live according to the will of God the Father. Even then, they had still gotten themselves into trouble and constantly needed his intervention to save and rescue them from failure. We remember on one occasion, Jesus told them to go out and among other things cast out demons while they announced the kingdom of God. They found themselves unable to cast out a particularly entrenched demon, so they turned to Jesus to help cast it out. Of course he did and the victim was delivered. But the disciples were amazed and perplexed as to why they couldn’t do it. This is just one of many examples where Jesus had to rescue them while he was with them in the course of three years. But now, Jesus would be leaving, never again to be with them in his immediate, physical form they had learned to rely on. How would they ever succeed in their Christian lives and ministries? We might ask the same question of ourselves today: how can we possibly succeed in our Christian life and ministry? If the disciples struggled so with the actual presence and power of Jesus with them for three years, how would they hope to succeed with his physical presence and power gone? And if they could expect to have trouble succeeding – at least they had been with him for three years – how can we have any hope of success in our Christian life and in any ministry we might attempt to do today, not having even the advantages the disciples had with Jesus? The answer for us is the same answer as to the disciples: additional supernatural power would be needed, given by God for the purpose of helping both them and us succeed in Christian living. Let’s explore this exciting possibility more. (more…)

Asking the Right Questions

October 16, 2008

Title: Asking the Right Questions

Text: Acts 1:3-5

Date: September 23, 2007

One of the keys to getting the right answers in life is asking the right questions. If we don’t ever ask the right questions we can’t ever get the right answers. That’s why in the historical Christian church there has existed something called catechism classes, using different kinds of catechisms. What is catechism? It’s simply a teaching method that uses the question and answer format. It isn’t something Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, it’s also something Protestant too. All the great Reformation churches used the teaching method of catechism to instruct new converts and church members. Martin Luther wrote many different catechisms as did John Calvin and other reformers. The catechism method for teaching uses a series of questions in order to instruct the student in how to ask the right questions. Then, the catechism provides the correct answers to the questions. The students memorize both the questions and the answers, and in the process learn about the Christian faith. Why has Christianity used the catechism method to teach its students the faith? Because early on in the church it became clear that people needed help not only in learning the Christian answers to important questions in life, but they also needed help in asking the right questions of the Christian faith. For example, there are clearly wrong questions to ask Christianity. If a person comes into the Christian church and seems interested in becoming a Christian and then asks, “Now when do I get the gold? When do I get rich?” That is clearly the wrong question to ask the Christian faith. Why? Because Jesus did not come to make everyone rich and wealthy in the material sense, but he came to make us all rich spiritually with God. Or in other words, Jesus came to satisfy our deepest heart’s desire for meaning and purpose in life, not to set us up with the best things of the world in life. This is just one example how in many instances that people not only need to get the right answers but they need to know how to ask the right questions. Christianity has tried to supply both, by teaching us how to ask the right questions and then how to find the right answers from the Bible. Now catechism can be a boring learning process if our hearts are not into it, but it can be a rewarding process if we approach it with an open mind and heart. Well, there are times when it looks like Jesus needed to give his disciples a catechism lesson in order to teach them how to ask the right questions, because it is painfully obvious that they didn’t have a clue as to what questions to ask. In Acts 1:4-11 (read), Jesus tries to explain to his disciples what the coming of the Holy Spirit means but they had trouble hearing his answer because they were asking the wrong question. We are like that at times – we bring to the Bible and to prayer the wrong questions, the wrong issues, and then, we are disappointed with the answers we get from God. We, like the disciples, have to learn how to ask the right questions of God in order to get the right answers. (more…)